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Article   |    
Effects of Psychotropic Drugs on Memory: Part 2
Paul Plasky; Leonard Marcus; Carl Salzman
Psychiatric Services 1988; doi:
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Department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Massachuserts Mental Health Center, 74 Fenwood Road, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

In these two columns, we have briefly reviewed the research on the effects on memory of lithium, anticonvulsants, anticholinergics, neuroleptics, antidepressants, beta blockers, and benzodiazepines. Evidence suggests that all classes of psychotropic medication may have some deleterious effect on memory. However, the clinician must weigh the risk of memory loss due to psychotropic drugs against the risk that certain emotional illnesses, such as depression and severe anxiety, may themselves impair memory function if not treated.Clinically significant effects on memory are most often seen when using drugs or combinations of drugs with high anticholinergic activity and when using short-acting benzodiazepines. Clinical evidence and some research suggest that geriatric patients are more sensitive to the potential memory impairment caused by psychotropic drugs, but more research data are needed.

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