They alleviate the constant urge to go to the toilet, but can be at the expense of memory: Not only people with dementia and Parkinson’s disease should avoid some drugs. Various drugs can significantly reduce the urge to urinate. But some of them may have undesirable side effects for older people.
So-called anticholinergics are prescribed both as a standard treatment for an overactive bladder and for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, especially in older people, taking them can lead to memory problems and increase the risk of dementia, warns the German Senior Citizens’ League
According to the German Senior Citizens’ League, many drugs from the anticholinergic group have a negative effect on the performance of memory – for people with dementia or Parkinson’s disease, only anticholinergics that do not reach the brain are suitable. This advice is also generally valid for people at an advanced age.
In order to relieve excessive urge to urinate and increase the bladder’s capacity, these drugs inhibit the messenger substance acetylcholine and thus correct the disturbed signal transmission between the bladder muscle and the brain, as the senior citizens’ league explains.
Anticholinergics can damage the memory
Acetylcholine does not only occur in the bladder, but also everywhere where nerve cells are – thus also in the brain: “Anticholinergics, which reach the central nervous system via the blood-brain barrier, can therefore impair the ability to think.
Read also: Frequent urination Causes and treatment.
For people with memory disorders, Parkinson’s disease or dementia, therefore, only active ingredients that do not cross the blood-brain barrier due to their molecular structure were suitable. To ensure that doctors prescribe the correct medication against the urge to urinate, those affected should definitely address such underlying diseases, the Senior Citizens’ League recommends. (vb; source: dpa/tmn)
Caution with certain urinary urgency drugs
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