This medicine contains doxepin as active ingredient. It belongs to the group of medicines known as tricyclic antidepressants or “mood elevators.” It is used to relieve mental depression and depression that  sometimes occurs with anxiety. The medication gradually relieves, but does not cure, symptoms of depression.

The medication Influences the passage of certain brain chemicals – serotonin and/or norepinephrine – in and out nerve endings, producing an alteration of the excitatory levels of nerve cells. They also counteract the effects of the neurohormone or neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

The medicine works by causing long-term changes in the way the neurotransmitters in the central nervous system work. The medicines  of this type can elevate mood, increase physical activity and mental alertness, and improve appetite and sleep patterns after 2-4 weeks of use.

Prescribed for

The medication is prescribed for:

•   Depression with or without symptoms of anxiety

•   Neurotic or psychotic depressive disorder

•   Narcolepsy

•   Bulimia

•   Panic attacks

•   Cocaine withdrawal syndrome

•   Attention deficit disorder

Before using this medicine

Before you use this medicine check with your doctor, or  pharmacist:

•    if you ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to any tricyclic antidepressant, maprotiline or trazodone.

•   if you are on a low-salt, low-sugar, or any other special diet, or if you are allergic to any substance, such as sulfites or other preservatives or dyes.

•    if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while using this medicine. There have been reports of newborns suffering from heart, breathing, and urinary problems when their mothers had taken tricyclic antidepressants before delivery.

•    if you are breast-feeding an infant. Some tricyclic antidepressants pass into the breast milk.


•    Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor, to benefit your condition as much as possible. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer period of time than your doctor ordered.

•    Usual dosage: The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regime. Adults and children (age 12 and over): starting dose of 25-75 mg a day, then increased as needed to a maximum daily dose of 150 mg a day for mild to moderate disease and 300 mg a day for more severe anxiety or depression. Lower doses are recommended for seniors.

•    To lessen stomach upset, take this medicine with food, even for a daily bedtime dose, unless your doctor has told you to take it on an empty stomach. If you forget your once-a-day bedtime dose, do not take it more than 3 hours late. If more than 3 hours, wait for next scheduled dose.

•    Sometimes this medicine must be taken for several weeks before you begin to feel better.

Cautions and Warnings

•    Do not take this type of antidepressants if you are allergic or sensitive to any of their ingredients.

•    Antidepressants have been associated with an increased risk of suicide, especially in teenagers tasking them. Suicide is always a risk in severely depressed people, who should only be allowed to have minimal quantities of medicines in their possession.

•   These drugs should be taken with caution if you have a history of:

•   Convulsive disorders

•   Seizures

•   Difficulty urinating

•   Glaucoma

•   Heart disease

•   Liver disease

•   Hyperthyroidism

Side Effects

Along with the needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Side effects that usually do not require medical attention: difficult or frequent urination; decreased sex drive; muscle aches; abnormal dreams; nasal congestion; weakness and faintness when arising from bed or chair; back pain.

•    Other side effects that should be reported to your doctor immediately are:





Muscle spasms


Worsening glaucoma

Sensitivity to bright light



Difficulty urinating




Blurred vision

Eye pain

Irregular heartbeat or slow pulse

Inflamed tongue

Abdominal pain


Hair loss

Rash Fever


Joint pain


Driving or Hazardous Work

Do not drive until you learn how the medicine affects you. Do not work around dangerous machinery. Do not climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicines affecting alertness and reflexes.


This medicine may interact with several other drugs such as:

•   Anticoagulants

•   Anticholinergics

•   Cold remedies

•   Oral contraceptives

•   Estrogens

•   Seizure medicines

•   Sleeping medicines

•   Thyroid medicines

•   Other antidepressants

•    Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you are currently taking.


Tablets, capsules, etc. should be stored at room temperature in tightly closed, light-resistant containers as directed by your pharmacist. Keep out of reach of children since overdose is especially dangerous in young  children. Do not store in the bathroom medicine cabinet because the heart or moisture may cause the medicine to break down. Keep the liquid   form of the medicine from freezing.

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About Genomic Medicine UK

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