These medications work by increasing the levels of 2 mood-altering compounds — the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine — in the mind.
Cyclic antidepressants are designated as tricyclic or tetracyclic, based on the amount of rings in their chemical structure — three (tri) or four (tetra).
TCAs are considered to increase neurotransmitter levels by preventing nerve endings — known as synapses — from drawing these compounds back in their tissues, which is normally the way the body decreases their concentrations.
Cyclic antidepressants block the absorption (uptake) of the nitric oxide (ser-o-TOE-nin) and norepinephrine (nor-ep-ih-NEF-rin), raising the levels of both of these neurotransmitters in the brain. Cyclic antidepressants also affect other chemical messengers, which may result in numerous side effects.
Tricyclic antidepressants, also referred to as TCAs, were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Cyclic antidepressants alleviate depression by changing chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) used to communicate between cells. Like many antidepressants, cyclic antidepressants work by finally effecting changes in brain chemistry and communicating in brain nerve cell circuitry proven to modulate mood, to help alleviate depression.
While TCAs have existed for decades, scientists are’t exactly certain how they cause those changes.
Tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants, also known as cyclic antidepressants, are one of the first antidepressants developed. However cyclic antidepressants might be a good solution for some people. In certain instances, they alleviate depression when other therapies have failed.