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TCA-BSA: Detecting Tricyclic Antidepressants

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a class of serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) which are widely used to treat depression. They were released to market in the late 1950s and are subsequently one of the oldest classes of antidepressants still marketed today. SNRIs are effective at tackling many symptoms of depressive disorders, including: chronic sadness; irritability; and anxiety. Unfortunately, they typically exhibit less desirable side effects compared to newer antidepressant variants. TCA-Bovine serum albumin (TCA-BSA) can be used to detect and quantify TCA metabolites in organic samples for therapeutic drug monitoring and dosage dependency analysis.

This blog post will explore the applications of TCA-BSA in more detail.

Outlining TCA-BSA

TCAs are still prescribed worldwide but have largely been replaced by antidepressants with improved safety profiles and wider therapeutic indices. As such, there are now very few TCAs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The remaining marketable variants are most often prescribed to patients with major depressive disorders that are treatment-resistant.

The primary issue with TCAs is their high likelihood of causing severe side effects such as disorientation and confusion and impacted heart functions. In limited instances, they are also known to cause serotonin syndrome. As with other antidepressants, reducing or eliminating TCA dosages leads to withdrawal. TCA-BSA may be used to monitor dosages and eliminate antidepressant dependency in a safe and controlled manner via therapeutic drug monitoring.

Therapeutic drug monitoring facilitates treatment of depression by measuring dose-responses in patients using an immunochemical assay, such as an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or western blotting. In cases where patients are prescribed SNRIs, TCA-BSA is used as a reagent to determine the presence of the drug.  Objective guidelines for dosage concentration and future ongoing adjustments to treatment is critical from the perspective of compliance and for improving the care and wellbeing of patients with some of the most severe and debilitating cases of depression.

This method can be used for a wide range of drug treatments with narrow therapeutic windows or high potential for toxicity. If you would like to learn more, please read: Why is Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Important?

TCA-BSA from Pyxis Labs

Pyxis Labs provides custom reagents for immunochemistry analysis and research. Our conjugates are synthesized to the highest standards of manufacturing with unmatched lot-to-lot reproducibility. We pride ourselves on offering consistency, high quality, and precise reactivity for your analytical application.

If you have any questions about synthesizing TCA-BSA conjugates with Pyxis Labs, please do not hesitate to contact us.