Generic Name: desipramine (des IP ra meen)Brand Names: Norpramin
Desipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant. Desipramine affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced.
Desipramine is used to treat symptoms of depression.
Desipramine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take desipramine:
heart disease, or a history of heart attack, stroke, or seizures;
a family history of sudden death related to a heart rhythm disorder;
bipolar disorder (manic-depression);
schizophrenia or other mental illness;
diabetes (desipramine may raise or lower blood sugar);
problems with urination.
You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Tell your doctor if you have worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.Desipramine may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether desipramine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medication.Do not give desipramine to anyone under 18 years old without the advice of a doctor.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are taking desipramine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.Do not stop using desipramine without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely. Stopping this medication suddenly could cause you to have unpleasant side effects. It may take a few weeks of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve during treatment. Store desipramine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with desipramine. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor before increasing or decreasing the amount of grapefruit products in your diet.Desipramine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Desipramine can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.
Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
fast, pounding, or uneven heart rate;
chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, general ill feeling;
sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
sudden headache, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
tremors, restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, tremors, feeling like you might pass out;
urinating less than usual or not at all;
extreme thirst with headache, nausea, vomiting, and weakness;
skin rash, severe tingling or numbness, pain and muscle weakness; or
nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may include:
dry mouth, unpleasant taste;
weakness, lack of coordination;
feeling anxious, restless, dizzy, or drowsy;
sleep problems (insomnia), nightmares;
blurred vision, trouble concentrating, headache, ringing in your ears;
breast swelling (in men or women); or
decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Usual Adult Dose for Depression:
The initial dose is 75 mg per day orally given as a single dose or in divided doses.Maintenance dose: 100 to 200 mg per day. May be further increased gradually to 300 mg per day if necessary.
Usual Geriatric Dose for Depression:
The initial dose is 10 to 25 mg per day orally given as a single dose or in divided doses. The dose should be gradually increased according to tolerance and clinical response. The maximum dose is 150 mg per day.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Depression:
The safety and efficacy of desipramine in children <13 years has not been established. However, the use of desipramine may be appropriate in some situations.>= 6 years to 12 years:10 to 30 mg per day or 1 to 5 mg/kg/day in divided doses.Maximum dose is 5 mg/kg/day.>= 13 years to 18 years:The initial dose is 25 to 50 mg per day. The dose should be gradually increased to 100 mg per day given as a single dose or in divided doses. The maximum dose is 150 mg per day.
Before taking desipramine, tell your doctor if you have used an "SSRI" antidepressant in the past 5 weeks, such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft).
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
cimetidine (Tagamet); or
heart rhythm medications such as flecainide (Tambocor), propafenone (Rhythmol), or quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinidex, Quinaglute).
This list is not complete and there are many other medicines that can interact with desipramine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.