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

elderly underactive bladder symptoms needed to be reported

Drug Tied to Dementia Risk Overprescribed to Seniors: Study

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