Amoxapine

Generic Name: amoxapine (a-MOX-a-peen)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

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 amoxapine outweigh the risks.

Family and caregivers must closely watch patients who take amoxapine. 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.


Amoxapine is used for:

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

Amoxapine is a tricyclic antidepressant. It works by increasing the activity of certain chemicals in the brain, which helps to elevate mood.

Do NOT use amoxapine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in amoxapine
  • you are recovering from a heart attack
  • you are taking or have taken linezolid or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) within the last 14 days
  • you are taking clonidine, guanethidine, an H1 antagonist (eg, astemizole), or a macrolide or ketolide (eg, erythromycin)

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

Video: Clinical Depression & Anxiety

Hear Luna's story on how she was diagnosed with depression.

Before using amoxapine:

Some medical conditions may interact with amoxapine. 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 any allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have alcoholism or if you consume more than 3 alcohol-containing drinks per day
  • if you have heart problems, epilepsy, seizures, an overactive thyroid, glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye, a blood disorder, thoughts of suicide, an enlarged prostate, or problems urinating
  • if you are taking a medicine that contains methylene blue

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

  • Antiarrhythmics (eg, propafenone, flecainide), carbamazepine, cimetidine, fluconazole, SSRIs (eg, fluoxetine) H1 antagonists (eg, astemizole), macrolides or ketolides (eg, erythromycin), linezolid, mibefradil, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), phenothiazines (eg, thioridazine), quinidine, or terbinafine because side effects, such as sedation, low blood pressure, and severe heart problems, may be increased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) or sympathomimetics (eg, albuterol, amphetamine, pseudoephedrine) because actions and side effects may be increased by amoxapine
  • Clonidine, guanethidine, or guanfacine because effectiveness may be decreased by amoxapine

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if amoxapine 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 amoxapine:

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

  • Amoxapine comes with an additional patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully and reread it each time you get amoxapine refilled.
  • Amoxapine may be taken with food or on an empty stomach.
  • Continue to take amoxapine even if you feel better. It may take several weeks before you feel the full benefit of amoxapine.
  • Taking amoxapine at bedtime may help reduce side effects.
  • Do not miss any doses. If you miss a dose of amoxapine, 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 the missed dose the next morning.

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

Important safety information:

  • Amoxapine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or lightheadedness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to amoxapine. Using amoxapine alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medications that cause drowsiness (eg, sedatives, tranquilizers) while taking amoxapine. Amoxapine will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines are depressants.
  • Amoxapine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever can increase these effects. To prevent them, sit or stand up slowly, especially in the morning. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness.
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a potentially deadly syndrome associated with amoxapine. Symptoms include increased body heat; muscle rigidness; altered mental state, including lack of response to your surroundings; irregular pulse and blood pressure; increased heart rate; sweating; irregular heart rhythm. Contact your doctor if any of these symptoms occur.
  • Involuntary and uncontrollable movements may develop in patients taking amoxapine. Occurrence is highest among the elderly, especially women. The risk of developing these involuntary movements and the likelihood they will become permanent are increased with long-term use and with high doses. However, it is possible to develop these symptoms after short-term treatment at low doses. Contact your health care provider at once if any of the following occur: involuntary movements of the tongue, face, mouth or jaw (eg, protrusion of tongue, puffing of cheeks, puckering of mouth, chewing movements), sometimes accompanied by involuntary movements of the arms and legs.
  • Do not become overheated in hot weather or during exercise or other activities because heatstroke may occur.
  • Children, teenagers, and young adults who take amoxapine may be at increased risk for suicidal thoughts or actions. Watch all patients who take amoxapine 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.
  • Amoxapine may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to amoxapine. Use a sunscreen or protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using amoxapine.
  • Use amoxapine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to the effects of amoxapine.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using amoxapine during pregnancy. Amoxapine is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using amoxapine, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Symptoms of nausea, headache, or fatigue may develop if therapy is stopped suddenly after long-term use.

Possible side effects of amoxapine:

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:

Anxiety; changes in appetite; changes in blood pressure; clumsiness; confusion; constipation; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; excitement; headache; increased sweating; nausea; nervousness; nightmares; pounding in the chest; restlessness; sleeplessness; swelling; tiredness; tremors; weakness.

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

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); fever with increased sweating; impotence; lip smacking or puckering; seizures; severe muscle stiffness; uncontrolled chewing movements; uncontrolled movements of hands, arms, or legs; 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. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

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

Proper storage of amoxapine:

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

General information:

  • If you have any questions about amoxapine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Amoxapine 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.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take amoxapine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about amoxapine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to amoxapine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using amoxapine.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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