20 Medications That Cause Memory Loss

Top 3 Types of Meds That Cause Memory Loss

These are the major three categories of drugs linked to memory loss and cognitive decline.

  1. The “Anti” Drugs

The group of drugs including antihistamines, antidepressants, antipsychotics, antibiotics, antispasmodics, and antihypertensives affect proper function of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is vital for memory and cognitive function.

To make thing worse, most of these medications are easily available without prescription, and can cause serious damage, especially when not taken in proper doses.

  1. Sleeping Pills

This is another group of drugs that cause both short and long term memory loss. Research has actually confirmed that all sleeping pills trigger different levels of impaired memory and performance. The thing with sleeping pills is that they suppress proper function of a range of brain cells thus affecting alertness, vigilance, and judgement.

In addition, sleeping pills can even cause “blacking out”, especially when there’s too much alcohol in the system.

  1. Statin Drugs

These cholesterol-lowering medications have even come under FDA’s scrutiny recently due to reports of cognitive impairment and memory loss.

These drugs reportedly make patients feel defocused and forgetful.

20 Meds That Cause Memory Loss

Below is a list of prescription drugs known to trigger memory loss in patients:

  • painkillers — heroin, morphine, codeine
  • sleeping pills — Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata
  • steroids
  • antibiotics (quinolones)
  • antihistamines
  • for Parkinson’s — scopolamine, atropine, glycopyrrolate
  • for epilepsy — phenytoin or Dilantin
  • benzodiazepines — Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Dalmane
  • quinidine
  • naproxen
  • interferons
  • high blood pressure drugs
  • insulin
  • beta blockers (especially those used for glaucoma)
  • methyldopa
  • barbiturates — Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, phenobarbital
  • chemotherapy drugs
  • antipsychotics — Haldol, Mellaril
  • tricyclic antidepressants
  • lithium

What to Do

In case you’re taking any of the above-listed medications and you experience symptoms of memory loss, including:

  • repeatedly asking the same questions,
  • forgetting common words when speaking,
  • getting lost,
  • having mood or behavior swings, and
  • not being able to followdirections

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