KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 — A decade-long study of 284,343 adults in the United Kingdom, aged 55 and older, has found a strong link between anticholinergic drugs and an increased risk of dementia.
Published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal, the study suggests that the link is strongest for certain classes of anticholinergic drugs. These include antidepressants, anti-psychotics and anti-epileptic medicines.
Researchers stated “there was nearly a 50% increased odds of dementia” associated with a total anticholinergic exposure of more than 1,095 daily doses within a 10-year period, which is equivalent to an older adult taking a strong anticholinergic medication daily for at least three years, compared with no exposure.”
Co-author of the study, Carol Coupland, professor of medical statistics at the University of Nottingham, said to CNN “The study is important because it strengthens a growing body of evidence showing that strong anticholinergic drugs have long term associations with dementia risk.”
“It also highlights which types of anticholinergic drugs have the strongest associations. This is important information for physicians to know when considering whether to prescribe these drugs,” she said.
“The study is important because it strengthens a growing body of evidence showing that strong anticholinergic drugs have long term associations with dementia risk.”
These include antidepressants such as paroxetine or amitriptyline, antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine or olanzapine, antiepileptic drugs such as oxcarbazepine or carbamazepine, and bladder antimuscarinics such as oxybutynin or tolterodine.