Which of the following classes of drugs is the most likely to be fatal if a patient overdoses?

Tricyclic antidepressants


•Tricyclic antidepressants can be fatal due to their narrow therapeutic index (ie the therapeutic dose is close to the toxic dose).

•Symptoms of overdose with tricyclic antidepressants can develop within two hours and include tachycardia, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, confusion, agitation, and headache.

•Severe complications include hypotension, cardiac arrhythmias, apnea, seizures, and death.

•Incorrect: Benzodiazepines, antihistamines, and typical antipsychotics are rarely fatal when taken alone.

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