You may have heard about the dangers present in taking NSAID’s, and why medical experts are advising against taking that class of over-the-counter (OTC) medication if at all possible. Now there is another class of common OTC drugs that you should avoid taking, anticholinergics. Drugs with anticholinergic activity are found in many are found in many cold and allergy medicines along with other commonly used OTC drugs.
What are anticholinergics and what makes them bad? Anticholinergics block a chemical called acetylcholine which has a role in the nerve cells’ transmission of electrical impulses. While the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not fully known, one hypothesis proposes that Alzheimer’s patients have a reduced ability to synthesize acetylcholine, and medical experts are concerned that the anticholinergics in cold and allergy medications can even worsen the disease, there are still ongoing investigations to determine if they are a possible cause of Alzheimer’s. And if that wasn’t enough bad news, recent research shows that this common drug shrinks the brain volume and decreases brain metabolism in middle aged and elderly people. A 2013 study documented that taking drugs with anticholinergics for only two months leads directly to memory problems. Older adults who take these drugs also perform worse on short-term memory tests as well as in other kinds of activities such as verbal reasoning, planning and problem solving.
Are you worried you or someone you care about uses a medication with anticholinergics in it? Here is a list of medications that have anticholinergics and unfortunately there several common medications on the list.
It might seem easy to reach for some of these drugs, but now you need to consider alternatives to avoid exposure as much as possible. Liddell Laboratories has a wide range of natural products like Cold + Flu, Allergy, Immune Booster and Cough + Bronchial – and none of them contain anything dangerous. Our sister company, Peaceful Mountain also has alternatives so that you can stay healthy, such as their silver line of products.