10 DRUGS THAT MAY CAUSE MEMORY LOSS
AARP posted an article on May 10 2013 discussing common drugs that cause memory loss.
Dr. Armon B. Neel Jr. points out that for a long time doctors dismissed forgetfulness and mental confusion as a normal part of aging. But researchers now know that memory loss is not inevitable. The brain can grow new connections, brain cells and reshape itself throughout our lives.
Thing such as , heavy cigarette smoking,head injuries, sleep deprivation,severe stress, vitamin B-12 deficiency, and illness such as Alzheimer’s and depression can impair memory function. But what you don’t realize is that the medication you take may be a the worst thing you can do for memory.
I will post a few of these over the next several days.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs (Statins) Why they are prescribed: Statins are used to treat high cholesterol. Examples: Atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor). How they can cause memory loss: Drugs that lower blood levels of cholesterol may impair memory and other mental processes by depleting brain levels of cholesterol as well. In the brain, these lipids are vital to the formation of connections between nerve cells — the links underlying memory and learning. (The brain, in fact, contains a quarter of the body’s cholesterol.) A study published in the journal Pharmacotherapy in 2009 found that three out of four people using these drugs experienced adverse cognitive effects “probably or definitely related to” the drug. The researchers also found that 90 percent of the patients who stopped statin therapy reported improvements in cognition, sometimes within days. In February 2012, the Food and Drug Administration ordered drug companies to add a new warning label about possible memory problems to the prescribing information for statins. Alternatives: If you’re among the many older Americans without known coronary disease who are taking these drugs to treat your slightly elevated LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and low HDL (“good”) cholesterol), ask your doctor or other health care provider about instead taking a combination of sublingual (under-the-tongue) vitamin B12 (1,000 mcg daily), folic acid (800 mcg daily) and vitamin B6 (200 mg daily). Why they are prescribed: Long used to treat seizures, these medications are increasingly prescribed for nerve pain, bipolar disorder, mood disorders and mania. Examples: Acetazolamide (Diamox), carbamazepine (Tegretol), ezogabine (Potiga), gabapentin (Neurontin), lamotrigine (Lamictal), levetiracetam (Keppra), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), pregabalin (Lyrica), rufinamide (Banzel), topiramate (Topamax), valproic acid (Depakote) and zonisamide (Zonegran). How they can cause memory loss: Anticonvulsants are believed to limit seizures by dampening the flow of signals within the central nervous system (CNS). All drugs that depress signaling in the CNS can cause memory loss. Alternatives: Many patients with seizures do well on phenytoin (Dilantin), which has little if any impact on memory. Many patients with chronic nerve pain find that venlafaxine (Effexor) — which also spares memory — alleviates their pain.
Sleeping aids (Nonbenzodiazepine sedative-hypnotics)
Why they are prescribed: Sometimes called the “Z” drugs, these medications are used to treat insomnia and other sleep problems. They also are prescribed for mild anxiety. Examples: Eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata) and zolpidem (Ambien). How they can cause memory loss: Although these are molecularly distinct from benzodiazepines (see No. 1 above), they act on many of the same brain pathways and chemical messengers, producing similar side effects and problems with addiction and withdrawal. The “Z” drugs also can cause amnesia and sometimes trigger dangerous or strange behaviors, such as cooking a meal or driving a car — with no recollection of the event upon awakening. Alternatives: There are alternative drug and nondrug treatments for insomnia and anxiety, so talk with your health care professional about options. Melatonin, in doses from 3 to 10 mg before bedtime, for instance, sometimes helps to reestablish healthy sleep patterns. Before stopping or reducing the dosage of these sleeping aids, be sure to consult your health care professional. Sudden withdrawal can cause serious side effects, so a health professional should always monitor the process.
MAYBE THIS IS WHY YOU CAN’T REMEMBER WHERE YOU LEFT YOUR CAR KEYS !!!
STAY TUNED FOR MORE !!!
Dr Phillip Paulk
The Paulk Clinic