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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5330
Experience:  Neurology & Int Medicine (US Trained): 20 yrs experience
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I was diagnosed with MS 25 years ago,have been on Clonazepam

Customer Question

I was diagnosed with MS 25 years ago,have been on Clonazepam ever since.
My MS lesions are heavily distributed thru out my brain,but I get around just fine,the only
problem that I have are short term memory problems. Being very familiar with the Clonazepam, My memory problems I think might partially be due to this drug,What might be available as a substitute?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Yes. Clonazepam has been known to affect one's cognition and memory. Why were you put on it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My reflexes were extremely fast...,I was aware something was going on in my body and was anxious to find out what I could.I had a "high tech" career,but due to my memory problems,I was ask to go on disability. This,I reluctantly did.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I,over the years,have had two MRI's,both showing many brain lesions...and confirming the MS. However,I walk just fine,scuba dive,and am a raked Texas judoka.(Or I was till I started the clonazepam.)
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

If used for increased muscle tone or spasticity, it could be replaced with a muscle relaxant (e.g. baclofen, flexeril, zanaflex) that is less likely to affect your cognition and memory. If used primarily for anxiety or stress, there are newer, more benign medications that could be tried, including sertraline, buspirone, citalopram, etc. These agents are not typically as sedating as clonazepam and there is no risk of addiction or serious withdrawal symptoms. If you do decide to go off clonazepam, or transition to another agent, please do so slowly and under the supervision of a doctor, as withdrawial symptoms canbe quite severe .