What Is Protriptyline Used For?

How Protriptyline Works

Protriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant. Tricyclic antidepressants are an older group of medications that have been used to treat depression for many years. Even though the medication has been around for a long time, it is not entirely clear how it works. Protriptyline affects several chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and norepinephrine.
 

Is Protriptyline Used for Children and Teens?

Protriptyline is not recommended for use in people under 18 years old, as it has not been thoroughly studied in children or teens. Antidepressants have been shown to increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in short-term research studies involving children and teenagers (see Vivactil and Suicide). Talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options for childhood or teen depression.
 

Is Protriptyline Used for Off-Label Reasons?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend protriptyline for treating something other than depression. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, there are several off-label protriptyline uses, including:
 
  • Chronic pain: The medication works best for chronic pain that is nerve-related, such as nerve pain resulting from shingles (including postherpetic neuralgia).
     
  • Anxiety disorder: Many antidepressants (including protriptyline) are used to treat anxiety disorders.
     
  • Bedwetting: Protriptyline has been used to help people stop bedwetting.
     
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Protriptyline can be used to treat ADHD, especially if other ADHD medications have not been effective or cause side effects.
     
  • Fibromyalgia: The medication has been used to treat pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia.
     
  • Migraine headaches: Protriptyline can be used on a daily basis to prevent migraine headaches. It is not effective, however, for treating a migraine headache once it starts.
     
  • Bulimia: Protriptyline can help improve bulimia symptoms, including binge eating and vomiting.
     
  • Smoking cessation: The medication is sometimes used to help people quit smoking.
     
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Protriptyline (Vivactil)

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