Q. My 62-year-old husband had a prostatectomy a year ago. It was successful, but he continues to have bladder problems. His urologist put him on Detrol for this.
When he started acting confused and paranoid, I got concerned. At the urologist's appointment I explained this to the doctor and he matter-of-factly muttered that, “yes, a side effect is COGNITIVE DECLINE.”
I was shocked and very upset that this was not in any of the pharmacy inserts we got with the prescription. Why isn’t this information more accessible?
A. It is alarming that the pharmacy inserts did not mention mental impairment as a possible side effect of your husband’s medication. Drugs for overactive bladder or incontinence like Detrol or Ditropan have been linked with memory problems and confusion in some patients (Clinical Therapeutics, Feb. 2005).
Medicines that alter the action of a brain chemical called acetylcholine are notorious for causing side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision and cognitive impairment. Many other drugs besides those for bladder problems can trigger such symptoms. They include the antihistamine diphenhydramine, which is used to control allergy symptoms and insomnia. It is found in such popular products as Advil PM, Benadryl and Tylenol PM.