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OTCs Linked to Neurodegeneration

by Rich Emrett
OTCs Linked to Neurodegeneration - Social Wrecker

Allergy season is here and you may have already completed the spring ritual of stocking up on OTC relief. You might want to rethink your strategy. A study that was just published this month reveals that there is a strong link between certain OTCs and dementia.

This realization has actually been a very long time coming. Scientists have been warning consumers and patients about these side effects for more than a decade. These results have also been published on NCBI. There are also several prescription only drugs on this list.

Scientific Based Caution:

A scientific research group from the University of Indiana is strongly urging medical practitioners to utilize vigilance when using these types of medicines, especially in the elderly. The team as emphatically warned them to first look to alternatives to treat certain symptoms and conditions.

The study published in the JAMA Neurology Network was not precisely the first in this realm. It is believed to be the first to go into the depth which is does definitively within the brain’s neuroimaging biomarkers and resulting atrophy associated with anticholinergics. The JAMA Neurology is a medical journal which is peer reviewed. The American Medical Association publishes it monthly and it was founded in 1960.

Anticholinergics Explained

These medicines are classified as anticholinergics and the headlines being released are concentrating upon them being used for allergy relief and insomnia. This specific class of chemicals may be used to treat a wide range of ailments and conditions. A few examples are listed below:

  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Motion Sickness
  • Incontinence
  • Overactive Bladder
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia
  • Allergies
  • Cold Symptoms
  • Influenza
  • Depression

Anticholinergics function by inhibiting the action of acetylcholine within the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which controls certain nerve impulses transmitted by parasympathetic nervous system. Anticholinergics are, in some cases, used in addition to anesthesia as well as to treat specific types of toxic poisonings.

While some of the medications require a prescription from a licensed physician other can be purchased over the counter from the local drug, department, or grocery store. A few examples include:

  • Dramamine contains Dimenhydrinate which is commonly used for motion sickness in humans and as a sedative for animals.
  • Diphenhydramine is generally used as an antihistamine and is the active ingredient in Benadryl and Nytol as well as Sominex. It is also a key ingredient in both Tylenol PM and Excedrin PM because it causes drowsiness.
  • Sominex marketed in the U.K. instead contains promethazine which is prescribed by physicians only in the U.S. for nausea. It is also known as Phenergan and is sometimes used as an antihistamine.
  • The chief ingredient in Unisom is doxylamine and it is marketed to combat insomnia. It is commonly used to treat those suffering from allergies as well as from cold or flu viruses.

Weird Facts: Diphenhydramine is sometimes prescribed by medical professionals to treat certain symptoms Parkinson’s disease. It relieves muscle stiffness and tremors associated with this condition due to its effect on smooth muscles.

Safe & Simple Answers

There is good news for allergy and insomnia suffers. There are numerous natural alternatives which produces the same desired actions of OTC anticholinergics without the serious side effects of them. Many individuals today are returning to traditional methods of treating diseases and disorders due to the harsh side effects which often result from manufactured medications currently on the market.


Insomnia is more common than you may realize. The entire world seems to be in a giant rat race and no one is getting enough sleep. There are several alternatives that a definitely worth a day in court.

Implementing an exercise regimen can dramatically improve your sleep habits. Working to become physically fit will not only tire your body out, it will boost your self-confidence eliminating some elements which may keep you up at night.

Meditation is great for your overall health which you should understand is a cycle. You can make it spiral in a positive or negative directions. The practice of meditation demands that you learn to breathe properly. This allows you to release many worries and doubts which may plague you worse when your head hits the pillow.

Sleepy Time Teas & Herbs

  • Lemon Balm
  • Valerian Root
  • Chamomile
  • Passion Flower
  • John’s Wort
  • Hops


There are many reasons individuals may suffer from nausea, but one thing is for certain. It drastically impairs most everyone. It is one of the worst feelings in the world and can ruins entire days of productivity. You should also note that something which helps one person may not bring relief for another.

When you are feeling a bit green, you should opt for plain or bland food and avoid pungent and spicy items. It is also a good idea to eat small amounts slowly as well as drink plenty of fluids. There are a few herbal teas which help that grandmothers have handed down for ages.

  • Ginger Root (Or Ginger Ale)
  • Red Raspberry Leaf
  • Dandelion Root
  • Wild Yam Root
  • Peppermint Leaf
  • Catnip
  • Milk Thistle Seed
  • Rosehips
  • Cold and Allergy

Natural Allergy Relief

Quercetin is a property found in many veggies and fruits. It is generally referred to as a flavonoid and is a naturally occurring antihistamine. Other natural antihistamines include Stinging Nettle and vitamin C. Some of those rich in quercetin can be found below:

  • Dark Red Plums
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Onions
  • Capers
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Raw Spinach
  • Raw Lovage Leaves

Fruits and vegetables also contain antioxidants which can boost your immune system to assist it in not only fighting off cold and flu viruses, but prevent you from contracting them the first place. High levels of antioxidants can be obtained from:

  • Red, Blue, and Black Berries
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Richly Orange Colored Veggies
  • Avocados
  • Kidney Beans

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