Anticholinergic Drugs

Drugs with anticholinergic activity are commonly used in older people [10]. Examples are shown in the table below.

Table 1 Anticholinergic drugs

Type of drug Example
Antihistamine Hydroxyzine, diphenhydramine
Antispasmodic Alverine, hyoscyamine
Tricyclic antidepressant Amitriptyline
Benzodiazepine Lorazepam
Analgesic Codeine
Antiarrhythmic Digoxin
Diuretic Furosemide
Antiparkinsonian Orphenadrine, benzatropine (US vs. UK)
Bladder stabiliser Oxybutynin
Bronchodilator Theophylline

When several of these are co-prescribed, the anti-cholinergic burden (ACB) is increased and leads to greatly increased risk of adverse effects in the elderly [11].