What are possible side effects of tricyclic antidepressants?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Side effects may include dry mucous membranes, blurred vision, constipation, and trouble urinating. These drugs may also cause drowsiness, agitation, sudden drops in blood pressure upon standing, a rapid or slowed heartbeat, and changes in blood sugar. Men may have a change in sex drive, erection problems, or problems reaching orgasm.

Tricyclic antidepressants can make it dangerous to drive or operate machinery. Some people, especially younger people, may have suicidal thoughts or behavior. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

Side effects of tricyclic antidepressants can include dry mouth, blurred vision, dizziness, increased appetite, weight gain, constipation, and difficulty urinating. People with a history of glaucoma, heart disease, or an enlarged prostate should avoid these drugs.

Continue Learning about Antidepressant

Are Antidepressants Safe to Take During Pregnancy?
Are Antidepressants Safe to Take During Pregnancy?
Research suggests that depression is diagnosed twice as often in women as it is in men, and it typically presents during a woman’s childbearing years....
Read More
Why might my antidepressant not work?
Dr. Pina LoGiudice, LAc, NDDr. Pina LoGiudice, LAc, ND
As one of the most well prescribed types of drug of all time, over 160 million antidepressant pr...
More Answers
How can antidepressants help with weight loss?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Some antidepressant drugs can control eating by easing anxiety, so that you don't experience the moo...
More Answers
What Is Treatment-Resistant Depression?
What Is Treatment-Resistant Depression?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.