Tricyclic antidepressant self poisoning and admission for acute care: a review

Glenn Marland, Austyn Snowden, Lisa McNay, Marie McCaig, Gary Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


Self-poisoning by ingestion of antidepressants is a common method of suicide. Although tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are no longer the first choice treatment for depression they are still commonly taken in overdose causing poisoning and admission to acute care. This article describes the mechanism of toxicity and the requisite physical care. It also suggests that it is important for nurses to maintain a positive, sensitive, and hopeful approach. A comprehensive approach to care is presented specifying the best evidence for physical and psychological care, and most importantly, a coherent combination of both.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-596
JournalBritish Journal of Cardiac Nursing
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • self-poisoning
  • suicide
  • cardiac care
  • drug-induced arrhythmia
  • dignity
  • respect


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