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November 17, 1978

The Tricyclic Antidepressants

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of California, Irvine. Dr Cutler is now with the Section on Psychobiology, Biological Psychiatry Branch, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md, and Dr Heiser is now with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.

JAMA. 1978;240(21):2264-2266. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290210046023

Because only 9.4% of depressions are recognized at initial evaluation by primary physicians, the diagnosis of depression is important. Forty percent of a group of mixed depressions will resolve in a month without treatment, and 70% will resolve with the use of tricyclic antidepressants. Research on plasma levels of tricyclic antidepressants suggests new clinical strategies for adjusting dosages; neurochemical studies may provide an appropriate selection process for choosing a tricyclic antidepressant.

(JAMA 240:2264-2266, 1978)