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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Last year i was cleared from huntingtons disease, my grandfather

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Last year i was cleared from huntingtons disease, my grandfather had it. anyway, my memory had started getting bad, so i thought it might be with the hd, but since being cleared of it, i now know it cant be that. my genetics counselleor and doctor thought the memory loss thing could be from my use of antidepressants. Is this possible? If so, is it going to keep getting worse?

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


Some medications that are used to treat mood disorders affect the complex chemical compound acetylcholine (ACH) which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. In addition to making your muscles move, ACH is highly related to learning and memory. For example, the medication Benatryl is used to treat allergic reactions. However, it also interferes with ACH causing memory issues and learning problems (which is why you do not take Benatryl before studying for a test). Some anti depressants work along similar lines.


If you feel that you may be on a medication that affects your memory, talk with your a psychiatrist about trying another medication. Not all anti depressants affect ACH so you may be able to find one that works for you.


I hope this has helped you,

Edited by Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC on 2/18/2011 at 5:19 PM EST
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm on 40mg fluoxetine daily, and this is the only thing that helps my ocd. is it worth looking more into the memory loss, or is it quite likely its the prozac? a few years ago i had a perfect photographic memory, now it is very poor indeed.

Memory loss is not typically associated with the generic form of Prozac, which is what you are taking. The Prozac works on your OCD because it provides additional serotonin to shut off thought impulses (all thoughts processes start with a pulse of serotonin and end with a pulse of serotonin- It is a lot like an automobile key which starts an engine and shuts it off). In your case, there is enough serotonin to start the thought process, but not enough to end it.


If your memory problems are caused by the fluoxentine, that is a very unusual response. You may want to take a look at other causes. Also check with your doctor.


Also, consider that fluoxentine and diet affect your symptoms greatly. You might want to check with your doctor about adding 1,000 mg. of omega 3 to your diet to help promote neuro stability. The omega 3 is thought to stabilize neuro impulses and to retain biochemical information related to memory.


However, at your age and considering you sex, hormonal issues can sometimes cause memory lapse or retrieval issues. Estrogen is notorious for causing memory problems. I suggest seeing an endocrinologist to rule this out.



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