1119 GMT February 29, 2020
Dementia is a growing problem, with almost 10 million newly diagnosed cases every year around the world, eurekalert.org reported.
The study, led by researchers at Western University's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Lawson Health Research Institute, looked at International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) data from 2002 to 2017 on 220,353 patients aged 66 years or older in Ontario, Canada, with a new prescription for donepezil, rivastigmine or galantamine, three cholinesterase inhibitors used to manage dementia and Alzheimer disease.
Researchers found that donepezil was associated with a two-fold higher risk of hospitalization for rhabdomyolysis, a serious condition that can result in kidney disease. The relative risk was small but statistically significant.
"The findings of this population-based cohort study support regulatory agency warnings about the risk of donepezil-induced rhabdomyolysis," wrote Dr. Jamie Fleet, a postgraduate year four resident in physical medicine and rehabilitation now at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, with coauthors.
"Reassuringly, the 30-day incidence of a hospital admission with rhabdomyolysis after initiating donepezil remains low.