Classification of Antidepressant Agents 1 Heterocyclic Antidepressants

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a. Side effects (especially sedation and anticholinergic effects) are worse during the first month of therapy and usually diminish after four weeks.

b. Early in the treatment course, patients may sleep better, but patients rarely describe improvement in mood before 3-4 weeks.

c. Only minimum quantities should be prescribed because of the potential of tricyclics to cause a fatal overdose in suicide-prone patients.

d. Use of heterocyclic antidepressants in the elderly may be limited by the sensitivity of these patients to anticholinergic and cardiovascular side effects.

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