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New Research: memory problems caused by medications

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by laura, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. laura

    laura Senior Member

    Southern California
    I thought this research study might be of interest to people. The entire article can be found at: http://www.kurzweilai.net/are-you-elderly-and-having-memory-or-concentration-problems

    Are you elderly and having memory or concentration problems?

    November 7, 2012

    They might be caused by common medications used to treat insomnia, anxiety, itching or allergies, according to Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, Research Chair at the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (IUGM, Montreal Geriatric University Institute) and Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Montreal (UdeM)....

    Research summary
    MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of adults without underlying central nervous system disorders who underwent detailed neuropsychological testing prior to and after oral administration of drugs affecting cholinergic, histaminergic, GABAergic or opioid receptor pathways. Seventy-eight studies were identified, reporting 162 trials testing medication from the four targeted drug classes. Two investigators independently appraised study quality and extracted relevant data on the occurrence of amnestic, non-amnestic or combined cognitive deficits induced by each drug class. Only trials using validated neuropsychological tests were included. Quality of the evidence for each drug class was assessed based on consistency of results across trials and the presence of a dose-response gradient. This research was conducted in collaboration with researchers at the University of Sydney, the University of Calgary and the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

    Drugs to avoid
    At KurzweilAI’s request, Dr. Tannenbaum provided the following list of the most dangerous drugs shown to affect memory (generic names):

    Benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotics:

    Tricyclic antidepressants

    First-generation antihistamines


  2. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem All Good Things Must Come to an End

    Alprazolam is Xanax. Clonazepam is Klonopin. Both are taken by some people here. Iirc, Dr. Cheney thinks we would be even worse off without them.

    Does anyone know what anterograde amnesia is? I read somewhere that benzodiazepines can cause it. Meant to look it up sometime, but haven’t got to it yet.
  3. maddietod

    maddietod Senior Member

    East Coast, USA
    You can no longer create new memories, after the precipitating event.

    I just took valium (diazapam), 5mg for 2 nights, for muscle spasms. The morning after the 2nd pill, I could no longer understand a paper I was helping my daughter to edit. Before the valium, it was a great paper and I had a few specific corrections. After the valium, I couldn't hold onto what I was reading long enough to understand what she was talking about.

    I took Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for months, as a sleep aid. I suddenly had a very obvious long-term memory lapse.........I asked a woman sitting with me if she'd ever been to my house. In fact, a month earlier she had given me a 2 hour treatment, in my home.

    I'm a bit worried now, as I'm about to try Atarax (Hydroxyzine) as a sleep aid. I didn't realize it also disturbs memory.
  4. MishMash


    There are no perfect treatments for insomnia in CFS. In fact, there are no adequate ones. If you have severe insomnia, you are at sea. I advise not working or having any kind of functioning schedule. Just stay at home and cat nap whenever possible. Or muddle through some how.

    I noticed the list did not contain any still under-patent, highly publicized drugs (Cymbalta, Seroquel, Lyrica, etc). I wonder if that was because senior citizens are not good marketing targets for block buster drugs? Possibly because they are indigent, superannuated, no longer patients of higher concern? I know I can't walk past a doctor's office without the physician throwing samples of these items at me.
  5. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    I personally think it is wrong to say that.. it should rather be stated.. drugs to be cautious about. But then one should be cautious with all drugs esp if one has ME/CFS and hence often can be even more sensitive to them then the average person is. Everyone is different and you may well be ok with drugs on this avoid list.

    Ive been on many of the drugs on this list and have had no memory issues at all with them, the worst affecting drug for my memory and brain fog (which had quite a horrific affect on it) was rosuvastatin (crestor.. a drug to lower cholestrol). It makes sense that we may have more bad effects with other kinds of drugs then those on this list due to various abnormalities often in ME which some drugs could make worst eg I assume the crestor affected me so badly as it drops coenzyme Q10 which is often already low in ME.
    merylg likes this.
  6. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

    New England
    An old, cheap drug is Trazodone. I take a very small amount and it works well to anchor sleep. It is non-addicting and does not seem to cause any memory problems with the smallest effective dose. That and some Gabapentin for muscle and nerve pain. I stay low for these drugs. I agee with MishMash though, that there is no ideal drug for us for insomnia. Keep trying different things and researching them too, carefully, until you find something that helps!
  7. roxie60

    roxie60 Senior Member

    Central Illinois, USA
    My GP seems reluctant to prescribe Lyrica recoed by Rheumy. Not sure if it is becuase of my past medication sensitivities or her inclination to limit use of pharma. Although she did give me an Rx for my migraines (my recent trip to er they treatted migraine w/ IV torodol and it worked).

    BTW, Cymbalta nearly killed me, waited way toooo long to get off that dangerous drug. Yet I know other people that med is helping. I am afraid to try a new med. I still believe my probs are due to methylation probs that we have not figured out. Was on protocal for nearly 6 months and felt in some ways got worse, although the really bad fatigue seemed a bit less. Meomory was as bad or worse, concetration. The unpredicatability of symps is so maddening.

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