A new study by JAMA Internal Medicine found that certain classes of anticholinergic drugs — particularly antidepressants such as paroxetine or amitriptyline, bladder antimuscarinics such as oxybutynin or tolterodine, antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine or olanzapine and antiepileptic drugs such as oxcarbazepine or carbamazepine increased the odds of dementia by nearly 50%. This reinforces the suspected belief that there is an association between anticholinergic drugs and dementia, and targets which class has the strongest associations.Certain classes of anticholinergic drugs increased the odds of dementia by nearly 50%. Click To Tweet
While the researchers only found an association, not a causal relationship, more research is needed for clarification.
Patients taking these types of prescriptions should not stop taking them without talking to their physician. More study is needed to understand the effects of deprescribing interventions on cognitive outcomes and safety outcomes such as symptom control, quality of life, and health care utilization.