Saturday, August 13, 2022

Does Xanax Cause Memory Loss

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Does Xanax Cause Alzheimers

What Does Xanax Really Do To Your Body?

Although it does not cause it, several studies have found benzodiazepines may increase the risk of Alzheimers. This association may be linked to the longer half-life of alprazolam in the elderly.

Taking alprazolam long-term can lead to a large accumulation of the drug in your system. This increases the likelihood of memory impairment and may lead to irreversible effects on cognition and memory.

Treatment For Xanax Addiction

The first goal of Xanax addiction treatment is helping you safely withdraw from the medication. When you complete withdrawal, your Xanax memory issues should start to disappear. But to maintain recovery, you still have work to do in primary treatment. The core of this treatment is psychotherapy. Your particular recovery plan may include any number of therapy options.

Why These Drugs Have A Stronger Effect In Older People

As we age, our ability to process medication changes. The kidneys and liver clear drugs more slowly, so drug levels in the blood remain higher for a longer time. People also gain fat and lose muscle mass over time. Both these changes affect the way drugs are distributed to and broken down in body tissues. And because these drugs are stored in body fat, they can continue to produce effects days after people stop taking them, especially in people with a higher proportion of body fat. In addition, older people tend to take more prescription and over-the-counter medications, each of which has the potential to suppress or enhance the effects of the others.

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How Long Does It Last

In comparison with other benzodiazepines, the body absorbs Xanax quickly, so its effects come on rapidly. Within about 1â2 hours, the concentration of Xanax in the blood reaches its peak.

The effects of the drug usually appear within 1 hour, with one small scale study finding an average onset time of 49 minutes with oral administration.

Xanax also leaves the body quickly. Its half-life is 11.2 hours in healthy adults, meaning that the body removes about half of the Xanax that it has absorbed in just over 11 hours.

Doctors often prescribe Xanax to take three times per day, spread out over the course of the day.

high abuse potential , especially for individuals with a history of substance misuse or abuse.

As the body absorbs Xanax quickly, its effects occur faster than those of other benzodiazepines. Xanax also has a short half-life, which means that its effects disappear quickly. These characteristics increase its addictive potential.

After taking Xanax for a long time, the body gets used to the substance, so a person may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it. Reducing Xanax slowly over time reduces the severity of these symptoms.

The manufacturers recommend decreasing the dosage by no more than 0.5 milligrams every 3 days. A doctor will determine the most appropriate discontinuation schedule for the individual, as the experience may differ from person to person.

Withdrawal symptoms of Xanax may include:

  • mild feelings of dissatisfaction

Treating Xanax Abuse And Addiction

12 Drugs and Medications That Induce Dementia

Xanax withdrawal can be dangerous and even deadly. People who regularly abuse or are addicted to Xanax should consult a doctor/addiction specialist and inquire about a tapering method a process used by medical professionals to safely wean a person off the drug and avoid severe side effects. Following a tapering and/or medical detox, patients should immediately transition to a reputable addiction treatment program for long-term therapy, counseling, and support. Treatments include:

  • Individual Behavioral Therapy

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Alzheimers Disease And Dementia

Dementia is a brain disorder that can affect memory and other mental functions. Alzheimers disease is one of the most well-known types of dementia. Dementia damages and destroys brain cells. The resulting memory loss often starts mild and gradually becomes more severe.

Certain medications can help with symptoms for a time. If you suspect dementia or youre at risk, see a doctor for an evaluation, says Dr. Bonner-Jackson. Your doctor can help create a personalized plan to stave off worsening memory loss and other symptoms for as long as possible.

What Does Xanax Do To The Brain

The brain comprises different areas of cells involved in various functions. These areas of cells communicate with each other by sending out chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters.

When you take Xanax, it affects the levels of some of these chemical messengers. In particular, Xanax increases the level of a brain chemical known as gamma-aminobutyric acid , a neurotransmitter that inhibits brain activity. This slows the brain down, helping you feel calmer and more relaxed.

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What The Studies Found

It’s important to note that neither of these studies was a randomized controlled clinical trial, so neither proved that either type of drug causes dementia.

The anticholinergic study. Researchers tracked nearly 3,500 men and women ages 65 or older who took part in Adult Changes in Thought , a long-term study conducted by the University of Washington and Group Health, a Seattle health care system. They used Group Health’s pharmacy records to determine all the drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, that each participant took in the 10 years before starting the study. Participants’ health was tracked for an average of seven years. During that time, 800 of them developed dementia. When the researchers examined medication use, they found that people who used anticholinergic drugs were more likely to have developed dementia than those who didn’t use them. Moreover, dementia risk increased along with the cumulative dose. Taking an anticholinergic for the equivalent of three years or more was associated with a 54% higher dementia risk than taking the same dose for three months or less.

The University of Washington study is the first to include nonprescription drugs. It is also the first to eliminate the possibility that people were taking the drugs to alleviate early symptoms of undiagnosed dementia. For people who took anticholinergic bladder medications, the increased risk was just as high as for those taking tricyclic antidepressants, which are also anticholinergics.

