“Memory loss isn’t always an inevitable sign of getting old – in some cases, common medications that seniors take to treat insomnia, anxiety, or even allergies could be to blame…Tannenbaum and her colleagues recently investigated what kinds of medication are most likely to affect both memory and concentration. In a meta-analysis of 162 experiments on various drugs, Tannenbaum concluded that the recurrent use of several kinds of medications can have impacts on cognitive function…Sixty-eight of the studies they examined focused on benzodiazepines, which are often used to treat insomnia and anxiety. Consistently, these medications led to impared memory and concentration, with stronger impacts at higher doses. Tannenbaum says her findings confirm recent recommendations from the American Geriatric Society that seniors avoid tricyclic antidepressants, certain antihistamines and all sleeping pills.”
“Patients need this information so that they are more comfortable talking to their doctors and pharmacists about safer pharmacological or non-pharmacological treatment options,” Tannenbaum said.