PMID: 10583Jan 1, 1976

Treatment of depression with tricyclic drugs--pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic aspects

Pharmakopsychiatrie, Neuro-Psychopharmakologie
M Asberg


A series of studies on the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of some tricyclic antidepressants is reviewed. During treatment with the same oral dose of these drugs, patients develop widely differing plasma levels. The importance of this variability for the clinical effects has been studied in detail for the monomethylated compound, nortriptyline. There is an association between side-effects and high plasma levels of this drug. In endogenously depressed patients, the relationship between plasma level and effect appears to be curvilinear. The tricyclic antidepressants differ in their capacity to inhibit transmitter uptake into noradrenaline- and serotonin neurons respectively. Nortriptyline is a preferential noradrenaline uptake inhibitor, while the dimethylated compound, chlorimipramine also has a profound influence on serotonin neurons. These differential effects are also reflected in changes in the levels of the transmitter metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The CSF studies have also supported the hypothesis of a biochemical heterogeneity of the depressive syndrome. The levels of the serotonin metabolite, 5-HIAA were bimodally distributed in CSF. In patients with a low level of 5-HIAA there was a significan...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Tricyclic Antidepressive Agents
Clomipramine Maleate (1: 1)
Depressive Symptoms
Homovanillic Acid
Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid
Methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol, (-)-Isomer
Norepinephrine, (+, -)-Isomer

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Neural Activity: Imaging

Imaging of neural activity in vivo has developed rapidly recently with the advancement of fluorescence microscopy, including new applications using miniaturized microscopes (miniscopes). This feed follows the progress in this growing field.

The Tendon Seed Network

Tendons are rich in the extracellular matrix and are abundant throughout the body providing essential roles including structure and mobility. The transcriptome of tendons is being compiled to understand the micro-anatomical functioning of tendons. Discover the latest research pertaining to the Tendon Seed Network here.

Myocardial Stunning

Myocardial stunning is a mechanical dysfunction that persists after reperfusion of previously ischemic tissue in the absence of irreversible damage including myocardial necrosis. Here is the latest research.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.


Incretins are metabolic hormones that stimulate a decrease in glucose levels in the blood and they have been implicated in glycemic regulation in the remission phase of type 1 diabetes. Here is the latest research.

Chromatin Regulation and Circadian Clocks

The circadian clock plays an important role in regulating transcriptional dynamics through changes in chromatin folding and remodelling. Discover the latest research on Chromatin Regulation and Circadian Clocks here.

Long COVID-19

“Long Covid-19” describes illness in patients who are reporting long-lasting effects of the SARS-CoV-19 infection, often long after they have recovered from acute Covid-19. Ongoing health issues often reported include low exercise tolerance and breathing difficulties, chronic tiredness, and mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. This feed follows the latest research into Long Covid.

Spatio-Temporal Regulation of DNA Repair

DNA repair is a complex process regulated by several different classes of enzymes, including ligases, endonucleases, and polymerases. This feed focuses on the spatial and temporal regulation that accompanies DNA damage signaling and repair enzymes and processes.