Scientists are aware of the fact that as we get older, memory loss is not inevitable. Actually, the brain grows new cells and reshapes their connection.
There are many factors that can impair memory, including drug and alcohol abuse, heavy smoking, head injuries, sleep deprivation, severe stress, vitamin B12 deficiency and diseases like Alzheimer’s.
However, some prescribed drugs can also affect your memory. Unfortunately, adverse drug reaction is the main cause of death in the US. Prescription drugs cause more than 100.000 deaths a year, and more than 1.5 million hospitalized patients, who experienced adverse drug effects.
These are some of the most common drugs that cause various cognitive health issues, including memory loss:
1. Statin drugs
Statin drugs are usually used to regulate high cholesterol levels although they are harmful and can lead to brain damage.
¼ of the brain is made of cholesterol, which is extremely important for memory, thinking, and learning. Statin drugs come with various side effects and can cause memory loss.
2. Sleeping pills
Sleeping pills can cause memory loss and lead to a state, like being drunk or in coma. In fact, they don’t regulate the sleep needed to the body to recover itself.
Ambien is a popular drug that can cause night terrors, sleep driving, sleep walking, and hallucinations.
3. ‘Anti’ drugs
The anti drugs, including antipsychotics, antispasmodics, antidepressants, antibiotics, antihypertensive, antihistamines, affect the levels of acetylcholine in the body, the main neurotransmitter for memory and learning.
Low levels of acetylcholine can cause blurred vision, mental confusion, hallucinations, dementia, delirium, and memory loss. Anticholinergic are drugs that block the effects of acetylcholine.
Side effects of anticholinergics:
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
- Loss of bladder control
- Difficulty to urinate
20 Drugs That Lead to Memory Loss
- Antihistamines – Dimetane, Clistin, Tavist, Vistaril, and Benadryl
- Antidepressants – Vivactil, Elavil, Anafranil, Norpramin, Pamelor, and Surmontil
- High blood pressure drugs
- Beta blockers (particularly those used for glaucoma)
- Benzodiazepines – Ativan, Dalmane, Librium, Klonopin, Doral, Versed, Restoril, Valium, and Xanax
- Parkinson’s disease – scopolamine, glycopyrrolate, and atropine
- Antipsychotics – Haldol and Mellaril
- Barbiturates – Amytal, Seconal, Phenobarbital, and Nembutal
- Epilepsy – Phenytoin and Dilantin
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Antibiotics (quinolones)
- Painkillers – heroin, codeine, and morphine
- Sleeping pills – Sonata, Lunesta, and Ambien
Before taking these drugs, make sure to consult your doctor loss. In order to enhance brain health, you should take more food supplements, be more physically active and include healthy food in your diet.
Well-known over-the-counter medications that lead to memory loss
Some over-the-counter drugs block the action of the acetylcholine neurotransmitter, thus leading to memory
Here is a list of 12 popular over-the-counter drugs, which are anticholinergic:
- Zantac (acid reflux)
- Unisom (insomnia)
- Tylenol PM (insomnia and pain)
- Tagamet (acid reflux)
- Sominex ( insomnia)
- Pepcid Ac (acid reflux)
- Nytol (insomnia)
- Excedrin PM (insomnia and pain)
- Dramamine (motion sickness)
- Claritin (allergies)
- Benadryl (allergies)
- Advil PM (sleep and pain)
It is scientifically shown that OTC medications like Benadryl can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.