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Memory Loss Forum

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

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Subj: Arimedex and memory loss?
Date: 11/10/2008
Is arimidex a drug that could cause memory loss or could radiation effect memory?
Subj: Xanax affect on memory
Date: 8/13/2009
I used to take Xanax recreationally, without a prescription, for a little over a year until I purposefully overdosed in early-2010. I took about 50 bars and am very concerned that it has permanently wreaked havoc on my short-term memory. In the last year, or so, I’ve found it more and more difficult to remember what I was going to say/write/do. Does Xanax have permanent effects on the memory and would the amount I consumed in my overdose exacerbate that?


AskDocWeb: The symptoms of an overdose of Xanax may include impaired coordination, slowed reaction time, confusion, and/or coma. When combined with alcohol an overdose of Xanax can be fatal. We have seen no data to suggest that there might be a permanent effect on memory.

Subj: Klonipin scares me
Date: 8/16/2009
I take 1 o.5mg klonipin every night for sleep, however I also take lisinop/HCTZ for bp. I do believe the BP med is making me loose my memory. I start cooking on stove and just forget it and walk out door? Scary. I will stop the klonipin. I have to find out why I have memory loss, I am going to burn my house down, it scares me.


Subj: Sudden short term memory loss
Date: 9/20/2009
My grandfather who is 85 has experienced sudden short term memory loss in the past two weeks. Prior to that he did not have the problem. He’s hospitalized with congestive heart failure and cellulitis, and has been given some medication also for panic attacks while in the hospital. Could his medications be responsible for this? I’ve never heard of someone having such a sudden onset of this type of problem, even at that age.


AskDocWeb: Although it is possible for medication to this it may also be caused by restricted blood flow to various areas of the brain.

Subj: Topomax memory loss
Date: 10/20/2009
I’ve been on Topomax for a number of years–on various doses from 300mg to 100mg and the memory loss has been horrible. People talk to me in the grocery store and I don’t have a clue who they are. Friends talk about plans we’ve made or things we’ve done and I have no memory of what they are talking about. I went to a family reunion this summer and had no recollection of a family member passing away 3 months earlier even though I attended the funeral. It’s very upsetting. I feel like I have 4 Black walls around me because I can’t remember my past, my future plans or many times what’s going on around me. I wouldn’t recommend this medication for anyone unless it gives you complete control of your seizures. I think it’s helpful have websites like this that give feedback & information on medication and give patients and the average person a place to get some information, some real feedback and a place to ask a question.


AskDocWeb: Thanks AJ and welcome to the forum. You might say that people who are concerned about their health are part of the largest community in the world.

Subj: Permanent cognitive impairment
Date: 11/4/2009
I took Zopiclone (Imovane)for only a few weeks, four years ago. I was in high school, my best friend was serving his third tour in Iraq, and I was so worried sick I couldn’t sleep at night and was falling asleep in class, so my doctor prescribed sleeping pills. I have permanent cognitive impairment from it. It caused retrograde and anterograde memory loss, short term memory problems, learning difficulty, and speech problems including stuttering.

I’d previously been an extremely articulate straight A student with an almost encyclopedic memory and I consistently tested far above my grade level. After being on this drug, I could no longer even remember what day of the week it was or what year I was born or that the juice pitcher was not called a banana. I almost didn’t graduate. Neither the doctors nor the pharmacy ever told me that these side effects were possible and I only found our what was wrong by researching the drug. So in my case the side effect was permanent and it has really caused difficulties in my life.


Subj: Permanent memory problems?
Date: 11/16/2009
I took lamictal for a year in a high dose. Its been 3 years since I last took it. I still have the memory loss problem and it seems they are getting worse instead of going away. Is possible for this medication to cause “permanent” memory problems?


AskDocWeb: While it may be possible, we found no reports of permanent memory problems by those taking Lamictal.

Subj: Short term memory loss
Date: 11/24/2009
Both my mom and I have recently noticed that both of us have had a sudden onset of short term memory loss, we both were put on Plavix but it doesn’t list this side effect. I also am on a statin and neurontin as well, but do not take xanax, which my mother just started recently, but the memory loss started before that. The only common drug is Plavix, have they studied this in Plavix users?


AskDocWeb: Yes, although short-term memory loss is not listed as a possible side effect of Plavix (by the PDR), it has been reported by users. In addition to reports of memory loss, confusion, brain fog, and difficulty concentrating have also been reported by those taking Plavix.

