TCA Test Strips
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a class of medication most commonly used in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorders, behavioral problems, and depression. TCAs may also be prescribed by doctors to treat headaches, nerve-related pain, and symptoms associated with anxiety disorders.
In normal doses and without any contradictory drugs present, TCA meds are safe and effective in the treatment of these and other conditions. When taken with certain contradictory drugs or in doses too high, TCA toxicity can cause mental altered states that include episodes of psychosis and can also be fatal.
In cases of toxicity, overdose, or emergency, rapid screening for use of tricyclics is critical. 12 Panel Medical urine test strips are rapid results screening tests that are capable of detecting the presence of TCA meds within five minutes of testing a human urine specimen. In emergency situations where time and margin for error is limited, urine test strips for tricyclic medications are 99% accurate and can assist care providers in delivering time-sensitive treatment.
TCA tricyclic antidepressants act like other pharmaceutical molecules in alleviating depression and the symptoms of other conditions. They function by altering neurotransmitter communication in the brain to increase serotonin and norepinephrine.
Urine drug testing strips may be used in clinical, rehabilitation, and at-home settings to test for the abuse of TCAs. TCA meds may be abused to reduce stress. Instances of abuse in the workplace, as well as in school environments, may require testing for TCA tricyclic antidepressants.
More commonly, TCA urine test strips can be used for the rapid detection of TCA toxicity in cases where patients are experiencing altered mental status and the ingestion history of the patient is limited or unknown. They may also be used as an initial screen to determine whether an overdose or TCA poisoning has occurred.
The detection window for tricyclic medications is as long as five days after last ingestion. 12 Panel Medical urine test strips for TCA meds use immunoassay urinalysis to test for the presence of amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, doxepin, imipramine, nortriptyline, protriptyline, and trimipramine in cutoff concentrations that indicate abuse or overdose. Cutoff concentrations are expressed in nanograms per milliliter and are adjusted to a rate of 1000 ng/ml.
A sample urine specimen must be collected from the donor for testing. When the urine specimen is ready for testing, the operator will remove the tricyclics test strip from the protective packaging.
The testing strip may be damaged by extended exposure to light and air. Do not remove the strip until ready to perform the test to ensure the most reliable results. If the testing strip was removed from packaging more than 1 hour prior to testing, the results should not be interpreted.
Do not touch the test strip membrane. Bacteria from hands and surfaces may contaminate the testing strip and invalidate results.
Hold the tricyclics test strip where the product name is printed. Carefully place the testing strip membrane into the cup, in a vertical position. Do not immerse the strip past the MAX line on the testing strip.
Allow the strip to absorb as much of the sample as possible, immersing the membrane in the specimen for at least 10 to 15 seconds. You might notice color moving across the strip, but the results cannot be read before five minutes. Do not interpret results after 10 minutes.
If the specimen contains more than the pre-determined cutoff levels, the result is positive. This is indicated by one colored band in the control region and no colored band in the test region. Positive results should be sent to a toxicology laboratory for confirmation.
A negative result is indicated by one colored band in the control region, and one colored band in the test region. A negative result indicates that the specimen does not reach the cutoff levels.
If no colored band appears in the control indicator of the test strip, the result is invalid. The test must be performed again. If the problem persists, you may contact your local distributor.