Anticholinergics Associated with Longer Hospital Stays
the Psychiatry Advisor take:
Anticholinergic drugs, commonly used to treat conditions ranging from bladder problems to depression and insomnia, can cause cognitive impairment that may interfere with rehabilitation efforts and prolong hospital stay for patients recovering from brain and spinal chord injuries.
Researchers from the British National Health Service and Aston University's School of Life & Health Sciences in the United Kingdom examined the way the side effects of anticholinergics impacted 52 patients with brain or spinal injury being treated at a neuro-rehabilitation unit.
The average length of hospital stay was longer among those with higher levels of anticholinergic drug burden (ACB) and shorter among those with lower ACB, the researchers found.
"This pilot study demonstrates the need for larger studies to confirm the results and need for further investigation into what long-term effects these common medications are having on the recovery of these patients," the researchers wrote.
In addition to the clinical implications on patient quality of life such findings may have, patient discharge rates are often tied to financial incentives for hospitals, raising questions about wider efficiencies in the healthcare system.
Anticholinergics may delay recovery from brain injury.
Sign Up for Free e-newsletters
Psychiatry Advisor Articles
- Adjunctive Therapies for Bipolar Disorder Show Promise, Need More Evidence
- Predicting Treatment-Emergent Mania to Tailor Pharmacotherapy in Bipolar Disorder
- Abnormalities of Cortical Thickness in Bipolar Disorder With Auditory Hallucinations
- Antidepressants Increase Seizure Risk in Youth and Severely Depressed
- Prevalence of Major Depressive Disorder Remains High In US Population
- The Way to the Head May Be Through the Gut: Probiotics for Depression
- Suicide-Screening Toolkit Can Help Identify Youths at High Risk for Suicide
- Agoraphobia: An Evolving Understanding of Definitions and Treatment
- Parental Pressure to Diet Linked With Long-term Harm in Adolescents
- Does Access to Medical Cannabis Reduce Risk for Opioid Abuse?
- Evidence of Methylphenidate Abuse: Characterizing Patterns of Use in Pediatric and Adult Populations
- Intranasal Oxytocin Reduces Negative Effects, Improves Cognitive Function in Schizophrenia
- Most Patients Comfortable With Clinicians Asking About Sexual Orientation
- Peer-to-Peer Depression Awareness Program May Be Beneficial
- Examining Rates of Long-term Opioid Use in Youth With Psychiatric Disorders