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Desipramine (By mouth)

Desipramine (des-IP-ra-meen)

Treats depression. This medicine is a tricyclic antidepressant.

Brand Name(s):

Norpramin

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to desipramine or a recent heart attack.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) within the past 14 days.
  • Some medicines can affect how desipramine works. Tell your doctor if you are also using buspirone, cimetidine, fentanyl, guanethidine, lithium, St John's wort, tramadol, tryptophan, thyroid medicine, medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as flecainide, propafenone, quinidine), or a phenothiazine medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using other medicine to treat depression, such as amitriptyline, citalopram, fluoxetine, nortriptyline, paroxetine, or sertraline. You must wait at least 5 weeks after you stop using fluoxetine before you can start using desipramine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, problems urinating, heart disease, heart rhythm problems, thyroid problems, diabetes, schizophrenia, or a history of seizures or glaucoma. Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol.
  • This medicine can increase depression and thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourself.
  • This medicine may cause a serious reaction called serotonin syndrome, which can be life-threatening.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Agitation, irritability, sudden increase in energy, trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety, restlessness, fast heartbeat, fever, sweating, muscle spasms or twitching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, cough, chills, sore throat
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others, worsening depression, unusual behavior

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry mouth, constipation
  • Tiredness
  • Vision changes

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 8/4/2014


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