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Amoxapine

Uses

This medication is used to treat depression and other mental disorders such as anxiety, agitation, psychosis, and neurotic or recurring depression.

IUPAC name: 8-chloro-6-piperazin-1-yl benzo[b][1,4]benzoxazepine

Drug class:  Tricyclic antidepressant 

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Route of administration: Oral

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This drug works by primarily inhibiting neuronal reuptake of norepinephrine in the brain. As a result, the level of norepinephrine increases, helping in the restoration and maintenance of mental stability and helping in regulating mood.

Side effects

It may cause dizziness, drowsiness, orthostatic or postural hypotension, blurred vision, dry mouth, weight gain, constipation, abdominal pain, problems with urination, fatigue, weakness, irregular heart rate, increased sweating, nausea, headache, tremors, taste changes.

Warnings

Because of the possibility of major adverse effects, this medication is not advised for children under the age of 18.

If you have recently had a heart attack (myocardial infarction), you should not use this medication.

This medication should not be taken within 14 days after taking MAO inhibitors (including moclobemide, phenelzine, isocarboxazid, selegiline, tranylcypromine, etc).

Precautions

Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

If you are allergic to it or to other tricyclic antidepressants (including amitriptyline, imipramine, clomipramine), or if you have other allergies,

If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),

If you have a history of lung/breathing disease (including bronchitis, asthma), cardiac disease (heart attack, congestive heart failure, hypertension), kidney problems, bipolar disorder/manic depression, angle closure glaucoma, problems with urination, stroke, brain/head injury, hypothyroidism, seizures, 

Amoxapine may increase the risk of QT prolongation if you have certain cardiac diseases (bradycardia, heart failure, or QT prolongation).

If you have low blood levels of magnesium, potassium, or sodium, you may be more likely to experience QT prolongation (extended intervals between cardiac contraction and relaxation) when taking this medication.

If you have diabetes, using this medication may make it more difficult to regulate your blood sugar levels.

If you have undergone any type of surgery, or electroshock therapy,

When going out in the sun, always wear sunscreen because this drug makes your skin more susceptible to the sun.

Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness.

This drug’s adverse effects are more severe in older adults (above 65 years).

Consult your doctor if you are pregnant.

Use of this drug is not recommended while breastfeeding.

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