Critical review of tricyclic antidepressant use in children and adolescents

Barbara Geller, Daniel Reising, Henrietta L. Leonard, Mark A. Riddle, B. Timothy Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To provide a critical review of the role of tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) medications in children and adolescents. Method: Multiple resources including a Medline search (1966-1998) were used. Results: There were few double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of TCAs, and even fewer with positive results. Also, potentially serious cardiovascular side effects have been described. Conclusion: The future therapeutic role of TCAs for children and adolescents needs to be seriously weighed against lethality of overdose, the unresolved issue of possible sudden unexplained death, and the availability of safer and easier to monitor medications. Ongoing future research on heart rate variability and epidemiology of psychotropic medication-related deaths will address developmental aspects of TCA use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-516
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Efficacy
  • Safety
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Critical review of tricyclic antidepressant use in children and adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this