Feedback on Drugs that Cause Memory Loss

Memory Loss Forum

If you think your memory loss was caused by a medication, please share your experience.

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Subj: Lisinopril and diazide
Date: 10/1/2007
I am taking Lisinopril 10mg and diazide for the past 3 years. I am 50, and was blaming menopause for my forgetting what happened a couple hours ago much less yesterday. It started about a couple years ago. Could it be the lisinopril and diazide? Thanks very much,

AskDocWeb: It might be the Lisinopril, less than 1% of users reported memory loss but diazide is not known to cause this side effect.

Subj: Xanax memory loss
Date: 10/22/2007
What studies are you referring to in the memory loss section. For example, you state that 33% of folks who have taken xanax have memory loss. Please site the references for me. Thanks,


AskDocWeb: The Physician’s Desk Reference.

Subj: Contin ms
Date: 11/23/2007
I don’t see anything about memory loss associated with long term use of contin ms, if you have any information please let me know.


Subj: Pissed off
Date: 12/1/2007
Hello. I’m a 50 year old male living in stressed out New York City. I have been diagnosed as bipolar. My doctor has prescribed 400 mg of Lamictal, 225 mg of Wellbutrin, 10 units of lithium (three white pills–I’m away from home right now) and synthroid for hypo thyroid condition per day. I am experiencing significant memory loss that been getting worse this last year at an alarming pace. I can’t find words–even words from my specialized field in the media. When I can’t find a word I will concentrate intensely for 1 or 2 minutes and usually find the word. The clarity of my thinking and my ability to express myself in speech has gone way down. Alarming also is that I routinely forget both mundane and mission critical things I’m supposed to be doing. My French speaking skills have deteriorated. I’ve more or less give up on learning Spanish. I’m not sure I can successfully change jobs because I’m not confident. I have memory power to learn new things (I’ve had current job for 20 years). All this terrifies me. I wonder what I’ll be like when I’m 60. My 86 year old father has medium stage AD. I’m worried that I may have early onset AD. I am thinking I should get tested. Back to memory, that is my major worry. Could I be in that 2% who experience extreme side effects to the drugs. I hate these drugs for what they are doing to me. But I don’t know if I can do without them. One thing is for sure. I think pharmacologists are unethical and unprofessional in not warning their clients (charging exorbitant rates) that there is possible modest to extreme memory loss resulting from the drugs they are prescribing. And that the patients are choosing to take that risk when they start the usually life-long course of these drugs. Of course if you read the 2 point font fine print of the meds packaging (actually I don’t think there is warning material), you’d discover wonderful information like 3% of patients have bladder explosion, 1% have heart failure, 2% go impotent…whatever…the important data for me is whatever percent have serious memory loss. But I think it’s far more than 2% from what I’ve been reading online.

My talking therapist says it’s everyone’s responsibility to be an educated consumer. Yes, but how many people think of reading the Physicians Desk Reference when they are told to take a new drug. The docs are the professionals, right? We’re busy professionals. Who takes the time to research drugs? Maybe 5%? Back to my point about the meds docs. Maybe some or most of them do due diligence with warning their patients of possible side effects. Not mine. So my choice was increased mood stability vs. loosing my mind?! How primitive. I probably would have chosen keeping my mind. When I brought up my concern with my doc he said in a flip way “So what you prefer? Some memory loss or a psychiatric hospital?” The professional meds docs’ class needs to hear of unsatisfied customers and change their lax ways. If what I’m saying rings true with readers’ situations in terms of memory loss, I urge you to bring this up with your doc. It may help in those that follow you in his/her office get their basic right in truth in advertising. Meanwhile can the AskDocWeb advise me on the most important professional journals for psychiatrists? If they are brave enough to have a letters to the editor space from disgruntled customers, I will write them. I realize that the understanding of the human brain, mood disorder and drug therapies is a work in progress. I hope my kids and grandkids don’t have to make dire choices (if they are even informed so they know can make informed choices) between meds and cognitive capacity. If you AskDocWeb belong to any psychiatric discussion groups or listserves, please circulate this. If they busy themselves with diagnosing this as a manic rant, tell them I’m not manic at the moment. I’m goddam pissed off. Thank you for any information or insight you may be able to give me.


AskDocWeb: I think the journal you want is the one for the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Subj: More and more memory loss
Date: 1/21/2008
My uncle has recently shown more and more memory loss. He has never been like this before and shouldn’t be to the age where this happens frequently. He has a lady who handles his finances and has access to all of his accounts. I am suspicious of her trying to harm my Uncle by inducing memory loss through drugs. Are their any drugs that she could be using which can be added into food or drinks that speed up memory loss or that can cause short term memory loss? Thank you for your help.


AskDocWeb: That list of drugs can be found here.

Subj: Lamictal
Date: 1/31/2008
I am 32 years old and I have been on every type of anti depressant imaginable … I am currently on Lamictal and Welbutrin I have noticed that my memory has been really really bad…. I can not remember simple little things such as my husband asked me to let something in my car in the garage for him the next morning or what to get at the store or where I put the phone, keys, conversations that just took place. Could the medication be the problem? I thought it was due to ECT treatments I received years ago however, I am not so sure now. It seems it has gotten much worse since I started the Lamictal. Prior I was on lithium and I recall my memory being not so good then as well. Please help this is causing a great deal of frustration in my marriage and with friendships… Thanks,


AskDocWeb: While it happens infrequently, memory loss has been reported by those taking Lamictal.

Subj: Memory problems at 81
Date: 2/18/2008
As a physician for many years I know where to look drug problems causing loss of memory up the PDR, etc…Problem: new drugs come with an enclosed pamphlet, but really new drugs do not really cover all problems. SO help me, if you can. My own cardiologist does NOT know because of the newness of these hypertension and arrhythmia drugs. In question: MEXILETINE 150 MG BID; AVAPRO 300 MG DAILY. Even the local pharmacists do not know. So help, help if you please.
I do not drink alcohol nor do I smoke; I do not take any sedatives or tranquilizers. Other drugs that I have to take are: HCTZ 50 mg/d; LISINOPRIL 50 mg/d; Naprosyn 220 mg 2 BID; coumadin 5 mg/d-St Judes Ht Valve; loperamide 2 mg II bid-rx for IBS; vit A, B, C & folic acid. No other OTC stuff. Please help if you can. Recall is slower by 1-3 seconds but when I am taking care of 60 patients in a Geriatric Unit that look like me, age 81, my family says, what do you expect you are old? On these meds NEW meds my recall is zero to many things, not just my patients. So I appreciate your feed back.

Vincent, MD

AskDocWeb: Sorry Vincent, since none of the drugs you listed are known to cause memory problems, we agree with your family. As a doctor you should know that anyone 81 years old should not be taking care of patients, neither should anyone with memory problems. There is too high a possibility of doing harm.

Subj: Experiencing memory loss
Date: 2/22/2008
I have been experiencing memory loss lately and it is starting to concern me. Is there any way that I may be able to find what may be causing this?


AskDocWeb: You may be able to narrow it down if you work with your doctor but there are many factors and narrowing it down to a single cause is sometimes impossible.

Subj: Cogentin (benztropine)
Date: 3/11/2008
My husband was taking cogentin (benztropine) and I am certain that is what is causing his short-term memory loss. I am weaning him off of it as of yesterday because it was an “all of the sudden” occurrence. He was on it for Parkinsonian symptoms, but is ok now as far as that goes, and now he has very poor short-term memory…so I think it’s time to stop taking this drug now.


Subj: Crestor
Date: 4/30/2008
A friend has been taking Crestor for a few years and now has memory loss. I have read where some cholesterol meds cause this…any one else have this problem, please we need help….


Subj: Confused
Date: 7/23/2008
Nice info. But confusing. Where do you put the name of the drug your searching for? Ex Flexeril.


AskDocWeb: Here is the list.

Subj: RE: Crestor
Date: 9/11/2008
I had a dramatic increase in memory loss after starting Crestor. My cardiologist couldn’t take me off of it fast enough. He says that while all the evidence he knows of is anecdotal, he’s beginning to become alarmed.


Subj: Trouble remembering things
Date: 9/25/2008
I’ve noticed that I’ve been having trouble remembering things. I’ve got a lower back and sacroiliac-joint injury. The medications that I’m on include: gababpentin, tylonel #3, diazpam, methocarbol, minocylin, zyban, meloxicam, and I have vicadin on the side to replace the T-3 when I run out. I have also had 4 steriod shots since March 2008. And I had a numbing medication in 4 vertabraes. What do you think could be causing this memory loss? I hate not being able to remember things. thanks,


AskDocWeb: Of the drugs you list only Zyban has been reported to cause memory loss.

Subj: Heavy short term memory loss
Date: 10/2/2008
Hi, I am experiencing what I feel is pretty heavy short term memory loss- if it’s not in my face I can and very very often will forget it – to the point it is effecting my work now. I was known to have a very good memory. I am taking medication, the combination is Lipitor, Iscover, Diaformin (3 times a day), Karvea, Metrol, 1/2 Solprin plus 6 to 8 Panadol per day, all under my doctor’s instruction. Please advise because I need help, thank you,


AskDocWeb: Sorry Grham, this is something that you’ll need to discuss with your doctor. None of your medications are on our list.

Subj: Problems with memory, concentration, and focus
Date: 11/7/2008
I have been taking Wellbutrin for probably 4 years plus and my memory, concentration, focus, etc. are horrible. I’m a supervisor and it is really hard to talk to 25 plus employees a day and try to recall everything I have to do. I search for words that I know…just can’t seem to come up with them during a conversation. My Dad was diagnosed with Early Alzheimer’s a year ago. All this worries me; I’m also raising my children on my own. Great deal of stress in my life. I’m a happy person, but the memory loss and searching for words is really bothering me. I did have a hysterectomy four years ago also. Is there anything I can take to make my memory better? I’m going to gradually reduce taking my Wellbutrin and try to get off of it. Advice???

AskDocWeb: Taking a multi-vitamin for stress may be a good idea. Two of the most popular supplements for memory are Ginkgo biloba (an herb) and Omega-3, the essential fatty acids found in fish oil. Vegetarians substitute flax seed oil in place of fish oil.

There are a few other areas where you may want to pay attention. The first is sleep, make sure you are getting enough. Too many people get used to being chronically short of sleep to the point where they sort of function and can’t even tell how impaired they are.

Diet is another thing to check. I believe most people could improve their diet by eating more fresh fruits, Veggies, and nuts of all kinds. On the don’t side; junk food makes your blood sugar go all over the place, and can play havoc with your memory, concentration, and focus.

Get more exercise and have more sex. The process stimulates the flow of oxygen to the pleasure centers of the brain and as a result the other areas become better oxygenated as well.

There is some controversy about the aluminum chloryl hydrate in deodorants and about aluminum in general. Some people recommend getting rid of aluminum pots and pans, and stop using aluminum foil. The belief is that food is contaminated by the aluminum and it accumulates in the brain where it promotes Alzheimer’s. Buy either stainless steel or glass cookware, and use Saran Wrap to cover dishes.

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