Mental Health

Drugs and Memory Loss

Anti aging starts with mental health and in preserving the brain health I apply 3 principles: Remove, Replenish, Rejuvenate. For the first step lets look at what has been linked with brain aging in terms of altering brain chemistry.

  1. Antibiotics

Many hormones and chemicals that affect our brain, such as serotonin, are found primarily in the gut and GI tract. Antibiotics, which kill off the good & bad bacteria and affect neurotransmitter serotonin.  Serotonin is relevant in depression, migraines, and other neurological illnesses. Quinolones, especially Fluoroquinolone seem to have the most negative effects on the brain. Others include Amoxicillin, Cephalexin (Keflex), and Levofloxacin (Levaquin).

  1. Antihistamines

Antihistamines and anticholinergics for allergies, colds, dizziness, and even sleep. They alter brain function by inhibiting acetylcholine, the main neurotransmitter for learning and memory. Decreased acetylcholine is known to cause dementia, memory loss, hallucinations, blurred vision, confusion, and delirium.

These drugs include Benadryl, Vistaryl, Tavist, Clarinex, Oxytrol for Women, and many others.

  1. Sleeping Pills

Sleep aids cause memory loss because they alter the brain chemistry affects learning and memory.  The most prominent of these are the benzodiazepines.

These drugs include Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Librium, Lunesta, Sonata, and Ambien.

  1. Statins

Statins which are meant to lower cholesterol causes has many side effects including memory loss.

Examples of statins include Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Prevachol, Crestor, and Zocor.

  1. Antipsychotics

Antipsychotics repress dopamine receptors in the brain, which are responsible for transmitting signals in the brain. These drugs meant to help those who suffer from paranoia, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder also cause the brain to shrink, affects learning and memory which could lead to dementia, early Alzheimer’s, and other brain-related disorders.

Drugs that fall under this category include Haloperidol and Throridazine.

  1. Antihypertensives

Beta-blockers interfere with messages in your brain using epinephrine and norepinephrine which affect memory loss, especially your verbal memory.

Antihypertensives are drugs that end in -olol. Common names for these drugs are Tenormin, Coreg, Lopressor, Toprol, Inderal, Betaspace, and Timoptic.

  1. Antidepressants and Anti-anxiety

Antidepressants, such as Elavil, Anafranil, Norpramin, and Pamelor, block the action of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, which impairs your memory.

Antianxiety drugs, including Xanax, Librium, Klonopin, Valium, and Restoril, dampen activity in the brain related to short and long-term memory.

  1. Narcotic Painkillers and Anticonvulsants

Both of these drugs decrease the flow of brain signals to the central nervous system and the emotional reaction to pain. This “slow down” of the brain inhibits its function, including learning and memory.

These drugs include Fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, Diamox, Tegretol, Potiga, and Neurontin.

  1. Parkinson’s Drugs

Parkinson’s drugs activate signaling pathways for dopamine. These pathways function largely for learning and memory, so memory loss which could lead to Alzheimer’s and dementia is a risk.

Parkinson’s drugs include Apomorphine, Pramipexole, and Ropinirole.

Quick Recap: Medications Linked to Memory Loss: Amoxicillin, Cephalexin (Keflex),Levofloxacin (Levaquin),Benadryl,Vistaryl, Tavist, Clarinex, Oxytrol for Women,Xanax, Valium, Ativan,Librium, Lunesta, Sonata, Ambien, Lipitor,Lescol, Mevacor, Prevachol, Crestor, Zocor, Haldol, Mellaril,Tenormin, Coreg, Lopressor, Topro, Inderal, Betaspace, Timoptic, Elavil, Librium, Klonopin, Valium, Restoril, Fentanyl, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Oxycodone, Diamox, Tegretol, Potiga, Neurontin, Apokyn, Mirapex, 

If you are currently a drug that is for a chronic illness and prescribed by a doctor, do not go off of the drug. Please talk to your doctor first about your concerns so that you can find an alternative solution.

When coming off drugs

When coming off of these drugs is a challenge not just because of the withdrawal effects but also these drugs causes a long term imbalance in neurotransmitters and hormones pathway causing brain deficiencies. Alternative therapies should be seek first or in conjuction to the conventional treatment such as: counseling therapy, nutritional approach, lifestyle modification, botanical medicine, neurotransmitters and hormonal balance. The best approach is going back to the root cause of the problem and that means going back to the time everything started to determine what triggered it. Many people are unaware the root cause of their health and they need the support to discover it. Medical drugs cause intestinal dysbiosis (imbalance) with overgrowth of bad bacteria and candida which leads in the long run to malabsorption, and this leads to not producing enough neurotransmitters and vitamins (as the majority are produced in the gut by the protective bacteria).

When rebuilding health

When one comes off the addictive medication drugs it takes time to rebuild health. To support the recovery from addictive drugs is to reset the neurotransmitters with orthomolecular therapy, heal the gut, balance hormones, and nourish the brain. A good support could include combination of nutritional diet,  amino acids therapy, plants-based formulations and mind/body therapy. 


Anxiety is medically defined as feeling worried, nervous or uneasy about something that has an uncertain outcome and for unknown reason. For some it comes with blushing, nausea, sweating, difficult speaking, muscle tension, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), indigestion, insomnia, nervousness and more. Here we offer alternatives to prescription drugs for anxiety. It goes beyond the 4 major neurotransmitters that play a role in how we feel: Dopamine (reward), Oxytocine (love), Endorphins (calm), serotonin (will-power). For example, low serotonin can lead to anxiety, depression, food and carbs cravings, irritability, obesity, premenstrual syndrome, sleep disorder, headaches, hyperactivity and more. For a more precise outcome it is recommended to test the level of dopamine, epinephrine/norepinephrine, serotonin, melatonin, oxidative stress and more.

Testing for neurotrasmitters metabolites:


Homovanillate (HVA)

metabolite of Dopamine (from tyrosine) low level associated with addiction, cravings, pleasure seeking, sleepiness, impulsivity, tremors, fatigue, low mood, less motivation. Elevated dopamine associated with loss of memory, insomnia, hyperactivity, high stress, anxiety, addictions, cravings, pleasure seeking.

Vanillmandelate (VMA)

metabolite of Norepi/ Epinephrine. Enzymes COMT (methylation) and MAO are needed to make VMA. Elevated associated with stress, violence, anxiety, panic, worry, insomnia, paranoia, tingling/burning, high BP, heart palpitation. Low level associated with low blood pressure, fatigue, cravings, addictions, low muscle tone, depression and loss of alertness.

5- Hydroxyindoleacetate (5HIAA)

metabolite of serotonin. High 5HIAA seen in people using SSRI, Prozac, 5 HTP, and tumors. Because serotonin is 90% made in the gut certain foods influence the serotonin level. Also, Estrogen Receptor Beta (ERb) upregulates the mRNA of tryptophan hydroxylase therefore 5-HTP (precursor to serotonin). If estrogen low then possible less 5-HTP is produced.

Melatonin measured as 6-OHMS:

high in depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and low in insomnia, constipation, weight gain, appetite.

8OHdG- marker of DNA damage

due to oxidative stress increased in chronic inflammation, insomnia, chronic stress, hypertension, prediabetes/diabetes, kidney disease, depression, atherosclerosis, COPD, insomnia, Parkinson’s, cancer and increase cell turnover.

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