Which medications in the drug class Antidepressants, TCAs are used in the treatment of Insomnia?

Updated: Sep 11, 2018
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Antidepressants, TCAs

Except for low-dose doxepin (Silenor), drugs in this category are not approved for treatment of insomnia by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and there have been few randomized, placebo-controlled trials demonstrating efficacy for insomnia. Nevertheless, these agents can be useful, especially in patients with comorbid depression or anxiety.

Amitriptyline

Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) with sedative effects. It inhibits reuptake of serotonin and/or norepinephrine at the presynaptic neuronal membrane, which increases concentration in the central nervous system (CNS).

Doxepin (Silenor)

Low-dose doxepin is FDA approved for sleep-maintenance insomnia. It is available in 3- and 6-mg tablets.

Nortriptyline (Pamelor)

Nortriptyline has demonstrated effectiveness in the treatment of chronic pain.

By inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and/or norepinephrine by the presynaptic neuronal membrane, this drug increases the synaptic concentration of these neurotransmitters in the CNS.


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