doxepin (Sinequan and Adapin are discontinued brand in the US; Silenor)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    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: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

What is doxepin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Doxepin belongs to a class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) that are used primarily to treat depression and anxiety. Other examples of TCAs include amitriptyline (Elavil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), desipramine (Norpramin), and several others. Depression is an all-pervasive sense of sadness and gloom. In some patients with depression, an imbalance in levels of neurotransmitters in the brain may be the cause of the depression. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that nerves use to communicate with each other. Neurotransmitters affected by doxepin include serotonin, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and histamine. Doxepin may elevate mood by raising the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. It also blocks the activity of acetylcholine and histamine. The FDA approved doxepin in March 1974.

What brand names are available for doxepin?

Silenor

Is doxepin available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for doxepin?

Yes

What are the side effects of doxepin?

The most common side effect of doxepin is drowsiness. Drowsiness improves as therapy continues. Other side effects associated with doxepin include:

Doxepin also can cause elevated pressure in the eyes of some patients withglaucoma. Doxepin may dilate pupils which may trigger an angle closure attack in a patient with angle closure glaucoma.

If antidepressants, including doxepin, are discontinued abruptly, symptoms may include:

Such symptoms of withdrawal may occur even when a few doses of antidepressant are missed. Therefore, it is recommended that the dose of antidepressant be reduced gradually when therapy is 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 any 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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/7/2015

Quick GuideMigraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment

Migraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment
FDA Logo

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.

See more info: doxepin on RxList
RxList Logo

Need help identifying pills and medications?

Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors