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Ther Drug Monit. 2004 Apr;26(2):206-10.

Drug-facilitated robbery or sexual assault: problems associated with amnesia.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Pharmacocinétique et de Toxicologie Cliniques, Groupe Hospitalier, 76083 Le Havre, France.


Amnesia following sedative-hypnotic drug exposure is discussed. Anterograde amnesia clearly occurs with many benzodiazepines. Several drugs are assessed: benzodiazepines and two hypnotics in particular that are structurally unrelated to the benzodiazepines but share some of their properties: zolpidem and zopiclone. The amnesic effects of these drugs are described, memory process, biology of memory, and memory process impairment documented. With these drugs anterograde amnesia has been demonstrated to be dose dependent. This effect is associated with hypnotic drugs, however, the receptors are different. As regards forensic medicine, a significant and specific type of amnesia should be considered: amnesia automatism or amnesic complex automatism. Also, several cases observed in our laboratory are presented to demonstrate the impact of amnesia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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