Precautions and Warnings With Desipramine
Some desipramine warnings and precautions to be aware of include:
- Antidepressants (including desipramine) may increase the risk of suicidal thinking or behavior in children, teenagers, and adults (see Antidepressants and Suicide for more information). Therefore, if you notice any changes in symptoms or new symptoms while taking desipramine, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider immediately. Some of these symptoms may include anxiety, hostility, agitation, panic, restlessness, hallucinations, extreme hyperactivity, and suicidal thinking or behavior (see Desipramine and Suicide for more information).
- Before prescribing desipramine for depression, your healthcare provider should make sure that you do not have bipolar disorder (instead of depression). Sometimes, the symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression are very similar, and desipramine can cause problems in people with bipolar disorder.
- Desipramine may cause a worsening of schizophrenia. Discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking desipramine.
- People taking desipramine should use caution when driving, operating heavy machinery, or performing other tasks that require concentration -- especially when first starting the medicine or when switching dosages. This is because desipramine may affect a person's mental or physical ability to perform these tasks. Make sure to understand how desipramine affects you before performing any tasks that require mental or physical concentration.
- Desipramine can interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Desipramine).
- Desipramine may enhance the effects of alcohol, barbiturates, and other medicines that affect the brain. This can lead to an increased risk of drowsiness, dizziness, suicidal thoughts, and other desipramine overdose symptoms. Make sure to talk with your healthcare provider about drinking alcohol while taking desipramine.
- Desipramine may not be safe for use during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using the medicine during pregnancy (see Desipramine and Pregnancy for more information).
- Desipramine passes through breast milk and may cause harm to your baby. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about what makes the most sense for your particular situation (see Desipramine and Breastfeeding).
- If you have a history of seizures, bladder problems, or glaucoma, you should use special care when taking desipramine. Desipramine can make these conditions worse.
- Talk with your healthcare provider before taking desipramine if you have any heart problems, as desipramine can affect the heart and its electrical system.
- Talk with your healthcare provider before taking desipramine if you have hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or are taking thyroid medication.
- Taking desipramine while receiving electroshock or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can increase your risk of side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider about these risks.
- Desipramine may cause a dry mouth. Sucking on hard candy, chewing gum, or melting bits of ice in your mouth can provide relief from a dry mouth.
- Elderly people appear to be more sensitive to desipramine, which can increase their risk of side effects (such as delirium and confusion). In these particular situations, the healthcare provider will start people on lower doses of desipramine and monitor them more closely.
- During treatment with desipramine, do not treat yourself for the common cold, a cough, or allergies without first talking with your healthcare provider. Some of these medicines can increase the risk of developing desipramine side effects.
- Do not stop taking desipramine without first discussing it with your healthcare provider. Stopping the medicine abruptly may increase the risk of withdrawal symptoms (see Desipramine Withdrawal).