Amitriptyline abuse and misuse

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2005 Mar;26(1):86-8. doi: 10.1097/01.paf.0000154111.69255.ab.


Deaths related to amitriptyline toxicity are relatively common and are typically related to suicidal overdose. A less well-recognized situation of amitriptyline intoxication occurs when the drug is abused for its euphorigenic effects. An amitriptyline-related death due to a mixed drug intoxication is presented. Death investigation revealed that the death was accidental rather than suicidal. The case serves to remind forensic investigators that not all amitriptyline overdose deaths represent suicides. A segment of the population is known to abuse amitriptyline.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amitriptyline / toxicity*
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / toxicity*
  • Autopsy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Drug Overdose / diagnosis*
  • Drug Overdose / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Suicide


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Amitriptyline