Some Antihistamines I’ve Taken Can Cause Dementia?

Guess what? My doctor informed me today that new studies show certain antihistamines cause dementia in patients 65 and older. BUT, I’m advised to limit my use of these antihistamines as a precaution!

Which antihistamines? Benedryl, Atarax, and Doxepin. The first two I used for years since birth. When I was 5, my doctor even told me the amount of Atarax I took could knock out a small horse! I’ve been using Doxepin the last 3 years. Interestingly enough, Doxepin is more commonly used as an antidepressant! I suppose if it can help the brain as an antidepressant it can mess with the brain in other ways.

What’s dementia? From Wikipedia: Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember such that a person’s daily functioning is affected. Other common symptoms include emotional problems, problems with language, and a decrease in motivation. A person’s consciousness is not affected. For the diagnosis to be present it must be a change from a person’s usual mental functioning and a greater decline than one would expect due to aging. These diseases also have a significant effect on a person’s caregivers.

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease which makes up 50% to 70% of cases. Other common types include vascular dementia (25%), Lewy body dementia (15%), and frontotemporal dementia. Less common causes include normal pressure hydrocephalus, Parkinson’s disease, syphilis, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease among others.

People always see how horrible my skin is or how weak I appear, but they can’t see countless other internal struggles that I dominate on a daily basis.


Harvard Medical School: Common anticholinergic drugs like Benadryl linked to increased dementia risk

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