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Sleep aid linked to cognitive decline in elderly

© What Doctors Don't Tell You (Volume 12, Issue 8)

Among elderly hospitalised patients, diphenhydramine given to aid sleep comes with an increased risk of delirium and other adverse events.

This study from Yale University School of Medicine in Connecticut looked at 426 hospitalised patients, aged 70 years and older, 114 of whom had received diphenhydramine. Those taking the drug had a 1.7 times greater risk of delirium compared with those not taking the drug, and the greater the dose, the greater the risk. These patients also had around twice the risk of disruption of their sleep-wake cycle and abnormal psychomotor activity, three times greater risk of inattention and altered consciousness, and more than five times the risk of disorganised speech and behavioural disturbance.

In addition to delirium, patients using diphenhydramine tend to develop bladder problems calling for catheterisation, and require a significantly longer stay in hospital (Arch Intern Med, 2001; 161: 2091-7).

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What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't read anywhere else about what works, what doesn't work and what may harm you in both orthodox and alternative medicine. We'll also tell you how you can prevent illness.......more
 
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