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Old 02-05-2011, 03:31 PM
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Default Cold and Flu Meds Cause Cognitive Impairment

Would appreciate any help on these two questions~

1) An online acquaintance recently posted research that I'm trying to find additional info, specifically which BRANDS of over-the-counter products contain anticholinergics.

Over-the-counter cough/cold medicines contain the anticholinergics diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine, and phenylephrine.

Found this on wiki about diphenhydramine~
Diphenhydramine hydrochloride (abbreviated DPH or DHM) is a first generation antihistamine mainly used to treat allergies. Like most other first generation antihistamines, the drug also has a powerful hypnotic effect, and for this reason is often used as a nonprescription sleep aid and a mild anxiolytic. The drug also acts as an antiemetic.[4] It is produced and marketed under the trade name Benadryl by McNeil-PPC (a division of Johnson & Johnson) in the U.S., Canada and South Africa (other trade names in other countries: Dimedrol, Daedalon). It is also found in the name-brand products Nytol, Unisom, Tylenol PM, Midol PM and Advil PM

This is the article;
Neurology. 2010 Jul 13;75(2):152-9.

Use of anticholinergics and the risk of cognitive impairment in an African American population.
Campbell NL, Boustani MA, Lane KA, Gao S, Hendrie H, Khan BA, Murrell JR, Unverzagt FW, Hake A, Smith-Gamble V, Hall K.

Wishard Health Services, Indianapolis, IN 46202-2872, USA. [email protected]

BACKGROUND: Anticholinergic properties of certain medications often go unrecognized, and are frequently used by the elderly population. Few studies have yet defined the long-term impact of these medications on the incidence of cognitive impairment.

METHODS: We report a 6-year longitudinal, observational study, evaluating 1,652 community-dwelling African American subjects over the age of 70 years who were enrolled in the Indianapolis-Ibadan Dementia Project between 2001 and 2007 and who had normal cognitive function at baseline. The exposure group included those who reported the baseline use of possible or definite anticholinergics as determined by the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden scale. Our main outcome measure was the incidence of cognitive impairment, defined as either dementia or cognitive impairment not dementia, or poor performance on a dementia screening instrument during the follow-up period.

RESULTS: At baseline, 53% of the population used a possible anticholinergic, and 11% used a definite anticholinergic. After adjusting for age, gender, educational level, and baseline cognitive performance, the number of definite anticholinergics was associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment (odds ratio [OR] 1.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.07-1.99; p = 0.02), whereas the number of possible anticholinergics at baseline did not increase the risk (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.85-1.09; p = 0.55). The risk of cognitive impairment among definite anticholinergic users was increased if they were not carriers of the APOE epsilon4 allele (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.03-3.05; p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS: Limiting the clinical use of definite anticholinergics may reduce the incidence of cognitive impairment among African Americans.

PMID: 20625168 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]PMCID: PMC2905930 [Available on 2011/7/13]


2) Does this reasoning seem correct?
ANTIcholinergics which means designed to block cholinergics, so it would block acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter in the nervous system. I know that Acetylcholine is a very important neurotransmitter in the cerebal cortex.

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Old 02-09-2011, 04:52 PM
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Okay then, does anyone know which supplements someone can take to balance the effects of diphenhydramine?
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Cookie View Post

Okay then, does anyone know which supplements someone can take to balance the effects of diphenhydramine?
Not sure on that one. Although people take it daily, that does not mean it is safe. If someone is taking something like that daily, it could possible mean an overactive immune system. You can try fish oil, ginger root, turmeric, but those take months to kick in, however, they are beneficial. Also, if you are near a chinese herbal store, try talking to the herbalist.
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