Anticholinergic side-effects of drugs in elderly people

Author(s): Mintzer J, Burns A


Anticholinergic toxicity is a common problem in the elderly. It has many effects ranging from dry mouth, constipation, and visual impairments to confusion, delirium, and severe cognitive decline. The toxicity is often the result of the cumulative anticholinergic burden of multiple prescription medications and metabolites rather than of a single compound. The management of elderly patients, particularly those suffering from dementia, should therefore aim to reduce the use of medications with anticholinergic effects.

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