Skip to Content

Doxepin topical Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of doxepin topical include: application site reaction and drowsiness. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to doxepin topical: topical cream

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by doxepin topical. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Severity: Moderate

If any of the following side effects occur while taking doxepin topical, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

More common:
  • Burning, crawling, or tingling sensation of the skin
  • swelling at the site of application
  • worsening of eczema and itching
  • Fever
Symptoms of overdose:
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • blurring of vision
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • decreased awareness or responsiveness
  • difficulty in breathing
  • difficulty in passing urine
  • dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness
  • drowsiness
  • enlarged pupils
  • excessive dryness of mouth
  • extremely high fever or body temperature
  • extremely low body temperature
  • fast heartbeat
  • increased or excessive unconscious or jerking movements
  • incurable constipation
  • irregular heartbeat
  • unconsciousness
  • vomiting
  • weak pulse

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with doxepin topical may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Burning and/or stinging at the site of application
  • changes in taste
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dryness and tightness of skin
  • dryness of mouth and/or lips
  • emotional changes
  • headache
  • thirst
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common:
  • Anxiety
  • irritation, tingling, scaling, and cracking of skin
  • nausea

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to doxepin topical: topical cream


Very common (10% or more): Burning/stinging (23%)
Common (1% to 10%): Other application site reaction
Frequency not reported: Irritation, tingling[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Drowsiness (up to 22%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, taste perversion
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Headache
Frequency not reported: Lightheadedness, taste bitter, taste metallic[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Dry mouth
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Numbness of tongue, nausea
Frequency not reported: Dry lips, dry throat, thirst, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Pruritus, eczema exacerbated
Frequency not reported: Localized rash, pruritus exacerbated
Postmarketing reports: Allergic contact dermatitis[Ref]


The most frequently reported adverse effects were drowsiness and burning/stinging at application site.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Urinary retention[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Type IV hypersensitivity reaction[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Blurred vision, dry eyes[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue/tiredness, edema
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Fever
Frequency not reported: Vertigo[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Mental emotional changes
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Nervousness/anxiety[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Zonalon (doxepin topical)." Bioglan Pharmaceutical Inc, Malvern, PA.

2. MHRA. Medicines and Health Regulatory Agency "MHRA Drug Safety Update. Available from: URL:"

Not all side effects for doxepin topical may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.