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Drugs. 1989;38 Suppl 1:17-24; discussion 49-50.

A review of trimipramine. 30 years of clinical use.

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1
University of Ottawa, Royal Ottawa Hospital, Canada.

Abstract

The hybrid chemical structure of trimipramine incorporates an imipramine nucleus and levomepromazine side chain. This structure predicts much of the clinical profile of trimipramine. The initial studies on trimipramine date back nearly 30 years. It now has a well-recognised clinical profile with some characteristics akin to other tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) and others which are quite distinct. It is well established as a highly effective antidepressant with an efficacy profile similar to the other TCAs. Clinically, its anxiolytic and sedative properties distinguish it from most other TCAs. Its effects on sleep architecture are unique and explain some of its unique properties. The side effect profile of trimipramine is in some ways similar to those of the tertiary amine TCAs with a preponderance of anticholinergic and sedative effects. Its cardiotoxic properties are minimal, with some findings suggesting a very favourable profile. Interactions with other drugs, psychotropic or non-psychotropic, are compatible with its pharmacological profile. These are reviewed with its clinical applications in mind. The pharmacokinetic characteristics of trimipramine differ from those of many of the other TCAs. The application of this to clinical situations is addressed. Based on experience using trimipramine, a profile of 'ideal' patient characteristics has been built up. Finally, the use of trimipramine in selected patient populations is reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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