Nortriptyline pharmacokinetics and plasma levels: implications for clinical practice

J Clin Psychiatry. 1985 Oct;46(10):418-24.


The pharmacokinetics of TCAs are reviewed with particular emphasis on nortriptyline, the agent most extensively studied. The clinical uses of TCA plasma level-response studies are discussed in relationship to rational dosage adjustment to increase response rates and avoid iatrogenic toxicity. Other important topics discussed include the issue of active metabolites, single-dose prediction studies, and special considerations in treating the elderly and the medically ill.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / blood
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / metabolism
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / therapeutic use
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / metabolism
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Nortriptyline / analogs & derivatives
  • Nortriptyline / blood
  • Nortriptyline / metabolism*
  • Nortriptyline / therapeutic use


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • 10-hydroxynortriptyline
  • Nortriptyline