Which baseline and monitoring tests are required when tricyclic antidepressants are administered for treatment of major depressive disorder (clinical depression)?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

The TCAs require a baseline electrocardiogram (ECG), resting blood pressure, and pulse rate. Because of the potential of the TCAs to induce a fatal overdose, the clinician must carefully determine the exact amount of medication to be prescribed. Plasma levels should be monitored to measure compliance and to avoid toxicity. In addition, weight should be frequently documented.

No laboratory tests are currently indicated before or during the administration of the SSRIs. No other tests are indicated in a healthy child before starting antidepressants.


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