tricyclic antidepressant suicide

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tricyclic antidepressant suicide2016-11-17T06:54:23+00:00

tricyclic antidepressant suicide  


A self-explanatory term for a suicide occurring in a depressed patient receiving tricyclic antidepressants–TAs.

Once regarded as a statistical blip, given that TAs are widely prescribed, they are the most common drug involved in suicide attempts by single, young women without previous history of autodestructive thoughts. This finding was confirmed in males taking nortriptyline (a TA), who were 2.4 times more likely to have an increase in suicidal thoughts than were those taking escitalopram (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor–SSRI), per N Perroud, et al, of King’s College London. Nortriptyline was also associated with a 9.8-fold higher risk of new onset of suicidal ideation compared with escitalopram in a prospective open-label trial.

Note: The reported TA overdose mortality of < 15% includes the elderly and children–including accidental TA overdoses may in fact underestimate the true incidence of TASs, as up to 70% of TA suicides are successful and never reach the hospital. 

Synonym TCA suicide 


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