Tricyclic Antidepressants

Tricyclic antidepressants are chemical compounds used primarily as antidepressants. TCAs were first discovered in the early 1950s. They are named after their chemical structure, which contains three rings of atoms. The drugs help relieve depression by altering the way the brain processes two of the neurotransmitters that affect your moods: serotonin and norepinephrine.

Common trade names include:

  • Amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • Trimipramine (Surmontil)