Some Medicines Taken by Elderly People Could Result in Mental Illness or Even Deaths

Some Medicines Taken by Elderly People Could Result in Mental Illness or Even DeathsA research claimed that consuming common medicines by hundreds of older people may result in serious health disorders. A University of East Anglia-led study of 13,000 people aged 65 revealed that intake of antihistamines, painkillers, blood thinners and eye drops for glaucoma without being prescribed could result in mental illness and deaths.

A research published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, recommends that the common side effects of the medicines had a drastic effect on the brain of the elderly people. The experts analyzed more than 80 drugs for "anticholinergic activity", a potential side effect which affects the brain by blocking a key neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. The drugs were ranked from one to three according to the strength of this activity, with drugs scoring one having a mild effect, two a moderate effect and three causing the most serious concern.

The most unsafe medicines that were easily available and consumed to the maximum level were antihistamines chlorphenamine (used in the brand Piriton) and promethazine (used in Phenergan), anti-depressants amitriptyline
(used in several brands) and paroxetine (used in Seroxat) and the incontinence drug oxybutynin (used in Ditropan).

The Medical Research Council's Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies revealed that the elderly people were also at a risk of dementia due to the common medicines.