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Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are a major cause of fatal drug poisoning due to their cardiotoxicity. Alkalinization by sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) administration, the first-line therapy for TCA-induced cardiotoxicity, can occasionally yield insufficient efficacy in severe cases. Because most TCAs are highly lipophilic, lipid emulsion may be more effective than alkalinization. However, it remains to be determined whether lipid emulsion is more beneficial than alkalinization in reversing amitriptyline-induced cardiotoxicity.Hemodynamic variables were recorded from in vivo guinea pig models and Langendorff-perfused hearts. Whole-cell patch-clamp experiments were conducted on enzymatically isolated ventricular cardiomyocytes to record fast sodium currents (INa). Lipid solutions were prepared using 20% Intralipid. The pH of the alkaline solution was set at 7.55. We assessed the effect of lipid emulsion on reversing amitriptyline-induced cardiotoxicity, in vivo and in vitro, compared to alkalinization. The data were evaluated by Student t test, 1-way repeated-measures analysis of variance, or analysis of covariance (covariate = amitriptyline concentration); we considered data statistically significant when P < .05.In the in vivo model, intervention with lipids significantly reversed the amitriptyline-induced depression of mean arterial pressure and prolongation of QRS duration on electrocardiogram more than alkalinization (mean arterial pressure, mean difference [95% confidence interval]: 19.0 mm Hg [8.5–29.4]; QRS duration, mean difference [95% confidence interval] –12.0 milliseconds [–16.1 to –7.8]). In the Langendorff experiments, perfusion with 1% and 2% lipid solutions demonstrated significant recovery in left ventricular developed pressure (LVdevP), maximum change rate of increase of LVdevP (dP/dtmax) and rate-pressure product compared with alkaline solution (LVdevP [mm Hg], alkaline 57 ± 35, 1% lipid 94 ± 12, 2% lipid 110 ± 14; dP/dtmax [mm Hg/s], alkaline 748 ± 441, 1% lipid 1502 ± 334, 2% lipid 1753 ± 389; rate-pressure product [mm Hg·beats·minute−1], alkaline 11,214 ± 8272, 1% lipid 19,025 ± 8427, 2% lipid 25,261 ± 4803 with analysis of covariance). Furthermore, lipid solutions (0.5%–4%) resulted in greater recovery of hemodynamic parameters at 3 μM amitriptyline. Amitriptyline inhibited INa in a dose-dependent manner: the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) was 0.39 μM. The IC50 increased to 0.75 μM in the alkaline solution, 3.2 μM in 1% lipid solution, and 6.1 μM in 2% lipid solution. Furthermore, the lipid solution attenuated the use-dependent block of sodium channels by amitriptyline more than alkaline solution. On 30 consecutive pulses at 1 Hz, the current decreased to 50.1 ± 2.1, 60.3 ± 1.9, and 90.4% ± 1.8% in standard, alkaline, and 1% lipid solution, respectively. Even 0.5% lipid solution showed greater effects than the alkaline solution in all experiments.Lipid emulsion significantly suppressed amitriptyline-induced INa, inhibition, which was likely related to the marked improvement in hemodynamic status observed in vivo and in isolated perfused hearts. These results suggest the superiority of lipid emulsion as the first-line therapy for TCA-induced cardiotoxicity compared to alkalinization therapy.