Medications linked to dementia: anticholinergics and proton pump inhibitors

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires clinical trials to prove that drugs are safe and effective. When a drug is safe enough they allow it to be sold OTC (over the counter) without a prescription. They have a system to collect information on adverse events but don’t follow up on long-term usage.

Recently, two classes of drugs have been associated with increased risk of dementia if used for a long time. Millions of people take these drugs for chronic conditions. These are anticholinergics and proton pump inhibitors. This has Macroeconomic impact due to the widespread use of the drugs and the very high cost of caring for people with dementia.

Discuss this with your doctor if you take these drugs.

The data were developed in large longitudinal studies. I wonder how many other FDA-approved drugs have a similar effect but haven’t been studied yet. Not to mention supplements which aren’t regulated by the FDA.




Interesting studies. I know very little about this.

Do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Long term studies are done. These were done. Yes there are some long term problems with many drugs. You can ask your doctors about the longer term problems. Many doctors will be informed right now of what problems exist. Many studies like these repeat prior studies.

It is important not to discontinue your medications but talk to your doctors.

Depends on which you take–and specifically which one(s).

I have taken nizatidine (generic Axid) for 25+yrs. Zero issues.

Key point: Nizatidine/Axid is approved for long-term use. Variants such as famotidine and ranitidine are NOT approved for long-term use. Lumping them together would not be appropriate.

I didn’t see any link to the study under discussion re the anticholinergics so it’s hard to second guess what the primary document suggests rather than WebMD’s interpretation. That being said, “dementia” is one of those diseases that, by the time even the subtlest signs and symptoms are discerned, the disease process has been well underway so apparently disease free at 65 isn’t necessarily a sign of good neurological health. There are precious few worthwhile diagnostic tools to spot these early departures from healthy homeostasis. That makes it kinda hard to draw any causative associations with the information given in the article.

I doubt I’d be taking any of those medications listed just for fun but I doubt I’d hesitate if I were piddling myself or be giving an anaesthesiologist a list of drugs I’d didn’t want on such a tenuous link.



If someone has COPD the drugs are needed.

Treating acid reflux has always backfired.

Note to anyone out there never use Tums or Rolaids. They increase the acid the next day. You get into a very bad pattern with them.

The most effective, widely available over the counter, and least expensive drugs are real food. :mending_heart:

The Captain


Almost true in a way. Real food…in appropriate amounts…is a wonderful treatment for diseases that’re caused by huge amounts of craptaculous food. Most definitely. A strategy that should be followed by vast numbers of people.

However, hidden among all those self inflicted diseases are those that occurred in spite of healthy eating and all round Righteous Lifestyle Choices. This sounds more like the evangelism of the recent convert rather than worthwhile advice…a bit like a reformed smoker extolling the virtues of clean air to folk who’ve never smoked.