5 Drugs That Could Affect Your Memory And How To Get Rid!

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5 Drugs That Could Affect Your Memory

It’s very mundane and normal to forget things or events but if memory loss is hindering your daily life then it could be a matter of concern. Memory loss or amnesia associated with drug use is not a new subject.  

Drugs That Could Affect Your Memory

Various proactive drugs as well as over the counter medications could make significant changes to your brain cells. Today we will discuss 5 drugs that could affect your memory and how you can stop these prescriptions from causing you drug-induced amnesia and also the various alternatives you can go for.

Here are 5 drugs that could affect your memory

1. Benzodiazepines (Anti-anxiety drug)

Benzodiazepines (Anti-anxiety drug)

Benzodiazepines are the most common drug to treat disorders associated with anxiety, muscle spasms, agitation, delirium, prevention of seizures, etc. This drug is also used to treat insomnia as well as anxiety due to depression, the drug has a sedative effect which is used to aid in getting better sleep.   Benzodiazepines tend to slow down activity in key parts of the brain especially those parts that play a key role in transferring events from short term memory to the long term memory. This drug is also mostly used with anesthesia as this makes the patient forget some of the vents of operation. Some examples of Benzodiazepines are

  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Midazolam (Versed)
  • Quazepam (Doral)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Triazolam (Halcion)
  • Temazepam (Restoril)

2. Tricyclic antidepressants (Antidepressant drugs)

Tricyclic antidepressants (Antidepressant drugs)

TCAs (Tricyclic antidepressants) are mostly prescribed for depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive or compulsive disorder, chronic pain, eating disorders, smoking deaddiction, and various other hormone-mediated disorders. Your doctor may also suggest this drug in case you have severe menstrual cramps or hot flashes. As per the reports it has been observed that about around 35% of people who have been known to use this medication have reported some degree of memory impairment while 54 percent reported having difficulty concentrating. This happens because the TCAs drug blocks the action of serotonin and norepinephrine which are two of the rains key message carrying chemicals. Some of the examples of Antidepressant drugs are

  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Doxepin (Sinequan)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • Trimipramine (Surmontil)
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)

3. Narcotic Painkillers

Narcotic Painkillers

Narcotic painkillers also are known as opioid analgesics are used to relieve moderate to severe chronic pain. These pain killers come in different forms such as solutions for injection, transdermal patches, tablets as well as suppositories. These drugs affect the brain by slowing the flow of pain signals within the central nervous system and blurring the person’s emotional reaction to the pain. It interferes with the chemicals that deal with long and short memory storage and hence lead to loss of memory. Some of the examples of this drug are:

  • Hydrocodone (Norco, Vicodin),
  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
  • Morphine (Astramorph, Avinza)

4. Beta-blockers (Hypertension drugs)

Beta-blockers (Hypertension drugs)

Beta-blockers or  Hypertension drugs slow down the heart rate as well as lowers the person’s blood pressure. It is also prescribed in cases of abnormal heart rhythms or congestive heart failure. This medication can also be used to treat various other conditions such as migraines, glaucoma, chest pain, tremors, etc. this drug might interfere with the normal functioning of the brain by blocking the action of key chemical messengers in the brain which includes chemicals such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, etc. Here are some examples of Beta-blockers:  

  • Carvedilol (Coreg)
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol)
  • Propranolol (Inderal)
  • Sotalol (Betapace)
  • Timolol (Timoptic)
  • Atenolol (Tenormin)

5. Antiseizure Drugs

Antiseizure Drugs

This drug as the name suggests is used to treat seizures, bipolar disorder, mood disorders, nerve pain, and mania. These drugs are believed to limit the occurrence of seizures by slowing down the flow of signals within the central nervous system also knows as the CNS. any drug that depresses the or affects the CNS in any way can lead to memory loss. Here are some examples of antiseizure drugs

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  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • Acetazolamide (Diamox)
  • Ezogabine (Potiga)
  • Valproic acid (Depakote)
  • Rufinamide (Banzel)
  • Topiramate (Topamax)
  • Zonisamide (Zonegran)
  • Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)
  • Levetiracetam (Keppra)

I hope you found this article on 5 drugs that could affect your memory use full. See you with another informative article soon.

Angeline is a registered dietitian currently working in research. She have participated in many public health programs organised by WHO, and other health organisations around the world. She studied in North Ireland and in the USA to complete a BSc in Human Nutrition from Ulster University. She then went on to complete my PhD focusing on diet, exercise, weight management and more recently completed a postgraduate diploma in dietetics. She enjoy walks on the beautiful north coast of Ireland and is passionate about providing evidence-based nutrition advice for the general public. You can connect with her any time for a health advice.

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