If you are having trouble remembering things and you have taken some of the medications we are about to talk about, then that might be the problem. In the past, doctors thought that memory loss was only a part of the aging process. However, nowadays, scientists claim that memory loss is not inevitable. Actually, our brain can grow new cells and reshape the connection during life.
A lot of people are aware of all the things that can cause memory loss, like for instance alcohol and drugs, also, head injuries, strikes, heavy smoking, severe stress, sleep deprivation, lack of vitamin B12, or illnesses like Alzheimer’s. What most people do not know that some prescribed drugs can also affect your memory.
Unfortunately, the number one death cause in the United States is adverse drug reactions. Actually, prescription drugs cause more than 100.000 deaths per year, and over 1.5 million hospitalized patients that have experienced adverse drug effects.
Medications that Cause Cognitive Health Issues and Memory Loss
1. Statin Drugs
These drugs are used to regulate high cholesterol levels and they can lead to brain damage. Actually, our brain is made out of 1/4 of cholesterol, which is very much needed for memory, learning, and thinking. Nevertheless, they still can cause side-effects and lead to memory loss.
2. Sleeping Pills
Sleeping pills can also cause memory loss and lead to a state similar to being drunk or a coma. This is why they do not regulate the sleep that the body needs to recover itself. For instance, Ambien is also known as an amnesia drug due to the fact that it causes night terrors, hallucinations, sleep driving, and sleepwalking.
3. ‘Anti’ Drugs
These ones include antispasmodics, antipsychotics, antihypertensive, antidepressants, antibiotics, antihistamines and other, affect the levels of acetylcholine in the human body, the main neurotransmitter essential for learning and memory.
The low levels of acetylcholine in the body lead to blurred vision, hallucinations, mental confusion, delirium, dementia, memory loss, and other health issues. Drugs that can block the effects of acetylcholine are known as anticholinergics. Some of the most common side effects of anticholinergics are:
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Loss of bladder control
- Difficulty to urinate
20 Drugs that Lead to Memory Loss
The former vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, Richard C. Mohs, made a list of 20 drugs, which lead to memory loss. Here is the whole list:
- Antihistamines – Dimetane, Clistin, Tavist, Vistaril and Benadryl.
- Antidepressants – Vivactil, Elavil, Anafranil, Norpramin, Pamelor, and Surmontil.
- High blood pressure drugs
- Beta blockers (particularly those used for glaucoma)
- Benzodiazepines – Ativan, Dalmane, Librium, Klonopin, Doral, Versed, Restoril, Valium, and Xanax.
- Parkinson’s disease – scopolamine, glycopyrrolate, and atropine.
- Antipsychotics – Haldol and Mellaril.
- Barbiturates – Amytal, Seconal, Phenobarbital, and Nembutal.
- Epilepsy – Phenytoin and Dilantin.
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Antibiotics (quinolones)
- Painkillers – heroin, codeine, and morphine.
- Sleeping pills – Sonata, Lunesta, and Ambien.
If you are taking some of these drugs, make sure you get in touch with your doctor and discuss the possibility of them affecting your memory. You can always find something healthier.
Moreover, you need to take more food supplements, be more physically active and include healthy foods in your diet, this is good for the health of the brain.
Well-Known Over-the-Counter Medications that Lead to Memory Loss
You need to know that also some popular over-the-counter medications can lead to memory loss as well. They actually block the action of the acetylcholine neurotransmitter.
12 popular OTC medications that are anticholinergic:
• Zantac (acid reflux)
• Unisom (insomnia)
• Tylenol PM (insomnia and pain)
• Tagamet (acid reflux)
• Sominex (insomnia)
• Pepcid Ac (acid reflux)
• Nytol (insomnia)
• Excedrin PM (insomnia and pain)
• Dramamine (motion sickness)
• Claritin (allergies)
• Benadryl (allergies
• Advil PM ( sleep and pain)
Over-the-counter medications like Benadryl increase the risk of Alzheimer’s, many studies have shown. Therefore, be careful of the medications that you take and always consult with a doctor!