Tricyclic antidepressants were first discovered in the 1950s. These medicines increase the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, and they are used to treat depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, chronic pain, and insomnia. Amoxapine, nortriptyline, imipramine, and amitriptyline are currently some of the most frequently prescribed 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. Tricyclics may not be safe for patients with these conditions, and precautions may be necessary if they are 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 monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and alcohol consumption should be avoided during treatment.
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