Media dementia scare over hay fever and sleep drugs

Conclusion This large US prospective cohort study suggests a link between those taking high levels of anticholinergic medicines for more than three years and developing dementia in adults over 65. The main statistically significant finding was in a group taking the equivalent of any of the following medications daily for more than three years: xybutynin chloride, 5mg chlorpheniramine maleate, 4mg olanzapine, 2.5mg meclizine hydrochloride, 25mg doxepin hydrochloride, 10mg These are not unrealistic doses of medicine, so the results may be applicable to a significant proportion of older adults. The main limitations of the research were recognised and openly discussed by the study authors. Although we don't expect them to have significantly biased the results, we cannot rule out the possibility. These limitations include the potential misclassification of "exposure". This is possible because some anticholinergic medicines are available without a prescription – called "over-the-counter" medicines. These would have been missed in this study, which relied on a database of prescribed medicines only. It is therefore possible people who were reported to have no exposure may actually take, for example, regular doses of Piriton for hay fever without needing a prescription. A related point is there is no guarantee the prescribed medications were actually taken – although it is likely they were, especially in the groups in the higher ...
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Medication Neurology Source Type: news