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Can Gabapentin Cause Memory Loss

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Are There Any Serious Interactions With Gabapentin And Other Medications

5 Popular Drugs That Cause Memory Loss & May Lead To Alzheimer’s – by Dr Sam Robbins

Serious breathing problems can happen if you take gabapentin with drugs that cause severe sleepiness or decreased awareness. Some examples include narcotic opioids, anti-anxiety medicines, antidepressants, and antihistamines. If you are 65 years of age or older and/or have a condition that affects your lungs, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , there is an increased risk for breathing problems. Watch for increased sleepiness or decreased breathing when you start taking gabapentin or when the dose is increased. Get help right away if you develop breathing problems.

Seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms develop:

  • Confusion.
  • Slowed, shallow or trouble breathing.
  • Unresponsiveness .
  • Bluish-colored or tinted skin, especially on lips, fingers or toes.

Side Effects Requiring Immediate Medical Attention

Along with its needed effects, gabapentin may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking gabapentin:

More common

  • continuous, uncontrolled, back-and-forth, or rolling eye movements

More common in children

  • concentration problems and change in school performance
  • crying
  • hyperactivity or increase in body movements
  • rapidly changing moods
  • reacting too quickly, too emotional, or overreacting
  • restlessness
  • depression, irritability, or other mood or mental changes
  • fever
  • pain or swelling in the arms or legs
  • painful or difficult urination
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • clay-colored stools
  • itching or skin rash
  • joint pain
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • loss of appetite
  • pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • yellow eyes or skin

How Long Will I Take It For

If you have epilepsy, it is likely that once your illness is under control you will continue to take pregabalin for many years.

If you are taking pregabalin for nerve pain or anxiety it is likely that once your symptoms have gone you will continue to take it for several months to stop them coming back.

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Proven Ways To Treat Insomnia In Older Adults

Insomnia is a very common complaint among family caregivers and older adults. Fortunately, research has shown that its possible to treat insomnia effectively, although it does often take a little time and effort.

Why Sedatives Arent the Way to Go and Proven Ways to Taper Off Them

Before I go into the recommended treatments, let me say it again: you should only use sedatives as a last resort. Thats because most medications that make people sleepy are bad for brain function, in both the short-term and long-term.

Benzodiazepines such as lorazepam, alprazolam, diazepam, and temazepam are also habit-forming. It can be a lot of work to wean people off these drugs, but research has proven its possible.

For instance, in this randomized control study, many older adults who had been on benzodiazepines for sleep were able to taper off their sleeping pills. 63% were drug-free after 7 weeks.

Plus, in my own personal experience, it becomes extremely difficult once a person has started to develop a dementia such as Alzheimers, because then their behavior and thinking can get a lot worse if they are a little sleep-deprived or anxious. But letting them continue to use their benzodiazepine puts us in a pickle, because it also keeps them from having the best brain function possible, is associated with faster cognitive decline, AND increases fall risk.

Now, lets review some proven approaches to improving sleep in older adults.

Proven ways to treat insomnia in older adults:

Memory Loss Cause #12 Aging

Lyrica Loss Of Memory

Most older individuals have some memory issues, Legendre says. Typical forgetfulness can include forgetting your brand-new neighbours name or taking longer to learn a new computer system software. Memorization gets more challenging and also its usual to fail to remember small things like where you place your vehicle tricks. Some older people have worse amnesia, called light cognitive disability, Legendre says. They may have trouble bearing in mind recent conversations or fail to remember visits. They can typically remember occasions that took place further in the past as well as tackle day-to-day live normally.

There are means to help protect against forgetfulness as you age. A study from McMaster University found that workout, specifically at a high strength, might boost memory in older adults. An additional research published in the Lancet in 2019 found workout can decrease your threat of dementia.

One of our memorys most hazardous adversaries is a lack of excitement. Read books, write or learn new points to promote your brain.MemoryLoss.

Gabapentin Memory Loss Side Effects Can be a difficult question to answer. Following this guideline should generally improve your memory loss however if it doesnt you may want to look into for more causes that are particular to your situation.

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The Story Of The Beers Criteria

If you spend enough time with geriatricians and other experts in aging health, youll notice pretty soon that we spend a lot of time reviewing medications, and considering whether to deprescribe them.

Medications are, of course, a mainstay of modern medicine. They are often key to how we manage a variety of health conditions, whether thats by relieving a distressing symptom, reducing the risk of a future serious health event, or even helping the body correct a life-threatening illness.

But medications also come with risks and side-effects.

Aging makes people more susceptible to these downsides of all medications. And, over the years, geriatricians have noticed that some medications, in particular, are more likely to cause problems or create extra risks.

