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Clin Pharmacokinet. 1993 Apr;24(4):301-18.

Pharmacokinetic optimisation of tricyclic antidepressant therapy.

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  • 1Chair of Special Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Udine, Italy.


Pharmacokinetics has greatly contributed to the elucidation of the variability in clinical response to antidepressants in terms of differences in plasma concentrations due to genetic constitution, age, associated diseases and drug interactions. Despite no general agreement, therapeutic and toxic concentrations have been suggested for some tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) [amitriptyline, nortriptyline, imipramine, desipramine]. Predictive techniques may be implemented on the basis of which starting TCA dosages may be selected to reach more rapidly those concentrations at which efficacy is more probable. Therapeutic drug monitoring may thereafter assist the clinician in refining the individualisation of the dosage regimen.

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