This medication is used for the treatment of depression.

It has off-label use to treat bulimia nervosa, neuropathic pain, panic disorder, nerve pain after herpes, and ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).

IUPAC name: 3-(5,6-dihydrobenzo[b][1]benzazepine-11-yl)-N-methylpropan-1-amine

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Drug class:  Tricyclic antidepressant 

Route of administration: Oral

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This drug primarily inhibits neuronal reuptake of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) in the brain. As a result, norepinephrine levels rise, activating more neurons and helping in the restoration and maintenance of mental stability and helping in regulating mood.

Side effects

It may cause nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, dry mouth, weight gain, constipation, sleeplessness, problems with urination, fatigue, increased sweating, headache, fast heart rate, and orthostatic or postural hypotension. 


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).


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

If you are allergic to it, or 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, kidney problems, hypertension), diabetes, eating disorders (including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa), bipolar disorder/manic depression, angle closure glaucoma, problems with urination, stroke, brain/head injury, hypothyroidism, seizures, glaucoma

Desipramine 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,

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).

Avoid abruptly discontinuing this medication without first seeing your doctor.

Consult your doctor if you are pregnant.

Use of this drug is not recommended while breastfeeding.

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