desipramine, Norpramin (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
Medical Editor:

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of desipramine in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: Desipramine is secreted in breast milk and the effect on nursing infants is known. Nursing should be avoided while taking desipramine.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most commonly encountered side effects associated with desipramine include fast heart rate, blurred vision, urinary retention (difficulty urinating), dry mouth, constipation, weight gain or loss, and low blood pressure upon arising that may cause light-headedness. Rash, hives, seizures, and hepatitis are rare side effects. Desipramine also causes elevated pressure in the eyes of some patients with glaucoma. Overdoses of desipramine can cause life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms or seizures. Sexual dysfunction also has been associated with desipramine.

Following prolonged therapy with high doses, abrupt discontinuation of TCAs, including desipramine, could lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Therefore, many doctors recommend a gradual reduction in dose when TCAs are discontinued.

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in short-term studies in children and adolescents with depression and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of desipramine or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thinking or behavior, and unusual changes in behavior.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/12/2014


Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.


Back to Medications Index