South African Medical Journal

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Tricyclic antidepressant overdose necessitating ICU admission

CFN Koegelenberg, ZJ Joubert, EM Irusen


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.
AJOL African Journals Online