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."