The pattern of physical symptom changes in major depressive disorder following treatment with amitriptyline or imipramine

Regina C. Casper, Martin M. Katz, Charles L. Bowden, John M. Davis, Stephen H. Koslow, Israel Hanin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


The study describes a sequential analysis of depression-related physical symptoms and their relationship to imipramine and amitriptyline plasma levels over 4 weeks of treatment in 79 unipolar and bipolar patients hospitalized for major depressive disorder. Insomnia diminished in all patients after 2 weeks of drug administration. After 4 weeks, the sleep of patients whose depressive disorder had significantly improved was nearly normal, whereas patients who remained depressed showed continued sleep impairment. Reductions in loss of appetite, weight and sexual interest paralleled mood improvement. Tricyclic plasma levels significantly correlated with improved sleep. The findings suggest a close link between depressed mood and physical symptoms during recovery from major depressive disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-164
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1994



  • Amitriptyline
  • Imipramine
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Physical symptom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this