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Drugs reference index «Desipramine»


Generic Name: Desipramine (des-IP-ra-meen)Brand Name: Norpramin

Antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or actions in children, teenagers, and young adults. However, depression and certain other mental problems may also increase the risk of suicide. Talk with the patient's doctor to be sure that the benefits of using Desipramine outweigh the risks.

Family and caregivers must closely watch patients who take Desipramine . It is important to keep in close contact with the patient's doctor. Tell the doctor right away if the patient has symptoms like worsened depression, suicidal thoughts, or changes in behavior. Discuss any questions with the patient's doctor.

Desipramine is used for:

Treating depression. It may be also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Desipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant. Exactly how it works is not fully understood. It is thought to increase the activity of certain chemicals in the brain (eg, norepinephrine, serotonin), which help elevate mood.

Do NOT use Desipramine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Desipramine
  • you are taking astemizole, guanethidine, an H1 antagonist (eg, diphenhydramine), pimozide, or terfenadine, or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days
  • you are recovering from a heart attack

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Desipramine :

Some medical conditions may interact with Desipramine . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you drink alcohol or have a history of alcohol abuse
  • if you take thyroid medicine or have a history of an overactive thyroid
  • if someone in your family has a history of sudden death, abnormal heartbeat, or other heart problems
  • if you have a history of glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye, an enlarged prostate, kidney or liver problems, diabetes, problems urinating, heart problems, schizophrenia, seizures (eg, epilepsy), suicidal thoughts or tendencies, or porphyria (a blood disease)
  • if you are undergoing electroshock therapy or you are scheduled to have surgery

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Desipramine . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Anticholinergics (eg, oxybutynin, scopolamine), benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam), or cimetidine because they may decrease Desipramine 's effectiveness
  • Arsenic, benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam), bupropion, carbamazepine, cimetidine, diltiazem, disulfiram, droperidol, erythromycin, fluconazole, H1 antagonists (eg, diphenhydramine), HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), labetalol, lithium, mibefradil, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), phenothiazine (eg, thioridazine), pimozide, propafenone, quinine derivatives, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (eg, atomoxetine), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (eg, fluoxetine), terbinafine, thyroid hormones (eg, levothyroxine), or verapamil because side effects, such as sedation and low blood pressure, may occur
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), arsenic, carbamazepine, cisapride, clonidine, dofetilide, droperidol, galantamine, H1 antagonists (eg, diphenhydramine), levodopa, lithium, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), phenothiazine (eg, thioridazine), pimozide, quinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin), sympathomimetics (eg, albuterol, amphetamine, pseudoephedrine), terfenadine, thyroid hormones (eg, levothyroxine), or tramadol because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Desipramine
  • Clonidine, guanethidine, guanfacine, levodopa, methyldopa, or sympathomimetics (eg, albuterol, amphetamine, pseudoephedrine) because their effectiveness may be decreased by Desipramine
  • Furazolidone because an effect (toxic psychosis) not expected from either medicine may occur

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Desipramine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Desipramine :

Use Desipramine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Desipramine comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get Desipramine refilled.
  • Take Desipramine by mouth with or without food.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are taking Desipramine .
  • Diets high in fiber may decrease the effectiveness of Desipramine . Talk with your doctor about the proper amount of fiber to consume.
  • If you also take cholestyramine, do not take it within 6 hours before or 1 hour after taking Desipramine . Check with your doctor if you have questions.
  • If you are switching from fluoxetine to Desipramine , you may need to discontinue fluoxetine for up to 5 weeks before starting Desipramine . Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
  • Taking Desipramine at bedtime may help reduce side effects such as daytime drowsiness. Discuss this possibility with your health care provider.
  • Continue to take Desipramine even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Desipramine , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. If you take 1 dose daily at bedtime, do not take missed dose the next morning.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Desipramine .

Important safety information:

  • Desipramine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Desipramine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol that you drink while you are taking Desipramine . Check with your doctor before you use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Desipramine ; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Desipramine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
  • Desipramine may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Desipramine . Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Diabetes patients - Desipramine may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a possibly fatal syndrome that can be caused by Desipramine . Symptoms may include fever; stiff muscles; confusion; abnormal thinking; fast or irregular heartbeat; and sweating. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Do not become overheated in hot weather or while you are being active; heatstroke may occur.
  • After you start using Desipramine , several weeks may pass before you feel the full benefit.
  • Children and teenagers who take Desipramine may be at increased risk for suicidal thoughts or actions. Adults may also be affected. Watch patients who take Desipramine closely. Contact the doctor at once if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms such as depressed mood; anxious, restless, or irritable behavior; panic attacks; or any unusual change in mood or behavior occur. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Desipramine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Desipramine . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Desipramine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially confusion. Elderly patients may also be at greater risk for falls while taking Desipramine .
  • Desipramine should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Desipramine while you are pregnant. Desipramine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Desipramine .

If you are on long-term therapy and you stop taking Desipramine suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include nausea, headache, and fatigue. Do not suddenly stop taking Desipramine or change dosage without asking your pharmacist or doctor first.

Possible side effects of Desipramine :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; tiredness; trouble sleeping; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision; changes in sexual desire or ability; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; difficulty speaking or swallowing; excessive sweating; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; mood or mental changes (eg, new or worsening agitation, anxiety, delusions, hallucinations, panic attacks, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, exaggerated feeling of well-being, suicidal thoughts or actions); numbness or tingling in an arm or leg; one-sided weakness; restlessness or inability to sit still; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; severe or persistent trouble sleeping; slurred speech; stiff muscles; tremor; trouble urinating; uncontrolled muscle movements (eg, of face, tongue, arms, legs); unusual bleeding or bruising; vision problems; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include agitation; confusion; drowsiness; dry mouth; enlarged pupils; fast or irregular heartbeat; flushing; loss of consciousness; seizures.

Proper storage of Desipramine :

Store Desipramine at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Desipramine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Desipramine , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Desipramine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Desipramine . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • Desipramine Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • desipramine Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • desipramine Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Norpramin Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Norpramin Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)

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