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Generic Name: Doxepin (DOX-e-pin)

Drug Class: Antidepressant, Tricyclic

Table of Contents


Adapin (Doxepin) is a tricyclic antidepressant used for treatment in the short-term of various forms of depression. Your doctor may prescribe this medicine for other conditions as well. Doxepin is also used to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, pruritus. It is also used as a second-line treatment of chronic idiopathic urticaria (hives).

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

It works by helping change certain chemicals (serotonin) in the brain, which professionals refer to as “neurotransmitters.” It is not yet well-understood why changing these neurochemicals results in symptom relief for the conditions this drug is commonly prescribed for.

How to Take It

Take this medicine at even intervals about the same time each day. This medicine is taken orally and may be taken with food to avoid stomach upset.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • dry mouth, mouth sores, taste problems;
  • feeling drowsy, dizzy, or tired;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, loss of appetite;
  • vision changes;
  • breast swelling (in men or women); or.
  • decreased or increased sex drive.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • painful or difficult urination, urinating less than usual.
  • skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
  • fast heart rate;
  • confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts, seizure (convulsions); or
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • tremors, restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;

Warnings & Precautions

  • This medicine should NOT be used by those having take MAO inhibitors in the last two weeks, by those with narrow angle glaucoma, or by those with cardiac rhythm problems.
  • It should NOT be abruptly discontinued.
  • Elderly patients generally should avoid this medicine, if possible, due to the increased chance of dizziness and falls.
  • This medicine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Alcoholic beverages can increase the side effects of this medicine and should be avoided.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

  • Possible drug interactions may occur with phenobarbital causing a decrease in the effect of the medications. Severe blood pressure problems and seizure can occur with taken with MAO inhibitors. Talk with your physician or pharmacist if you are taking other medications.
  • Talk with your physician or pharmacist if you are taking other medications.

Dosage & Missed Dose

The usual dose of Doxepin is 75 to 300 milligrams (mg) daily, taken either at bedtime or in three divided doses, with the average daily dose as 150 mg. After two to three weeks there should be optimal improvement in depressive symptoms. Anti-anxiety effects occur much sooner.

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


For women, it should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation. As with other medications, if you suspect that you may be pregnant, talk to you physician or pharmacist before using this medication.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider, or you can visit this website, for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.


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APA Reference
Psych Central. (2018). Adapin. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 26, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Oct 2018
Last reviewed: By Christine Traxler, M.D.
Published on All rights reserved.