Amitriptyline and perphenazine overdose
Amitriptyline and perphenazine is a combination drug that is sometimes prescribed for patients with depression, agitation, or anxiety.
Amitriptyline and perphenazine overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
See also: Amitriptyline overdose
Etrafon overdose; Triavil overdose; Triptazine overdose
Amitriptyline and perphenazine
Note: This list may not be all-inclusive.
Airways and lungs:
Bladder and kidneys:
- Urinary hesitancy
- Inability to completely empty the bladder
Eyes, ears, nose, throat, and mouth:
Heart and blood:
Muscles and joints:
- Coma (decreased level of consciousness and lack of responsiveness)
- Lack of alertness (stupor)
- Lower than normal body temperature (hypothermia)
- Uncoordinated movement
- Change in menstrual patterns
Stomach and intestines:
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
- Patient's age, weight, and condition
- Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
- Time it was swallowed
- Amount swallowed
- If the medication was prescribed for the patient
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What to Expect at the Emergency Room
The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate.
The patient may receive:
- Activated charcoal
- Breathing support, including a tube through the mouth and breathing machine (ventilator)
- Chest x-ray
- EKG (heart tracing)
- Fluids through a vein (by IV)
- Medicine called an antidote (sodium bicarbonate) to reverse the effects of the medication
- Tube through the mouth into the stomach to empty the stomach (gastric lavage)
Amitriptyline and perphenazine can be an extremely serious overdose.
Patients who swallow an excessive amount of this drug are almost always admitted to the hospital.
How well a patient does depends on how much of the drug was swallowed and how quickly treatment was received. The faster a patient gets medical help, the better the chance of recovery. Complications such as pneumonia, muscle damage from lying on a hard surface for a long period of time, or brain damage from lack of oxygen may result in permanent disability. Death can occur.
Brush DE, Aaron CK. Tricyclic and other cyclic antidepressants. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 27.
Velez LI, Feng S-Y. Anticholinergics. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al., eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 150.
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.