NCI Drug Dictionary

The NCI Drug Dictionary contains technical definitions and synonyms for drugs/agents used to treat patients with cancer or conditions related to cancer. Each drug entry includes links to check for clinical trials listed in NCI's List of Cancer Clinical Trials.

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amitriptyline hydrochloride
The hydrochloride salt of the tricyclic dibenzocycloheptadiene amitriptyline with antidepressant and antinociceptive activities. Amitriptyline inhibits the re-uptake of norepinephrine and serotonin by the presynaptic neuronal membrane in the central nervous system (CNS), thereby increasing the synaptic concentration of norepinephrine and serotonin. Due to constant stimulation to these receptors, amitriptyline may produce a downregulation of adrenergic and serotonin receptors, which may contribute to the antidepressant activity. In the CNS the antinociceptive activity of this agent may involve high affinity binding to and inhibition of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and/or the enhancement of the action of serotonin at the spinal terminals of an opioid-mediated intrinsic analgesia system. Check for active clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)