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Norpramin Side Effects

Generic Name: desipramine

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug desipramine. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Norpramin.

For the Consumer

Applies to desipramine: oral tablet

As well as its needed effects, desipramine (the active ingredient contained in Norpramin) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

If any of the following side effects occur while taking desipramine, check with your doctor immediately:

Incidence not known:
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • anxiety
  • black, tarry stools
  • blurred or double vision
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • confusion about identity, place, and time
  • convulsions
  • cough or hoarseness
  • dark urine
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • dry mouth
  • fainting
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • inability to move the arms, legs, or facial muscles
  • inability to speak
  • irritability
  • light-colored stools
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of bladder control
  • muscle spasms or jerking of all extremities
  • nausea
  • nightmares
  • pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red or purple spots on the skin
  • pounding in the ears
  • rash
  • restlessness
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • slow speech
  • sore throat and fever
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • stiffness of the limbs
  • sudden loss of consciousness
  • sweating
  • swelling
  • swollen glands
  • talking, feeling, and acting with excitement
  • trouble sleeping
  • twisting body movements
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or problems with muscle control or coordination
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • yellow eyes and skin

Minor Side Effects

Some desipramine side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

Incidence not known:
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps
  • bigger, dilated, or enlarged pupils (black part of the eye)
  • bloating
  • constipation
  • decrease in the frequency of urination
  • decrease in urine volume
  • decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • increased in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • increased interest in sexual intercourse
  • increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • painful urination
  • swelling of the breasts or breast soreness in both females and males
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • unexpected or excess milk flow from breasts in females

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to desipramine: compounding powder, oral tablet


The most commonly reported side effects were tremor, dizziness, headache, dry mouth, constipation, and nausea.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Confusional states (especially in the elderly) with hallucinations, disorientation, delusions, anxiety, restlessness, agitation, insomnia, nightmares, hypomania, exacerbation of psychosis, increased or decreased libido, suicidal behaviors[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Numbness, tingling, paresthesias of extremities, incoordination, ataxia, tremors, peripheral neuropathy, extrapyramidal symptoms, seizures, alterations in EEG patterns, tinnitus, stroke, symptoms attributed to Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, drowsiness, dizziness, proneness to falling, headache, serotonin syndrome[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypotension, hypertension, palpitations, heart block, myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, premature ventricular contractions, tachycardia, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, sudden death, flushing[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Gynecomastia in the male, breast enlargement and galactorrhea in the female, elevation or depression of blood sugar levels, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Urinary retention, delayed micturition, dilation of urinary tract, impotence, painful ejaculation, testicular swelling, urinary frequency, nocturia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Blurred vision, disturbance of accommodation, mydriasis, increased intraocular pressure[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hepatitis, jaundice (simulating obstructive), altered liver function, elevated liver function tests[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Bone marrow depressions including agranulocytosis, eosinophilia, purpura, thrombocytopenia, petechia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Edema, drug fever, weakness, fatigue, fever, elevated alkaline phosphatase, malaise[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Dry mouth (rarely associated with sublingual adenitis), constipation, paralytic ileus, nausea, vomiting, epigastric distress, peculiar taste, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, stomatitis, black tongue, increased pancreatic enzymes, parotid swelling[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Cross-sensitivity with other tricyclic drugs[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Skin rash, urticaria, itching, photosensitization, perspiration, alopecia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Weight gain or loss, anorexia[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Norpramin (desipramine)." Hoechst Marion-Roussel Inc, Kansas City, MO.

It is possible that some side effects of Norpramin may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

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.