January 21, 2011
Common cold and flu drugs destroy your brain
There's a new class of drugs you've likely taken, that you need to be wary of. New evidence suggests these extremely common drugs might cause long-term cognitive impairment.
Anticholinergics get their name from their action. They block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter. You might not even know that you're on one of these common drugs. But more than likely, you've taken one or more. This drug is in some popular over-the-counter brands, including Benadryl, Dramamine, Sominex, Tylenol PM, and Unisom. Prescription varieties include such chemicals as antidepressants (Paxil, Elavil), Detrol, and certain narcotics like Demoral.
The new study monitored the cognitive abilities of 1,652 African-American seniors. All of them were aged 70 or older. And all had normal cognitive function at the study's out-set. The researchers tracked all of the medications the study participants took for six years. They also monitored their brain function.
What they found was startling.
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At the end of six years, the researchers "found that taking one anticholinergic significantly increased an individual's risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and taking two of these drugs doubled this risk." Interestingly, the researchers evaluated these subjects to see if they carried a genetic risk for Alzheimer's (the APO E4 gene). Those who were NOT carriers of this risky gene had a rate of cognitive impairment seven times higher. And, taking two of the drugs further increased the risk.
Acetylcholine is a crucial neurotransmitter for the higher parts of your brain (cerebral cortex). This study should be plastered around the world. It supports what I've been saying for years. Take a chemical to suppress a symptom today, and pay a price on the other end, perhaps years later.
As I told you last week, drugs are "anti." That is, they suppress enzymes. They can suppress your unwanted symptoms today. But what impact does it do to you in the future? This is something modern medicine, based on the drug-approval process of Pharma and the FDA, can't answer. No one looks at the all-cause morbidity and mortality with drug use. It's not until years later that we see the results. We're seeing it with statins. Now that pundits are recommending these chemicals to our kids, imagine the long-term damage.
If there's a receptor on your cells that a chemical activates, chances are high that a natural God-made molecule will do the job. And it will do so with no risk. For example, morphine is a far more natural narcotic than Demoral. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids can work as antihistamines. The nutrients in Advanced Sleep Formula are a much better substitute for sleeping pills. And there are lots of alternatives to chemical antidepressants. Please see my website for better ways to fight cold and flu symptoms. There are a lot of ways that are much safer — and more effective.
Ref: Neurology July 13, 2010; 75(2):152-9.