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Generic Name: Desipramine (dess-IP-ra-meen)

Drug Class: Antidepressant, Tricyclic

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Norpramin (Desipramine) is is used for short-term treatment of various forms of depression and for chronic neuropathic pain (nerve pain). It is also used to prevent migraine headaches. Your doctor may prescribe this medicine for other conditions as well.

This medicine helps to treat depression by restoring two natural chemicals (serotonin and norephinephrine).

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.

How to Take It

Take this medicine as directed. It can be taken with or without food. Do not stop taking this medicine abruptly without consulting with your doctor.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • weight gain
  • nausea
  • blurred vision
  • skin sensitivity to sunlight
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • loss in sexual desire
  • nightmares

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • fluttering in your chest
  • seizure (convulsions)
  • pain when urinating
  • fever
  • fainting
  • stiff or rigid muscles
  • sweating
  • burning, itching, tingling feelings or numbneses
  • eye pain or swelling
  • irregular/fast heartbeat
  • hallucinations

Warnings & Precautions

  • Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to tricyclic antidepressants.
  • Before using this medicine, tell your doctor if you have angle-closure glaucoma, breathing problems, or diabetes.
  • Before having surgery, tell your dentist or doctor that you are taking Norpramin.
  • This medication may make you drowsy. DO NOT operate machinery (including driving a car) until you know how this medication affects you.
  • This medicine may cause QT Prolongation, a condition that affects heart rhythm. It can cause fast or irregular heartbeat that may require immediate medical attention.
  • Tell your doctor if you have recently had a heart attack, or if anyone in your family has an irregular heartbeat.
  • Elderly patients generally should avoid this medicine as it may increase dizziness and falls.
  • Tell your doctor if you smoke cigarettes.
  • 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 this medicine and Phenobarbital as well as MAO inhibitors (severe). Talk with your physician or pharmacist if you are taking other medications.

Dosage & Missed Dose

Follow all directions on prescription label. Your doctor may change your dose to ensure the best results.

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 or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


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 (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


For women, it should be avoided during pregnancy and nursing. 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). Norpramin. 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.