Tricyclic antidepressants were first discovered in the 1950s. They increase the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, and are used to treat depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, chronic pain, and insomnia. Amoxapine and amitriptyline are currently two of the most common tricyclic antidepressants. Before taking this type of antidepressant, patients should let their doctor know if they have recently had a heart attack or if they have glaucoma, liver disease, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, or a history of seizures. This medication may not be safe for patients with these conditions. Precautions may be necessary if this medication for depression is used in patients under twenty-five years old or over sixty-five years old.
Potential side effects associated with these medications include a racing heartbeat, sweating, urinary retention, blurry vision, and dizziness. Some patients could also experience weight gain, constipation, tremors, restlessness, and low blood pressure upon standing. In elderly patients, tricyclic antidepressants could cause confusion. This kind of antidepressant should not be used with MAOIs. Alcohol consumption should be avoided during treatment.
Read more about the most common types of antidepressants now.