II. Dosing

  1. Start: 50 mg PO qd for 3 days
  2. Next: 50 mg PO bid for 3 days
  3. Next: 100 PO qhs for 3 days
  4. Therapeutic dose: 150 PO qhs
  5. Maximum: 250 mg PO qhs

III. Pharmacokinetics

  1. Serum Half Life: 21 hours
  2. Therapeutic plasma level: 125 to 300

IV. Adverse effects

  1. See Tricyclic Antidepressants
  2. Much less adverse effects than tertiary amines
  3. Moderate adverse effects
    1. Orthostatic Hypotension
    2. Cardiac arrhythmia

V. Precautions

  1. See Tricyclic Antidepressants
  2. Serious cardiotoxicity in overdosage

VI. Advantages

  1. Activating
  2. Inexpensive
  3. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder effect

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Cost: Medications

desipramine (on 8/17/2016 at Medicaid.Gov Survey of pharmacy drug pricing)
DESIPRAMINE 10 MG TABLET Generic $0.81 each
DESIPRAMINE 100 MG TABLET Generic $2.99 each
DESIPRAMINE 25 MG TABLET Generic $1.03 each
DESIPRAMINE 50 MG TABLET Generic $2.12 each

Ontology: Desipramine (C0011685)

Definition (NCI) An active metabolite of imipramine, a tertiary amine and a synthetic tricyclic derivative of the antidepressant. Desipramine enhances monoamine neurotransmission in certain areas of the brain by inhibiting the re-uptake of noradrenaline and serotonin at the noradrenergic and serotoninergic nerve endings, respectively. It also induces sedation through histamine 1 receptor blockage and hypotension through beta-adrenergic blockage.
Definition (MSH) A tricyclic dibenzazepine compound that potentiates neurotransmission. Desipramine selectively blocks reuptake of norepinephrine from the neural synapse, and also appears to impair serotonin transport. This compound also possesses minor anticholinergic activity, through its affinity to muscarinic receptors.
Definition (CSP) tricyclic dibenzazepine compound that potentiates neurotransmission; desipramine selectively blocks reuptake of norepinephrine from the neural synapse, and also appears to impair serotonin transport; this compound also possesses minor anticholingeric activity, through its affinity to muscarinic receptors.
Concepts Pharmacologic Substance (T121) , Organic Chemical (T109)
MSH D003891
SnomedCT 33378002, 372705002
LNC LP16103-1, MTHU004929
English Desipramine, Demethylimipramine, Desmethylimipramine, 5H-Dibenz(b,f)azepine-5-propanamine, 10,11-dihydro-N-methyl-, desmethylimipramine, Desipramine [Chemical/Ingredient], desipramine, DESIPRAMINE, Desipramine (product), Desipramine (substance)
Swedish Desipramin
Czech desipramin
Finnish Desipramiini
Russian DEZIPRAMIN, DESMETILIMIPRAMIN, DEZIPRAMINGIDROKHLORID, ДЕЗИПРАМИН, ДЕЗИПРАМИНГИДРОХЛОРИД, ДЕСМЕТИЛИМИПРАМИН
Japanese デシプラミン, デスメチルイミプラミン
Italian Desmetilimipramina, Demetilimipramina, Desipramina
Croatian DESIPRAMIN
Polish Dezypramina
Spanish desipramina (producto), desipramina (sustancia), desipramina, Desipramina, Desmetilimipramina
French Désipramine
German Desipramin, Desmethylimipramin
Portuguese Desipramina, Desmetilimipramina

Ontology: Pertofrane (C0031232)

Concepts Organic Chemical (T109) , Pharmacologic Substance (T121)
MSH D003891
English Pertofrane, Pertofran, Novartis Brand of Desipramine Hydrochloride, Pertrofran, Rhône Poulenc Rorer Brand of Desipramine Hydrochloride, Rhône-Poulenc Rorer Brand of Desipramine Hydrochloride

Ontology: Norpramin (C0701352)

Concepts Pharmacologic Substance (T121) , Organic Chemical (T109)
MSH D003891
Croatian NORPRAMIN
English norpramin, Norpramin, Aventis Behring Brand of Desipramine Hydrochloride, Aventis Brand of Desipramine Hydrochloride