Can Deprescribing These Drugs Curb Dementia?

Another study adds to evidence of a link between strong anticholinergic drugs and greater dementia risk, CNN reports.

Anticholinergics are often prescribed to fight anxiety, depression and pain, or purchased over the counter to tackle allergies or sleep problems.

University of Nottingham research published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that exposure to over 1,095 daily doses in 10 years was associated with a 50% higher dementia risk.

Certain anticholinergics—including antidepressants, bladder antimuscarinics, antipsychotics and antiepileptic drugs—had a closer link to dementia risk than others, like antihistamines.

But the observational study didn’t establish a causal link between the drugs and dementia. There’s only one way to do that, researchers stress. An accompanying commentary called for rigorous deprescribing trials to test whether the drugs are a reversible risk factor for dementia, the Regenstrief Institute reports via ScienceDaily.

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