What is TCA?
TCA stands for tricyclic antidepressants which are a type of medication used as antidepressants. TCA’s were one of the first medications available to treat both anxiety and depressions. It is taken orally in capsules and liquid form.
The drug is also used to treat nerve pain, bipolar disorder and insomnia among others. TCA’s are often required when other drugs are unable to provide relief.
Why Test for Tricyclic Antidepressants?
Most of those who are prescribed Antidepressants tend not to misuse the drug, and generally, doctors do not consider them to be addictive. However, those with a history of substance abuse or those with mood disorders have been among those who have abused TCA’s.
Their goal is to achieve a stimulant like high, however long term abuse can result in dangerous side effects including overdosing on the drug and seizures.
TCA Test Strips
TCA Test Strips Procedure:
- Remove the the TCA test strip from its sealed pouch, or remove from the canister, and use it as soon as possible. For the best results, the test should be performed within an hour. The canister should be closed tightly after removing any strips.
- Hold the TCA test strip by the end, where the product name is printed. To avoid contamination, do not touch the strip membrane.
- Holding the strip vertically, dip the test strip in the urine specimen for at least 10-15 seconds. Do not immerse past the maximum line (MAX) on the test strip.
- After the test has finished running, remove the strip from the specimen and place it on a non-absorbent flat surface. Start the timer and wait for the colored band(s) to appear. The result should be read 5 minutes. Do not interpret the result after 10 minutes.
- Internal procedural controls are included in the test. A colored band appearing in the control region(C) is considered an internal positive procedural control, confirming sufficient specimen volume and correct procedural technique.
- External controls are not supplied with this kit. It is recommended that positive and negative controls be tested as a good laboratory practice to confirm the TCA test procedure to verify proper test performance.