Must Know Drugs That Cause Memory Loss
Memory loss is forgetfulness and not being able to recall or remember an event. It may be due to a head injury, aging, depression, consumption of alcohol, medical disease like stroke etc. It has been found that memory loss may also be due to certain medications.
No one can imagine that the medicine we take to cure an illness can lead to memory loss. But today several medicines are being consumed that are causing short term or long term memory loss. If a person on several medications feel the symptoms of memory loss, it is very important to visit the doctor with the prescription to look for alternatives.
A single drug or interaction of many drugs leads to the harmful effect and cause loss of memory. This is more common in elderly people who take about 5-7pills a day and do not have properly functioning liver and kidney to metabolize the drugs.
Drugs That Cause Memory Loss
Drugs like Atarax have anti-histamine properties. Histamine is released in the body when the body is exposed to some foreign substance. This leads to inflammation, redness and itching in the body.
Anti-histamines are then administered to stop the activity of histamines and provide relief. But the drugs also adversely affect the function of some chemicals released by the brain which eventually causes memory loss.
Few anti-cholinergic are found OTC (over-the-counter) and few are prescribed drugs. These include drugs like Nyetol which may be prescribed for urination problems. It has been found that these drugs inhibit the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine required for cognitive functions like memory and learning.
Hence, it has been found that in most people anti-cholinergic drugs cause mild cognitive impairment. However, memory loss caused due to this class of drugs can be reversed when the intake of such drugs is ceased.
These are used to lower the level of cholesterol in the blood which block the arteries and veins of the heart leading to stroke and heart-attacks. Statins have a strong evidence of lowering the memory as an adverse side-effect.
Hence, doctors only prescribe this medicine if the patient has high chance of an attack because the side effect of this medicine is so much that it may cause more harm than benefits in the body. Earlier it was available only as prescriptions drugs but now low dosage is also available OTC.
Sedatives like Ambien are given to people who suffer from sleep disorders. It has been found that when these drugs are given with some anti-depressants, there are higher chances of side effect of memory loss in patients.
Sedatives should be taken only during sleeping hours in order to avoid feeling sleepy all day long. Unless very urgent, one should avoid taking such drugs.
Anxiolytic, Anti-Hypnotic And Anti-Psychotic Drugs
Anxiolytic drugs like Ativan and anti-hypnotic drugs like barbiturates try and change the functioning of the brain to treat anxiety, pain and insomnia. In trying to do so they also cause memory loss. Anti-psychotic drugs like Thorazine treat the biochemical change in the brain. In the process of doing it, they cause memory loss too.