Amitriptyline is a ► tricyclic antidepressant with a tertiary amine chemical structure. One of the earlier tricyclics to be developed, it acts by inhibiting the reuptake of ► serotonin and ► norepinephrine, with roughly equal effects on each of these neurotransmitters. While its primary use is in the treatment of depression, it is also used in lower doses to treat migraine headache. It is metabolized to
► nortriptyline, which is itself marketed as an antidepres-sant. Usage of amitriptyline has declined in recent years due to its unfavorable side effect profile, including marked sedation, cardiovascular effects, and anticholinergic effects (e.g., constipation, dry mouth, blurred vision, urinary retention), and its high potential for lethality in overdose.
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