n South African Medical Journal - Tricyclic antidepressant overdose necessitating ICU admission : research




Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) overdose necessitating intensive care unit (ICU) admission remains a significant problem in the Western Cape. In this retrospective study, we reviewed the course of life-threatening TCA overdose in our centre to identify potential prognostic indicators. TCA levels >1 000 ng/ml were associated with QT and QRS prolongation and convulsions. However, no single parameter predicted non-survival. The overall mortality of TCA overdose was very low. Our findings should encourage clinicians to offer medical care including ICU admission, if necessary, to patients with TCA overdose.


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