HomeDrug ClassesBenzodiazepine / Tricyclic Antidepressant Combinations

Benzodiazepine / Tricyclic Antidepressant Combinations: Uses, Common Brands, and Safety Info

Benzodiazepine/tricyclic antidepressant combinations are medications used to treat anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. Common brands include Tofranil-PM, Etrafon, Limbitrol, and Symbyax. These combinations should be used under medical supervision due to potential side effects such as sedation and drowsiness. Gradual tapering is necessary to avoid withdrawal symptoms. It is important to inform healthcare providers about other medications and medical conditions for safe use.


Benzodiazepine/tricyclic antidepressant combinations are a class of medications that encompass the combined effects of benzodiazepines (a type of sedative-hypnotic) and tricyclic antidepressants (commonly used to treat depression and other mood disorders). This drug class is typically prescribed for certain challenging conditions that may not respond well to single drug therapy. The combination of these medications allows for a more comprehensive approach to managing certain psychiatric and psychological disorders.


The primary use of benzodiazepine/tricyclic antidepressant combinations is in the treatment of conditions such as anxiety disorders, panic disorder, insomnia, and major depressive disorder. These drugs work by altering the balance of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, thereby affecting mood, sleep patterns, and anxiety levels. The combination approach of benzodiazepines and tricyclic antidepressants helps to address both the psychological and physiological aspects of these conditions, resulting in improved symptom relief for many individuals.

Common Brands

Several well-known brands within the benzodiazepine/tricyclic antidepressant combination class are available. Among them, the most widely recognized include: 1. Tofranil-PM (imipramine/Pamelor): Combining the tricyclic antidepressant imipramine with nortriptyline, this medication is primarily used for the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. 2. Etrafon (perphenazine/amitriptyline): This combination includes the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline and the antipsychotic perphenazine. It is prescribed for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and certain psychotic disorders. 3. Limbitrol (amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide): Combining amitriptyline with chlordiazepoxide, Limbitrol is indicated for the treatment of depression with associated anxiety. 4. Symbyax (olanzapine/fluoxetine): Symbyax combines the antipsychotic olanzapine with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine. It is used to treat bipolar disorder and treatment-resistant depression.


Benzodiazepine/tricyclic antidepressant combinations should only be taken under the close supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. These medications may cause sedation, drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision, impairing one's ability to drive or operate machinery. Alcohol consumption should be avoided while on this medication class due to an increased risk of sedation and respiratory depression. Combining benzodiazepines and tricyclic antidepressants can also result in additive effects on the central nervous system, potentially leading to increased sedation and cognitive impairment. As such, dosage adjustments may be necessary, particularly in elderly individuals or those with pre-existing respiratory conditions. It is important to note that abrupt discontinuation of these medications can lead to withdrawal symptoms. To minimize the risk of withdrawal, a gradual tapering schedule should be followed under medical supervision. As with any medication, it is crucial to inform your healthcare provider about all current medications, allergies, and medical conditions to ensure safety and efficacy of benzodiazepine/tricyclic antidepressant combinations. Please consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice regarding the appropriate use and safety considerations of benzodiazepine/tricyclic antidepressant combinations.

List of Benzodiazepine / Tricyclic Antidepressant Combinations