You’d certainly think the most popular allergy drugs and insomnia aids on the market would be safe, wouldn’t you?
But a new, unique study outlines some frightening health risks to users. Indiana University School of Medicine researchers actually used brain-imaging technology to detect how anticholinergic drugs impact the brain. An anticholinergic agent is a substance that blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the central and the peripheral nervous system.
[An exception: I know there are patients (and parents who are involved in their child’s life) using a medication as a best-case scenario.]
Using MRI and PET scan imaging, they showed how people taking anticholinergic drugs experienced lower brain metabolism and higher brain atrophy. Participants also scored lower on memory tests (1) due to the blockage of acetylcholine.
Drugs linked to dementia now include common anticholinergic drugs including popular medications like:
Ignorance Is NOT Bliss
So we throw up our hands and say, “Oh, great! Another thing I have to worry about.”
Please try to look at this maddening information as a gift of knowledge, if you can. Ignorance is not bliss in this case. I do list reliable no-side-effect natural alternatives in a second.
Evidence of Drugs Linked to Dementia
This isn’t the first time researchers found a connection between anticholinergic drugs and cognitive decline.
In 2015, a large study at the University of Washington also found the chronic use of certain anticholinergic sleep aids and hay fever meds increased a person’s risk of dementia. (More research is needed to find out if continuous or intermittent use over that time frame leads to the increased risk of dementia.) (3)
Other drugs with anticholinergic action include some medications containing tiotropium used to treat respiratory ailments like COPD and asthma (Atrovent) (Spiriva) and solifenacin-containing drugs like Vesicare for overactive bladder problems.
Paxil and ALL these antidepressants, including benzodiazepines are known to cause damage to the brain. There is such a thing as antidepressant-induced dementia, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, insomnia, etc.
These are not true medicines. Medicines tend to healing. These are man-designed drugs that tend to destroying. They mask the root cause, they do not cure.
They may work initially… there is the deception and the lie. Initially they may help and then not so much so the doctor will up the dose or add another one, or switch it all together and then the brain is inflicted with more trauma from a change in this type of drug or and abrupt stop, not too mention the too-rapid-taper doctors are instructing to those wanting off their antidepressant or benzodiazepine.
There are many in online support groups who have been damaged, some severely and disabled.
These drugs are to be avoided at all cost!
Natural Remedies for Allergies & Insomnia
It’s often possible to deal with ailments like allergies and insomnia without turning to prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Below are a few remedies to try⇓
Learn to Use Essential Oils (EOs) for Allergies
Peppermint Oil: Studies show that peppermint oil acts as an expectorant and provides relief for allergies as well as colds, cough, sinusitis, asthma and bronchitis. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology states peppermint oil acts as a relaxant and exhibits antispasmodic activity, inhibiting contractions that causes you to cough. (4) Remedy: Diffuse 5 drops of peppermint essential oil (EO). To reduce inflammation, take 1-2 drops of peppermint EO internally once a day by adding it to a glass of water, cup of tea, or a smoothie.
Eucalyptus Oil: Studies have shown us that Eucalyptus Oil opens up the lungs and bronchial tubes fast thereby allowing a refreshing flow of oxygen to calm the anxious patient. It lowers inflammation and improves all symptoms of allergies. Remedies: Diffuse 5 drops of Eucalyptus EO at home or apply it topically in a carrier oil to chest or temples. To clear nasal passages and break up congestion, pour a cup of boiling water into a bowl and add 1-2 drops of eucalyptus EO. Then cover your head with a towel over the bowl and inhale deeply for 5-10 minutes.
Basil Oil (linalool CT) (5 star reviews): Basil Oil reduces the inflammatory response of allergens, supports the adrenal glands and helps detoxify the body of bacteria and viruses. Remedy: Take 1 drop of basil EO internally per day by adding it to warm soup, salad dressing, or another dish. To support the respiratory system, dilute 2-3 drops of basil oil into 1/4 tsp. of coconut oil and apply it topically to chest, underarms, back of neck, temples or soles of feet.
And homeopathic allergy remedies (esp. Histaminum) are VERY effective and safe for my son and me. He especially likes to take these sublinguals starting the day before doing hay. They do not make him drowsy when he is operating heavy equipment!
Top 5 Natural Remedies and for Insomnia
- Magnesium Calm non-flavored (as directed, 30-45 minutes before bedtime)
- Melatonin (1-3 mg half hour before bed)
Promotes sleep for jet lag, etc., but is best used only for a short period of time. Melatonin should NOT be used In children and teens.
- Calms Forte (homeopathic, no drugs, take as directed)
- Somnapure – herbal blend (2 tablets 30-60 minutes before bed)
- Passionflower (500 mg before bed)
Helps relax the nervous system and doesn’t cause drowsiness.
- Valerian (600-700 mg before bed)
Is effective for some for insomnia, but may be a stimulant for some. Also, for some valerian root can have the same anti-anxiety effects of prescription drugs without all the serious side effects of psychotropic drugs.
- Calcium and magnesium together (500 mg calcium/250 mg magnesium) These minerals work together for relaxation.
