Memory loss is inevitable with old age. Apart from some common memory loss diseases; people commonly lose memory with old age as the brain cells reshape themselves over time. However, several other factors have been known to cause memory loss. Aside from drugs, alcohol, and disease, you may be surprised to know that recent studies have shown commonly used prescription drugs do interfere with memory. Some of the most commonly prescribed drugs are now among the leading causes of memory loss. Let’s have a look at some of the top 7 prescribed drugs that cause memory loss.
1. Antianxiety Drugs
Antianxiety drugs are also referred to as benzodiazepines. They are used to treat various forms of anxiety disorders like muscle spasms, agitation, and delirium. Examples of antianxiety drugs include: Alprazolam (Xanax), midazolam (versed), and clonazepam (Klonopin) to name a few.
Benodiapines are commonly used in anesthesia cases to prevent the patient from remembering the unpleasantness of the medical procedure. They do this by inactivating some part of the brain and this can lead to memory loss in short term and long term. The effect of these drugs is more common in older people than younger people.
2. Cholesterol Lowering Drugs
Cholesterol lowering drugs are also referred to as Statins and are basically prescribed to lower high levels of cholesterol in the body. Examples of commonly used statins include rosuvastatin (Crestor), Atorvastatin (Lipitor), pravastatin (Pravachol) and fluvastatin (Lescol).
These drugs lower the level of cholesterol in the blood and this can end up damaging the brain cells. Cholesterol in the brain is very essential and depleting them can cause damage to the brain cells. The brain on its own contains a quarter of the body cholesterol and this goes to show the effect changes in this level can do. Recent studies that have shown the effects of cholesterol lowering drugs have. The FDA itself has moved to force manufactures to indicate labels of memory loss problems on such drugs.
3. Antidepressant Drugs
TriCyclic Antidepressant (TCAs) are drugs prescribed for people with anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, chronic pain and smoking cessation. The drugs are also effectively used to clear painful menstrual cramps in women. Common examples of TCAs include imipramine (Tofranil), desipramine (Norpramin), Amitriptyline (Elavil), trimipramine (Surmontil) and doxepin (Sinequan).
These drugs are administered to help people relax. The drugs work by blocking two main chemicals that confer messages in the brain. These two chemicals are serotonin and norepinephrine. Once these chemicals are blocked, they may help individuals relax, but can end up causing memory loss.
4. Narcotic Painkillers
These are painkillers basically used to offer relief to people with moderate to chronic pain. They are just like, other common painkillers, but one might easily get addicted to them. Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are prescribed the drugs to offer relief. These drugs are also referred to as analgesics opioids and examples of these narcotics includes: oxycodone (OxyContin), Fentanyl (Duragesic), morphine (Astramorph) and hydromorphone (Dilaudid).
These drugs aim to block your body’s way of realizing it is in pain. However, blocking these neuron messengers can have some cognition effects on it’s user. People, fifty years older or more are at a higher risk of losing memory.
5. Sleeping aids
These are drugs used to treat insomnia and other sleep problems. These drugs are sometimes referred to as the nonbenzodiazepine sedative drugs. Common examples include drugs like Zaleplon (Sonata), zolpidem (Ambien) and Eszopiclone (Lunesta).
These drugs affect memory by acting on the same pathway as the one taken by brain messengers in the nervous system. People who use the drugs on a regular basis can become dependent on them and suffer from severe withdraw symptoms.
6. Hypertension Drugs
These drugs are prescribed to help lower blood pressure by slowing the heart rate. They are also known as beta blockers. The drugs also treat migraines and chest pains. Common examples of these drugs include the propranolol (Inderal), Atenolol (Tenormin), Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), carvedilol (Coreg) and sotalol (Betapace).
These drugs cause memory loss by basically interfering with the normal route taken by chemical messengers in the nervous system.
These drugs are prescribed to offer relief to people with various forms of allergy or cold. They can also treat nausea, insomnia, vomiting and dizziness. Examples of these drugs include: Clemastine (Tavist), carbinoxamine (Clistin), Brompheniramine (Dimetane) and diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
These drugs are sold over the counter and basically inhibit the functions of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a chemical messenger, which performs several functions in the transfer of messages within the nervous system.