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Amitriptyline hydrochloride overdose

Alternative names

Poisoning from an overdose of amitriptyline hydrochloride, which is a tricyclic antidepressent.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • amitriptyline

Where Found

  • Adepril
  • Elavil
  • Endep
  • Enovil
  • Trepiline
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • body as a whole
    • dry mouth
    • urinary hesitancy
    • muscle rigidity
    • convulsions (sudden onset)
    • shock
    • incoordination
  • respiratory
    • slowed, labored breathing
  • eyes, ears, nose, and throat
    • blurred vision
  • gastrointestinal
    • increased appetite
    • constipation
    • weight gain
    • vomiting
  • heart and blood vessels
    • low blood pressure
    • rapid heart rate
  • nervous system
    • drowsiness
    • dizziness
    • headache
    • stupor
    • coma (sudden onset)
    • agitation
    • restlessness
    • hallucinations

Home Treatment

Contact Poison Control to obtain treatment guidance.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:
  • the patient's age, weight, and condition
  • the name of the product (ingredients and strengths if known)
  • the time it was swallowed
  • the amount swallowed
  • if the medication was prescribed for the patient

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Take the container with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room

Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:
  • Administer activated charcoal.
  • Administer a laxative.
  • Use gastric lavage .
  • Monitor vital signs (temperature, pulse , rate of breathing, blood pressure ).
  • Maintain the patient's airway.
  • Replace fluid if appropriate.
  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)

A serious overdose of this drug almost always requires hospital care.
The amount swallowed and time before appropriate therapy is initiated usually determines final outcome. Patients have died as late as 72 hours after ingesting an overdose. The sooner therapy is applied, the greater chance of a positive outcome. This can be an extremely serious overdose

Update Date: 2/12/2004

Cherlin Johnson, M.D., Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT