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9 Drugs That Could Lead To Memory Loss And Dementia

Medical Daily logo Medical Daily 8/15/2019 Darwin Malicdem

© grThirteen/Getty Images Medications are known for having potential side effects. Despite their benefits that can treat conditions or diseases, some drugs could lead to new health problems, which in some cases require another treatment. 

It is important to know what drugs can do to your body after long-term intake. A study, published in JAMA Neurology, highlights the negative effects of anticholinergic drugs.

These medications include those made for allergies, sleep problems and seasickness. The researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine found that such drugs could contribute to the development of dementia and memory loss. 

The findings come from the analysis of the brains of people taking anticholinergic drugs. The participants were found with lower brain metabolism and higher brain atrophy after long-term exposure to the medications, according to

A separate study released in 2015 also found the negative effects of anticholinergic drugs. Researchers at the University of Washington said chronic use of the medications, particularly those for sleep and hay fever, caused cognitive decline and increased risk of dementia. 

What are the drugs that may lead to dementia? Read on to see the common medications that may negatively affect memory. 

  • Allergy Drugs: Carbinoxamine, Chlorpheniramine, Clemastine, Diphenhydramine, Hydroxyzine, Promethazine, Cyproheptadine
  • Antipsychotic Drugs: Clozapine, Olanzapine, Perphenazine, Quetiapine, Thioridazine, Trifluoperazine, Loxapine, Methotrimeprazine, Molindone, Pimozide
  • Incontinence Drugs: Darifenacin, Flavoxate, Oxybutynin, Tolterodine,
  • Motion Sickness Drugs: Dimenhydrinate, Diphenhydramine, Meclizine, Promethazine, Scopolamine
  • Muscle Relaxants: Cyclobenzaprine, Dicyclomine, Orphenadrine
  • Narcotic Painkillers: Meperidine
  • Parkinson’s Medication: Benztropine, Procyclidine, Trihexyphenidyl, Amantadine
  • Seizure Drugs: Carbamazepine, Oxcarbazepine
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants: Amitriptyline, Amoxapine, Clomipramine, Desipramine, Doxepin, Imipramine, Nortriptyline, Trimipramine

However, you don’t have to immediately stop taking the said drugs. It is important to consult a doctor or healthcare provider to better understand the potential side effects of your medications.

You can also ask them for alternative options or natural remedies that may promote better health with less unwanted effects. 

a man standing next to a body of water © Pixabay To date, there are 50 million people living with dementia around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are nearly 10 million people being diagnosed every year. 

“Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide,” WHO said. “The impairment in cognitive function is commonly accompanied, and occasionally preceded, by deterioration in emotional control, social behavior or motivation.”

Gallery: 40 habits to reduce your risk of dementia after 40 (Best Life)


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