Monday, May 23, 2022

Can Benadryl Cause Memory Loss

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Detection In Body Fluids

Does Benadryl Cause Memory Loss?

Diphenhydramine can be quantified in blood, plasma, or serum.Gas chromatography with mass spectrometry can be used with electron ionization on full scan mode as a screening test. GC-MS or GC-NDP can be used for quantification. Rapid urine drug screens using immunoassays based on the principle of competitive binding may show false-positive methadone results for people having ingested diphenhydramine. Quantification can be used to monitor therapy, confirm a diagnosis of poisoning in people who are hospitalized, provide evidence in an impaired driving arrest, or assist in a death investigation.

Q How Do Anticholinergics Affect Dementia Risk

A. Anticholinergic drugs actby blocking acetylcholine, a chemical involved in nervous system functions.When the drugs block these functions in the brain, it can cause cognitivechanges. As you age, you become more sensitive to the effects of thesemedications.

And although we dont yet have proof that they cause dementia, weoften find that patients cognitive function improves when they are no longeron these medications.

This Common Allergy Medication Is Linked To Dementia

If you suffer from allergies or you have a child who suffers from allergies, chances are you usually have some Benadryl near by. The popular antihistamine is commonly used by adults and children alike to treat allergy symptoms. All medications come with their fair share of possible side effects. But it turns out that Benadryl has one you dont want to ignore.

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Where To Learn About Other Drugs That Affect Brain Function

Many other drugs that affect brain function, but they are either not used as often as the ones above, or seem to affect a minority of older adults.

Notably, there has been a lot of concern in the media about statins, but a meta-analysis published in 2015 could not confirm an association between statin use and increased cognitive impairment. In fact, a 2016 study found that statin use was associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimers disease.

This is not to say that statins arent overprescribed or riskier than we used to think. And its also quite possible that some people do have their thinking affected by statins. But if you are trying to eliminate medications that dampen brain function, I would recommend you focus on the ones I listed above first.

For a comprehensive list of medications identified as risky by the experts at the American Geriatrics Society, be sure to review the 2019 Beers Criteria.

You can also learn more about medications that increase fall risk in this article: 10 Types of Medications to Review if Youre Concerned About Falling.

Could Your Antihistamine Increase Your Risk For Dementia

Can Sleeping Pills Cause Memory Problems

A large study, recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine;and conducted by our team of researchers at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute and the University of Washington, confirmed a link between certain drugs and a significantly increased risk for developing dementia or Alzheimers disease. These drugs, called anticholinergic drugs, include over-the-counter drugs such as Benadryl and common prescription drugs taken for insomnia, urinary incontinence, and depression.

The population-based study analyzed data from more than 3,000 participants in GHRIs long running Adult Changes in Thought study.

Alzheimers is a disease many people fear developing. One survey, which asked respondents which of seven diseases they feared most, found Alzheimers and cancer at the top the list, which could explain the widespread media attention following publication of this study.

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Diphenhydramine Overdose: How Much Benadryl Is Too Much

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Benadryl, also known as Diphenhydramine, is an antihistamine of the ethanolamine class commonly used to treat allergies in patients. It is used to curb allergy symptoms such as itching, rashes, runny nose, and sneezing, among others. It is also known for its sedative properties, and for that reason, a lot of people frequently use it as a sleeping aid. Now, since DPHM is an over-the-counter medicine, it is easily accessible by individuals who may not be properly advised on its safe dosages.

Overdose on Benadryl has been found to be one of the top 15 death-causing drug ODs from the year 2011 through 2016 in the United States. In those six years, the recorded number of deaths rose year after year starting from 1226 in 2011 to eventually 2008 in 2016; the death count averaged on 1558 per year, which equates to 3.2 percent of drug OD deaths per year. It must be noted that among the top 15 drugs, Diphenhydramine has been identified as one of the drugs used in intentional drug OD, otherwise known as suicides by drug OD.

With all that said, it is necessary to be informed about the dosage amount that causes Diphenhydramine HCl overdose, the clinical features and symptoms associated with it, and the things one can do to help a person who might have ODed before the emergency team comes.

Does My Risk Of Side Effects From Benadryl Vary Depending On The Dose

Yes, your risk of side effects can vary, depending on the dose of Benadryl you take.

A higher dose of Benadryl can increase the risk of side effects. So youre more at risk of side effects from taking 50 milligrams of Benadryl than from taking 25 mg.

If you have concerns about side effects from your dose of Benadryl, talk with your doctor.

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Why Is A Good Nights Sleep So Important To Overall Brain Health

One of the things were learning more about is that neurocognitive disorders arise from little perturbations in brain metabolism that lead to the gradual buildup of protein deposits over many years. Exposure to diphenhydramine over the short term can make older folks a little squirrely, but long-term use over many years may lead to Alzheimers disease.

