desipramine, Norpramin (cont.)
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies in pregnant women.
NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known if desipramine is secreted in breast milk.
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 physicians 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
Last Editorial Review: 10/8/2009
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