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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 1

of 'Tricyclic antidepressant poisoning'

Toxicokinetics of nortriptyline and amitriptyline: two case reports.
Franssen EJ, Kunst PW, Bet PM, Strack van Schijndel RJ, van Loenen AC, Wilhelm AJ
Ther Drug Monit. 2003;25(2):248.
Two cases are presented of intentional intoxications with the tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) nortriptyline (NT) and amitriptyline (AT). The peak plasma concentrations were 2290 microg/L and 2900 microg/L, respectively. The active metabolites E-10-hydroxynortriptyline (EHNT) and Z-10-hydroxynortriptyline (ZHNT) profiles were quite different as monitored for 5 to 10 days after presumed drug intake. In conclusion, these cases illustrate that (1) metabolite formation and elimination after intake of an overdose dose of NT and AT are stereoselective, and (2) NT and EHNT toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics are quite different. It also shows that a patient with a severe TCA overdose can still survive if he or she receives appropriate and quick supportive care, even if the prognostic markers QRS time, coma grade, and serum TCA levels predict poor outcome.
Department of Pharmacy, University Hospital, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. EJF.Franssen@vumc.nl