Our response to the Anticholinergic drugs research

09 October 2023

A new study published today, 26th April 2018,  has reported a "robust" link between certain anticholinergic medications and a hightened risk of developing dementia later in life.  

The study funded by the Alzheimer's Society compared the records of over 40,000 patients over the age of 65 found a three percentage point increase in those people who had been exposed to anticholinergic medication. 

Sarah Murphy, Associate Director of Information and Advice at Rethink Mental Illness said,

"For many people antidepressants can be a lifeline. However, more research into any risks associated with them is always helpful, allowing us all to make informed decisions. It is important to recognise the potential link between anticholinergics and dementia does not apply to all antidepressants and the researchers stressed the importance of people not stopping taking medication without speaking to their doctor. If you have any worries about your medication we advise people to speak to their doctor as soon as possible."

If you are concerned about your medication and would look to contact our advice and information line, please click here for their contact details.