Did you know that medications can be the reason behind memory loss? Scientists know about the fact that as we grow older, memory loss can be avoided because the human brain has the ability to grow new cells and reshape their connection.
There are numerous factors that can lead to memory loss, including alcohol and drug abuse, heavy smoking, sleep deprivation, head trauma, injuries, deficiency of vitamin B12 and diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Also, some prescribed medications can cause memory loss. The sad part is that adverse drug reaction is one of the main causes of death in the United States. These drugs cause more than 100,000 deaths every year, and they result in more than 1.5 million hospitalizations of patients that experienced some kind of adverse drug effect.
Some of the drugs that are common and that can cause numerous cognitive health issues, including memory loss, are:
- Statin drugs
Statins are used for the regulation of high levels of cholesterol, and even though they are effective at their main job, they can cause a brain damage.
One-quarter of the brain is made of cholesterol, which is very important for our memory, learning, and thinking. Statin drugs can cause memory loss and some other bad side effects.
- Sleeping pills
Sleeping pills can lead your brain to a state like being in a coma or drunk, and they can cause it to lose memory. When you take these pills, your body will not be able to recover as it would in the normal sleeping process.
One of the more popular sleeping pills is Ambien, and it can cause sleep driving, sleepwalking, hallucinations and night terrors.
- “Anti” drugs
The anti-drugs, including antispasmodics, antidepressants, antihypertensives, antibiotics, antihistamines, and antipsychotics, will affect the levels of acetylcholine in your body, which is the main neurotransmitter for learning and memory.
Low levels of acetylcholine can lead to mental confusion, blurred vision, dementia, hallucinations, memory loss, and delirium. Anticholinergic are drugs that have the ability to block the effects of acetylcholine.
The effects of anticholinergics are:
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
- Loss of bladder control
- Difficulty to urinate
Drugs that can lead to memory loss:
- Antihistamines – Clistin, Vistaril, Benadryl, Dimetane, and Tavist
- Antidepressants – Elavil, Vivactil, Norpramin, Surmontil, Pamelor, Anafranil
- Drugs that regulate high blood pressure
- Beta-blockers (especially the ones that are used for glaucoma)
- Benzodiazepines – Dalmane, Librium, Ativan, Doral, Restoril, Valium, Versed and Xanax
- Drugs that are used for Parkinson’s disease – scopolamine, atropine, and glycopyrrolate
- Antipsychotics – Mellaril and Haldol
- Epilepsy – Dilantin, and Phenytoin
- Barbiturates – Seconal, Amytal, Nembutal, and Phenobarbital
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Painkillers – morphine, codeine, heroin
- Sleeping pills – Ambien, Sonata, Lunesta
Before you decide to take any of these drugs, make sure that you consult with your doctors first. If you want to improve the health of your brain, you need to be physically more active, introduce a healthy diet in your food, and take more food supplements.
There are also some over-the-counter drugs that can cause some dangerous side-effects:
- Zantac – acid reflux
- Tylenol PM – pain and insomnia
- Unisom – insomnia
- Tagamet – acid reflux
- Sominex – insomnia
- Pepcid Ac – acid reflux
- Excedrin PM – pain and insomnia
- Nytol – insomnia
- Claritin – allergies
- Advil PM – pain
- Benadryl – allergies
- Dramamine – motion sickness