Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs) - How To Overcome Depression Naturally | What Causes Depression | Dealing With Depression | How To Get Rid Of Depression | Depression Help Online

Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)


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.[1Opens in a new tab.]

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 histaminicOpens in a new tab., cholinergicOpens in a new tab., and alpha1-adrenergic receptorsOpens in a new tab. too.[2Opens in a new tab.]

Simply put…They block “a whole lot of action” from going on in your brain!

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  • 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?

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Tricyclic Antidepressants List

Here’s a list of some commonly prescribed Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs).

  • AmoxapineOpens in a new tab. – Asendin – Défanyl – Oxamine – Demolox – Adisen – Amolife – Amoxan – Asendis – Oxcap
  • AmitriptylineOpens in a new tab. – Elavil – Tryptizol – Syneudon – Sarotex -Amirol – Adepril – Levate – Endep – Laroxyl
  • LofepramineOpens in a new tab. – Gamanil – Lomont
  • NortriptylineOpens in a new tab. – Pamelor – Allegron – Aventyl – Noritren – Norpress – Nortrilen – Sensoval
  • ClomipramineOpens in a new tab. – Anafranil – Hydiphen – Anapramine
  • DesipramineOpens in a new tab. – Norpramin – Pertofran – Pertofrane
  • DoxepinOpens in a new tab. – Sinequan – Silenor – Triadapin – Adapin – Aponal – Quitaxon
  • TrimipramineOpens in a new tab. – Surmontil – Rhotrimine
    Herphonal – Sapilent – Stangyl – Tripress – Tydamine
  • ImipramineOpens in a new tab. – Tofranil – Impril – Antidep – Depsonil – Elamin – Fronil – Imidol – Imiprex
  • ProtiptylineOpens in a new tab. – Triptil – Vivactil

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Most Common Side Effects of Tricyclic Antidepressants

Tricyclic antidepressants may cause:

  • Anxiety
  • Emotional blunting
  • Weight gain (or loss)
  • Changes in appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • 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
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors or muscle twitches
  • Akathisia
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Weakness
  • Feeling nauseous or vomiting
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Tachycardia
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Increased risk of Serotonin Syndrome

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Antidepressant Warnings

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 CheckerOpens in a new tab.. 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 rawpixelOpens in a new tab.

Marie O'Neil

As an Overcoming Depression Specialist, I get so frustrated with all the 'mental illness myths' and half-truths keeping people stuck in the downward spiral of depression. It doesn’t need to be that way! THERE IS A WAY OUT! If I can do it, so can you! You just need the right, time-tested tools and proven strategies to help you do it. And, that's what this website is all about. Giving you light in the darkest of times. To learn more about me simply click here.

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