Elderly people taking the drugs will find it difficult to walk around, feed themselves, wash and get dressed, say researchers at the University of East Anglia.
Doctors who are giving anti-cholinergic drugs to older patients already showing signs of dementia should review the prescription, they say. The drugs are also available over-the-counter (without a prescription) and so family members may need to monitor the drugs their elderly relatives are taking.
The researchers highlighted the dangers of the drugs after they reviewed 45 studies that had involved 60,944 patients.
(Source: Age and Ageing, 2014; doi: 10.1093/ageing/afu096)