As efforts are made to treat more acute conditions, memory problems, memory loss, confusion, and cognitive decline are often overlooked as a normal part of aging. But memory declines with age, and cognitive health isn’t inevitable, experts say. As the human brain ages, new brain cells grow and can form new neural connections.
Some things can cause memory and cognitive symptoms, such as alcohol and drug abuse, stroke, head injury, insomnia, vitamin B12 deficiency, severe stress, and Alzheimer’s disease. But most people don’t know that many prescription drugs can affect memory. Read on to learn about some medications that can cause memory loss.
WHICH PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE RELATED TO MEMORY LOSS?
Over-the-counter and prescription drugs can have adverse effects on memory. Certain medications have been linked to Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In the following paragraphs, we will describe some common prescription drugs that affect memory and cause memory loss.
Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety medications used to treat anxiety, insomnia, delirium, agitation, and muscle spasms. Examples include diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), lorazepam (Ativan), and temazepam (Restoril).
Benzodiazepines slow down the activity of the central nervous system and affect the parts of the brain involved in the transfer of short-term memories to long-term memories. Benzodiazepines are prescribed with caution in the elderly due to reduced kidney and liver function. Accumulation of benzodiazepines can lead to memory loss, delirium, and other cognitive problems.
Anticholinergic drugs are used to treat overactive bladder and urinary incontinence. Examples of diuretics include oxybutynin (Ditropan XL, Oxytrol, Gelnique), darifenacin (Enablex), solifenacin (Vesicare), trospium (Sanctura), and tolterodine (Detrol). Oxytrol for women is an anticholinergic skin patch in addition to prescription medications.
Anticholinergic drugs work by blocking the action of acetylcholine, an important chemical messenger involved in many functions in the human body. Anticholinergic medications can relieve urinary symptoms by preventing bladder muscle spasms and spasms. However, anticholinergic agents affect the central nervous system, particularly the memory and learning centers of the brain. Long-term use of anticholinergics or concomitant use of other anticholinergics may increase the risk of memory loss. Anticholinergic drugs have a risk of adverse effects in the elderly due to reduced renal and hepatic function.
Non-benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotics are a group of drugs used to treat insomnia, often referred to as sleeping pills. Examples include zolpidem (Ambien), zaleplon (Sonata) and eszopiclone (Lunesta).
Although sleeping pills are not the same as benzodiazepines, they affect brain chemicals and neural pathways in the central nervous system. Sleeping pills can cause amnesia (memory loss) and serious psychiatric side effects such as behavioral changes, sleep disturbances, and depression.
Statins are common drugs that cause memory loss. These are cholesterol-lowering drugs for people with high cholesterol. Examples include simvastatin (Zocor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor), pravastatin (Pravachol), lovastatin (Mevacor), and fluvastatin (Lescol).
Cholesterol-lowering drugs not only lower cholesterol in the blood, but also lower cholesterol in the brain, which is thought to inhibit memory and other cognitive processes. In fact, the human brain contains a quarter of the total cholesterol in the body. The brain needs lipids to build connections between neurons, which are essential for memory, learning, and brain health.
Certain medications used to treat seizures (seizures or epilepsy), nerve pain, depression, and bipolar disorder can cause memory problems. For example, valproic acid (Depakote), carbamazepine (Tegretol), lamotrigine (Lamictal), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), topiramate (Topamax), levetiracetam (Keppra), acetazolamide (Diamox), gabapentin (Neurontin), pregabalin (Egabrigaine), Pobrigat. ), rufinamide (Banzel), zonisamide (Zonegran).
Anticonvulsants work by slowing signals in the central nervous system. Like all drugs that slow the brain, it can cause memory loss.