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Protriptyline

Uses

This medication is prescribed to treat depression.

IUPAC name: N-methyl-3-(2-tricyclo[9.4.0.03,8]pentadeca-1(15),3,5,7,9,11,13-heptamyl)propan-1-amine

Drug class:  Tricyclic antidepressant 

Route of administration: Oral

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Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This drug inhibits norepinephrine and serotonin neuronal reuptake into the brain. As a result, norepinephrine and serotonin levels rise, activating more neurons and helping in the restoration and maintenance of mental stability and treatment of depression.

Side effects

It may cause dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, dry mouth, constipation, weight gain, abdominal pain, problems with urination, fatigue, weakness, irregular heart rate, increased sweating, nausea, and lightheadedness.

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, and nortriptyline), or if you have other allergies,
  • If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products), especially SSRIs (including sertraline, citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, escitalopram),
  • 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, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), seizures, electroshock therapy,
  • 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 if you have recently received 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).
  • Avoid abruptly discontinuing this medication without first talking to your doctor.
  • Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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