View Full Version : Medication Advise

12-13-13, 11:41 AM
I've been taking Ritalin (10mg) with Clonazepam (1mg) for the last 5yrs. The Clonazepam helps with my anxiety but recently I've noticed a decline in my memory. The problems with my memory are heightened in social situations so I know anxiety is partially to blame but even when I'm home with my family I find it difficult to recall information. I'm 38 so I don't think this is an aging thing. Could it be the long term effects of a benzodiazepine? I'm going in to see my psych doc on Monday and was hoping for any possible insight.

12-13-13, 06:21 PM
I was on Valium for a few years (as you probably already know, it is a benzodiazepine drug, in the same class as Clonazepam). There are many, many known cases of Klonopin/Clonazepam affecting memory for the worse. Sites online like document such cases...however, that website is pretty biased against benzos and they can be pretty rigid in that belief. I personally don't feel that benzos are the evil to end all evil in medications, but many doctors and others have come to act that way.

I'm not enough of a science buff to understand all the whys behind that, but benzos do act on GABA receptors in the brain and probably affect other parts of the brain having to do with memory, especially with repeated use. Many people (myself included) have found, since going off of benzos, that their memories and cognitive functioning return. Not necessarily in full, but they do return to a degree. The longer you use a benzo and the higher a dose, the more chance you have of losing a certain degree of memory in the long run. However, the knowledge of this must be balanced with what the benzo does for your life. For some people, they are the only class of drugs that prevents panic attacks or lessen Generalized Anxiety Disorder to the point where one can live a fairly normal life. Of course, the more stress that you're under, the more you'll struggle with memory. As I understand it, memory is affected by stress starting sometime in one's thirties, usually getting a bit worse with age. I'm thirty-three, and I've certainly noticed that stress affects my memory more now than it did ten years ago.

I tapered off of Valium earlier this year without much issue, and am glad I did. I'm in college full-time and need my cognition! :) However, Valium is great in a pinch, if I'm experiencing anxiety that no amount of deep breathing or positive affirmations will touch.

Nate W
12-14-13, 10:51 PM
I would say absolutely. Ive read many accounts just like yours of memory and executive functioning problems from taking benzodiazepines. I took clonazepam at 1 mg a day for about 40 days once and I had difficulty as well. I just could not put things together mentally.


12-14-13, 11:51 PM
Ask your doctor about Librium, in my experience it is the least disruptive to your ability to remember, think, etc. of all the benzodiazepines (and I've taken most of them).

12-15-13, 12:56 AM
For me, Prozac helps with my OCD and anxiety immensely. In my past experience long-term benzo use offered diminishing returns. And for some, it's hard to get off them. Others have no problem.

It's an individual thing.

12-15-13, 02:51 AM
6 weeks max and then the same time off if I have a panic attack... I took Xanax for 10 years... taking any of those for that long would wipe out major cells... Klonopin feels like brickfoot for 5 feet

12-16-13, 11:34 AM
Thank you all for the help.