Being told my drugs are causing my memory lapses...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 386
   Posted 4/10/2009 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
I love my daughter.  But she has been telling me for months off and on when she witnesses one of my forgetful moments that my drugs are what causing me to forget.  I agree to a point but I keep telling her that I've read about it being part of FM as well.  I told her to read the book she even bought me last year....its in their too! 
I am actually only taking 2 meds other than my vitamins.  A couple weeks ago I dropped down to 300mg of gabapentin and I still take the pristiq.  I just wanted to share my little frustration about it, I feel like I've had to defend myself to her big time the other night. mad  
She watched and heard me ***** about where the phone was.  I had just used it not even 15min. ago and left it actually right next to her on the table.  Then she started in on what my drugs are doing to my memory. smhair
Dx Fibro 1/2008, gastritis
600mg Gabapentin, 50mg Pristiq, Ultracet and/or Fentanyl patch as needed, Vitamin D3, Menopausal Support Multi-vitamin

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17526
   Posted 4/10/2009 10:24 AM (GMT -7)   

Ahhh...just wait until she forgets something!  devil    People forget all the time and we, with fibro, forget even more.  I have fibro fog but I don't take those medications. 

My daughter is 31 years old.  She had coupons for CVS and headed for the drug store.  She filled her cart with all of her "goodies" and planned on saving some money.  She checked out and handed the clerk her coupons.  The clerk said, "Ma'am, this is Walgreens."  turn    She's not on any medications other than birth control pills.  LOL 


Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 278
   Posted 4/10/2009 1:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Many of the drugs that the doctors give Fibros for pain do contribute to the mental fog. For that reason I gave up or cut back on almost all of mine.
I can tolerate the pain more than the fog......
So I agree with her to a certain point.....Fibro does bless us with some of the fog on it's own and it is made worse with the pain drugs.
Our attitude towards life determines life's attitude towards us. {Earl Nightingale} 
Fibro since 2005

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 4/10/2009 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   
My memory loss is the newest joke of the family, 3 months before I was diagnosed with FM, my grandmother was diagnosed with alzheimers, so now when I forget something it's "Oh, Lola's having a grandma moment" LOL
FM, costocontritis, wide spread arthritis, fibriod tumors, 2 heart attacks at 22

Flexeril 30mg, Celexa 50mg, Despiramine 50mg, Ibuprofen 800mg Acetometaphen 500mg, Calming Sleep herbal suppliment, ActivOn topical pain relief, occassional cannibus

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 4/10/2009 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Right now I can joke about fibro-fog at my new job; I'm concentrating super hard on remembering everything I am supposed to. But I am terrified of when I start actually forgetting things in front of people - at my last job I could tell they were really suspicious that I was on some kind of narcotics or drugs. Luckily I told me new employer right up front about FM and symptoms, and that every day is different so far for me. And so far so good. So, while I'm secretly fearful, I am in a better workplace, so it's probably for naught.

After work though and with my friends and family I am already becoming more dingy than usual. :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 4/11/2009 9:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh I am so glad someone started this thread. I am losing my memory leaps and bounds. I actually think I have alzheimers sometimes. I think it is a combination of the meds and the fibro. I forget whole conversations A LOT and I have trouble following conversations sometimes too.

The only benefit I see out of this is I have a whole cabinet full of DVD's that I have seen, but have no recollection of the story lines. So, I see them over and over again and it's like watching them for the first time each time. God, Isn't that awful??

I hope I am not developing alzheimers. No history in the family, so I am hoping.

Thanks for the thread, Binki.

Moderator Chronic Pain
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 4/11/2009 9:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree, its a combination of the drugs and the Fibro, and it might even having something to do with circulation to the brain, since I know I can get into my flip me upside down thingamabob for a couple of minutes and be clearer and more balanced, sometimes up to even a couple of hours. I have even taken large dosages of specific amino acids that are supposed to counter to whatever extent what the drugs are doing, and after a few weeks, I think clearer and my memory improves some. So sure, if we could drop all the drugs, swim laps, walk miles, hike mountains and get all kinds of circulation going I am sure we would all think much clearer and our memories would improve. But then, if we could do that, we wouldn't have Fibro, would we?

My memory and focus did improve dramatically for 3 months when I dropped all the drugs, ate the pain, and went to work at a job that I had to lug heavy equipment up and down stairs allot, then lean on my truck gasping for air for several minutes. I was just able to pull that off several years ago for a few months, when I wasn't as bad. If I tried it today, I would collapse into depression in two weeks and quit, because my whole body would be telling me you can't keep doing this.

When I get moved next week, I am installing allot of therapy equipment that should help to reduce the drug use, reduce pain and increase circulation and try to get more exercise slowly scaled up at the pool. We will see how much it really helps.

But regardless, I know its a combination of the Fibro itself, the drugs, and what the Fibro prevents us from doing on increasing our circulation, strength and stamina like a normal person could do.

