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memory loss due to klonopin use


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hi there

ive been on klonopin for about four years now, and ive had to keep upping the dose...right now i take 4-5mg at a time....but i am having short term memory loss, its really starting to affect me....just wondering if anyone else has had this problem and has any advice? anything would help thanks

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i have to take 4-5 mg just for it to work

So it's time to talk to your doctor about finding a new med. That is a huge amount of klonopin.

rx: lithium carb CR450 1350mg qd,

geodon 240mg qd,

trilifon 16mg qd,

zoloft 200mg qd,

klonopin 4mg,

valium 10mg,

adderall 20mg tid

These seem like some weird med combinations. Do you have a psychiatrist or a General Practitioner?

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I'm not doubting you. I just don't get the combinations. Maybe you could explain?

I don't understand the use of valium and klonopin at the same time.

Since you have so much anxiety, I don't understand why he doesn't have you on a more sedating AAP like Seroquel. Seroquel made a world of difference to me regarding anxiety. I have GAD.

is Trilifon sedating?

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i agree with dianthus and liveoak that that is an excessive amount of benzos. the fact that you are on so much points to a high tolerance, and that isn't helping you. benzos are so highly addictive and easy to acclimate to. i think you might benefit from another conversation with your pdoc. maybe try another mood stabilizer? i take gabapentin, but i don't know how that works with your diagnoses.

i wish you luck!

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Since you have so much anxiety, I don't understand why he doesn't have you on a more sedating AAP like Seroquel. Seroquel made a world of difference to me regarding anxiety. I have GAD.

I agree with this statement. I don't have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, but my anxiety level was always high. I'm convinced now though that my Seroquel has knocked it to kingdom come, and it feels good. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

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I started taking klonopin 10 months ago (.25 mg. -- I think). It was amazing. Completely relaxed me and made all the anxiety go away. However, within the first few months, I "lost" my car 5 times and found myself searching for it sometimes for hours. I'd forget things from one minute to the next. I'd laugh it off and try to make jokes about it, but the memory loss has recently gotten so bad that I've had to stop taking it completely. I used to have a very good memory and felt very sharp. I'm a lawyer and am now having difficulty with remembering just about everything these days and I cannot function like this. My doctor said she could prescribe a substitute, but that I should see if I still need it. I'm going off of it for a month to see what happens.

The other major side effect was that I got so lazy that I've gotten very fat and lethargic. I don't have the energy to go to the gym anymore. I used to go all the time and used to be described by my friends as being "high energy". Not anymore. Now, I come home from work and just lie on the couch until it is time to go lie in the bedroom.

I also started taking lamictol (a mood stabilizer) around the same time that I started the klonopin, but the doctor said that klonopin is known to cause memory loss. In fact, the package insert says that it causes short term memory loss and that the long term effects of that are unknown. I stopped the klonopin on Friday. Today, I have a headache.

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but the doctor said that klonopin is known to cause memory loss. In fact, the package insert says that it causes short term memory loss and that the long term effects of that are unknown.

Are you serious? Why hasn't my pdoc ever told me this?

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I started taking klonopin 10 months ago (.25 mg. -- I think). It was amazing. Completely relaxed me and made all the anxiety go away. However, within the first few months, I "lost" my car 5 times and found myself searching for it sometimes for hours. I'd forget things from one minute to the next. I'd laugh it off and try to make jokes about it, but the memory loss has recently gotten so bad that I've had to stop taking it completely. I used to have a very good memory and felt very sharp. I'm a lawyer and am now having difficulty with remembering just about everything these days and I cannot function like this. My doctor said she could prescribe a substitute, but that I should see if I still need it. I'm going off of it for a month to see what happens.

The other major side effect was that I got so lazy that I've gotten very fat and lethargic. I don't have the energy to go to the gym anymore. I used to go all the time and used to be described by my friends as being "high energy". Not anymore. Now, I come home from work and just lie on the couch until it is time to go lie in the bedroom.

I also started taking lamictol (a mood stabilizer) around the same time that I started the klonopin, but the doctor said that klonopin is known to cause memory loss. In fact, the package insert says that it causes short term memory loss and that the long term effects of that are unknown. I stopped the klonopin on Friday. Today, I have a headache.

lamictal is famous for the memory problems you're talking about. having been on both drugs for a few years i can absolutely say yes lamictal gives me the stupids. i cannot say klonopin has ever messed with my memory unless i'm on a realy, REALLY high dose, like more than 4mg per day. lamictal starts to eat my memory and other cognitive functions at doses higher than 200mg, lots of people differ in this effect and at what dose.

your pdoc should definitely have informed you about the lamictal issues as well. though everybody's different, not remembering stuff on lamictal is really common.

hope you can find a combination that gives you your energy and memory back. i'm sure it's out there.

