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Strongest Evidence Yet Links Anticholinergic Drugs, Dementia


disciple72
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From the article:

 

"While this study extends previous findings on the link between anticholinergic drugs and cognition problems, it does not prove causality because it is still based on observational data."

 

"It isn't possible to prove causation with observational data," Dr Gray added. "I would say that we haven't proven that these drugs cause dementia, but our results certainly reinforce concerns about this issue."

 

Dr Gray noted that all studies of this issue have been conducted in older individuals. "There is no data on how these drugs may affect younger people, but I personally will avoid taking anticholinergic agents," she added.

 

"The drugs implicated are commonly used, estimated to be taken by about 20% of the older adult population for many conditions. They include popular antihistamines sold over the counter as sleep aids, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl, McNeil-PPC Inc), or for allergy relief, such as chlorpheniramine; oxybutynin and tolterodine for overactive bladder; and the tricyclic antidepressants, such as doxepin or amitriptyline, even when used at low doses for migraine prevention or neuropathic pain."

 

So this study reverses findings of a 2011 article?

 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/750901

 

Disciple72, you have not filled out a signature yet but I checked your first post and you do not mention taking any of these drugs so what has prompted your concern?

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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When I first read the article I was keen to make sure that I avoided any Anticholinergic drugs, googled to find out which drugs fell into this category, that's when I discovered the Paroxetine was in the high Anticholinergic category.

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I saw this and I am F****** terrified bc I was put on tricyclics for 2.5 years.

*I'm not a doctor and don't give medical advice, just personal experience
**Off all meds since Nov. 2014. Mentally & emotionally recovered; physically not
-Dual cold turkeys off TCA & Ativan in Oct 2014. Prescribed from 2011-2014

-All meds were Rxed off-label for an autoimmune illness.  It was a MISDIAGNOSIS, but I did not find out until AFTER meds caused damage.  All med tapers/cold turkeys directed by doctors 

-Nortriptyline May 2012 - Dec 2013. Cold turkey off nortrip & cold switched to desipramine

-Desipramine Jan 2014 - Oct. 29, 2014 (rapid taper/cold turkey)

-Lorazepam 1 mg per night during 2011
-Lorazepam 1 mg per month in 2012 (or less)

-Lorazepam on & off, Dec 2013 through Aug 2014. Didn't exceed 3x a week

-Lorazepam again in Oct. 2014 to help get off of desipramine. Last dose lzpam was 1 mg, Nov. 2, 2014. Immediate paradoxical reactions to benzos after stopping TCAs 

-First muscle/dystonia side effects started on nortriptyline, but docs too stupid to figure it out. On desipramine, muscle tremors & rigidity worsened

-Two weeks after I got off all meds, I developed full-blown TD.  Tardive dystonia, dyskinesia, myoclonic jerks ALL over body, ribcage wiggles, facial tics, twitching tongue & fingers, tremors/twitches of arms, legs, cognitive impairment, throat muscles semi-paralyzed & unable to swallow solid food, brain zaps, ears ring, dizzy, everything looks too far away, insomnia, numbness & electric shocks everywhere when I try to fall asleep, jerk awake from sleep with big, gasping breaths, wake with terrors & tremors, severely depressed.  NO HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, EVER. Meds CREATED it.

-Month 7: hair falling out; no vision improvement; still tardive dystonia; facial & tongue tics returned
-Month 8: back to acute, incl. Grand Mal seizure-like episodes. New mental torment, PGAD, worse insomnia
-Month 9: tardive dystonia worse, dyskinesia returned. Unable to breathe well due to dystonia in stomach, chest, throat
-Month 13: Back to acute, brain zaps back, developed eczema & stomach problems. Left leg no longer works right due to dystonia, meaning both legs now damaged
-7 years off: Huge improvements, incl. improved dystonia

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(Use this link if you keep getting a medscape 'log in' instead of the study.)

 

This is from the abstract of the study found here:

 

Importance  Many medications have anticholinergic effects. In general, anticholinergic-induced cognitive impairment is considered reversible on discontinuation of anticholinergic therapy. However, a few studies suggest that anticholinergics may be associated with an increased risk for dementia.

