What Meds

Psychiatric Medications

Brand Names: Adapin, Prudoxin, Sinequan, Zonalon

Doxepin is a tricyclic antidepressant and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) drug that reduces reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin (neurotransmitters) to bring their levels back to normal. Doxepin is an anticholinergic - a drug that blocks the parasympathetic nerves - and a sedative. It is the only tricyclic antidepressant to relieve itching as well as several types of pain.

Doxepin usually takes effect within two to four weeks, but the time may be longer due to dosage and an individual’s reaction to the drug. Some effects may be felt on the first day.

Why is this drug prescribed?
Doxepin is FDA-labeled in adults for treatment of depression and/or anxiety associated with alcoholism, depression and/or anxiety associated with organic disease, depression, and pruritis/itching. It is also FDA-labeled in adolescents and children above 12 years old for depression and/or anxiety. Doxepin has shown to be useful in treating insomnia, neuropathic pain, anxiety, and chronic pain as well.

Doxepin is used to treat several types of depression including:

Doxepin has also been used to treat:

How much of this drug is typically used?
Capsule: 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg
Cream: 30 g, 45 g
Solution, oral concentrate: 10 mg/mL

Warnings and Precautions
Doxepin is not recommended for children under twelve years old because Doxepin’s effects on children have not been adequately studied. Children over twelve years old are recommended the same dosage as adults.

Doxepin can cause photosensitivity and can reduce sweating which impairs the body's ability to adapt to heat. Patients should avoid saunas and other very hot environments.

Doxepin is not addictive. Suddenly discontinuing Doxepin may cause withdrawal symptoms including headache and nausea. Dosages should be gradually tapered to minimize withdrawal.

Doxepin can cause drowsiness and dizziness: a patient taking Doxepin should not drive or operate heavy machinery until he knows that it does not impair his ability do engage in these activities.

For Nursing Mothers: Controlled studies have not been done in pregnant women, but there have been reports of newborns suffering from muscle spasms and heart, breathing, and urinary problems when their mothers had taken tricyclic antidepressants immediately before delivery. Animal studies show that some tricyclic antidepressants may have undesirable effects on a fetus. Tricyclic antidepressants pass into breast milk and are reported to cause drowsiness in nursing infants.

Doxepin should Not be used for people with the following medical conditions:

Adverse Reactions
Doxepin may cause the following reactions:


Interactions with Drugs and Other Substances
Drugs or substances that may interact with Doxepin are:


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