Tricyclic antidepressants

Last updated: Wednesday, 31, March, 2004

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Item Process
Specimen

10 mL blood in plain tube.

Method

Immunoassay, chromatography.

Therapeutic Interval

Amitriptyline: 150-900 nmol/L, 60-250 µg/L
Nortriptyline: 200-650 nmol/L, 50-170 µg/L
Imipramine: 350-1000 nmol/L, 100-300 µg/L
Desipramine: 150-550 nmol/L, 90-250 µg/L
Trimipramine: 300-500 nmol/L, 90-150 µg/L
Dothiepin: 150-700 nmol/L, 50-200 µg/L

Application

Therapeutic monitoring; assessment of overdose.

Interpretation

Therapeutic intervals are only approximations - consult pathologist.

Owing to the long half-lives of these drugs some days to weeks are required to reach steady state conditions.

Reference

Burke MJ and Preskorn SH. Clin Pharmacokinet 1999; 37(2): 147-165.