View Full Version : Cognitive/Memory Impairment

08-20-12, 09:19 PM
It appears as though anxiolytics, most notably benzodiazepines, have awful side effects on memory and cognition.

Klonopin, though efficacious, made me feel stupid.
Ativan and especially Xanax were effective though Xanax scarily addictive.
Tried a combination of Inderal and Atarax, with limited success.

Right now I'm on varying dosages of Tenex in hopes that it mitigates any possible skin-picking exacerbation my prescribed stimulants may cause. If it's any helpful, it barely is. Luckily it helps reduce nightmares at night though.

Presently also on Lyrica for anxiety of many forms. I at first thought it was a wonderful substitute for Klonopin, but recently came to recognize memory problems (in retrospect) that I find worrying. As a student and aspiring academic, my cognitive resources are most valuable to me and so anything screwing with them must be shunned. Oh, and the weight gain blows.

Can anyone offer suggestions on other possible candidate medications to combat anxiety? Suggestions or success stories, anecdotes, the more "out there", the less common; anything would be most welcome.

I briefly noted Topamax as a candidate to bring up with my psychiatrist. I think anticonvulsants or mood stabilizers may be up my alley. Either that, or I'll just ask for some Atarax and/or perhaps (:faint:) even Ativan to have on-hand, or maybe even just suck it up and live with my undefeated anxiety-driven Dermatillomania.

08-20-12, 09:45 PM

Also thought Memantine and Baclofen looked like potential candidates to look into.
Really, I would love to hear about any unconventional experiences in particular. ;)

08-20-12, 11:43 PM
Probably mood brighteners like ssris

08-21-12, 09:01 AM
I take 0.5mg Klonopin at night only to help me sleep and feel fine. SSRI's made me stupid and slow...maybe try some l-theanine 400-800mg/day, lemon balm or Mg Citrate 400-600mg/day all of which are naturally calming and actually help with learning.

08-22-12, 04:22 AM
There is no way I could take all that Lyrica. Wow! 200mg made me walk into walls, but neaurontin works wonders, for me. To each his own. Gabapentin is rxed for just about every condition under the sun. It's worth a shot. I take a milligram of clonazepam @ night too, and feel fine. I make all A's too. Lyrica is the worst med for "cognition" /memory that I can think of..Do you have pain? It's usually scripted with nerve pain, but OCCASIONALLY off label anxiety. Every tried a clonodine patch instead of all that Tenex? I would think it would give a person cotton mouth pretty bad.The patch took care of the cotton mouth issue for me, just sayin my 2 cents....good luck:)

08-24-12, 02:42 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. Perhaps I'll drop the Lyrica (possibly give Gabapentin a second try - my first go at it was rather brief) and up my Zoloft. Since Zoloft is prescribed for so many things, it'll fit.
I don't have nerve pain, nor do I have epilepsy. Did suffer from seizures inexplicably as an infant (febrile?) though.

The plus side to taking Klonopin/Ativan was that it helped my anxiety so much as to randomly contact professors out of the blue and stubbornly persist in asking them to let me enroll in their graduate courses (at a school I don't even attend!) and had enough courage to attend them and participate a little. Which is a saying a hell of a lot, coming from me. Been described as "shy" all my life, it's like complete social "anxiety". More like "dislike of talking to people" but whatever. :)

09-14-12, 05:46 PM
SSRI's made me feel emotionless, and klonopin makes me forget what i'm saying mid sentence sometimes. Xanax however, i find helps the most.

09-14-12, 07:04 PM
No great advice to offer, unfortunately, but a caution: some anticonvulsants (e.g. valproic acid and related meds) are also associated with adverse effects on cognition, and I have experienced this myself.

Of course, the standard disclaimer also applies: YMMV. Maybe these would work for you without making you feel slow.

Especially with complex diagnoses and polypharmacy, it's unpredictable. I wish meds were less hit-or-miss. Or rather, I wish there were more hits and fewer misses...

Good luck!

09-16-12, 11:20 PM
Stimulant alone is best

focus pocus
09-21-13, 09:49 AM
@known guy: Sorry for bumping this thread up, but i was having the same dilemma of countering anxiety (comorbid as well as due to Ritalin) without affecting cognition and academics.

Here's what i found from a thorough search, and a post in reddit:

a)L-Theanine - i wonder what doses to use as ive found higher doses can make me sleepy
b)Hydroxyzine (Atarax) - I just took a low dose (10mg) now. Has definitely calmed me down. I worry if there are other effects that i am unaware though. There are anecdotes of tardive dyskinesia which sounds scary.
c)Using Starterra in combination - Definitely helps some people including me. Im currently on a very low dose (18mg am 10mg PM), and planning to increase next week. Hope the anxiety of Ritalin will completely disappear when i increase the dose of Starterra.
d)Propranolol (beta blocker) 10mg - Havent tried this yet. But i doubt it could have effects on psychological anxiety, and might only help with somatic symptoms.

I would really love some feedback on the above.
Anyone tried any of the above? What doses worked for you?