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Mayo Clin Proc. 1979 Oct;54(10):669-74.

Tricyclic antidepressants and histamine H1 receptors.


Tricyclic antidepressants and some structurally related compounds were tested for their ability to antagonize histamine H1 and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors of cultured mouse neuroblastoma cells. As a group, tertiary amine tricyclic antidepressants tended to be more potent than secondary amine drugs at both receptors. The most potent antihistamine, doxepin hydrocholoride, was about 4 times more potent than amitriptyline hydrochloride, about 800 times more potent than diphenhydramine hydrochloride, and about 8,000 times more potent than desipramine hydrochloride, the least potent tricyclic antidepressant at both the histamine H1 and the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. All tricyclic drugs except desipramine hydrochloride were more potent as antihistamines than as anticholinergics. Doxepin hydrochloride and amitriptyline hydrochloride may be the most potent antihistamines known, and the antihistaminic potencies of these and the other tricyclic antidepressant drugs may relate directly to their ability to cause sedation and drowsiness in patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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