Text Size

Will Klonopin increase my risk of Alzheimers?

answered 09:09 AM EST, Fri July 18, 2014
-- filed under:
anonymous anonymous
There is a history of early onset Alzheimer’s in my family. I have anxiety problems and am prescribed clonazepam to take as needed when I feel panic but I am concerned about how this could have a long term impact on my memory. Will this drug increase my risks for Alzheimer’s in any way shape or form?

Dr. Stuart Shipko Says...

It is not definitive, but it looks like benzodiazepines might increase the risk of dementia.  The short term effects of Klonopin and other benzodiazepines are well known, and memory impairment is a common side effect of this category of drug.  The studies which look at whether benzodiazepines are associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer's have been performed in elderly populations and are not definitive.  In one prospective study that looked at patients with an average age of 78, it was found that the patients who started benzodiazepines had a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's, but the authors also questioned whether the reason that the patients were put on the drugs related to early symptoms of dementia.  In another study, individuals over 65 were studied and it was found that the risk of dementia was higher in patients who had previously taken benzodiazepines, but that it was not higher in current users.  Your question is whether there is any information that supports this possibility, and the answer is yes, but the association has not been definitively proven.

Email It Send this page Print It Print friendly page Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category

Page last updated Jul 18, 2014

Join Thousands of Readers

who receive our weekly recovery newsletter.

Anxiety: Featured Experts
All Experts

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.