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Tricyclic Antidepressants - Effects and Contra-Indications

Abstract: When are tricyclic antidepressants used and why? When are they not?

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Tricyclic Antidepressants - Effects and Contra-Indications

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Written by: , lecturer of Psychiatry in the University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece. Eva Gerasi, postgraduate student in the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 29 Jul 2008.

When are TCAs used and why? When are they not?

Answer:

This type of medication is used to help relieve the symptoms of major depression.

When these drugs are not used:

  • Some of these medications are not given to older adults because the medications cause too many negative side effects.
  • TCAs medications usually are not given to people with certain heart problems, such as irregular heartbeats and low blood pressure.
They work as well as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors and a psychological treatment called cognitive behaviour therapy.

There exist the following: amitriptyline, desipramine, doxepin, imipramine, nortriptyline, protriptyline, trimipramine.

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