Amitriptyline hydrochloride overdose
DefinitionAmitriptyline hydrochloride is a type of prescription medicine called a tricyclic antidepressant. Amitriptyline hydrochloride overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication.This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Alternative NamesElavil overdose; Adepril overdose; Endep overdose; Enovil overdose; Trepiline overdose
Where FoundAmitriptyline hydrochloride is a prescription medication. Brands include:AdeprilAmitidAmitrilElavilEmitripEndepEnovilTrepilineTryptanolVanatripNote: This list may not be all-inclusive.
SymptomsAirways and lungsSlowed, labored breathingBladder and kidneysInability to urinateUrinary hesitancyEyes, ears, nose, and throatBlurred visionDry mouthEnlarged pupilsHeart and bloodLow blood pressureIrregular heart rateShockNervous systemAgitationComa (sudden onset)Convulsions (sudden onset)DrowsinessHallucinationsHeadacheInability to concentrateMuscle rigidityRestlessnessSeizuresStupor (lack of alertness)Uncoordinated movementStomach and intestinesConstipationIncreased appetiteWeight gainVomiting
Home TreatmentThis can be a very serious overdose. Seek immediate medical help.
Before Calling EmergencyDetermine the following information:Patient's age, weight, and conditionName of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)Time it was swallowedAmount swallowedIf the medication was prescribed for the patient
Poison Control, or a local emergency numberThe National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.See: Poison control center - emergency number
What to expect at the emergency roomThe health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate.The patient may receive:Activated charcoalBreathing help, possibly artificial respirationFluids through a vein (by IV)LaxativeMedicine called an antidote (sodium bicarbonate) to reverse the effects of the poisonTube through the mouth into the stomach to empty the stomach (gastric lavage)
Expectations (prognosis)Amitriptyline hydrochloride can be an extremely serious overdose.Patients who swallow an excessive amount of this drug are almost always admitted to hospital.How well a patient does depends on how much of the drug was swallowed and how quickly treatment was received. The faster a patient gets medical help, the better the chance of recovery.
ReferencesWoolf AD, Erdman AR, Nelson LS, et al. American Association of Poison Control Centers. Tricyclic antidepressant poisoning: an evidence-based consensus guideline for out-of-hospital management. Clin Toxicol. 2007;45(3):203-233.Kirk MA, Baer AB. Anticholinergics and antihistamines. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 39.