Using a double-blind crossover Latin square design, the authors
evaluated the peripheral anticholinergic and central nervous system effects
of three dose levels of two tricyclic antidepressants in female volunteers.
Results showed that 5 hours after drug administration, desipramine (50 and
100 mg) caused significantly less reduction in salivation than did
amitriptyline. Amitriptyline produced more sedation (Clyde Mood Scale) and
a greater number of subjective complaints than did desipramine. These
results are consistent with anticholinergic profiles from animal
experiments and suggest that clinically meaningful differences may exist
among tricyclic antidepressants.