Anticholinergic drugs and health-related quality of life in older adults with dementia

This study was done to see if anticholinergic drugs could be leading to a decreased quality of life among older adults with dementia. There were 112 people involved in the study, most of whom were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old. The results were measured using two separate scores. There was a Physical Component score and a Mental Component score. The results showed a significant decrease in the physical component score, equating to a decreased quality of life. There was no association found between anticholinergic drug use and the mental component score.

Anticholinergic drugs are used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, many of which are common in older adults, but there are adverse effects with these drugs that could potentially be very dangerous. Anticholinergic drugs can effect mental concentration and increase the risk of falls in older adults. They also cause other adverse effects, such as constipation, urinary retention, and xerostomia, which can lead to a decrease in the patient’s quality of life. Since the drugs were only shown to decrease patient’s physical quality of life and did not improve their mental component score, anticholinergic drugs may not be the best way to treat older patients with dementia.

 

Sneha D. Sura, Ryan M. Carnahan, Hua Chen, Rajender R. Aparasu. Anticholinergic drugs and health-related quality of life in older adults with dementia. Journal of American Pharmacists Association.  2015;55;282-287

http://www.japha.org/article/S1544-3191(15)30061-3/fulltext

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