Effects of nortriptyline on heart rate variability in panic disorder patients: A preliminary study using power spectral analysis of heart rate

V. K. Yeragani, K. Srinivasan, Robert Pohl, Ronald Berger, Richard Baton, C. Ramesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Previous reports on heart rate variability suggest that, compared to controls, panic disorder patients have a higher relative mid-frequency (MF) (0.07- 0.15 Hz) power in standing posture and that they also have a greater increase in standing MF power after the administration of yohimbine. We studied the effects of nortriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, on HR variability measures in 13 panic disorder patients before and after successful treatment. There was a highly significant increase in supine and standing HR (p = 0.00001) while there was a significant decrease of standing absolute and relative MF power (p = 0.009 and 0.0001 respectively). This uncontrolled preliminary study suggests a decrease in sympathetic activity related to nortriptyline treatment in addition to its anticholinergic effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994



  • Heart rate variability
  • Nortriptyline
  • Panic disorder
  • Spectral analysis
  • Tricyclics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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