Cardiovascular Effects of Polycyclic Antidepressants

Mahapatra, Rajat K.; Paul, Subir K.; Mahapatra, Dipta; Winter, Scott
October 1986
Angiology;Oct1986, Vol. 37 Issue 10, p709
Academic Journal
Every day, thousands of people in the United States receive polycyclic antide-pressants (PCAs) prescribed by their primary care physicians. We have examined the cardiovascular manifestations of polycydlic antidepressants in 14 patients with primary depression receiving various antidepressant drugs for a period of six months or more. None had suffered from any systemic illness. All 14 received a commonly prescribed PCA, such as doxepin, amitriptyline, imipramine, desipramine or amoxapine, in therapeutic doses. None developed any significant adverse reaction. Left ventricular function, as determined by M-mode echocardiogram, was within normal limit in all patients. A twenty-four-hour ambulatory electrocardiogram revealed rare supraventricular ectopic beats in S patients and ventricular ectopic activity (Lown grade 1) in 4 patients. In 1 patient, who received additional lithium carbonate for treatment of depression, both supraventricular and ventricular ectopic activity developed on rare occasions. In 4 of the 8 patients the plasma concentration of PCA was optimal or near optimal, and in 4 of the S patients it was subtherapeutic (even though these 4 patients had shown clinical improvement with continued polycycic therapy). It appears from the present data that antidepressant therapy with PCA.S prescribed in therapeutic doses was well tolerated, without any significant adverse cardiovascular reaction, in otherwise healthy young patients with primary depression.


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