If people are unable to achieve a good nights sleep, they really need to consult with a physician. Were learning more and more how important sleep is for not just short-term brain functioning, but for long-term brain functioning as well.

One of the current theories about what contributes to the development of neurodegenerative disorders is the accumulation of toxic substances in our brains over many years. Weve learned that sleep plays a role in eliminating these toxic substances. One of the consequences of not getting enough sleep is that these substances stay in the brain and cause a little bit of damage, which, multiplied over many years, can lead to a neurodegenerative disorder.

So a good nights sleep isnt just important for how you do the next day, but not sleeping well over a long period of time can have very dire consequences.

Benadryl And Memory Loss

Memory Loss Quiz

According to a report published in JAMA International Medicine, researchers found evidence of a link between long-term use of anticholinergic drugs like Benadryl and dementia. The study involved nearly 3,500 men and women ages 65 and older. The health of the participants was tracked for an average of seven years. During this time, 800 of the participants in the study developed dementia.

Researchers found that participants who used anticholinergic drugs were more likely to have developed dementia when compared to participants who didnt use the drugs. Dementia risk also increased along with the cumulative dose. Taking an anticholinergic for the equivalent of three years or more was associated with a 54% higher risk of dementia than taking the same dose for three months or less.

The study showed that anticholinergics arent safe to take long-term when it comes to maintaining brain health into old age. Anticholinergic drugs block acetylcholine in the brain. Acetycholine is a substance that transmits messages in the nervous system. Its involved in learning and memory. The bodys production of acetylcholine diminishes with age. Using anticholinergics that block this substance essentially hits the body as a double whammy.

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Will Sleeping Pill With Diphenhydramine Lead To Memory Loss

Do you ever forget the names of people you should remember? What about dates like birthdays or anniversaries? How about pass codes? Is it just a benign senior moment, or something more insidious? Memory loss can be a natural part of aging, a sign of something more serious or even a side effect of a medication.

What Are The Causes Of Benadryl Overdose

Benadryl is a widespread medication, and unlike prescription drugs behind the counter, it is easy to get. Diphenhydramine overdose is merely taking more than the recommended amount of the medicine prescribed by a physician.

There Are Many Different Reasons Why an Individual Might Od on Benadryl, and Some of Them Include:

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Healthier Alternatives For Treating Insomnia

Before you reach for Benadryl or another antihistamine, you should try other, healthier alternatives for treating insomnia.

These include but arent limited to the following.

Melatonin, Chamomile, and CBD

All of these sleep aids offer natural relief for insomnia sufferers. Unlike Benadryl which has a long list of adverse side effects, each of these natural supplements can ease insomnia symptoms with no adverse reactions.

Melatonin is a natural hormone released by your body to help prepare for sleep. Its also credited for helping stabilize your bodys circadian-rhythm or sleep-wake cycle. If youre; suffering from insomnia and having trouble falling asleep, a melatonin supplement may help.

Chamomile is popular in tea and can help induce sleep. Chamomile contains an antioxidant known as apigenin which binds to receptors in the brain that initiate sleep and help reduce anxiety.

While research is still being done on CBD and its benefits, countless people use this non psychoactive product to help fall asleep faster and experience a more restful nights sleep. Available in a variety of forms including oils, edibles, and capsules, be sure to check your local laws regarding the sale and purchase of products containing CBD.

Prescription Medications

If your doctor determines that you have chronic insomnia and your lack of sleep is significantly impacting your life, they may recommend prescription medication.

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Precautions In Taking Benadryl

Do Antihistamines Cause Memory Loss

There are certain precautions and caveats before starting the medication of Benadryl.;

Although the use of Benadryl by pregnant women for a short term is safe and is often used to treat severe allergic reactions through injection, it shouldnt be used in the last weeks of pregnancy. Doing so results in an increased risk of eye-related diseases.;

Taking Benadryl by mothers who are breastfeeding can have a severe and serious side effect on the child as well as it reduces the milk supply of the mother. In place of Benadryl, certain other Antihistamines like cetirizine, loratadine and desloratadine can be used.

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Diphenhydramine Use And Dementia

While there is no direct correlation to diphenhydramine causing dementia, there have been studies released that highlight its ability to increase the chances of developing dementia. A team led by Shelly Gray, a pharmacist at the University of Washingtons School of Pharmacy, tracked nearly 3,500 men and women age 65 and older. These individuals took part in Adult Changes in Thought , a long-term study conducted by the University of Washington and Group Health. They utilized pharmacy records to determine which drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, that each participant indulged in during the past 10 years. Their health was also tracked for an average of seven years.

During this span, 800 of the volunteers developed dementia. When the research was broken down, researchers examined the use of anticholinergic drugs and found that those who used medications like diphenhydramine were at an increased risk of developing dementia than those who did not use the drugs. Taking one of these anticholinergic drugs for the equivalent of three years was associated with a 54 percent higher dementia risk than the individuals who took it for three months or less.

