Generic name: maprotiline (ma-PROE-ti-leen)
Drug class: Tetracyclic antidepressants
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 5, 2021.
Suicidality and Antidepressant DrugsAntidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder and other psychiatric disorders . Anyone considering the use of maprotiline or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Maprotiline is not approved for use in pediatric patients .
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antidepressant
Pharmacologic Class: Antidepressant, Tetracyclic
Uses for maprotiline
Maprotiline is used to relieve mental depression, including anxiety that sometimes occurs with depression.
Maprotiline is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using maprotiline
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For maprotiline, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to maprotiline or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Maprotiline must be used with caution in children with depression. Studies have shown occurrences of children thinking about suicide or attempting suicide in clinical trials for maprotiline. More study is needed to be sure maprotiline is safe and effective in children
Drowsiness, dizziness or lightheadedness; confusion; vision problems; dryness of mouth; constipation; and difficulty in urinating may be especially likely to occur in elderly patients, who are usually more sensitive than younger adults to the effects of maprotiline.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking maprotiline, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using maprotiline with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Methylene Blue
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of maprotiline. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Alcohol abuse or
- Seizure disorders (including epilepsy)—The risk of seizures may be increased
- Asthma or
- Difficult urination or
- Enlarged prostate or
- Glaucoma or
- Mental illness (severe) or
- Stomach or intestinal problems—Maprotiline may make the condition worse
- Heart or blood vessel disease or
- Overactive thyroid—Serious effects on your heart may occur
- Liver disease—Higher blood levels of maprotiline may occur, increasing the chance of side effects
Proper use of maprotiline
Take maprotiline only as directed by your doctor to benefit your condition as much as possible. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
Sometimes maprotiline must be taken for up to two or three weeks before you begin to feel better. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits.
The dose of maprotiline will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of maprotiline. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For depression:
- Adults—At first, 25 milligrams (mg) taken one to three times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 150 mg a day, unless you are in the hospital. Some hospitalized patients may need higher doses.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For depression:
If you miss a dose of maprotiline, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
For once daily dosing at bedtime: Do not take the missed dose in the morning since it may cause disturbing side effects during waking hours. Instead, check with your doctor.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Precautions while using maprotiline
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your dosage to be changed if necessary and will help to reduce side effects.
Maprotiline will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that slow down the nervous system, possibly causing drowsiness). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates; medicine for seizures; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using maprotiline .
Maprotiline may cause some people to be agitated, irritable or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. If you or your caregiver notice any of these adverse effects, tell your doctor right away.
Maprotiline may cause blurred vision, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. It may also cause some people to become drowsy or less alert than they are normally. If these effects occur, do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert or able to see well.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help. If this problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.
Maprotiline may cause dryness of the mouth. For temporary relief, use sugarless gum or candy, melt bits of ice in your mouth, or use a saliva substitute. However, if your mouth continues to feel dry for more than 2 weeks, check with your medical doctor or dentist. Continuing dryness of the mouth may increase the chance of dental disease, including tooth decay, gum disease, and fungus infections.
Before having any kind of surgery, dental treatment, or emergency treatment, tell the medical doctor or dentist in charge that you are using maprotiline. Taking maprotiline together with medicines that are used during surgery or dental or emergency treatments may increase the CNS depressant effects.
Do not stop taking maprotiline without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to reduce gradually the amount you are taking before stopping completely. This will allow your body to adjust properly and will reduce the possibility of unwanted effects.
Maprotiline side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- Skin rash, redness, swelling, or itching
- Constipation (severe)
- nausea or vomiting
- shakiness or trembling
- seizures (convulsions)
- unusual excitement
- weight loss
- Breast enlargement—in males and females
- confusion (especially in the elderly)
- difficulty in urinating
- hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there)
- inappropriate secretion of milk—in females
- irregular heartbeat (pounding, racing, skipping)
- sore throat and fever
- swelling of testicles
- yellow eyes or skin
Symptoms of overdose
- Convulsions (seizures)
- dizziness (severe)
- drowsiness (severe)
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- muscle stiffness or weakness (severe)
- restlessness or agitation
- trouble in breathing
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Blurred vision
- decreased sexual ability
- dizziness or lightheadedness (especially in the elderly)
- dryness of mouth
- increased or decreased sexual drive
- tiredness or weakness
- Constipation (mild)
- increased appetite and weight gain
- increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
- increased sweating
- trouble in sleeping
- weight loss
After you stop using maprotiline, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about maprotiline
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 17 Reviews
- Drug class: tetracyclic antidepressants
- Other brands
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