Norpramin

Generic Name: desipramine (des IP ra meen)
Brand Name: Norpramin

What is Norpramin (desipramine)?

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 purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Norpramin (desipramine)?

You should not take this medication if you have recently had a heart attack, or if you are allergic to desipramine or to similar antidepressants such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine, doxepin, imipramine, nortriptyline, protriptyline, or trimipramine.

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Do not use desipramine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, 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.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Norpramin (desipramine)?

You should not take this medication if you have recently had a heart attack, or if you are allergic to desipramine or to similar antidepressants such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine, doxepin, imipramine, nortriptyline, protriptyline, or trimipramine.

Do not use desipramine if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

To make sure desipramine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • 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;

  • liver disease;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • diabetes (desipramine may raise or lower blood sugar);

  • glaucoma; or

  • problems with urination.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using desipramine. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

It is not known whether desipramine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether desipramine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are ill or debilitated.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

How should I take Norpramin (desipramine)?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using desipramine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Do not stop using desipramine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using desipramine.

It may take up to a few weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve during treatment.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of desipramine can be fatal.

What should I avoid while taking Norpramin (desipramine)?

Do not drink alcohol. Desipramine can increase the effects of alcohol, which could be dangerous.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with desipramine and lead to unwanted side effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Desipramine can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Norpramin (desipramine) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, 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:

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • new or worsening chest pain, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • sudden numbness or weakness, problems with vision, speech, or balance;

  • fever, sore throat;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;

  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors;

  • painful or difficult urination;

  • seizure (convulsions); or

  • upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Other common side effects may include:

  • tingly feeling, weakness, lack of coordination;

  • dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea;

  • blurred vision, 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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Norpramin (desipramine)?

Taking desipramine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can increase these effects. Ask your doctor before taking desipramine with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Before taking desipramine, tell your doctor if you have used an "SSRI" antidepressant in the past 5 weeks, such as citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, or sertraline.

You must wait at least 5 weeks after stopping fluoxetine (Prozac) before you can take desipramine.

Many drugs can interact with desipramine. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with desipramine, especially:

  • bupropion;

  • cimetidine (Tagamet);

  • quinidine;

  • St. John's wort;

  • terbinafine;

  • any other anti-depressant, or medication to treat mental illness;

  • the heart rhythm medications flecainide, propafenone, or quinidine.

This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with desipramine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about desipramine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 10.01. Revision Date: 2012-12-12, 4:31:47 PM.

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