Objective  To examine whether cumulative anticholinergic use is associated with a higher risk for incident dementia.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Prospective population-based cohort study using data from the Adult Changes in Thought study in Group Health, an integrated health care delivery system in Seattle, Washington. We included 3434 participants 65 years or older with no dementia at study entry. Initial recruitment occurred from 1994 through 1996 and from 2000 through 2003. Beginning in 2004, continuous replacement for deaths occurred. All participants were followed up every 2 years. Data through September 30, 2012, were included in these analyses.

 

During a mean follow-up of 7.3 years, 797 participants (23.2%) developed dementia.

 

 So the study was only done on persons aged 65 years or older and of those three thousand plus persons approximately one fifth developed 'dementia'. This is what the study boils down to. Not the taking of tricyclics and paroxetine in a younger population.

 

It was NOT a longitudinal study showing the effect of taking an anticholinergic for certain periods in the lifetime of a much younger person. Although tricyclics are mentioned, the most alarming thing in this study is not them. It is the use of the COMMON anticholinergics that is alarming: diphenhydramine (benadryl) is marketed and is contained in a lot of over the counter formulations that you hear about daily in commercials.

 

The reversible effects of anticholinergics don't seem to reverse as well in the elderly.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Thanks for taking the time to point these things out, I certainly feel more reassured now, I'm just massively phobic about my memory & developing Alzhimers and this study just sent shock waves right through me.

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The best thing to do is to stop scouring the internet for 'stuff', we have plenty of 'stuff' here, really good 'stuff' too. You'll just keep scaring yourself and there will not always be someone here to tell you what the 'stuff' is really saying. A lot of studies really ARE a bunch of research scientists chasing their tails (and grant money).

 

You really need to put a brief history of your medication use in a signature as soon as possible, the link is in MY signature.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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This is a topic talked about before perhaps not a specific item of damage to the body/brain but it sure is covered in this topic 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6547-recommended-books-on-antidepressant-withdrawal/

 

Obviously people have been saying something like  this in books for a very long time. 

 

I will also point to Grace E Jackson the title of her books is self explanatory. 

http://www.amazon.com/Drug-Induced-Dementia-MD-Grace-Jackson/dp/1438972318

 

Drug-Induced Dementia: a perfect crime

 

 

About the Author
Dr. Grace E. Jackson is a board-certified psychiatrist who graduated summa cum laude from California Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Science in Biology, as well as a Masters Degree in Public Administration. She earned her medical degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, in 1996, then completed her internship and residency in the U.S. Navy. Following her transition from military service to civilian status in the spring of 2002, Dr. Jackson has worked for the North Carolina Department of Corrections, the Veterans Administration, and as a clinician in private practice. An internationally renowned lecturer, writer, and forensic consultant, she has submitted testimony to governmental agencies and authorities on behalf of patients' rights, medical ethics, and health care reform, and she has served as an expert witness for the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (a non-profit organization based in Anchorage, Alaska). Dr. Jackson's first book, Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent, underscored the urgent need for societies and health care systems to recognize the unnecessary harmfulness of psychiatric medications, and to protect the rights of those who desire drug-free care. Expanding upon this same theme, Drug-Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime presents a methodical analysis of the scientific and epidemiological evidence which confirms psychopharmaceuticals as a cause of brain damage and premature death. Hopefully, these publications will be used by laypersons, clinicians, lawyers, and policy makers to improve the quality and integrity of health care, and to safeguard the fundamental right of all patients to avoid unwarranted bodily harm - particularly, when that harm occurs in the form of misinformed, fraudulent, and/or coercive (involuntary) medical care.
 
I did attempt to read this book once but couldn't do it.  I use to talk about her all the time on another site.. was dying to get my hands on her books when I finally go them my head was too messed up to get much out of them.  
This is one thing I said about the books at the time...
 
"Grace E Jackson says the drug leaves the brain much more slowly than it does the blood stream... "
not much from two books is it.  
 
