Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic in the United States. It is estimated that over 5 million Americans are affected by this debilitating condition. Many people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease continue to take their medications, even though they may be causing harm. In this article, we will discuss some of the common medications, including those purchased over the counter, that can cause harm when taken by patients with dementia. Medicine with dementia can be a dangerous combination. Here is what you need to know.
1: Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others)
acetaminophen is a common pain reliever and fever reducer. It can be safely taken by patients with dementia, but should only be used as a last resort. Too much acetaminophen can lead to liver damage and even death.
2: Anti-inflammatory Medications (Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenac)
Research has recently suggested that taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and diclofenac can increase the risk of developing dementia. Individuals with a history of long-term use of these drugs should be aware of the potential risks and discuss them with their healthcare providers. Check with your healthcare provider before taking medicine with dementia.
This is particularly concerning considering these medications are widely available over the counter, meaning they are easily accessible to people of all ages. It is important to consult a doctor before taking any of these medications in order to determine the risk associated with their use and if there are any safer alternatives.
These medications are often used to relieve the pain and inflammation caused by various conditions. However, they can also cause serious side effects when taken by patients with dementia. The most common side effects of anti-inflammatory medications are headaches, stomach pain, and fever. Additionally, individuals who are considering taking these OTC medications should understand the potential risks and weigh the benefits against them.
4: Beta-blockers (propranolol, atenolol)
beta-blockers are medications that are used to treat heart conditions and hypertension. They can also be safely taken by patients with dementia. However, they should only be used in cases of severe heart disease or hypertension.
5: Antidepressants (amitriptyline, sertraline, fluoxetine)
Depression is a common condition that affects millions of Americans. However, antidepressant medications can be dangerous when taken by patients with dementia. The most common side effects of antidepressant medications are increased appetite, weight gain, and sexual problems.
anti-convulsants (carbamazepine, phenobarbital)
Anti-convulsants are often used to treat seizures. However, they can also be safely taken by patients with dementia. However, they should only be used in cases of severe epilepsy.
seizure medications (lorazepam, phenytoin)
Seizure medications such as lorazepam and phenytoin can be safely taken by patients with dementia.
6. Anti-Anxiety Medications
Research suggests that certain over-the-counter (OTC) anti-anxiety medications may increase the risk of developing dementia in elderly patients. Always be careful taking medicine with dementia. A recent study involving 24,000 participants over the age of 65 showed that those taking anti-anxiety medications had a 44% higher chance of developing dementia than those who weren’t taking these types of drugs. Doctors caution that these drugs should only be taken under medical supervision and when absolutely necessary, as the risks may outweigh the benefits.
Prescription anti-anxiety medications have been found to be effective in treating anxiety symptoms associated with dementia. While over-the-counter medications may be used in lieu of prescription medications, they have not been found to be as effective in treating the anxiety symptoms that accompany dementia. It is important for those suffering from dementia to speak with their doctor about their particular situation and discuss what medication may be best for them.
Try music therapy, aromatherapy, and redirection to help manage anxiety symptoms.
7: Antipsychotics (olanzapine, risperidone)
Antipsychotics are often used to treat schizophrenia and other mental health conditions. However, they can also be safely taken by patients with dementia. However, they should only be used in cases of severe mental illness.
8: Common Medicine with Dementia Include Sedatives and Hypnotics (zolpidem,midazolam)
Sedatives and hypnotics are often used to treat insomnia and anxiety. However, they can also be safely taken by patients with dementia. But they should only be used in cases of severe insomnia or anxiety.
9. Over The Counter Sleeping Aids
A recent study has found that taking over-the-counter sleeping aides such as antihistamines and anticholinergics may be linked to an increased risk of developing dementia. It is not a good idea to take this OTC medicine with dementia Researchers studied over 3,000 individuals aged over 65 and found that those taking these medications were more likely to develop the condition. While more research is needed, the findings suggest that caution should be taken when considering taking over-the-counter sleeping aides.
10. Sinus Medication
Sinus medication can be a helpful treatment for conditions such as allergies and sinus infections. However, some side effects of sinus medication can be dangerous when taken by patients with dementia. Check with your doctor before taking sinus medicine with dementia. The most common side effects of sinus medication are drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
11. Medications For High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a leading cause of death in the United States. And medications for high blood pressure can be safely taken by patients with dementia. However, they should only be used in cases of severe high blood pressure.
12: Stimulants and Modafinil
Stimulants and modafinil are medications that are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They can also be safely taken by patients with dementia. However, they should only be used in cases of severe ADHD.
All medications should be taken with caution, especially when someone has dementia. OTC medications should never be used in patients with dementia without first consulting their healthcare provider. These drugs have been shown to cause severe harm when taken by individuals who have cognitive impairments. If your loved one is taking an otc medication, please consult their doctor before changing anything about their treatment plan.
We Are Here To Help
At Sycamore Creek Ranch Memory Care we are here to help. We want families to make the best decision for their situation
Furthermore, the staff at Sycamore Creek Ranch is proactive. That means we are not waiting for a problem to arise. Instead, we are actively engaged with each and every resident. And with only 16 residents we can do that!
If you are looking for Memory Care in The Woodlands or Memory Care in Spring, Texas come for a tour at Sycamore Creek Ranch! See how we can help.