These types of observation led a geriatrician named Mark Beers to publish a scholarly paper in 1991, identifying several categories of medication that seemed to be especially risky for nursing home residents.

Dr. Beers worked with various colleagues and organizations over the years to refine his list, which soon expanded its scope to consider which medications are potentially inappropriate for older adults who arent necessarily frail enough to be in nursing homes.

Dr. Beers died in 2009, but his Beers Criteria lives on. Since 2011, the process of reviewing and updating the list has been overseen by the American Geriatrics Society , which published updates in 2012, 2015, and most recently, in January of 2019.

Serious Side Effects Of Gabapentin

In emergency cases, some people might struggle with breathing problems and kidney issues. These are likely among those who have had lung or kidney issues in the past, or who are using gabapentin with other substances .

In very rare cases, individuals might suffer an allergic reaction that could be very dangerous. Swelling in the mouth, tongue or throat, or very intense itching, usually signals the onset of a critical allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention.

Side effects of gabapentin carry the risk of developing adverse physical effects in both the short-term and long-term for patients. The American Journal of Medicine carried the results of a study that suggested that people who had a pre-existing kidney problem before taking gabapentin are at risk for developing gabapentin toxicity, which can be fatal.

Gabapentin is broken down into its chemical constituents in the kidneys, and those who have kidney problems are in danger of the gabapentin components staying in their systems for longer than necessary, leading to gabapentin toxicity. Gabapentin toxicity could also develop in people who take more gabapentin than they should, whether out of a misguided desire for relief or for recreational purposes.

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Where To Learn About Other Drugs That Affect Brain Function

Many other drugs that affect brain function, but they are either not used as often as the ones above, or seem to affect a minority of older adults.

Notably, there has been a lot of concern in the media about statins, but a meta-analysis published in 2015 could not confirm an association between statin use and increased cognitive impairment. In fact, a 2016 study found that statin use was associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimers disease.

This is not to say that statins arent overprescribed or riskier than we used to think. And its also quite possible that some people do have their thinking affected by statins. But if you are trying to eliminate medications that dampen brain function, I would recommend you focus on the ones I listed above first.

For a comprehensive list of medications identified as risky by the experts at the American Geriatrics Society, be sure to review the 2019 Beers Criteria.

You can also learn more about medications that increase fall risk in this article: 10 Types of Medications to Review if Youre Concerned About Falling.

Whats In The Beers Criteria

Gabapentin (Neurontin) Side Effects

Technically, its The AGS Beers Criteria® for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults. The 2019 update is here.

This is essentially an extensive list of potentially inappropriate medications that should be avoided or used with caution, when it comes to the health care of adults aged 65 and older.

About potentially inappropriate medications in older adults

Potentially inappropriate means that in most older adults, the likely risks of using the medication outweigh the likely benefits, especially when compared with other available treatment options.

Its important to know that just because a medication is potentially inappropriate, this does not mean that its always wrong to prescribe it to an older person.

But, since these are riskier medications for older adults, its important to

  • Take extra care before prescribing them,
  • Make sure that safer alternatives have been considered
  • Confirm that for a specific patient, the likely benefits of the medication outweigh the likely risks

Ideally, the risks of the medication would also be discussed with the older person and with family .

Research has repeatedly confirmed that these riskier medications are often prescribed to older adults, and that in many cases, its not clear that the risks were explained to the patients or that safer alternatives were offered.

Whats in the 2019 Beers Criteria

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Who Can And Cannot Take Pregabalin

Pregabalin is only for adults. Do not give it to children under the age of 18.

Pregabalin is not suitable for some people:

To make sure pregabalin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you:

  • have ever had an allergic reaction to pregabalin or another medicine
  • have ever abused or been addicted to a medicine
  • are trying to become pregnant, are already pregnant or are breastfeeding
  • are on a controlled sodium or potassium diet, or your kidneys don’t work well pregabalin liquid contains sodium and potassium, speak to your doctor before taking it

How Long Do Gabapentin Side Effects Last

With a half-life of five hours in children and five to seven hours in adults, the most common side effects, such as dizziness and somnolence, will improve 1224 hours after the last dose is taken. Severe muscle damage and severe allergic reactions may take several days of hospital treatment to resolve. Gabapentin withdrawal typically lasts about seven days but could last longer if the drug is not being taken as directed.

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Know The Risk: Alcohol And Gabapentin Dont Mix

Your overall health is one thing you most likely take seriously. After all, you probably found this page researching drug interactions. Lets consider that a little more in-depth.

It starts when your doctor prescribes a medication such as gabapentin to treat or alleviate a health condition. You probably leave the office, head out to the pharmacy to pick up your prescription, and return to your days activities.

