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Old 12-01-2006, 04:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Does Klonopin cause memory loss?

The reason my psychiatrist has given me for wanting to take me off Klonopin is that taking it long term will cause memory loss. Is there any truth to this?
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Does Klonopin cause memory loss?

I've been taking klonopin for years and haven't experienced any memory loss. Can't say I remember (lol and no it's not memory loss) anyone else mentioning memory loss either, as a side effect. Only memory loss I've had is when I get hammered, but I don't do that anymore. Well, on my b-day, but that was it. Oh, and new years, x-mas, st pat's, columbus day,... I'm kidding, except my b-day.
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Does Klonopin cause memory loss?

Quote:
Originally Posted by triscuit80
The reason my psychiatrist has given me for wanting to take me off Klonopin is that taking it long term will cause memory loss.
Your doc is full of crap. He's a benzo-phobe and he's looking for any excuse to take you off it. He's gone with this line instead of the vastly more common "It's addictive" line, but the purpose & effect are the same.

I've been on a high dose of Xanax for the last 3 years (and various other benzos at somewhat lower doses for a few years before that) and so far I've noticed absolutely no problems with memory. In fact, I tend to tell stories in excruciating detail, so apparently I can remember details quite well.

How long have you been on Klonopin? What dose? Is it working for you? Have YOU personally had any memory problems with it? What does your doc propose to replace it with? Another med or nothing at all?
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Old 12-02-2006, 03:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Does Klonopin cause memory loss?

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Old 12-02-2006, 01:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Does Klonopin cause memory loss?

I think its the anxiety that the benzo is taken for that causes the memory loss
I had a very poor memory years before the first benzo, librium came on the market
its long been a claim of the anti benzo zealots that benzos cause memory loss, but I dont think they have ever proved it
also anxiety sufferers had poor memories long before benzos came along

those who blame benzos for all of societys ills need to remember that they havent been available for all that long, also that most early problems were caused by careless over prescribing by docs
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: re: Does Klonopin cause memory loss?

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Originally Posted by arthur56
I think its the anxiety that the benzo is taken for that causes the memory loss
I had a very poor memory years before the first benzo, librium came on the market
its long been a claim of the anti benzo zealots that benzos cause memory loss, but I dont think they have ever proved it
also anxiety sufferers had poor memories long before benzos came along

those who blame benzos for all of societys ills need to remember that they havent been available for all that long, also that most early problems were caused by careless over prescribing by docs
I disagree. I have had severe anxiety since i was five, and had a fantasic memory until a year or so on Xanax and Valium. it's not major, but I have noticed it. Some people will have memory loss, some won't. Some people will get addicted, and some won't. it all depends on the person.
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Old 12-03-2006, 09:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Does Klonopin cause memory loss?

She thinks I have been on it to long and it should only be taken short term and no doctor would have a patient on it as long as I have. I have been on it for three years.
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: re: Does Klonopin cause memory loss?

Quote:
Originally Posted by triscuit80
She thinks I have been on it to long and it should only be taken short term and no doctor would have a patient on it as long as I have. I have been on it for three years.
I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing at your doctor. What type of doctor is she? Maybe no GP would keep someone on a benzo that long, but a psychiatrist, especially a private therapist, probably would if you needed it. I don't know your history, but if you have severe anxiety, you need to be medicated appropriately. Think about how you take your meds and be really honest with yourself. Do you pop one anytime something makes you upset, or whenever you're under just a little bit of stress? That could indicate addiction. But if you live in a constant state of panic, and absolutely cannot function day to day without meds, you might just be dependent, in the same way a diabetic is dependent on insulin. Or maybe a different medication might work better for you.
If you truly believe that you're taking your meds appropriately but you're still anxious (and I don't mean anxious about running out of pills), try to get a second opinion or an evaluation from a private therapist. Again, be honest with them. They are more likely to be open minded about long term use of controlled substances, as long as you use them appropriately.
If you don't mind me asking, what prompted her to do pill counts?
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: re: Does Klonopin cause memory loss?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arthur56
its long been a claim of the anti benzo zealots that benzos cause memory loss, but I dont think they have ever proved it...
Memory loss is certainly a well-documented benzo effect -- if you take enough. Versed (midazolam) is given by IV before certain medical procedures to eliminate recall and I've seen my mother come out of it afterwards a few times in the recovery room and she'd ask "Did they do it yet?", then fall asleep and ask the same question twice more before she finally woke up for good. She didn't even remember waking up and asking the same question again & again and repeatedly being told it was over nor did she remember having a camera shoved down her throat.