Subj: Short-term memory loss
Date: 12/7/2009
I have noticed short-term memory loss for the past few months. On a daily basis I’m at a loss for words and spelling. For the last 3 years I’ve been on clonazepam (small dose but don’t have the info with me now) for anxiety, 75mg trazadone to sleep, and 150mg Wellbutrin tablets for depression. Do you think the years on medication is now contributing to short-term memory loss? Thank you.


AskDocWeb: Yes, it is possible. Some memory loss has been associated with the use of Wellbutrin and 4% of those who take clonazepam (Klonopin) also experience memory loss. Taking these two drugs together increases the possibility of memory problems.

Subj: Vytorin or effexor?
Date: 2/14/2010
Do the drugs Vytorin 10/40, or effexor time relaese cause memory loss.


AskDocWeb: The 2010 Physicians Desk Reference lists “poor memory” as a possible side effect of Vytorin (page 2312). There are no memory issues listed for Effexor.

Subj: Can memory loss be cumulative?
Date: 2/17/2010
Hi – I take Wellbutrin, Lamictal and Neurontin – all of which I have been on for about 2 years (neurontin – about 6 years). I have attributed my memory loss (Short term and losing words, names, etc.) to perimenopause – I am seeing a new doc in about a month – I will ask about but am curious on your opinion. Can it be cumulative? I did not notice it until about 1 year ago or so. Thanks so much!


AskDocWeb: Yes, memory loss does seem to be cumulative as we age. Most people find increasing difficulty remembering certain kinds of detail as they get older. For example, if you are 72 and have a problem remembering names, the odds are 99 to 1 that you have a normal memory. The good new is that your decision-making ability continues to improve with age.

Subj: Blood pressure medication
Date: 3/10/2010
I have been on 10mg once a day for 4 days, and will stop taking it today. Yes, it has already lowered my BP to normal, but I cannot function like this. Extreme depression with thoughts of suicide, headaches, dizziness, lack of concentration and memory loss. I’ll take the high BP and my old self back to normal.

AskDocWeb: It would be helpful to know what medication caused your symptoms.

Subj: Gabapentin
Date: 3/17/2010
I take Gabapentin (2, 3x per day at 300 mg and alprazolam 2x per day at 0.05 mg) and every morning when I wake up, I have no memory of what transpired the day before or all week. I am 56 yrs. Old and it scares me.


Subj: Wellbutrin XL memory loss
Date: 5/21/2010
I have been on 150 mg of Wellbutrin XL for over a year and cannot handle the memory loss. It’s like I have teflon brain – nothing sticks. I have noticed that when I am off of Wellbutrin totally, the memory improves. But I have a better quality of life when on Wellbutrin – it keeps the depression at bay. Any chance the memory would improve if I switch to a dosage lower than what I’m currently taking?


AskDocWeb: In general, the lower the dosage the less chance of side effects and when they do occur typically side effects are less severe at lower doses.

Subj: Wellbutrin memory loss
Date: 5/22/2010
I am having short term memory loss. I take Wellbutrin(r) – GlaxoSmithKline (bupropion hydrochloride) as well as a Simvistatin. Also, my prescription does not say take the bupropion six hour apart as I have just read. I take two in the moring and they are 75mg. Could this be causing my memory loss? It is bad enough my husband has become worried. I am thinking I need to get off of it. Please advise!!!


AskDocWeb: Memory loss, as well as other side effects, are typically dose-related. The higher the dosage the greater the chances of both side effects and their severity. Any side effect that causes concern should be discussed with your doctor. Remember that medical advice should always come from your local healthcare provider.

Subj: Blackouts and sleepwalking
Date: 5/25/2010
I ‘m taking Ativan, Adderall and Restoril. I suffer from black-outs and sleepwalking. Are these drugs causing this? I don’t drink alcohol and suffer from Fibromyalgia. I was on Neurontin until recently.


AskDocWeb: You aren’t the first one to report blackouts and sleepwalking while taking those drugs. Any drinking of alcohol makes this even more likely to happen. Please discuss this with your doctor.

Subj: Abilify lifts my spirits and makes me nasty
Date: 5/27/2010
I have been on Lamictal for many years and am now on Abilify. I love the abilify as it lifts my spirits but it also makes me nasty. I also have insomnia with it very badly and only sleep 2 hours a night as I cannot return to sleep. I am always hungry with the abilify, have headaches, shaking in the hands, headaches, swollen legs and many more side effect and my doctor doesn’t want to remove me from the medication. I actually don’t want to be removed either but I don’t know what to do…because it is the only drug I have found so far that takes away the anxiety.


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