For many years, the tricyclics were the most popular antidepressants. Although superseded today by the less side-effect prone selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), they are still used in certain cases.
Antidepressants in this family include:
- Amitriptyline hydrochloride (Elavil)
- Amoxapine (Asendin)
- Clomipramine hydrochloride (Anafranil)
- Desipramine hydrochloride (Norpramin)
- Doxepin hydrochloride (Sinequan)
- Imipramine (Tofranil)
- Nortriptyline hydrochloride (Aventyl, Pamelor)
- Protriptyline hydrochloride (Vivactil)
- Trimipramine maleate (Surmontil)
- and others
Supplementation Possibly Helpful
Preliminary evidence suggests that tricyclic antidepressants might deplete the body of coenzyme Q
), a substance that appears to be important for normal heart function.
Possible Dangerous Interactions
Based on one case report
Possible Harmful Interaction
St. John’s wort might decrease the effectiveness of tricyclic antidepressants by reducing blood levels of the drug.
2. Kishi T, Makino K, Okamoto T, et al. Inhibition of myocardial respiration by psychotherapeutic drugs and prevention by coenzyme Q. In: International Symposium on Coenzyme Q. Biomedical and clinical aspects of coenzyme Q. Vol. 2. New York, NY: Elsevier Publishing Co; 1980: 139-157.
5. Johne A, Schmider J, Brockmoller J, et al. Decreased plasma levels of amitriptyline and its metabolites on comedication with an extract from St. John's wort ( Hypericum perforatum ). J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2002;22:46-54.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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