In depressed individuals, amitriptyline exerts a positive effect on mood.
TCAs are potent inhibitors of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake.
No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication.
Amitriptyline hydrochloride is a dibenzocycloheptene-derivative tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). They contain a tricyclic ring system with an alkyl amine substituent on the central ring.
In non-depressed individuals, amitriptyline does not affect mood or arousal, but may cause sedation.
Tertiary amine TCAs, such as amitriptyline, are more potent inhibitors of serotonin reuptake than secondary amine TCAs, such as nortriptyline.
TCAs also down-regulate cerebral cortical β-adrenergic receptors and sensitize post-synaptic serotonergic receptors with chronic use.
Untoward side effects may be reduced by taking trazodone after meals, and by using bedtime dosing.
They are among the safest pills in medicine -- safer than, for example, Tylenol or penicillin. Tricyclics can make certain illnesses worse: narrow-angle glaucoma, prostatic hypertrophy, and preexisting cardiac arrhythmias.
They won't damage your kidneys, liver, heart, or nervous system. A few patients stop taking tricyclic antidepressants because the side effects are too annoying: dry mouth, constipation, sweating, or grogginess.
Nortriptyline is an option for some animals that experience too much sedation with the parent compound.
Cats: Amitriptyline is commonly used for cats that spray or exhibit inappropriate elimination behaviors.
Tricyclic antidepressants usually don't interact with other medications, but there are exceptions you should know about: This medication must be taken regularly, not just when you feel like you need it.