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Tricyclic antidepressant self poisoning and admission for acute care

Marland, Glenn; Snowden, Austyn; McNay, Lisa; McCaig, Marie; Boyd, Gary


Glenn Marland

Lisa McNay

Marie McCaig

Gary Boyd


Self-poisoning by ingestion of antidepressants is a common method of suicide. Although tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are no longer the first choice treatment for depression they are still commonly taken in overdose causing poisoning and admission to acute care. This article describes the mechanism of toxicity and the requisite physical care. It also suggests that it is important for nurses to maintain a positive, sensitive, and hopeful approach. A comprehensive approach to care is presented specifying the best evidence for physical and psychological care, and most importantly, a coherent combination of both.


Marland, G., Snowden, A., McNay, L., McCaig, M., & Boyd, G. (2011). Tricyclic antidepressant self poisoning and admission for acute care. British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 6, 589-596.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2011
Deposit Date Aug 27, 2015
Print ISSN 1749-6403
Publisher Mark Allen Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Pages 589-596
Keywords Tricyclic antidepressants; Self-poisoning; Suicide; Cardiac care; Drug-induced arrhythmia; Dignity; Respect;
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