Amitriptyline hydrochloride overdose

Alternative names 
Elavil; Adepril; Endep; Enovil; Trepiline

Poisoning from an overdose of amitriptyline hydrochloride, which is a tricyclic antidepressent.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • amitriptyline

Where Found

  • Adepril  
  • Elavil  
  • Endep  
  • Enovil  
  • Trepiline

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • body as a whole       o dry mouth       o urinary hesitancy       o muscle rigidity       o convulsions (sudden onset)       o shock       o incoordination  
  • respiratory       o slowed, labored breathing  
  • eyes, ears, nose, and throat       o blurred vision  
  • gastrointestinal       o increased appetite       o constipation       o weight gain       o vomiting  
  • heart and blood vessels       o low blood pressure       o rapid heart rate  
  • nervous system       o drowsiness       o dizziness       o headache       o stupor       o coma (sudden onset)       o agitation       o restlessness       o hallucinations

Home Treatment
Contact Poison Control to obtain treatment guidance.

Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:

  • the patient’s age, weight, and condition  
  • the name of the product (ingredients and strengths if known)  
  • the time it was swallowed  
  • the amount swallowed  
  • if the medication was prescribed for the patient

Poison Control, or a local emergency number
They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Take the container with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room
Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:

  • Administer activated charcoal.  
  • Administer a laxative.  
  • Use gastric lavage.  
  • Monitor vital signs (temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, blood pressure).  
  • Maintain the patient’s airway.  
  • Replace fluid if appropriate.  
  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)
A serious overdose of this drug almost always requires hospital care.
The amount swallowed and time before appropriate therapy is initiated usually determines final outcome. Patients have died as late as 72 hours after ingesting an overdose. The sooner therapy is applied, the greater chance of a positive outcome. This can be an extremely serious overdose

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 6, 2012
by Simon D. Mitin, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.