When treating depression, protriptyline dosing guidelines call for 15 mg to 40 mg per day, taken in three or four smaller doses. Healthcare providers will usually start you on a lower dose before increasing your daily dosage gradually, up to a maximum of 60 mg a day. For elderly people or teenagers, protriptyline dosing typically starts at 5 mg three times a day.
The dose of protriptyline hydrochloride (Vivactil®) that your healthcare provider prescribes will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- Your age
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you may be currently taking.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
The recommended protriptyline dose for depression is 15 mg to 40 mg per day, divided into three or four smaller doses. Your healthcare provider should start you at a low dose and slowly increase your dose (if necessary), provided you tolerate the drug well, up to a maximum of 60 mg total per day.
Although protriptyline is not approved for use in teens, the manufacturer gives recommendations for protriptyline dosing in this age group. For teenage depression or depression in the elderly, lower doses are recommended. The recommended starting dose for teens or elderly people is protriptyline 5 mg three times daily. If you are elderly and take more than 20 mg of protriptyline a day, your healthcare provider should monitor your heart to check for dangerous side effects.
Considerations for people taking protriptyline include the following:
- The medication should be taken at the same times each day to maintain an even level in the blood.
- If you do not take your protriptyline as scheduled, take your missed dose as soon as you remember. Also, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose.
- Your protriptyline dosage can be taken with or without food. If the drug upsets your stomach, try taking it with food.
- The medication may not work immediately, although it may work more quickly than other antidepressants. Try to give it a chance to work before becoming discouraged.
- For the antidepressant to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. Protriptyline will not work if you take it differently from how your healthcare provider recommends.
- If you are unsure about anything related to protriptyline or protriptyline dosing, talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Do not stop taking the drug without first discussing it with your healthcare provider. Stopping the medicine abruptly may increase the risk of withdrawal symptoms (see Vivactil Withdrawal).