For a long time, doctors believed that forgetfulness and mental confusion were normal signs of aging. But scientists now know that memory loss is inevitable as we age. Indeed, the brain can grow new brain cells and reshape their connections throughout life.

Most people are familiar with some of the things that can impair memory, such as alcohol and drug abuse, heavy smoking, head injury, stroke, insomnia, severe stress, vitamin B12 deficiency, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression.

But what many people don’t know is that many common prescription drugs can interfere with memory. Here are the top 10 types of criminals.

  1. Anti-anxiety drugs (benzodiazepines)
    Why they are prescribed: Benzodiazepines are used to treat various anxiety disorders, agitation, delirium, muscle spasms, and to prevent seizures. Because of their sedative properties, benzodiazepines are sometimes used to treat insomnia and anxiety associated with depression.

Examples include alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan), midazolam (Versed), quazepam (Doral), temazepam (Restoril), and triazolam ( H) ).

How they can cause memory loss: Benzodiazepines reduce activity in key areas of the brain involved in transferring events from short-term memory to long-term memory. In fact, benzodiazepines are used for anesthesia for this very reason. When added to the anesthesiologist’s cocktail of medications, patients rarely recall any discomfort from the procedure. Midazolam (Versed) has special properties.
Alternatives: Benzodiazepines should be used sparingly and, in my opinion, for short periods in the elderly. Older people take longer to clear these drugs from their bodies than younger people, and as a result, older adults are at greater risk for dementia, falls, fractures, and motor vehicle accidents.

If you are taking any of these medications for insomnia, mild anxiety, or anxiety, talk to your doctor or other health care professional about treating the condition with other medications or non-drug treatments. If you have insomnia, for example, melatonin can help. When taken in doses of 3 to 10 mg before bedtime, melatonin can help restore healthy sleep patterns.

Consult your healthcare professional before stopping or reducing the dose of a benzodiazepine. Abrupt withdrawal can trigger serious side effects, so a healthcare professional should always monitor the process.

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