Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) were developed in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  As with the newer antidepressant drugs, the drug companies admit that they don’t know how these drugs actually work.  However, the intention of these drugs is to inhibit the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine.  It is thought that many of the side effects of these drugs are that they are much more likely to interfere with the reuptake of neurotransmitters other than serotonin and norepinephrine and this can create other health problems.   Because of the side effects often caused by these drugs, they are not prescribed as much as the newer antidepressants.
The following are the tricyclic antidepressants approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression.  The generic names are given first and followed by trade names:

Generic Name

amitriptyline
amoxapine
desipramine
doxepin
imipramine
maprotiline
nortriptyline
protriptyline
trimipramine

Trade Name

Elavil®
Asendin®
Norpramin®
Sinequan®
Tofranil®
Ludiomil®
Pamelor®
Vivactil®
Surmontil®

SIDE EFFECTS

Side effects of TCAs include:
• Dry mouth
• Blurred vision
• Drowsiness
• Constipation
• Urinary retention
• Dizziness
• Impaired sexual functioning
• Increased heart rate
• Disorientation or confusion
• Cognitive and memory difficulties
Akathisia (a feeling of internal or external jitteriness) 
• Headache
• Low blood pressure
• Sensitivity to sunlight
• Increased appetite
• Weight gain
• Nausea
Weakness