‘It has been associated with an increased risk of dementia’ – this doctor warns people about the potential risks of this popular over-the-counter drug

Dr. Charles Buza, a New York-based physician, recently shocked more than a million people on TikTok by revealing consistent use of anticholinergic medications — such as Benadryl, Tylenol PM, or Advil PM — Maybe Associated with dementia:

He linked his video to a woman who says she uses it as a sleep aid every night because one of the main side effects people experience when using diphenhydramine — the main ingredient used in Benadryl — is drowsiness.

        @drcharlesmd1 / tiktok.com        @drcharlesmd1 / tiktok.com

In the video, Dr. Charles A Stady*Found that long-term taking of an anticholinergic medication was associated with a higher risk of dementia.

*Study was conducted in 2015, with participants aged 65 years and older, and measured cumulative exposure to anticholinergic medications over 10 years.  The study concluded that taking anticholinergics for three years or more was associated with a 54% higher risk of dementia compared to taking the same dose for three months or less.*Study was conducted in 2015, with participants aged 65 years and older, and measured cumulative exposure to anticholinergic medications over 10 years.  The study concluded that taking anticholinergics for three years or more was associated with a 54% higher risk of dementia compared to taking the same dose for three months or less.

He concludes that it is a cumulative risk. Therefore, the more diphenhydramine you take while sleeping over months and years, Maybe he means You have a higher cumulative risk of developing dementia, according to this study.

        @drcharlesmd1 / tiktok.com        @drcharlesmd1 / tiktok.com

BuzzFeed spoke to Dr. Charles, who has been practicing for more than five years, to learn more.

        Dr. Charles Buza        Dr. Charles Buza

Dr. Charles Buza

Dr. Charles explained that diphenhydramine is an antihistamine commonly used to treat allergies. “One of the major side effects of antihistamines (such as Benadryl) is drowsiness. This side effect is now being used as a sleep aid. In short, antihistamines are safe and well tolerated. They are commonly used in dermatology, allergy, and internal medicine clinics,” He said.

        Michelle Lee Photography/Getty Images        Michelle Lee Photography/Getty Images

Michelle Lee Photography/Getty Images

In his practice, Dr. Charles said he was shocked to learn how many patients regularly take diphenhydramine for sleep. He added: “Taking these medications as sleep aids in the short term appears to be safe. However, when taken every night for sleep, we see an association with dementia*.”

*doctor.  Charles points to the same study from his TikTok app that reported a 54% relative increase in dementia risk.  This, again, shows a relationship between the two, but does not prove that anticholinergic drugs (such as diphenhydramine) cause dementia.  Additionally, it was performed on people over the age of 65, and long-term, in terms of this particular study, means more than three years of continuous use.*doctor.  Charles points to the same study from his TikTok app that reported a 54% relative increase in dementia risk.  This, again, shows a relationship between the two, but does not prove that anticholinergic drugs (such as diphenhydramine) cause dementia.  Additionally, it was performed on people over the age of 65, and long-term, in terms of this particular study, means more than three years of continuous use.

Dr. Charles is not sure what specific ingredient may be linked to dementia. “Common sleep aids (like ZzzQuil and Tylenol PM) are often just diphenhydramine or Tylenol + diphenhydramine. Furthermore, if diphenhydramine is not the main ingredient, we know it is usually a closely related drug (likely with the same risks).”

        Jennifer Smith/Getty Images        Jennifer Smith/Getty Images

Jennifer Smith/Getty Images

the Risks of developing dementiaThese drugs appear to be cumulative, according to Dr. Charles, meaning the more diphenhydramine you take, the greater your risk. He added: “As for why this over-the-counter drug is linked to dementia, we may never find out. I assume that lack of rest (brain shutdown) has something to do with dementia.”

        Gorodenkov/Getty Images        Gorodenkov/Getty Images

Gorodenkov/Getty Images

So why aren’t these risks disclosed more openly? Dr. Charles believes it has to do with drug marketing, lack of long-term data, and the stresses of everyday life.

<ديف><ص>"Patients may not even realize they are taking the equivalent of Benadryl.  (For example: ZzzQuil = diphenhydramine = Benadryl).  It is marketed as a safe sleep aid.  Clearly there is money to be made in these products.  It is also difficult to conduct the long-term data and rigorous studies needed to find these associations.  Finally, modern life is stressful.  It’s easy to imagine something that’s supposed to be an occasional sleep aid turning into a daily ritual."</p>
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Dr. Charles is not sharing this information to start fear mongering, he simply wants people to educate themselves about the risks involved in relying on certain medications that are not intended to be taken long-term. “I would caution against any long-term sleep aid,” he added.

Finally, Dr. Charles said that although it takes time and dedication, a consistent routine is the safest sleep aid. “I like to recommend that my patients follow a calming routine. No screen time, no caffeine, no alcohol.”

        Dr. Charles Buza        Dr. Charles Buza

Dr. Charles Buza

If you would like to follow Dr. Charles for more helpful tips, you can do so Instagram, Tik Tokor visit His website.

(Tags for translation)Charles Buza

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