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Which of your meds will send you to the ER?

There are two kinds of doctors out there: smart ones and lazy ones.

The smart ones take some time to figure out what’s wrong with you and FIX it. The lazy ones? You know all about them, I’m sure.

They’re the ones reaching for the prescription pad before you’re even done describing the problem.

And that’s how MILLIONS of American seniors end up with lifetime prescriptions for drugs that in most cases they don’t even need.

If you’re on any of those meds yourself, it’s time to find a way off – because the latest research shows how taking those meds today could send you into the emergency room tomorrow.

Short of the morgue, that’s the last place in the world you want to end up.

But you can find yourself there just the same if you take an “anticholinergic” drug.

These aren’t meds that do a single thing. They’re meds across nearly every class – including allergy pills, “sleep aids,” antidepressants, anxiety drugs, painkillers, and more – that have one thing in common.

They all “work” by cutting off certain signals in the brain.

And, sure, maybe blocking that part of your gray matter will shut down pain, help you sleep, boost your mood, or do whatever else that drug promises.

But once you start monkeying around up there, you can cause all kinds of new horrors – including falls, vision loss, stomach problems, constipation, kidney troubles, and even kidney failure.

Any single one of those side effects can knock you down for the count. As a result, folks who take these meds are more likely to hit the ER and get admitted to the hospital.

Taking “strong” anticholinergic drugs will boost that risk by a third. Even drugs with “mild” anticholinergic effects will increase your risk of a hospital admission by 11 percent.

Think that’s bad? That’s NOTHING!

An ER trip and a hospital admission is no picnic, but at least you have a shot at recovering.

Anticholinergic drugs can do something else up in your brain, something you might NEVER recover from: Regular use of these drugs can increase your risk of dementia by as much as 54 percent.

The most common anticholinergic drug is probably Benadryl, an allergy med that’s also dumped into “PM” versions of painkillers as well as cold and flu drugs.

But there are dozens, if not HUNDREDS, of other meds with anticholinergic effects.

Ask your doc and/or pharmacist if any of the meds you take are anticholinergics – and don’t forget to ask about your over-the-counter pills, too. Your best bet is a “brown bag” checkup where you sit with a specialist and go over ALL your meds and whether or not you really need them.

You might be surprised by how many of them you can do without.

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