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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 55 (2013) 9, 695 - 705

Review article

Tricyclic antidepressant plasma levels in depression: a practical guide

R. Vis, J.J.M. Hassink, C.H. Vinkers


background Plasma levels can be used to monitor the clinical efficacy of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). In practice, the interpretation of plasma levels can be problematical, for several reasons: varying time-intervals between ingestion and blood sampling, the number of times per day a particular antidepressant is administered, the presence of active metabolites and the use of slow-release substances.
aim To present realistic recommendations regarding the interpretation of plasma levels of tcas in clinical practice.
method We studied the relevant literature.
conclusion On the basis of the literature we make the following recommendations:

keywords reference values, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM)