Can memory loss be attributed to hydrocodone-acetaminophen taken on a regular basis?

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My mother took Tramadol for back pain for many years. Two and a half years ago with increased pain, her doctor changed her to hydrocodone-acetaminophen 5/325 which she takes 4 times per day. Both before and after the change in medication her memory has been declining. Can the hydrocodone-acetaminophen cause memory loss over a period of time?

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Pain medication and Narcotics are a double edged sword. You have to take the good with the bad. Things like mood changes, difficulties remembering, as well as constipation and even kidney and liver toxicity from the Acetaminophen can be attributed to the meds, but how would she feel without them? Chronic pain isn't something that I would wish on anyone, and it seems to me, that your Mom is on a fairly low dose at only 4 tablets daily, and if thats what it takes to manage her pain, then I wouldn't mess with it! There are plain narcotics, meaning No Tylenol, but the combo pills exist, as they have proven to help boost the narcotic effect towards relieving pain.

A lot of bad press is about, regarding narcotic pain meds, but they have been around for a long time, and have been proven effective if taken appropriately and kept out of the hands of others, especially kids!

Make sure to keep them locked away or hidden, and never speak of them except to her Dr's, else you/she becomes a target for theft. I know that someone took the emergency medication kit out of a bedside drawer, that Hospice left should my dying Mother need it, but these things happen when there are a lot of visitors in the house. You cannot be too careful!

Talk to her Dr's about your concerns!
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In my opinion, yes, I have seen memory losses and loss of concentration in people who have been taking opiates and synthetic opiates. Acetaminophen is toxic over a long time. These drugs are hard on the liver and kidneys. Annual bloodwork will track those changes.
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Opiates are known to damage memory especially short-term memory.
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