Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a class of depression medication which are NOT usually prescribed as a ‘first choice’ antidepressant for the treatment of depression, simply because they seem to have more adverse side effects or are harder to tolerate than the likes of SSRI’s.
These adverse side effects maybe due to Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) not only inhibiting the “reuptake” of neurotransmitters (messenger molecules), such as: Serotonin and Norepinephrine but also because they can block histaminic, cholinergic, and alpha1-adrenergic receptors too.
Simply put…They block “a whole lot of action” from going on in your brain!
- Want to see the basic process of how “reuptake inhibitors” are said to work to treat depression? Then, be sure to watch: How Do Antidepressants Work?
Tricyclic Antidepressants List
Here’s a list of some commonly prescribed Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs).
- Amoxapine – Asendin – Défanyl – Oxamine – Demolox – Adisen – Amolife – Amoxan – Asendis – Oxcap
- Amitriptyline – Elavil – Tryptizol – Syneudon – Sarotex -Amirol – Adepril – Levate – Endep – Laroxyl
- Lofepramine – Gamanil – Lomont
- Nortriptyline – Pamelor – Allegron – Aventyl – Noritren – Norpress – Nortrilen – Sensoval
- Clomipramine – Anafranil – Hydiphen – Anapramine
- Desipramine – Norpramin – Pertofran – Pertofrane
- Doxepin – Sinequan – Silenor – Triadapin – Adapin – Aponal – Quitaxon
- Trimipramine – Surmontil – Rhotrimine
Herphonal – Sapilent – Stangyl – Tripress – Tydamine
- Imipramine – Tofranil – Impril – Antidep – Depsonil – Elamin – Fronil – Imidol – Imiprex
- Protiptyline – Triptil – Vivactil
Most Common Side Effects of Tricyclic Antidepressants
Tricyclic antidepressants may cause:
- Emotional blunting
- Weight gain (or loss)
- Changes in appetite
- Dry mouth
- Increased risk of suicidal thinking &/or suicidal behaviour
- Dizziness / Lightheadedness
- Blurred vision
- Drop in blood pressure upon standing
- Rash / hives
- Urine retention
- Increased body temperature
- Excessive sweating
- Sexual dysfunction
- Cognitive &/or memory impairment
- Lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern
- Inability to feel pleasure in normally pleasurable activities
- Tremors or muscle twitches
- Feeling nauseous or vomiting
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Increased risk of Serotonin Syndrome
Antidepressant drugs can interact with other medications, foods and natural supplements (for example; St Johns Wort) which may increase the risk of Serotonin Syndrome, so be sure to speak to your doctor or healthcare provider to ensure there’s no negative interactions.
If you would like to personally assess how your medications may interact with each other, then simply click here to use the FREE Drug Interactions Checker. This will inform you of any possible negative interactions of your medications.
NOTE: Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on the Drug Interactions page applies to your personal circumstances. Always check with your healthcare provider to determine if any adjustments to your medications are needed.
WARNING: *** NEVER stop an antidepressant drug without first consulting your healthcare provider. Suddenly stopping an antidepressant drug can cause adverse effects.***
NOTE: The content on this page is for general information purposes only. This page is not intended to give advice regarding Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs).
2. Receptor Sites Affected By Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)
IMAGE CREDIT: Photo by rawpixel