- Vitamin B12 (1500 mcg daily) Vitamin B12 supports cellular function and a deficiency can cause insomnia.
- Diffuse lavender EO before bed and during sleep to reduce stress and improve sleep quality.
- Diffuse rosemary EO with orange, tangerine or another citrus to awaken the brain. Rosemary increases memory according to this study.
- Eat melatonin-rich, sleep-inducing foods like bananas, cherries, ginger or radishes as a bedtime snack.
Final Thoughts on OTC Drugs and Dementia Risk
While you shouldn’t stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor, it’s worth a conversation to see if your medications include anticholinergic drugs linked to dementia. If they are, inquire about possible alternative options with fewer serious side effects, including natural remedies.
***For the Full Spike Protein Protocol (including NAC) to protect from transmission from the “V” and to help those who took the “V”, go here.
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Medical Disclaimer: I am no longer a practicing medical professional, and I am not doctor. I am a mother. I do seek scientific confirmation of the safety and effectiveness of the herbs and remedies I use. Using remedies is a personal decision. Nothing I say on this blog is intended to treat or prevent disease. Consult your own doctor.
WOW!! The one that surprises me is Benadryl. Even on a dose maybe 2-3 times a year could be harmful?
Charlotte, I am not sure but I doubt using it 2-3 times a year would do any harm. Thank you for your consistent encouragement and kindness!! God bless you this week and beyond, sweet friend!
This is good to know- I had no idea. Thanks for sharing.
Mrs. Jaqueline or anyone else with insight,
Could you please give me some ideas for very strong pain relief for my husband? He was run over by a ship fork lift last year, the tires are as tall as a grown man, it was a huge machine. He healed from spinal breaks, hip breaks, various breaks in his limbs, but he is dealing with terrible residual pain from a Morrell Lavalee Lesion, and his still recovering left foot and leg. He only takes one tramadol a day, but would like to cease that. He deals with the pain pretty good, but it would be amazing to get some better relief. We have tried Tumeric, we both think this works nicely for small relief, but as a limb salvage patient…you need big guns. Any suggestions? He is military, so, going to see a Naturopath is just out of our price range right now, and also he has pretty much appointments daily anyway. Thank you!
Oh, Liera, my heart goes out to you and your husband. Constant pain is so wearing.
I would like to encourage you to *try* something. I fully realize it may not work, but feel under the circumstances would be worth it to him if he could indeed get off Tramadol. You can safely take up to 8,000 mg. per day with NO side effects according to studies I worte about on this post: https://deeprootsathome.com/how-to-make-use-turmeric-golden-paste/
What we are doing for my son’s back has totally relieved his pain from daily lifting heavy objects and machinery parts on the farm and riding on bumpy ground in the tractor turned (looking backwards) around 5-6 hours or more a day, repeatedly irritating a cyst at T7. It is NOT the same as your husband’s trauma, but again, it has helped him so, so much – it may be worth a shot in helping your man!
I give my son the recipe (I made my own bulk mixture – guess-timated) from this post minus the coconut oil and maca using cold water (no need to melt coconut oil) and adds a bit of raw honey for his severe hay allergies. https://deeprootsathome.com/hot-cocoa-with-turmeric-coconut-oil-maca-spices/ I like the idea of the cayenne which is also great for pain, the sea salt for the available magnesium (relaxant), and the cinnamon for blood sugar stabilization and taste. It’s not in the recipe, but I add a good bit of organic ginger powder to the bulk which is also very anti-inflammatory and helps with pain. It is my belief that these spices work together to potentiate the strength of each other and are better than turmeric alone!
I make him one bottle with 5 doses in it for the day, and he shakes it well before taking his dose. It is a 16 oz bottle, so he just drinks 3 oz at a time 5 x a day. He is getting a hefty dose though I don’t know exactly how much.
Another more accurate way would be to take 6 capsules spread out into 3 doses (to keep blood levels up there) 2 in AM, 2 at midday or lunch, and 2 at bedtime. 1,160 mg. x 6 = ~7,000mg which is a hefty dose, as well. This one is what we use when we travel or just get lazy and do capsules: http://amzn.to/1OuT9LN It has the black pepper in it. If he doesn’t have some measurable relief at the end of the bottle, it isn’t going to help him.
I am praying that you will give it another chance and that he will find relief! Other than that, I haven’t any other ideas, Liera. He is blessed to have you as his wife! I sure hope this helps, and I will keep praying for you both.
I am concerned regarding the paxil, I have been on it for years and I’m on 44 yrs old
Yes, Angie, sadly, I would be concerned, too. Have you read this post? There is something you can do to be proactive about your health and future: https://deeprootsathome.com/surprise-giveaway-trs-a-safe-heavy-metals-detox-giveaway-for-3/
I am praying for you and am here if you would like help in this. ~Jacque
Wow! Interesting article..
My mother has been on antidepressants for many years, as well as have had to take sleeping pills for most of her life…now at 69 she has Alzheimer’s that is progressing rapidly! She is in a memory care home needing 24/7 care!