MONTE L. SCHEINBAUM, PH.D., M.D.
To the editor: Dr. Leo Hollister ("Treatment of Depression with Drugs," Ann Intern Med 89:78-84, 1978) states in his discussion of secondary amine versus tertiary amine tricyclic antidepressants that "Protriptyline and doxepin fit neither chemical classification." This is incorrect since the chemical structure of protriptyline is that of a secondary amine, and doxepin, whose side-chain nitrogen is fully substituted, is clearly a tertiary amine. Selectivity and potency of biogenic amine blockade are pharmacologic properties of tricyclic compounds that may not necessarily be inferred from the chemical classification and may not necessarily be responsible for their antidepressant actions.
SCHEINBAUM ML. Drug Treatment of Depression. Ann Intern Med. ;89:724–725. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-89-5-724_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1978;89(5_Part_1):724-725.
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