Generic Name: trimipramine (trye-MIP-ra-meen)
Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared with placebo in adults older than 24 years, and there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared with placebo in adults aged 65 or older. This risk must be balanced with the clinical need. Monitor patients 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. Not approved for use in pediatric patients .
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 17, 2021.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antidepressant
Pharmacologic Class: Antidepressant, Tricyclic
Uses for trimipramine
Trimipramine is used to treat depression. It belongs to the group of medicines known as tricyclic antidepressants (TCA). These medicines are thought to work by increasing the activity of certain chemicals in the brain.
Trimipramine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using trimipramine
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 trimipramine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to trimipramine 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.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of trimipramine in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of trimipramine have not been performed in the geriatric population, no geriatric-specific problems have been documented to date. However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted effects (eg, confusion or unusual drowsiness) or age-related liver or kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving trimipramine.
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 trimipramine, 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 trimipramine 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
Using trimipramine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Amtolmetin Guacil
- Aripiprazole Lauroxil
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Chloral Hydrate
- Choline Salicylate
- Flufenamic Acid
- Glycopyrronium Tosylate
- Inotuzumab Ozogamicin
- Iobenguane I 123
- Iobenguane I 131
- Mefenamic Acid
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Niflumic Acid
- Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
- Peginterferon Alfa-2b
- Salicylic Acid
- Secretin Human
- Sodium Phosphate
- Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
- Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
- Sodium Salicylate
- Tiaprofenic Acid
- Tolfenamic Acid
Using trimipramine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
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. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of trimipramine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Bipolar disorder (mood disorder with mania and depression), or risk of or
- Diabetes or
- Glaucoma (angle-closure type) or
- Mania, history of or
- Schizophrenia (mental illness) or
- Seizures, history of or
- Urinary retention (trouble urinating), history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Heart attack, recent—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
- Heart or blood vessel disease or
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper use of trimipramine
Take trimipramine 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.
Trimipramine comes with a Medication Guide. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Trimipramine can make you sleepy so your doctor may tell you to take the capsule at bedtime.
You may have to take trimipramine for a month or longer before you begin to feel better.
The dose of trimipramine 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 trimipramine. 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 (capsules):
- For depression:
- Adults—At first, 75 milligrams (mg) per day, taken in divided doses. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 200 mg per day.
- Teenagers and older adults—At first, 50 mg per day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 100 mg per day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For depression:
If you miss a dose of trimipramine, 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.
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.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions while using trimipramine
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to allow for changes in your dose and to check for any unwanted effects.
Do not take trimipramine with a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, isocarboxazid [Marplan®], linezolid (Zyvox®), methylene blue injection, phenelzine [Nardil®], selegiline [Eldepryl®], tranylcypromine [Parnate®]). Do not start taking trimipramine during the 2 weeks after you stop a MAO inhibitor and wait 2 weeks after stopping trimipramine before you start taking a MAO inhibitor. If you take them together or do not wait 2 weeks, you may develop confusion, agitation, restlessness, stomach or intestinal symptoms, a sudden high body temperature, an extremely high blood pressure, or severe convulsions.
Trimipramine may cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome if taken together with some medicines. Do not use trimipramine with buspirone (Buspar®), fentanyl (Abstral®, Duragesic®), lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), tryptophan, St. John's wort, or some pain or migraine medicines (eg, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, tramadol, Frova®, Imitrex®, Maxalt®, Relpax®, Ultram®, Zomig®). Check with your doctor first before taking any other medicines with trimipramine.
For some children, teenagers, and young adults, trimipramine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or get worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
Do not stop taking trimipramine without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely. This may help prevent a possible worsening of your condition and reduce the possibility of withdrawal symptoms such as headache, nausea, or a general feeling of discomfort or illness.
Trimipramine may cause some people to become dizzy or drowsy. Make sure you know how you react to trimipramine before you drive, use medicines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are drowsy or not alert.
Before having any kind of surgery, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are using trimipramine. Taking trimipramine together with medicines used during surgery may increase the risk of side effects.
Trimipramine may affect blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic and notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests, check with your doctor.
Trimipramine will add to the effects of alcohol and other central nervous system (CNS) depressants (medicines that cause drowsiness). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, allergies, or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for seizures or barbiturates, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. This effect may last for a few days after you stop taking trimipramine. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using trimipramine.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Trimipramine 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Incidence not known
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- black, tarry stools
- bleeding or bruising
- blood in the urine or stools
- blurred vision
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- chest pain or discomfort
- clay-colored stools
- cold sweats
- confusion about identity, place, and time
- continuing ringing, buzzing, or other unexplained noise in the ears
- cool, pale skin
- cough or hoarseness
- dark urine
- decrease in the frequency of urination
- decreased urine output or volume
- difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
- difficulty with speaking
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- double vision
- dry mouth
- false beliefs that cannot be changed by facts
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- feeling of warmth
- feeling that others are watching you or controlling your behavior
- feeling that others can hear your thoughts
- feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not there
- fever with or without chills
- flushed, dry skin
- fruit-like breath odor
- general feeling of tiredness or weakness
- hearing loss
- inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles
- inability to speak
- increased hunger
- increased need to urinate
- increased thirst
- increased urination
- itching or rash
- lack of coordination
- loss of appetite
- loss of balance control
- lower back or side pain
- mood or mental changes
- muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities
- muscle trembling or stiffness
- muscle twitching
- pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
- painful or difficult urination
- passing urine more often
- pinpoint red or purple spots on the skin
- pounding in the ears
- rapid weight gain
- redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
- shakiness and unsteady walk
- shuffling walk
- slow speech
- slurred speech
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- stiffness of the limbs
- sudden loss of consciousness
- swelling of the face, ankles, legs, or hands
- swollen glands
- talking, feeling, and acting with excitement
- trouble in holding or releasing urine
- trouble sleeping
- twisting movements of the body
- uncontrolled movements, especially of the face, neck, and back
- unpleasant breath odor
- unsteadiness, awkwardness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
- unusual behavior
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood
- weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- weight gain or loss
- yellow eyes or skin
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:
Incidence not known
- Abdominal or stomach cramps
- bigger, dilated, or enlarged pupils (black part of the eye)
- black tongue
- decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
- disturbance of accommodation
- enlargement of the breast
- hair loss or thinning of the hair
- hives or welts
- inability to have or keep an erection
- increase in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
- increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- pain or discomfort in the chest, upper stomach, or throat
- peculiar taste
- redness or other discoloration of the skin
- severe sunburn
- small red or purple spots on the skin
- swelling of the breasts or breast soreness in both women and men
- swelling of the testicles
- swelling or inflammation of the mouth
- swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck
- unexpected milk flow from the breasts
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 trimipramine
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- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
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- Drug class: tricyclic antidepressants
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