Xanax And Brain Chemistry Long

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Over time, the brain starts to expect higher levels of GABA. Therefore, the brain may make less GABA on its own and start depending on the Xanax. This process can happen in as little as six weeks. A person may need stronger doses of Xanax to achieve the same calming effects as originally experiences. After some time this pattern leads to tolerance, dependence and can even lead to addiction.

If a person stops taking Xanax suddenly, they may experience worsened anxiety and panic attacks than before because the brain is not making as much GABA on its own. Doctors refer to this development as rebound anxiety. Likely due to rebound anxiety, Xanax is known to cause worse withdrawal symptoms than other benzodiazepines. Some of those withdrawal symptoms may last for months or years. Many withdrawal symptoms are related to Xanaxs effects on GABA in the brain, and can include:

  • Feeling anxious or panicked

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What If You Drink Alcohol After Taking Xanax

Alcohol increases the effects of Xanax and slows down how quickly your body can clear the drug from your system. If you take the medicine and then drink alcohol, you may experience extreme lethargy and prolonged memory loss.

Its advised that you avoid combining the two substances. Its possible that the combination will lead to dangerous, even deadly side effects. These include:

  • difficulty breathing
  • heartburn drugs
  • opioids

These drugs can prevent the pathway thats responsible for eliminating Xanax from your body from removing it as quickly as should happen. Over time, this may lead to a toxic buildup of the drug and eventually an overdose.

Speak with your doctor or a pharmacist about all the medications youre currently taking to ensure that they wont have an interaction. They can assess the risks and discuss them with you.

You should also avoid combining Xanax with drugs even over-the-counter ones that can make you sleepy, slow your breathing, or cause extreme lethargy. The compounded effects of combining these drugs may be dangerous and put you at risk for health issues or death.

The effects of Xanax should be mild, but detectable. If the drug appears to be having a significant impact on you, you should seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • extreme drowsiness
  • 2 mg

The effects of Xanax become more significant as the dose increases.

Medical Detox For Xanax Withdrawal

Severe symptoms of Xanax withdrawal can be fatal without proper medical supervision. For this reason, it is essential that you withdraw from Xanax under the guidance of medical professionals. They will design a detox plan , offer regular check-ups, and remain on hand in the case of any medical complications.

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If Youre Experiencing Forgetfulness Or Confusion Check Your Medicine Cabinet

For a long time doctors dismissed forgetfulness and mental confusion as a normal part of aging. But scientists now know that memory loss as you get older is by no means inevitable. Indeed, the brain can grow new brain cells and reshape their connections throughout life.Most people are familiar with at least some of the things that can impair memory, including alcohol and drug abuse, heavy cigarette smoking, head injuries, stroke, sleep deprivation, severe stress, vitamin B12 deficiency, and illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression.

But what many people don’t realize is that many commonly prescribed drugs also can interfere with memory. Here are 10 of the top types of offenders.

Anticholinergics: The Anti Drugs


Acetylcholine is the primary neurotransmitter of memory and learning.

When youre low in acetylcholine, you become forgetful and cant concentrate.

You may struggle to find the right words when you speak.

Acetylcholine deficiencies are associated with dementia and Alzheimers medications for these disorders work by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain.

” Not all drugs that cause memory loss are prescription medications. Many popular over-the-counter drugs also cause memory loss by blocking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

Drugs that block the action of acetylcholine, causing low brain levels of acetylcholine, are known as anticholinergics.


Does this sound like you?

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You can take a look at the list created by The Peoples Pharmacy or download a PDF created by the Indiana University Center for Aging Research.

Not all anticholinergic drugs are equally hazardous, so these lists rate drugs by their level of anticholinergic activity mild, moderate, or severe.

Leo Galland, MD, a renowned functional medicine pioneer, has published an extensive list of anticholinergic substances that includes drugs and herbal remedies.

If your anticholinergic risk is high, we urge you to bring this to your doctors attention.

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Xanax Abuse And Dependence

Xanax abuse can rapidly result in dependence. This is because, over time, the user may experience increased tolerance, a condition in which the body becomes accustomed to the drug, and the effects diminish as a result. This often compels the person to use more of the drug to achieve the desired effect.

This type of overuse can cause the persons system to reach a point where it can no longer function normally without the drugs presence. This is known as chemical dependence and results in withdrawal symptoms when the user attempts to quit or drastically cut back. When the person also acquires a psychological dependence and drug use becomes uncontrollable, full-blown addiction has developed.

What Addiction Treatment Options Are Available

Fortunately, treatment options for substance abuse are available to prevent any long-term effects of Xanax abuse and protect your brain from damage. At American addiction centers, addiction treatment begins with withdrawal.

Upon completing detox, you will undergo treatments that reduce psychological dependence. During your time at an American addiction center, you will have a personalized treatment plan which may involve therapy or counseling to help you develop coping strategies and maintain sobriety.

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Blacking Out From Benzodiazepines

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What Does It Feel Like When Xanax Wears Off

Preventing Memory Loss

Xanax has a half-life of about 11 hours. By that point, your body will eliminate half of the dose from your bloodstream. Everyone metabolizes medications differently, so the half-life is different from person to person.

