Memory Loss Side Effects with Prescription Drugs

By | April 22, 2014

prescription-drugs-memory-lossA number of prescription drugs, especially in combination with each other, can cause unintended memory loss symptoms.

Some of the more common prescription medications known to cause memory problems are Benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety meds) such as lprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan), midazolam (Versed), quazepam (Doral), temazepam (Restoril) and triazolam (Halcion).

Tricyclic antidepressants, initially developed in the 1950s, are now commonly prescribed for other conditions such as chronic pain and eating disorders. Common prescriptions include: Amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil) and trimipramine (Surmontil).

Anticholinergics are routinely prescribed to older adults for incontinence and overactive bladder. Common prescriptions include: Darifenacin (Enablex), oxybutynin (Ditropan XL, Gelnique, Oxytrol), solifenacin (Vesicare), tolterodine (Detrol) and trospium (Sanctura). Important note: Long term use of anticholinergics in older adults can significantly increase the probability of cognitive impairment and memory loss symptoms. See this study for more detail.

A Note on Statins (Cholesterol lowering drugs)

While anecdotal stories have frequently appeared in the media regarding memory loss symptoms being linked to statin drug use, the research evidence is weak and tenuous at best. Potential adverse effects might be resolved by switching from lipophilic to hydrophilic statins. See this study and this study for more detail.

See also: When Memory Loss isn’t Alzheimer’s – Vitamin B Deficiencies