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Could you or a loved one be experiencing depression?

Desipramine

Pronunciation

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

  • Drugs like this one have raised the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions in children and young adults. The risk may be greater in people who have had these thoughts or actions in the past. All people who take desipramine need to be watched closely. Call the doctor right away if signs like low mood (depression), nervousness, restlessness, grouchiness, panic attacks, or changes in mood or actions are new or worse. Call the doctor right away if any thoughts or actions of suicide occur.
  • This medicine is not approved for use in children. Talk with the doctor.

Uses of Desipramine:

  • It is used to treat low mood (depression).
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Desipramine?

  • If you have an allergy to desipramine or any other part of this medicine.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have had a recent heart attack.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Linezolid or methylene blue.
  • If you have taken certain drugs used for low mood (depression) like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine or drugs used for Parkinson's disease like selegiline or rasagiline in the last 14 days. Taking desipramine within 14 days of those drugs can cause very bad high blood pressure.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take desipramine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Desipramine?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how desipramine affects you.
  • To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down. Be careful going up and down stairs.
  • It may take a few weeks to see the full effect.
  • If you have been taking this medicine for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop desipramine.
  • You may have some heart tests before starting this medicine. Talk with your doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
  • Some people may have a higher chance of eye problems with desipramine. Your doctor may want you to have an eye exam to see if you have a higher chance of these eye problems. Call your doctor right away if you have eye pain, change in eyesight, or swelling or redness in or around the eye.
  • An unsafe heartbeat that is not normal (long QT on ECG) has happened with this medicine. Sudden deaths have rarely happened in people taking desipramine. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
  • Be careful in hot weather or while being active. Drink lots of fluids to stop fluid loss.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this medicine with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using desipramine while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Desipramine) best taken?

Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with or without food.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Keep taking desipramine as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • If you are planning to harm yourself or the want to harm yourself gets worse.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Trouble passing urine.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Trouble speaking.
  • Shakiness, trouble moving around, or stiffness.
  • Trouble controlling body movements.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Sore throat.
  • Seizures.
  • Very hard stools (constipation).
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) may happen. Call your doctor right away if you have any fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, very bad headache, confusion, change in thinking, fast heartbeat, heartbeat that does not feel normal, or are sweating a lot.
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called serotonin syndrome may happen. The risk may be greater if you take this medicine with drugs for depression, migraines, or certain other drugs. Call your doctor right away if you have agitation; change in balance; confusion; hallucinations; fever; fast or abnormal heartbeat; flushing; muscle twitching or stiffness; seizures; shivering or shaking; sweating a lot; very bad diarrhea, upset stomach, or throwing up; or very bad headache.

What are some other side effects of Desipramine?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Dry mouth.
  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Desipramine?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Protect from heat.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time desipramine is refilled. If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take desipramine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. 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 desipramine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Review Date: October 4, 2017

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