Common Drugs Proving Harmful to Aging Brains

Common drugs, like sedating antihistamines such as Benadryl, are proving to be especially toxic to the aging brain.  Recent research has linked several widely used drugs to lowering brain function and contributing to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Called “anticholinergic” drugs, they lower neurotransmitters and cause sedation.  These drugs are in many allergy medications, painkillers, bladder control drugs and muscle relaxants, and some are widely available over-the-counter.

Dr. Leslie Kernisan, a San Francisco geriatrician writing for Next Avenue, offers a guide to drugs to avoid for those with memory problems or dementia.