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I sort of got carried away,

I was taking 8-9 mg klonopin daily,

plus a medium dose of ativan.

My memory sucks,

it has for years,

bad when you need to be reminded

about what you just said.

S

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but the doctor said that klonopin is known to cause memory loss. In fact, the package insert says that it causes short term memory loss and that the long term effects of that are unknown.

Are you serious? Why hasn't my pdoc ever told me this?

I don't know. All benzos CAN (as in may or may not) effect your memory. Read the PI.

nf

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I sort of got carried away,

I was taking 8-9 mg klonopin daily,

plus a medium dose of ativan.

My memory sucks,

it has for years,

bad when you need to be reminded

about what you just said.

S

I do need to be reminded of what i JUST said, and what somebody else JUST said to me. I mean IN the conversation. I am so sick of it, and so embarrassed by it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had this problem with klonopin too, but only while i was taking it. i took it one night, the last thing i remembered was eating out at a restaurant with a friend, the next thing i remebered i woke up in my bed the next morning...thank god my friend is a very trustworthy person who i know wouldn't let anything happen to me. one of the very few people i can actually trust like that..

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  • 3 months later...

I took various benzodiazipines including ativan, valium, and klonopin for many years, and also took lamictal for about a year. I stopped lamictal when I could literally not remember the word I had just typed and I could not function at work. I stopped the benzos about 4 months ago. I think it's too late. My memory has improved somewhat but it's still terrible, and my cognitive abilities (i.e., IQ) have deteriorated

When I was taking all this, I used to tell myself it will come back, not to worry, it's always come back. Then on the web I noted certain experts (especially Dr. Ashton) saying they "didn't know" if cognitive abilities ever fully did come back. THAT had never been told to me by any of my pdocs/prescription writers. Of course, I was and remain quite upset about it.

ALL of my memories of the past 8 years are very faded, and the past 3 - including the birth of my son- are nearly nonexistent. I do not recall my son's first two years of life.

I rationalized the use by thinking I was a better person, a more stable person, a better parent, when I was on them. In fact, the damage is far worse than the "cure". I cannot get those memories back. I was very lazy during those years and my career and income suffered dramatically. Now I'm a mental shell of my former self, with a lot of catching up to do and much less time and cognitive ability to do it with. I will struggle both mentally and financially for the rest of my life.

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Now I'm a mental shell of my former self, with a lot of catching up to do and much less time and cognitive ability to do it with. I will struggle both mentally and financially for the rest of my life.

It makes me sad to see you characterize yourself like this. Are you really a broken, empty mental shell of a person, or do you just want to believe that? Benzos cause memory and cognitive problems, yes, however they also help a lot of people and eased your suffering.

You have the same access to drug information as the rest of us. The onus is on you to inform yourself when you take the meds of what can possibly happen. Your doctor was acting in your best interests, and you benefited from the medication. You have no way of knowing how your life would have been without them, or whether you'd be sitting back wishing you'd taken medication in place of whatever happened.

I suppose what I'm saying is that what's done is done, and cannot be changed. You can't blame your doctor for it, because they were trying and did help you. Memories fade for everyone, you aren't going to be a film strip that can be recalled with perfect clarity anyway. Instead of bemoaning your current state and struggling at your own insistence, just move forward.

Maybe I'm being insensitive, but that's how I see this.

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I see klon affecting my husband's memory a bit, though for me (on a higher dose, even) (2 m.g.) I am not affected at all. everyone responds differently.

That said, i have a hard time believing that klon can affect anyone's memory permanently unless they were abusing it or taking insanely high dosages. Really. I mean, I can go READ the PI sheet I guess, but I'm not believing it. Personally. And my husband's issues are really, really MINOR. Like, where did I put the car keys for a minute minor. Compared to his RAGING anxiety, it's nothing. Nor do I doubt his cognitive competence OVERALL even though he might misplace a set of car keys.

the only med I've ever taken that really was like instant dementia was zonegran, and I got off that very quickly. It is YOUR responsibility to inform doctor of side effects and stop meds if indicated, or they aren't working for you. there are plenty of other options for anxiety, really.

so uh, is kind of my response. not to be unsympathetic or anything but REALLY. compared to some people who have to go through some other meds/tx (ECT springs to mind) I am feeling rather unsympathetic here.

Anna

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Klonopin memory loss? Wow. I have been having worsening memory! &On top of this I already had some ADHD-like symptoms making me forget things due to distraction. You can imagine what my life looks like now... Lost in a world of distraction, forgetfulness and...bah. I lost my psychiatric care for almost 2 years. So that's why I couldn't have discussed this with my pdoc. Now waiting until Sept. 1st so I can set up an appt when my insurance kicks in. I will definitely want to discuss this. Thanks so much for bringing this to light! I am taking 0.5 mg twice a day , I've been taking it for 3 years now I believe.

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