There there is Rohypnol (they "date rape" drug), which is sold in Mexico and many other nations as a sleep aid. It was slipped into drinks by horny college boys who wanted to get some action, even with a girl passed out -- who wouldn't remember who or what she did last night. Of course, it was mixed with lots of alcohol and heavy drinking tends to produces passing out & blackouts as well, so who knows how much of that date rape effect was the pill and how much was from the 15 shots of vodka little Miss Coed had that evening.

Unless you're taking way more than prescribed and/or mixing it with lots of booze I very much doubt that you're going to have any significant memory problems.
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Old 12-06-2006, 04:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Does Klonopin cause memory loss?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraShy
Quote:
Originally Posted by triscuit80
The reason my psychiatrist has given me for wanting to take me off Klonopin is that taking it long term will cause memory loss.
He's a benzo-phobe and he's looking for any excuse to take you off it. He's gone with this line instead of the vastly more common "It's addictive" line, but the purpose & effect are the same.

quote]

"It's addictive:" Wouldn't that be more along the lines of, granting it *works* one naturally isn't going to want to stop taking it??? Or do they mean physically addictive.. They never seem to clarify on that. Maybe the psyc's need to research that when the question is posed to them so they have some *substance* behind the the ambiguous statement of "It may cause addiction," hai?
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Old 12-06-2006, 04:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 12-06-2006, 05:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Does Klonopin cause memory loss?

I have taken Klonopin for several years...Works great...No memory loss for me
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:16 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Klonopin - Memory Loss

I was taking Klonopin for 7 1/2 yrs - before going through a lot to come off of it safely and without lots of side-effects. One thing I have noticed is memory loss - I am not as "sharp" as I used to be - silly stuff - but totally noticeable - curious if anyone else is going through the same thing - I have been off Klonopin for approx 1/2 yr now and its not getting any better -
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemofmds View Post
I was taking Klonopin for 7 1/2 yrs - before going through a lot to come off of it safely and without lots of side-effects. One thing I have noticed is memory loss - I am not as "sharp" as I used to be - silly stuff - but totally noticeable - curious if anyone else is going through the same thing - I have been off Klonopin for approx 1/2 yr now and its not getting any better -
It happened to me, but at about 5 months after stopping a year-long heavy benzo habit, has mostly resolved. Protracted benzo withdrawal can last months or even years after long-term habits, but eventually should resolve. I wouldn't expect you to be fully normal again after only 6 months from such a long addiction, but give it a few more months and you should continue returning to normal.

As far as I know, only heavy recreational usage of the primarily sedative benzos like temazepam has been associated with permanent brain damage.

You may want to ask your pdoc about flumazenil treatment to reverse changes in the operation of benzodiazepine/GABA receptors. It has been shown to eliminate the protracted withdrawal symptoms you speak of.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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I noticed to slight changes in my memory like I tend to be more forget than normal.
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Old 04-15-2009, 02:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Yes, I've found Klonopin can cause memory loss. It can be subtle and one may not realize it while taking the medication. For me, after I was off for a few months was when I realized that Klonopin was responsible for damaging my memory and impaired my cognition.

Studies have shown a correlation between heavy benzo usage and increased ventricular radius. Ventricular radius also correlates with alcoholism. Heavier benzo usage shows a stronger correlation.

Some people seem to be more affected than others.
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Old 04-15-2009, 02:19 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Default prn

Sorry for the double post. One thing I'm curious about that I have no idea about is:

Does taking Klonopin prn still cause memory loss / cognitive decline?


I've given up the idea of taking Klonopin daily, but would be open to taking it PRN if the damage is akin to a night of heavy drinking, at worst.
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:29 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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It's a medical fact that benzos cause memory loss in sufficient dose. In my experience, doses large enough to reduce anxiety significantly will have a major impact on memory and cognition.

It is all dose-dependent though, and will be minimal with a minimally effective dose. For me, it took going well below 1mg clonazepam/day to get my memory and REM sleep back properly.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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I have had memory loss on the Klonopin. I was on 4mg every day and I dont remember most of college because it was all pretty much a haze.

This is partly due to alcohol abuse however. It seems that because Klonopin has a long effect that it produces almost a continuous amount of the drug in your system.

I am on the Xanax pills now and because they wear off so quick, I dont seem to be getting tolerance.

Hopefully this effect will last for quite some time.
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