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Author Topic: Evidence for an association between anticholinergic drugs & falls in PLWHIV  (Read 4956 times)

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Offline Jim Allen

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This study has found some evidence between anticholinergic drugs & falls in PLWHIV. 

POZ.Com in full: https://www.poz.com/article/widely-used-meds-linked-falls-frailty-older-people-hiv

In brief:

Anticholinergic drugs block acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that relays signals from nerves to muscles and organs. This drug class includes prescription and over-the-counter medications used to treat asthma, psychiatric conditions, overactive bladder, gastrointestinal problems, allergies and more. Examples include codeine (used to manage pain and cough) and the commonly used antihistamine Benadryl (diphenhydramine).

Jessica Doctor, MD, of Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, and colleagues looked at the association between use of anticholinergic drugs and falls and frailty among HIV-positive people older than 50. The analysis included 699 participants from the POPPY study, a large study of clinical outcomes among older people living with HIV in England and Ireland.

The researchers found that 17% of people who used anticholinergic meds reported having recurrent falls, compared with 6% of those who did not use these drugs. Using two or more anticholinergic increased the odds of falling after adjusting for other factors. Frailty was also more common among anticholinergic users, at 32% versus 17%.

“There is strong evidence for an association between cumulative anticholinergic medication use and recurrent falls, and to a lesser extent frailty,” the researchers concluded. “Clinicians should be alert to this association and reduce anticholinergic medication exposure where possible.
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