Each year, prescription drugs kill more than 100,000 people and cause more than 1.5 million people to be hospitalized for serious side effects. Adverse drug reactions are the leading cause of death in the United States. Every prescription has certain risks, but one of the most common side effects is memory loss.
3 types of drugs that cause memory loss
Any prescription drug falls into one of three categories that can cause memory loss and many other cognitive problems.
- The ?Anti? Drugs
Every drug that begins with ?anti? Antidepressants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, antispasmodics, antibiotics or antihypertensives can affect your acetylcholine levels.
Acetylcholine is the primary neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory. Low levels of acetylcholine can cause symptoms such as delirium, mental confusion, blurred vision, hallucinations, memory loss, and mental retardation.
- Sleeping pills
Sleeping pills are notorious for memory loss.
Ambien, a popular drug known as the ?amnesia drug? Because people who use it experience sleepwalking, night terrors, hallucinations, and sleep driving.
Sleeping pills have been found to cause intoxication or coma-like states. Therefore, people who use these drugs do not experience the sleep that their brain needs to restore itself.
However, there are other ways to use sleeping pills.
- Statin drugs
Statins are popular cholesterol-lowering drugs and are among the worst drugs for your brain. These can cause memory loss, which should be listed as a serious side effect on the label.
A quarter of your brain is made up of cholesterol, which is important for learning, memory, and quick thinking. Therefore, these cholesterol-lowering drugs can seriously affect brain health.
Find out why statins aren’t good for your health and talk to your doctor about avoiding them: What you should know if you’re taking cholesterol pills, and exposure to: Why Cholesterol Doesn’t Cause Heart Disease?
20 drugs that cause memory loss
The following is a list of medications that may cause memory loss.
Parkinson’s disease? atropine, scopolamine, glycopyrrolate
Painkillers? morphine, heroin, codeine
Epilepsy? Dilantin or phenytoin
Sleeping pills? Lunesta, Ambien, Sonata
Benzodiazepines? Xanax, Valium, Dalmane, Ativan
Medicines for high blood pressure
Beta blockers (especially anti-glaucoma drugs)
An antipsychotic? Mellaril, Haldol
Barbiturates? Nembutal, Amytal, Phenobarbital, Sekonal
The list was compiled by Richard S. Mohs, former vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
What to do?
Talk to your doctor if any of these medications affect your memory in any way. Try to find better options, different medications, or change your lifestyle.
If you must use them, take proactive steps to reduce the burden on your brain, such as exercising, eating a brain-healthy diet, and taking brain supplements.
Give your brain the healthiest conditions to stay healthy and alert regardless of these harmful drugs.