Edit note: I had commented somewhere, that they found that Nicotine would offset a certain amount of the negative side effects of these types of drugs. I found it to be a fact for myself. But it doesn't work well if your body is running on a pretty stable amount of nicotene. I wear patches to smoke less. What I found is that if I know I have to do something coming up in a few days that is going to require me to be clearer, I go without the patches for a couple of days and put myself into Nicotine withdrawal. Then the day I have to do this thing, say drive a long distance, I put the patch back on a few hours before I am getting up, suck a lozenge and I am off. I am very clear headed and can go most of that day and do it the next day and be clear that day also for most of the day. After that my brain is nicotine soaked again and its back to the fog. Much of what these drugs are doing is central nervous system depression. The Nicotine, being a central nervous system stimulant cranks it up temporarily if your body is not used to it or in a withdrawal state.

Once again, not a endorsement to take up smoking or hook yourself on Nicotine. Its just a means I found to get something done that would otherwise be to hard for my brain and body to pull off.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.

Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.

Post Edited (Grailhunter) : 4/11/2009 11:15:39 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 4/11/2009 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   

If nicotine works, I wonder if ritalin would work. too.  I also wonder if nicotine patches would be a good stop gap measure for those of us who do not smoke.


Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 210
   Posted 4/11/2009 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a big memory issue the other day. My daughter ask me" where's my music book?" pointing I said " Its on that , that thing, you know that makes music" I couldn't for the life of me say piano. She laughed and I just shook my head. It freaks me out sometimes because there is a history of Alzhiemer's in our family. And about that ritalin, dosen't that act like speed in Adults. I use to do speed back in the day and do you know I don't think I forgot anything, except I probably didn't remember that I had anything to remember! Burn out....... Sometimes I think that could of been one of the things that started me on this fibro journey.
Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto Thyroid disease, Chronic pain.
 All things are possible thru Christ Jesus who strengthens me

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 4/11/2009 3:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Its a personal choice like everything else on the Nicotine patches, but I did read a long piece published by researches on the possibility of using Nicotene, or creating a drug that is not Nicotene, but would accomplish the same thing on offsetting mental deficit side effects on a number of these drugs.

Its pretty drastic if you don't smoke to start slapping Nicotine patches on yourself. I am sure its not going to make you smoke anymore then any other drug would make you start lighting up if you never have. But it will addict you to Nicotine and if you decide to stop doing it, it will probably be about as hard as coming off something akin to a opiod class drug that you had been using for quite sometime, where you have to wean off of it. When I intentionally put myself into Nicotine withdrawal for a couple of days, so my brain gets stimulated harder when it gets it back and I can get the clarity and energy to get that hard thing accomplished, I am right on the edge of a really hard anxiety attack by the time I am putting the patch back on around 4 am. A couple of hours latter I am calmed down and my energy and clarity is coming up for almost two full days.

I pretty well know what this is doing. Nicotine stimulates the release of NorEpinephrine and Dopamine. NorEpinephrine makes you feel energized. Dopamine makes you feel relaxed even if you are energized, and increases the ability to concentrate. Deprive yourself of the drug for awhile, even a couple of days and when you use it, it works better. This effect would probably be a whole lot stronger on a non smoker that didn't have years of Nicotine use causing the brain to build a ton of extra receptors that want to be satisfied.

I would think long and hard before doing it, but once again, individually, we gotta do what we gotta do. Personally, I will gladly take the positive influences first, but if I couldn't take another step, and I had to add on yet another thing with negatives in it to keep going, then I view it as my basic functionality has to come first. I gotta drive 10 hours on Wednesday to get to my new residence. I don't feel fully safe driving the 2 miles back and forth to work now. I will do what I have to do, write another bad check on my body and get it done.

Ritalin might work. There is another potential option to Ritalin or Nicotine. The natural brain chemical that your brain produces that is what it uses as a major upper is called PEA. It is the brains natural equivalent to speed. Heavy exercise increases PEA production, a major reason exercise is a anti-depressant. Locked way back in their closets, behind all the SSRI's, Amitrytilene, MAOI's, Wellbutrin and other host of anti-depressants, the Shrinks have the option of writing PEA prescriptions for depression that is not responding to what they like to use.

A big funny on this is that real, unsweetened, dark chocolate is loaded with PEA. The regular chocolate like a Hershey bar has a little in it, but the real stuff has allot, and your body absorbs it well and it heads straight for the brain.

The Chocolate high works on men, but it works on women even better because besides the PEA, it has a positive effect on female hormones.

Downside is. Chocolate is hard on people with digestive issues, especially if they have GERD. It weakens the muscle between the esophagus and stomach, making the GERD worse.

I thought I might toss that in there since when I eat allot of chocolate over several days, I think more clearly also. Also tend to be in a better mood.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.

Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.

Post Edited (Grailhunter) : 4/11/2009 5:15:09 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 223
   Posted 4/11/2009 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
This reminds me of the huge fight my sister and I had and are still not speaking from. She had told me that if I didn't take so many drugs then I would remember things. Sure, medications can cause some memory problems, but there is also fibro fog and the simple fact that human beings forget things from time to time. It is a combination of all of those things. When your daughter brings it up again, I would tell her that yes, your meds are probably contributing, but they are not the only factor in your forgetfulness. Then just let it drop. You don't need to continuously defend yourself over something so stupid. Tell her to just let it go because you know that you are forgetful and there really isn't a whole lot you can do about it.

~MDD, Fibromyalgia, OCD, Anxiety Disorders, IBS, TMJ, Arthritis~
May your heart be filled with love and joy.
May your mind be clear and true.
May your smiles be many,
And may your tears be few. 
May God wrap you in His arms
Especially when you're feeling blue.

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