Common medicines including cold and flu tablets, heartburn drugs and sleeping pills 'SHRINK the brain and slow down thinking'
By COLIN FERNANDEZ, SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 16:00, 18 April 2016 | UPDATED: 05:50, 19 April 2016
Common over-the-counter medicines should be avoided by older people as they have been linked to memory loss and problems in thinking, scientists have discovered.
Treatments for colds and flu, hay fever, allergy and heartburn tablets containing anti-cholinergic drugs had the effect for one month after treatment, a study found.
Effects associated with taking the drugs included having slower brain processing times and smaller brains overall.
Well known treatments including the heartburn medicine Zantac, Night Nurse Liquid containing Promethazine and the sleeping tablet Nytol, containing diphenhydramine, are included among drugs that may result in the effects, the research said.
Over the counter treatments for cold, flu, heartburn and sleeping tablets were found to block the chemical acetylcholine, which is involved in the transmission of electrical impulses between nerve cells
The drugs block the chemical acetylcholine, which is involved in the transmission of electrical impulses between nerve cells.
The treatments are prescribed for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, overactive bladder, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, nausea and vomiting, sleeping problems, high blood pressure, depression and psychosis.
But the authors warn: ‘Use of AC [anti-cholinergic] medication among older adults should likely be discouraged if alternative therapies are available.’
Previous studies have linked the drugs with cognitive impairment, increased risk of dementia and falls.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3545994/Common-medicines-including-cold-flu-tablets-heartburn-drugs-sleeping-pills-SHRINK-brain-slow-thinking.html#ixzz46Iv4j291
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