PsychCentral - Some Common Drugs May Increase Dementia Risk

By RICK NAUERT PHD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on January 26, 2015

A large study finds that a certain group of medications may increase the risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s.

Researchers discovered medications that have strong anticholinergic effects may increase the risk for dementia if the drugs are taken at higher doses or for a long time. Study authors report that many older people take these medications, which include nonprescription diphenhydramine (Benadryl).

The study is published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Investigators report the study used more rigorous methods, longer follow-up (more than seven years), and better assessment of medication use via pharmacy records (including substantial nonprescription use) to confirm this previously reported link.

This is great news. My mom died of Alzheimer’s, and my dad died of a similar disease. I’d rather not die of Alzheimer’s. It’s too slow.

The possibility that some very common over-the-counter sleeping pills such as Nytol and hayfever tablets like Piriton could trigger dementia is highly alarming for those who take them and likely to lead to the binning of many thousands of blister packs on several continents.

But the research from Seattle does not actually prove the link, experts say. It is a warning about the possible effects of long-term use of these drugs, not a copper-bottomed forecast of how many people who have ever taken such pills are going to get Alzheimer’s.

Well, C. is taking Benadryl almost everyday. Not good.

Well see where the research goes. If there is a link it will be confirmed further in the next 10 years.