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Tricyclic antidepressants are a class of antidepressantdrugs first used in the 1950s. They are named after the drugs' molecular structure, which contains three rings of atoms (compare tetracyclic antidepressant). The term 'tricyclic antidepressant' is sometimes abbreviated to TCA.

Tricyclic antidepressants are used in numerous applications; mainly indicated for the treatment of clinical depression, neuropathic pain, nocturnal enuresis, and ADHD, but they have also been used successfully for headache (including migraine headache), anxiety, insomnia, smoking cessation, bulimia nervosa, irritable bowel syndrome, narcolepsy, pathological crying or laughing, persistent hiccups, interstitial cystitis, and ciguatera poisoning, and as an adjunct in schizophrenia.[1]
For many years they were the first choice for pharmacological treatment of depression. Although still considered effective, they have been increasingly replaced by SSRIs and other newer drugs. Newer antidepressants are thought to have fewer side effects and are also thought to be less effective if used in a suicide attempt, as the treatment and lethal doses (see therapeutic index) are farther apart than with the tricyclic antidepressants. Tricyclic antidepressants are sometimes still used to treat refractory depression that has failed to respond to standard SSRI therapy.[2] They are not considered addictive and are preferable to the MAOIs. Side effects usually occur before depression is effectively suppressed; for this reason and via other mechanisms they can be dangerous, as volition may be increased, giving the patient greater ability to attempt suicide.[3]

*source www.Wikipedia.org

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