Thursday, April 2, 2009

Drugs Contribute to Dementia, Delirium in Seniors

Delirium and dementia in seniors can be caused by any of 136 drugs listed on the Worst Pills. Best Pills website. Though the condition is usually reversible, it is often undetected, says Public Citizen.

Older patients become more susceptible to drug-induced dementia and delirium as they age, but the symptoms are often overlooked by doctors who don’t realize that the condition may be caused by drugs and reversed, Public Citizen writes in a Worst Pills, Best Pills News article released today on, the organization’s drug safety Web site.

Unlike most forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, which cannot be reversed, dementia caused by prescription drug use may be stopped by discontinuing the offending medication. The drug safety experts at Public Citizen have identified 136 commonly prescribed medications, especially certain antidepressants and pain medications, that can cause difficulty thinking.

Drug-induced dementia and delirium are commonly misattributed to underlying medical illness or merely to “old age.” Read more

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