The prescription was suggested by someone you trust. Youre expecting it to be helpful and safe.

Now lets add in another consideration. Alcohol. If youre consuming it at a responsible level and older than 21 to be used legally, all good right?

Not so fast.

Drug interaction can amplify side effects and cause potentially life-threatening situations.

It is important to thoroughly educate yourself on how and why a prescription such as gabapentin is used to treat your condition. Adding alcohol to the mix is strongly cautioned in the use of gabapentin. Alcohol use disorder PLUS the prescription depressant can be a recipe for disaster.

Lets consider each separately and then when used as a whole.

As An Addiction Treatment Medication

Neurontin and Memory loss, a phase IV clinical study of ...

The medical research community has made great strides in synthesizing thousands of drugs over the years to treat physical ailments, mental illness, and other health conditions.

Addiction is just one of the many conditions that can be treated with specific medications. And while there are presently only a handful of FDA-approved medications used to manage substance dependence, gabapentin has been considered for off-label use for as an addiction treatment drug.

Different companies, including Parke-Davis, Greenstone, and Teva, manufacture several varieties of the generic drug. Other drugs that have been used to treat the symptoms of addiction withdrawal, for specific substances, include:

  • Clondine
  • Naltrexone

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How Experts Decide What To Include In The Beers Criteria

To review, revise, and update the Beers Criteria, the American Geriatrics Society convenes an expert panel which includes physicians, pharmacists, and nurses, all with special expertise in geriatrics and in reviewing scientific literature.

This review process is very careful and takes time for the 2019 update, the group met regularly from February 2016 to May 2018.

During this time, the experts review the available scientific research, and decide on what changes to make to the Beers Criteria. They also consider how to organize and present the material, to be most useful to the clinicians who are the primary intended users of the Beers Criteria.

In short, this is a very careful, thoughtful, and evidence-based process.

Why Caregivers Should Be Cautious

While treatments help to alleviate the symptoms of neuropathy that cause pain, their side effects may cause additional discomfort. Caregivers should conduct their own research to inform themselves of these adverse effects to be prepared to help their loved ones with day-to-day activities. By managing medication side effects, caregivers can help their loved ones to feel comfortable and secure.

Note:FAP News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those ofFAP News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to familial amyloid polyneuropathy.

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Does Gabapentin Cause Weight Gain

Gabapentin is not a drug associated with weight gain. Gaining or losing weight with gabapentin is uncommon, but it may happen.

Understand that there are lots of things that can cause changes in one’s body weight, and that includes drugs used in conjunction with gabapentin. You may also tend to eat more or sleep more due to the pain-relieving effect of the drug, thereby causing weight gain. If you are concerned with the changes in your body weight, talk with your doctor right way.

Less Serious Side Effects Of Gabapentin

Memory Loss Quiz

Gabapentin may cause side effects that are bothersome rather than serious. One of the side effects is drowsiness, which may happen with ataxia , fatigue, and dizziness. Drowsiness may cause you to have problems at work, school, and home. More importantly, these symptoms may affect your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. Therefore, avoid doing hazardous activities after taking gabapentin until you are sure that the dose you are taking does not cause serious dizziness or somnolence.

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A Fifth Type Of Medication That Affects Brain Function

Opiate pain medications. Unlike the other drugs mentioned above, opiates are not on the Beers list of medications that older adults should avoid. That said, they do seem to dampen thinking abilities a bit, even in long-term users. As far as I know, opiates are not thought to accelerate long-term cognitive decline.

  • Commonly prescribed opiates include hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, methadone, hydromorphone, and fentanyl.
  • Tramadol is a weaker opiate with weaker prescribing controls.
  • Many geriatricians consider it more problematic than the classic Schedule II opiates listed above, as it interacts with a lot of medications and still affects brain function. Its a dirty drug, as one of my friends likes to say.
  • Alternatives depend on what type of pain is present. Generally, if people are taking opiates then they have pain that needs to be treated. However, a thoughtful holistic approach to pain often enables a person to get by with less medication, which can improve thinking abilities.
  • For people who have moderate or severe dementia, its important to know that untreated pain can worsen their thinking. So sometimes a low dose of opiate medication does end up improving their thinking.
  • Other risks in older adults:
  • There is some risk of developing a problematic addiction, especially if theres a prior history of substance abuse. But in my experience, having someone else usually younger steal or use the drugs is a more likely problem.
  • Swelling In The Feet And Ankles

    Patients taking Neurontin may experience swelling in the feet and ankles. The presence of lower leg swelling may cause discomfort and impair walking. My mother-in-law was unable to wear regular shoes because of swelling of her feet and ankles, so we found her socks and soft slippers that fit her feet comfortably.

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