Any medication out there which erases memory (retrograde amnesia)

I know several medications which makes brain unable to create memories. They are also known as date rape drugs. Is there any medication out there which does the same thing to past memories (either temporarily or permanently) ?

*“What do they inject?”

“A substance called puromycin. At one university they’ve been treating goldfish with it, and they have some very stupid goldfish out there. Don’t learn a thing and can’t remember a thing.”

“What would happen if you injected a person with puromycin?”

“I don’t think anybody ever has. If it works the way it does on the lab animals, you’d wipe out the memory of what had recently happened, maybe forever."*

The Girl In The Plain Brown Wrapper - John MacDonald

There has been some experimentation with beta blockers, which are mostly used for blood pressure and heart arrhythmias, for people who have experienced a major trauma. Not sure if they’ve come up with any useful results.


Sounds like the OP is looking for a drug that will erase a memory that is already in place at the time of drug administration. Which raises the question of how would one filter the results, so it deletes desired memories, but not all the others.

I don’t think propranolol erases the memory, it just weakens the emotions associated with the memory.

Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to Korsakoff’s syndrome, whose symptoms include both retrograde and anterograde amnesia.

When my brother was hospitalized one of his many times, they overdosed him on some drug that caused him temporary memory problems. He forgot our mother had died some 15 years earlier and confused our sister as being our mother. He was shocked into tears when his wife told him she was dead. The nurses also found him wandering the halls nude. Sorry, don’t know the drug name.

Sorry for your brother. Did he eventually recover his memory?

This sounds like the result of taking Ambien. How and why that poison ever got on the market is a complete mystery to me.

Marijuana … {Cite} …


My question pertains to the drug which completely or partly erases the memory. It does not have to erase the desired ones.

That is not a normal consequence of Ambien. Nor is it a poison.


Not you, the fact. Makes 0 sense.

Yes, he did. It took him a good 24 hours, however. Pretty positive it wasn’t Ambien. It was a drug administered following surgery, and they gave him at least twice as much as was prescribed, possibly more.

One of my kids was taking Ambien for awhile and of course not following the directions. His wife found him early one morning at the table, where he had cut up his paycheck into a bowl, added milk, and was munching happily.

Xanax. Fucking Xanax. To a scary degree (for me anyway). Worse than booze.

Lorazepam, which is similar to Xanax, has an amnesic effect for many people and is often given post-surgery.

I don’t think it erases the memory, but ECT has been used to treat PTSDby lessening the emotional reactions to traumatic memories.

Versed can erase memories from just prior to administration, really more like it stops short term memories from becoming long term ones. I’ve given it right after and IV start in a kid for example.

Lou Reed has discussed how ECT wiped out his memory. Lyrics from “Kill Your Sons”:

All your two-bit psychiatrists are giving you electro shock
They say, they let you live at home, with mom and dad
Instead of mental hospital
But every time you tried to read a book
You couldn’t get to page 17
'Cause you forgot, where you were
So you couldn’t even read