drugs for overactive bladder (OAB)

Certain Common Medications Tied to 30% Higher Dementia Risk, Study Finds

Many older adults know that long-term use of certain medications can negatively affect cognition and increase one’s risk of dementia.  But a new study suggests that some classes of anticholinergic drugs — particularly those used to treat depression, Parkinson’s and urinary incontinence — carry a higher risk than others.  Anticholinergic drugs function by blocking the effects of acetylcholine, a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerves and muscles. They are prescribed to 20% to 50% of older adults in the United States to treat a variety of neurological, psychiatric, gastrointestinal, respiratory and muscular conditions, according to a 2009 study. In the UK, 34% to 48% of older adults take them, another study found.  Read more.

Source: CNN, April 25, 2018

depression elderly nursing home

Common Drugs Hike Death Risks By 31%

A class of medications commonly prescribed to seniors for conditions such as urinary incontinence might increase the risk of mortality among nursing home residents with depression, a recently published study shows.  Anticholinergic drugs have previously been found to increase emergency department and hospital visits for seniors, but little research had been done on the link between the drugs’ use and mortality among nursing home residents, researchers from the University of Houston said. Their study, published in June in Drugs & Aging, used nearly 45,000 residents’ Minimum Data Set information. The residents included in the study were prescribed “clinically significant” anticholinergic medications and had previously been diagnosed with depression. Read more.

Source: McKnight’s, August 9, 2017