Drugs commonly taken for a variety of common medical conditions negatively affect your brain, causing long term cognitive impairment. These drugs, called anticholinergics, block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter.
They include such common over-the-counter brands as Benadryl, Dramamine, Excedrin PM, Nytol, Sominex, Tylenol PM, and Unisom.
Other anticholinergic drugs, such as Paxil, Detrol, Demerol and Elavil are available only by prescription.
"Researchers ... conducted a six-year observational study, evaluating 1,652 Indianapolis area African-Americans over the age of 70 who had normal cognitive function when the study began ... '[T]aking one anticholinergic significantly increased an individual's risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and taking two of these drugs doubled this risk.'"