Thursday, July 11, 2013

9 Meds To Kill Your Memory

They come in on a string of medications. The older ones carry a list of their medications in purse or wallet. And they are forgetful. They have "senior moments". 

Memory loss isn't an inevitable consequence of aging. If ma or pa are getting forgetful, consider their medicine burden.  After all, 7 of 10 Americans are on a medication of some sort. Meds such as...

Zocor, Crestor, Lipitor, et al.
Statins lower cholesterol. They are among the most prescribed drugs in the world.
Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for your existence. Monkeying with your cholesterol has undesirable consequences including memory loss.
A study here found that 75% of statin users "experienced cognitive ADRs (Adverse Drug Reactions)determined to be probably or definitely related to statin therapy". And, notably, the FDA has required labeling to include memory loss warnings since 2012.

Wonder why folks choose the sunny summer and tropical locales for vacay?

Amitriptyline/Elavil, Nortriptyline/Pamelor, Desipramine/Norpramin, and other tricyclic antidepressants.
These are currently among the most prescribed meds in the US.
These drugs block serotonin and norepinephrine which are necessary to modulate memory formation.
This migraine brought to you by your painkiller.

Hypertension drugs
Metoprolol/ Lopressor/Toprol, Propranolol/Inderal, and other beta blockers.
Used to treat high blood pressure and arrythmias, but also to treat  migraines, chest pain, and glaucoma.

Gambling. The perfect partner to inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Parkinson's disease drugs-- dopamine agonists
Ropinirole/Requip, Apomorphine, Apokyn/Pramipexole, Pramipexole/Mirapex
Used for Parkinson's disease, but also restless leg syndrome. The wide range of side effects includes, curiously enough, inappropriate sexual behavior. I doubt being unable to remember the behaviour will be a benefit.

Antianxiety drugs-- benzodiazepines
Alprazolam/Xanax, Diazepam/Valium, Triazolam/Halcion, Lorazepam/Ativan,  Midazolam/Versed, Chlordiazepoxide/Librium and others
Used to treat anxiety, but also muscle spasm and insomnia.

Old line antihistamines
Diphenhydramine/Benadryl and others.
While used to treat allergies,  they may also be used for nausea, vomiting, or insomnia.


Sleep disorder drugs-- nonbenzodiazepine
Eszopiclone/Lunesta, Zolpidem/Ambien, Zaleplon/Sonata
Another class linked to curious and undesirable side effects beyond memory loss. You may recall these as an additional Kennedy curse.

Antiseizure/Nerve pain drugs
Gabapentin/Neurontin, Carbamazepine/Tegretol, Levetiracetam/Keppra, Topiramate/Topamax, Pregabalin/Lyrica, Valproic acid/Depakote and others
They were a hit as antiseizure meds, and now they've gained new life as nerve pain meds and to treat bipolar disorder.

Poppy seed bagel anyone?

Opioid painkillers
Fentanyl/Duragesic, Hydrocodone/Vicodin, Hydromorphone/Dilaudid, and Oxycodone/OxyContin/Percocet.
If you missed it, the feds have been cracking down on opioids for some time. Opioid overdose deaths have increased nearly 500% in one decade among US women.
Like others on this list they interfere with messaging within the brain.

Bonus edit:



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