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Commonly used medications associated with impaired physical function in older adults
Date:5/3/2008

t public health problem.

Many medications have anticholinergic properties including some for high blood pressure, some antidepressants, most allergy medicines and incontinence medicines. Some of the most common anticholinergics in the GEMS participants include the blood pressure medication nifedipine (Adalat or Procardia), which has mild anticholinergic properties, the stomach antacid ranitidine (Zantac), which has moderate anticholinergic properties, and the incontinence medication tolterodine (Detrol), which is highly anticholinergic.

In the GEMS study, the researchers sought to determine the effects of taking multiple anticholinergic drugs on walking speed and the ability to independently perform activities of daily living such as dressing, personal hygiene, toileting, transferring, bed mobility and eating as well as higher order activities including shopping, cooking, managing money, doing light housework and using a telephone.

The findings are from more than 3,000 people with an average age of 78 years. Almost half (40 percent) of participants were taking more than one anticholinergic drug. The researchers found that higher anticholinergic burden is associated with worse physical function, both self-reported and performance-based.


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Contact: Karen Richardson
krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu
336-716-4453
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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