TCA and Depression First Before Anything Else

This educational blog talks about tricyclic antidepressant drugs or TCA. TCA are antidepressants, so they are use for treating depression. They are known as the earliest antidepressants gaining popularity in the 1950’s.

The BIG FIVE are the five common TCA drugs namely: Amitryptiline, Nortryptiline, Desipramine, Imipramine and Doxepin. These drugs are generic named.

Several tests or assays are used to determine the levels of TCA in the human body. Toxic concentration or the high dosage of these drugs can be fatal causing hallucination and suicidal attempts. The heart of this educational blog will be these tests mentioned.


This educational blog is also publish for a requirement under Clinical Chemistry 3: Toxicology subject.


Depression is common affecting about 121 million people in the world. The Philippines, once considered as one of the HAPPIEST nations worldwide has the highest number of depression cases in Southeast Asia (WHO, 2010).

It is important to understand that when someone has depression there are actual physical changes in the structure of the brain as well as reduced levels of important chemicals called “NEUROTRANSMITTERS”. These are important for mood regulation.


To know more about the tests use in determining TCA levels, browse the pages. ☺


Work Up for TCA 

  1. Laboratory TestsImaging Studies
  2. Imaging Studies
  3. Other Tests

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