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Patients should always tell all doctors and dentists that they are taking this medication. It may decrease the effectiveness of some drugs used to treat high blood pressure and should not be taken with other antidepressants, epinephrine and other adrenaline-type drugs, or methylphenidate. Patients should not take over-the-counter medications without checking with their doctor. For instance, amitriptyline should not be taken with Tagamet (cimetidine) or Neosynephrine. Patients taking this drug should avoid the dietary supplements St. John's wort, belladonna, henbane, and scopolia. Black tea may decrease the absorption of this drug. Patients should ingest the drug and tea at least two hours apart.

See also Depression and depressive disorders

Resources books

Consumer Reports Staff. Consumer Reports Complete Drug Reference. 2002 ed. Denver: Micromedex Thomson Healthcare, 2001. Ellsworth, Allan J. and others. Mosby's Medical Drug Reference, 2001-2002. St. Louis: Mosby, 2001. Hardman, Joel G. and Lee E. Limbird, eds. Goodman and Oilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001. Mosby's GenRx Staff. Mosby's GenRx. 9th ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 1999.

Venes, Donald and Clayton L. Thomas. Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. 19th ed. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis, 2001.

Mark Mitchell, M.D.

amnesia began. The capacity to recall past experiences m may vary, depending on the severity of the amnesia. e st

There are two types of amnesia: retrograde and ic anterograde. Retrograde amnesia refers to the loss of is memory of one's past, and can vary from person to per- ? son. Some retain virtually full recall of things that hap- er pened prior to the onset of amnesia; others forget only their recent past, and still others lose all memory of their past lives. Anterograde amnesia refers to the inability to recall events or facts introduced since the amnesia began.

Amnesia is not always obvious to the casual observer—motor skills such as tying shoelaces and bike riding are retained, as is the ability to read and comprehend the meaning of words. Because of this phenomenon, researchers have suggested that there is more than one area of the brain used to store memory. General knowledge and perceptual skills may be stored in a memory separate from the one used to store personal facts.

Childhood amnesia, a term coined by Anna Freud in the late 1940s, refers to the fact that most people cannot recall childhood experiences during the first three to five years of life. It has been suggested that this type of amnesia occurs because children and adults organize memories in different ways based on their brain's physical development. Others believe children begin remembering facts and events once they have accumulated enough experience to be able to relate experiences to each other.

See also Amnestic disorders; Dissociative amnesia; Dissociative fugue

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