You wouldn’t think that taking a little pain pill would cause long term cognitive impairment, but that’s just one of the commonly prescribed (or even OTC) pharmaceutical medications which were studied in a six-year test to see what kind of neurological damage was caused. Unfortunately, the research found that these pharmaceuticals, commonly taken for a variety of common medical conditions including insomnia, allergies, or incontinence, cause long-term damage to the brain. The findings point to a class of drugs called anticholinergics, which block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter.
“We found that taking one anticholinergic significantly increased an individual’s risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and taking two of these drugs doubled this risk. This is very significant in a population – African-Americans – already known to be at high risk for developing cognitive impairment,” said Noll Campbell, PharmD, first author of the study.
The surprising thing is that many of the drugs are commonly used, brands like Benadryl, Dramamine, Excedrin PM, Nytol, Sominex, Tylenol PM, and Unisom are included in the anticholinergic drug list, but so are Paxil, Detrol, Demerol, and Elavil – antidepressant medications. Sure its great if you don’t feel depressed anymore, but not if it is because the drugs are just killing the brain cells that might ordinarily register sadness or anxiety.
You don’t have to take multiple forms of these drugs, either. Just one anticholingeric drug will lead to cognitive impairment. Taking two – doubled the risk. Seniors specifically should avoid these types of drugs since the levels of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are on the rise. According to the University of Michigan, 1 in 7 Americans over the age of 70 suffers from dementia.
Read: 8 Natural Antibiotics to Replace the Meds
Anticholinergic drugs block a nervous system neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease typically have a marked shortage of acetylcholine. Here is another analysis showing which pharmaceuticals are most likely to result in cognitive damage.
“Simply put, we have confirmed that anticholinergics, something as seemingly benign as a medication for inability to get a good night’s sleep or for motion sickness, can cause or worsen cognitive impairment, specifically long-term mild cognitive impairment which involves gradual memory loss. As a geriatrician I tell my Wishard Healthy Aging Brain Center patients not to take these drugs and I encourage all older adults to talk with their physicians about each and every one of the medications they take,” said Malaz Boustani, M.D., IU School of Medicine associate professor of medicine.
Why wait until you are in your 60s to see if you will develop severe cognitive impairment from taking these drugs? There are numerous herbal remedies for insomnia, as well as pain, and none of them block important neurotransmitters. Besides, pharmaceutical pain killers have even been shown to kill more people than cocaine and heroin combined.
List of Culprit Drugs:
- Excedrin PM
- Tylenol PM
Prescription meds in these categories:
7 thoughts on “These Common Pharmaceutical Meds Destroy Your Brain”
yes! dramamine totally messed up my relative’s brain….. we almost lost him in a fog of delusion!
If these drugs were from the health store, they would be banned long time ago and there would be many in a jails accused of murder.
“pharmaceutical pain killers have even been shown to kill more people than cocaine and heroin combined.”
Uh huh. Wonder why that is. Could it be because so many more people take them?
About 170 million people took Tylenol in 2013. And 300 people died from overdoes. Cocaine killed just as many. But do you think 170 million people took cocaine?
Obviously over-the-counter medications are much less deadly, they are just used by more people. These numbers are *incredibly* easy to verify. Why didn’t you do so?
I think this is an excellent point. Numbers can be used in so many ways, many of which can be very misleading. However, I think it’s important to point this fact out because we are being given these drugs as though they are good for us and we are told we should be scared of these other drugs. Perhaps it should be presented in a less spectacular way.
We should all just smoke a doobie when something is bothering us.
I use all of these drugs and I don’t suffer any ill-effects, except drooling and soiling myself, losing my way to the garage, forgetting that the dog died two months ago and needing to bury him (Hmm, what’s that smell?), hey, where the fuck are my car keys, shit, they moved the post office again, when did Cabela’s stop selling cars……..
Demerol is an opiate…not an anticholinergic and it is also not an anti depressant. Detrol is not an antidepressant. But it is an anticholinergic.
I think it would have been nice if the article listed the drug name instead of just the brand name (which is often a combination of several – especially the OTC drugs).