While diphenhydramine may seem like a harmless medication because of its easy, over-the-counter access, long-term use of any substance can prove to be fatal or have life-threatening consequences. If you or someone you know is consuming large doses of diphenhydramine, it may be a sign to seek treatment.

What Should I Do If Im Taking One Of These Drugs

If you are taking any of these drugs or another drug that you believe is an anticholinergic drug, its important that you dont just stop taking it, especially if its been prescribed by your health provider.

Instead, have a conversation with your doctor about the medication. It may be that another drug can be substituted, or that lifestyle changes can effectively address the issue for which youre taking the drug. We also found that the dementia risk occurred in those taking anticholinergic drugs in higher amounts, often every day.

You can also read more about how to balance the risks and benefits of these common medications.

Executive director, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

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Prevention Of Overdose On Diphenhydramine

In preventing OD, the most important thing to do is to strictly follow a doctors prescription and recommendation. Never take more Diphenhydramine than what is prescribed, and if planning to change the dosage of the drug, consult and seek the advice of a doctor regarding alternatives to Benadryl. It is also crucial to exercise caution and avoid the use of other drugs and substances that might interact with the medication and cause adverse effects. Another thing that should be avoided is self-medicating. Monitoring ones intake of Benadryl will also be of help to avoid multiple dosages, especially for those who are forgetful.

Common Anticholinergic Drugs Like Benadryl Linked To Increased Dementia Risk

Preventing Memory Loss
  • By Beverly Merz, Executive Editor, Harvard Women’s Health Watch

One long-ago summer, I joined the legion of teens helping harvest our valleys peach crop in western Colorado. My job was to select the best peaches from a bin, wrap each one in tissue, and pack it into a shipping crate. The peach fuzz that coated every surface of the packing shed made my nose stream and my eyelids swell. When I came home after my first day on the job, my mother was so alarmed she called the family doctor. Soon the druggist was at the door with a vial of Benadryl tablets. The next morning I was back to normal and back on the job. Weeks later, when I collected my pay , I thanked Benadryl.

Today, Im thankful my need for that drug lasted only a few weeks. In a;report published in;JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers offers compelling evidence of a link between long-term use of anticholinergic medications like Benadryl and dementia.

Anticholinergic drugs block the action of acetylcholine. This substance transmits messages in the nervous system. In the brain, acetylcholine is involved in learning and memory. In the rest of the body, it stimulates muscle contractions. Anticholinergic drugs include some antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants, medications to control overactive bladder, and drugs to relieve the symptoms of Parkinsons disease.

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A Collaborative Effort To Improve Memory Problems:

Here is a link to an expanded list of anticholinergic drugs. You may wish to bring it to your doctors attention.

Please let us know how you make out. You are not the only one to report that too many anticholinergic drugs can affect memory. Here are some comments from visitors to this website:

Donna in North Carolina shares a concern several others have also expressed:

Atarax and Benadryl ;were routinely administered in the chemotherapy I received for breast cancer. After 5 months of chemo, I attributed my loss of mental function to a condition I read about called chemo brain and chalked it up as another price paid in side affects for the benefit of staying alive.

Because these two drugs were dispensed so often and so casually, I have taken them both since chemo, especially Benadryl, because I am allergic to certain insect bites, and because it can aid in sleep. The big-gun cancer drugs have caused organ damage, aging organs 20-25 yrs, Id say. It may be that the anticholinergics are responsible for the most frustrating loss I have experienced! I remember reading about taking choline back in the 1970s and wonder if that would be helpful for my memory.

Aurie in Michigan offers an interesting observation:

Derborah in Brooklyn, MD:

To see a list of drugs that are potentially problematic for senior citizens, check out our Guide to Drugs and Older People in our Health Guides.

Higher Dementia Risk Linked To More Use Of Common Drugs

UW School of Pharmacy Professor Shelly Gray

Dr. Shelly Gray et. al. found a persistent link between dementia and some medications in a University of Washington/Group Health study published in JAMA Internal Medicine on January 26, 2015. The large study links a significantly increased risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimers disease, to taking commonly used medications with anticholinergic effects at higher doses or for a longer time. Many older people take these medications, which include nonprescription diphenhydramine . JAMA Internal Medicine published the report, called Cumulative Use of Strong Anticholinergic Medications and Incident Dementia.

The study used more rigorous methods, longer follow-up , and better assessment of medication use via pharmacy records to confirm this previously reported link. It is the first study to show a dose response: linking more risk for developing dementia to higher use of anticholinergic medications. And it is also the first to suggest that dementia risk linked to anticholinergic medications may persistand may not be reversible even years after people stop taking these drugs.

Some ACT participants agree to have their brains autopsied after they die. That will make it possible to follow up this research by examining whether participants who took anticholinergic medications have more Alzheimers-related pathology in their brains compared to nonusers.

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