welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

my story revisited #175-cant take these


i take aricept or donepezil which inhibits an enzyme acetylcholinesterase in the nerve endings in the brain and keeps the enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine which makes the nerves fire
taking this med makes the nerve cells work better

one class of drugs i was told not to take was antihistamines
like benadryl or loratadine or similar once a day histamines
they block the effectiveness of the aricept or donepezil
there are other drugs below that do the same thing

i had a relative who was having memory issues
he had all his meds fine tuned and his health problems adequately treated
eg heart failure and arrhythmias and sleep issues and blood pressure and cholesterol
his memory improved when these were adequately treated

i volunteered with a local neurologist who when he got a new memory patient
he looked closely at their health and fine tuned it before he did a major workup
one thing he would look at was a patients meds like those mentioned below



in alzheimers disease as the brain and nerve cells get damaged
the substance in the nerve cell endings called acetylcholine
starts to decrease
this acetylcholine in needed for the nerve cells to fire
ie for them to work

as alzheimers disease destruction continues
these levels of acetylcholine get lower and lower

then enter
aricept (donepezil) that is used to treat alzheimers symptoms
it inhibits an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase
which is the enzyme that breaks down the acetylcholine

by inhibiting this enzyme
it makes more acetylcholine available for the nerve cells
to work better those that are left in the brain

this week a study was reported on some otc meds and rx meds
that may have an effect on this system

benadryl (diphenhydramine) that is used for allergies allergic reaction
and commonly sold as a sleep aid

doxepin (brand sinequan) is an antidepressant that is used some for
depression or chronic itching

oxybutynin (brand ditropan) is a bladder medicine that many will
recognized as having been advertised a lot on tv in the past

when these are taken at usual doses some low doses for at least 3 years
they increase the chances of getting alzheimers disease by 60+- %

that is a significant increase

one of the warnings on my aricept (donepezil) that i take
says not to take antihistamines with it
thats benadryl claritin zyrtec allegra and chlortrimeton
since it blocks acetylcholines effect
it counteracts the effects of the aricept

gosh durn
theres enough side effects from the aricept
if i take it i want it to do its job
of raising the acetylcholine in the brain

now these studies were done on older folks over 65
for a seven year period
not sure what effect it would have on a younger population
say like kids and young adults

even with this new evidence these drugs cause drowsiness
and can cause confusion in older folks
they are some of the meds that are looked at when someone
complains of memory loss
they are usually recommended to be discontinued

note the doxepin shouldnt be discontinued if its being
used for depression unless under the direction of a
medical provider

i can just hear the doctors as they prescribe ditropan for
bladder control
now your bladder will start working better
your brain wont be

wonder what happens if you add on risk factors like
high blood pressure high cholesterol diabetes family history
of alzheimers genetic predisposition to alzheimers

it is concerning since so many folks take this stuff

its seems the recommendation will be
dont take these things especially as you get older
there are other substitutes

use other sleep aids

use other newer antihistamines like loratidine
unless of course you take aricept (donepezil)

use other antidepressants like citalapram sertraline fluoxetine
ie celexa zoloft prozac

use another approach or med for you bladder control

it seems throughout medicine
that there are always these things that drugs cause
that show up years and years later

this one seems disconcerting to me
60% is a large number
like cancer
no one wants to get alzheimers disease
even me
if you are having memory issues one of the things to do is have a medical provider look closely at your meds to make sure they are not contributing to the memory issues

next week i go in for my next infusion of aduhelm or aducanumab
next month besides my monthly infusion i have 4 days of more testing as part of the study at ucla
then i start my final year of getting aduhelm infusions in this study

there are some interesting results coming out of this study and others
it seems when you stop this med after getting all these infusions that your memory loss continues to slow down even though you arent on the infusions anymore 
the same thing is seen with the other similar anti amyloid drugs

so i guess this drug may be working even after you stop it

the organicgreen doctor

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