Precautions and Warnings With Protriptyline

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Protriptyline

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking proptriptyline include the following:
  • Antidepressants (including protriptyline) may increase the risk of suicidal thinking or behavior (see Depression and Suicide). Therefore, if you notice any changes in symptoms, or if new symptoms occur, talk to your healthcare provider immediately. Some of these symptoms may include:
    • Anxiety
    • Hostility
    • Agitation
    • Panic
    • Restlessness
    • Hallucinations
    • Extreme hyperactivity
  • Before prescribing protriptyline for depression, your healthcare provider should make sure that you do not have bipolar disorder instead. Sometimes, the symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression can be similar, and protriptyline can cause problems in people with bipolar disorder.
  • The medication may cause a worsening of schizophrenia. Discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking protriptyline.
  • For people taking protriptyline, caution should be used when driving, operating heavy machinery, or performing other tasks that require concentration, especially when first starting the drug or when switching dosages. Protriptyline may affect a person's mental or physical ability to perform these tasks. Make sure to understand how the drug affects you before performing any task that requires mental or physical concentration.
  • Protriptyline can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Protriptyline).
  • Protriptyline may not be safe for use during pregnancy. Discuss the benefits and risk of using the drug while pregnant with your healthcare provider (see Vivactil and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if protriptyline passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, talk with your healthcare provider about what makes most sense for your particular situation (see Vivactil and Breastfeeding).
  • Special care should be used when taking protriptyline if you have a history of seizures, bladder problems, or glaucoma, as the medication can make these conditions worse.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider before taking protriptyline if you have any heart problems, as the medication can affect the heart and its electrical system.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider before taking protriptyline if you have hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or take thyroid medication.
  • Taking protriptyline while receiving electroshock or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can increase your risk of side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider about these risks before starting treatment.
  • The medication may cause a dry mouth. Sucking on hard candy, chewing gum, or melting bits of ice in your mouth can provide relief.
  • The elderly appear to be more sensitive to protriptyline, 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 and monitor them more closely.
  • If you have diabetes, when starting protriptyline or changing dosages, make sure to check your blood sugar levels more often. There have been reports of increased or decreased blood sugar levels in people who take the drug.
  • Do not treat yourself for the common cold, a cough, or allergies without first talking to your healthcare provider. Some of these medicines can increase the risk of developing protriptyline side effects.
  • Do not stop taking the medication without first discussing it with your healthcare provider. Stopping it abruptly may increase the risk for withdrawal symptoms (see Vivactil Withdrawal).
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Protriptyline (Vivactil)

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