Having trouble remembering things? These medications may be the real cause. In the past, doctors dismissed mental confusion and memory loss as a part of the aging process.
However, today scientists know that memory loss as we get older is not inevitable. In fact, the brain can grow new cells and reshape their connection during the life.
Many people are aware of the numerous things that may impair memory, like drug and alcohol abuse, head injuries, strikes, heavy smoking, severe stress, sleep deprivation, lack of vitamin B12, or illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s.
However, what many people do not know that some prescribed drugs can also affect memory.
Unluckily, the number one death cause in the United States is adverse drug reactions. In fact, prescription drugs cause more than 100.000 deaths a year, and over 1.5 million hospitalized patients, who experienced adverse drug effects.
The prescription drugs, which cause numerous cognitive health issues, including memory loss, are divided into three categories. Here they are.
1. Statin drugs
Statin drugs are used to regulate high cholesterol levels even though are dangerous drugs, which lead to brain damage. When it comes to this, ¼ of the brain is made of cholesterol, which is essential for memory, learning and thinking. However, it is considered that statin drugs have side effects and lead to memory loss.
2. Sleeping pills
Sleeping pills usually cause memory loss and lead to a state, like being drunk or in a coma. For this reason, they do not regulate the sleep needed to the body to recover itself.
3. ‘Anti’ drugs
The anti drugs, including 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 block the effects of acetylcholine are known as anticholinergic. 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 take some of these drugs, you should consult a doctor in order to find out if they affect your memory. There is always a healthier choice, or even another medication.
You should take more food supplements, be more physically active, and include healthy food in your diet in order to enhance brain health.
WELL-KNOWN OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS THAT LEAD TO MEMORY LOSS
Not only prescribed medication cause memory loss. Some popular over-the-counter (OTC) drugs lead to memory loss by blocking the action of the acetylcholine neurotransmitter.
Here is a list of 12 popular OTC, which 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)
Numerous studies have shown that OTCs medications, such as: Benadryl, increase the risk of experiencing Alzheimer’s and dementia.