I hope somebody else reads them that has the brain to understand them.  
This is not to scare people this is what is going on in the world around us that we are not aware of.. i don't recall what drugs she was talking about in her books I simply cannot remember.  
I don't know what else to say.. she wrote a book that is the title it does not sound like a lot of these pills are good for you.
There is not much we can do about drugs we have already taken so there is not sense getting stuck there. We can only do what we can do to make ourselves better.  
I wish you all peace

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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I guess the data are in conflict. Until a controlled experiment is done, we cannot know. We all know we are better off without drugs, but sleep is so darned hard to get that I venture into the Benadryl realm sometimes.

 

There is always exercise. Ha Ha Ha. Someday, someday. Right? Is anyone currently able to fight insomnia with exercise?

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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From the article:

 

....

 

"The drugs implicated are commonly used, estimated to be taken by about 20% of the older adult population for many conditions. They include popular antihistamines sold over the counter as sleep aids, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl, McNeil-PPC Inc), or for allergy relief, such as chlorpheniramine; oxybutynin and tolterodine for overactive bladder; and the tricyclic antidepressants, such as doxepin or amitriptyline, even when used at low doses for migraine prevention or neuropathic pain."

....

 

Compared to the drugs above, paroxetine is a very mild anti-cholinergic. It is a "high cholinergic" only when compared to other SSRIs.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm stuffed then! Mirtazapine - massive amount of antihistamine...5 years use and years, I'm 36 and suffering with severe memory issues. Scared.

2008 - Doctors appointment with stress induced anxiety led to Citalopram prescription.

Severe adverse reaction

Mirtazapine prescribed - adverse reaction but told to stay on.

Poop out - December 2013

15mg

Currently on 13.5mg,

April 12mg

May 10th - 11mg

June 10th - 10mg

July 8th - 9mg

September - 0mg

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I guess the data are in conflict. Until a controlled experiment is done, we cannot know. We all know we are better off without drugs, but sleep is so darned hard to get that I venture into the Benadryl realm sometimes.

 

There is always exercise. Ha Ha Ha. Someday, someday. Right? Is anyone currently able to fight insomnia with exercise?

Exactly WC.   My cognitive problems are greatly worsening from lack of sleep.   I am going to be taking a Temazepam tonight even though I will feel groggy as heck tomorrow.   But for reasons I would rather not get into, I have no choice.

 

Excercise has not helped with my sleep issues.

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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One thing I recall from youth is that exercise done late in the day or a night can interfere with sleep. I am currently exercising my right to stay in bed.

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

I only have minor sleep issues, so this may be of no use to you, but I find that having spent time outside means I'm more likely to fall and asleep and then wake less.  Haven't noticed any effect with exercise, just the being outside - sun/wind especially. 

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm stuffed then! Mirtazapine - massive amount of antihistamine...5 years use and years, I'm 36 and suffering with severe memory issues. Scared.

16 years on high doses (90mg) Mirtazapine. Yes, I am worried also. I am struggling to get below 30 mg... currently 26 mg. I wish I could reduce faster...

2001-2007 Rem 90 mg, xanax 2 mg synthroid 112mcg - 2007-2014 Rem 60 mg xanax 3-4 mg

2015   Feb Rem 45 mg xanax 2 mg, March Rem 30 xanax 2, April  Rem 22.5, May Rem 30  xanax .25x4 hrs, June Rem 26 xanax 2-3, July Rem 22.5 xanax 2, Aug Rem 15 xanax 2, Sept Rem 22 xanax 2, Oct Rem 18 mg xanax .25 mg /4 hrs, Nov Rem 23 mg xanax .5mg, Dec Rem 24 xanax 2 

2016  Jan Rem 20 xanax 2,  Feb Rem 18 mg xanax 1.5, Feb Rem 14 12 mg xanax 1 mg, March Rem 10 9 mg xanax 1-2 mg Rem 7.3 8 xanax 1-2, April Rem 10 12 mg xanax 2 mg, May Rem 11 xanax 1 .75mg Nov Rem 10mg Xanax 2mg 2017 May Rem 10.25 Xanax 1 mg, November Xanax 1mg

 

 

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