Having trouble remembering things? These medications may be 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.
For example, Ambien, a well-known drug, is also known as an amnesia drug, because it causes night terrors, hallucinations, sleep driving and sleep walking. 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 • Confusion • Lightheartedness • Loss of bladder control • Constipation • 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. • Steroids • Antihistamines – Dimetane, Clistin, Tavist, Vistaril and Benadryl. • Lithium • Methyldopa • Naproxen • Antidepressants – Vivactil, Elavil, Anafranil, Norpramin, Pamelor, and Surmontil. • Interferons • High blood pressure drugs • Beta blockers (particularly those used for glaucoma) • Quinidine • Insulin • 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.