A drug linked to a raised risk of dementia is taken by millions of older Americans who have an overactive bladder, researchers say. More than one-quarter of patients with the urinary problem had been prescribed the drug oxybutynin (Ditropan), an international team of investigators found. Yet, “oxybutynin is a particularly poor drug for overactive bladder in elderly patients,” said study lead author Dr. Daniel Pucheril, a urologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Prior studies have linked the drug to thinking problems and increased risk of dementia in older people, possibly because of the way it affects brain chemicals, he said. “It’s a great and effective drug for younger patients, but is a risky drug for older patients,” Pucheril said. It boosts dementia risk even when not taken indefinitely, he said. Alternatives exist but they’re more expensive and may not be covered by insurance, at least initially, the study authors explained. Read more.
Source: HealthDay News, March 30, 2017