Drugs That May Cause Memory Loss

medication-bottleSome people assume that memory problems are just a normal part of the aging process – but most people do not realize that memory loss could be attributed to medications and prescription drugs. If you are concerned about your loved one’s memory loss, these are some brain-slowing medication that you will want to avoid.

Antipsychotics and mood-stabilizers

These medications are traditionally prescribed to help difficult behaviors because of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. They may also be used against schizophrenia and other forms of mental illness. Part of the issue is that these are often inappropriately prescribed, leading to dangerous situations in seniors. Some of the common options include:

  • Valproate (brand name Depakote)
  • Haloperidol (brand name Haldol)
  • Aripiprazole (brand name Abilify)
  • Olanzapine (brand name Zyprexa)
  • Quetiapine (brand name Seroquel)
  • Risperidone (brand name Risperdal)

If possible, it might be better to treat the issue without drugs. This is why it is essential that doctors assess what is actually causing the issues.


These type of medication incudes many over-the-counter sleeping medicines. This specific type of drug blocks the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. A recent study published in 2015 revealed that there is a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease in patients who use anticholinergics. Some of the most common options include:

  • “Tricyclic” antidepressants,
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Medications for itching (diphenhydramine and diphenhydramine)
  • Medications for vertigo, nausea, or motion sickness
  • The “PM” versions of over-the-counter analgesics

Non-Benzodiazepine Prescription Sedatives

These commonly used sleeping aides are proven to impair both balance and thinking. A few of the most popular options include:

  • Eszopiclone (brand name Lunesta)
  • Zaleplon (brand name Sonata)
  • Zolpiderm (brand name Ambien)

While studies have linked these drugs to the development of dementia, the direct relationship that these drugs have make the cause-effect relationship a bit difficult.


These medications are often prescribed for anxiety and sleep problems. They are associated with developing dementia and are habit-forming. A few of the most common options include:

  • Alprazolam (brand name Xanax)
  • Temazepam (brand name Restoril)
  • Diazepam (brand name Valium)
  • Lorazepam (brand name Ativan)

In order to ensure better quality of life and maintain independence, good brain function is critical. The last thing that you want to do is worry about whether your loved one is not receiving the right type of treatment or just receiving medication because it “keeps them quiet.” This is why it is comforting to know that the professional facilities at www.carltonseniorliving.com have professionally trained staff available.

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