As Xanax wears off, most people will stop feeling the calm, relaxed, lethargic sensations that the drug is associated with.

If you take this medication to relieve symptoms of anxiety, like a racing heart, those symptoms may begin to return as the drug is eliminated from your system. If you dont have these symptoms, youll begin to return to a normal feeling.

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Can You Overdose On Xanax

The short answer: yes, you can overdose on Xanax. Xanax is potent enough that you can overdose on it without the presence of alcohol in your system. When you take higher doses of the prescription benzodiazepine, youre at risk of a fatal overdose. When you combine it with alcohol, which is another central nervous system depressant, you might experience respiratory depression or coma. If you believe youve witnessed a Xanax overdose, you must immediately call 911. Drug overdoses often result in fatalities. You should never feel fear when it comes to seeking help. Please contact emergency services right away.

If possible, please give the 911 operator your address, description of the location, what drugs you believe were ingested, how much of them were taken, and follow their direction. If the individual is vomiting, you must roll them onto their side to prevent them from drowning in their own vomit.

Overcome Xanax Addiction And Memory Loss At Memphis Recovery Centers

Do you have additional questions about recovering from Xanax memory loss? Contact the addiction specialists at Memphis Recovery Centers today. Well explain more about what can happen to you and how you can recover. Memphis Recovery Centers also offers treatment plans for Xanax addiction. Our customizable options will help you chart your path to lasting recovery. To reach us, call or fill out our convenient online form.

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How Is Xanax Used

Many people use Xanax recreationally or begin abusing it after initially taking it as prescribed by a doctor. People that use Xanax for recreational purposes may swallow illegally-obtained tablets, crush and snort the drug, inject, or smoke it.

A common appeal of Xanax is its ability to produce a high in larger doses. This can create feelings of relaxation, pleasure, and lower a persons inhibition. The effects of Xanax on the brain can also make a person want to take more of the drug. This can increase the chance of falling into a pattern of regular Xanax use, which is a common precursor for addiction.

Xanax Blackout: Mechanisms In The Brain

Donât Use Xanax (Alprazolam) Until You Read This Article

While alcohol broadly impacts the GABA receptors in the brain, benzodiazepines like Xanax are more targeted. They impact GABA-A receptors in particular. There are two subtypes of GABA-A receptors:

  • BZ-1, collected most densely in the cerebellum
  • BZ-2, most densely populating the hippocampus and cortex

Most studies involving the impact of benzodiazepines on GABA-A receptors have focused on BZ-2. Benzodiazepines with more hypnotic properties, which impact memory and allow the brain to slow enough to fall asleep, are not as frequently prescribed for anxiety. Xanax is believed to have fewer hypnotic properties compared to anxiolytic, or anxiety-reducing, properties, but this may not be true.

Memory is typically defined by:

  • Duration, in short-term and long-term spans
  • Contents, through explicit and implicit processes
  • Stages, like acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval

Previous medical studies have shown that benzodiazepines, including anti-anxiety ones like Xanax, have a greater impact on episodic memory, leading to long-term issues. However, more recent surveys have found that all benzodiazepines have a broader impact on retaining information of all kinds than previously believed. This may mean that acute intoxication from taking too much Xanax can lead to blackouts.

Without enough neuronal firing, the brain simply does not keep information in short-term storage long enough to move it to long-term storage.

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Does Xanax Cause Memory Loss

Xanax abuse has many side effects, including a certain type of memory loss called anterograde amnesia. Abusing Xanax is dangerous and can lead to many negative short-term and long-term effects. Addiction treatment can help with substance abuse.

Xanax can cause memory loss, especially when abused or taken in any way other than as prescribed by a medical professional.

Memory problems are one of the known mental side effects of Xanax, but as with most prescription drugs, there is a much greater risk for serious side effects when the drug is abused.

Xanax is a benzodiazepine drug, or benzo in the same drug class as drugs like Valium , Ativan , and Klonopin .

Benzos are central nervous system suppressants, meaning they have a calming effect on the body and mind. Xanax is used to treat panic disorders and anxiety disorders.

What Are Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

Xanax withdrawal symptoms can arise if you have been abusing the drug. Though you may think that stopping taking Xanax cold turkey is safe, this is not true. Due to the effects of withdrawal, you should always complete Xanax detox with support and advice from a clinical professional.

If you decide to seek treatment for Xanax abuse, you will first complete a substance abuse assessment. This will ensure that you are offered proper treatment. Typically, treatment starts with a detox.

Xanax withdrawal arises when detox commences under the guidance of a professional treatment center. Supervised at numerous American addiction centers, you will be supported throughout the treatment process, ensuring safety and effective recovery. American addiction centers, such as ours, provide the care and advice you need to cope with the withdrawal symptoms and usually recommend a medical detox.

Withdrawing from Xanax involves slowly tapering the dosage. The effects of Xanax withdrawal include psychological and physical symptoms, such as:

  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal thoughts

Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be fatal, and some people experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. It is therefore vital to complete detox with the guidance of medical professionals.

Though uncomfortable, withdrawing from Xanax is the best thing for your health as it can reduce long-term impacts on your brain.

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