In the first installment and second post of this three part blog describing how various classes of medications contribute to or are associated with memory loss, six commonly prescribed drugs were showcased:
1. Cholesterol lowering drugs
2. Anxiety medications
3. Anti-depression medications
4. Blood pressure drugs (beta blockers)
5. Sleep aids (non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotics)
6. Incontinence drugs (anticholinergics)
In part three we explore antihistamines (first generation), narcotic pain killers, drugs for Parkinson's disease and anti-seizure drugs.Please recall my position and they reason I am publishing this series. Be assured I am not against prescribed medications. Rather, I find it very important to take the stance of searching for underlying reasons for why a patient has a symptom and, if possible, provide a natural solution. Such interventions could include diet changes, lifestyle changes, specific supplementation and specialize brain-based therapies including neurofeedback.
Antihistamines (first generation)
Benadryl® (diphenhydramine), Chlor-Trimeton® (chlorphenhydramine), Tavist® (clemastine), Dimetane® (brompheniramine), Clistin® (carbinoxamine), Vistaril® (hydroxyzine)
These medications are used to relieve or prevent allergy symptoms. They may even be taken to fight the symptoms of the common cold. Whether these medications are prescription strength or over the counter, they also work by inhibiting the action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Out in the body this may relieve cold and allergy symptoms, but in the brain it decreases your ability to learn and and remember things.
Narcotic Pain Killers
Examples: OxyContin®, Percocet® (oxycodone), Vicodin®, Norco® (hydrocodone), Dilaudid®, Exalog® (hydromorphone), Duragesic® (fentanyl), Astramorph®, Avinza® (morphine)
These drugs are prescribed to treat moderate to sever chronic pain. They are also called opiod analgesics. They work by limiting a person’s emotional reaction to pain and blocking the flow of pain signals within the central nervous system. They do this by blocking the action of chemical messengers within the brain, unfortunately these same chemical messengers are also involved in memory. Using these drugs, especially for a long period of time can affect both long-term and short-term memory.
Parkinson’s drugs (dopamine agonists)Examples: Requip® (ropinirole), Apokyn® (apomorphine), Mirapex® (pramipexole)
These medications are traditionally used to fight Parkinson’s Disease and certain pituitary tumors, but recently they’ve become increasingly used in restless leg syndrome. They work by activating the pathways for dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is involved not only in learning and memory and learning but also motivation, fine motor control and the experience of pleasure. Because of this, they can cause memory loss, confusion, delusion, hallucinations and drowsiness. They can also cause compulsive behaviors such as overeating and gambling.
The shame is when it’s used for restless leg syndrome with out delving deeper into the cause of the problem, because many other medications, both prescription and over the counter can potentially be the actual cause of the restless leg syndrome (a ha-here we have a symptom caused by a drug that was prescribed to counteract the symptom that was a side effect of another drug - where does it end?)
Lyrica® (pregabalin), Depakote® (valproic acid), Neurontin® (gabapentin), Tegretol® (carbamazepine), Trileptil ® (oxycarbazepine), Topomax® (topiramate), Diamox® (acetazolamide), Lamictal® (lamotrigine), Keppra® (levetiracetam), Zonegran® (zonisamide)
These drugs are believed to reduce the flow of signals within the brain and spinal cord, which is how they limit seizures. The basically suppress your central nervous system and any drug that suppresses your central nervous system will cause loss of memory.
In conclusion, many prescribed medications can contribute or cause challenges with your memory. My advise is for you to consider the underlying cause of your symptoms and ill health. When you locate the cause or causes, many times you can work on eliminating or ameilorating your symptoms by natural means.
For more details about the natural approach I take with my patients, take a look a the book I wrote entitled: Reclaim Your Life; Your Guide To Revealing Your Body's Life-Changing Secrets For Renewed Health. It is available in my office or at Amazon and many other book outlets.
If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the top of this post and please share with those you know who are still suffering with knee pain or other chronic health challenges, despite receiving medical management. Help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living! Thank you!
ALL THE BEST – DR. KARL R.O.S. JOHNSON, DC – DIGGING DEEPER TO FIND SOLUTIONS
*Special thanks to Dr. Brian Smith DC CNS gladly gives me permission to use, post and distribute the chapter in his book entitled "Drugs That Cause Memory Loss" from the book "What Happened to My Memory? Natural Solutions In The Fight Against Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia". The book available at Amazon.com in both hard copy and Kindle versions.