By Irfana
B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)
01 December 2021 -
Medically reviewed by
Sumayya
D. Pharm
Desipramine vs Imipramine
Table of Contents

Desipramine and Imipramine are antidepressants that treat mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder and aid in the improvement of the mood. What Is Desipramine? 

Desipramine is the medication that belongs to the drug class named tricyclic antidepressant under the brand name Norpramin. It is primarily used to treat depression.(Smoller, B. and Dubner, R., 1992.)

What Is Imipramine? 

Imipramine is the medication that belongs to the tricyclic antidepressant drug class that belongs to the brand name Tofranil. This medication treats mental disorders, namely depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, and is also used for bedwetting. you can order imipramine online from certified online pharmacy but it is advised to get doctor's recommendation first.(Fayez, R. and Gupta, V., 2021)

Desipramine vs Imipramine:

  • Desipramine is the medication under the brand name Tofranil. Whereas, Imipramine is the drug under the brand name Norpramin. 
  • Desipramine is used to treat depression and neuropathy diabetes. Whereas, Imipramine treats depression, anxiety, bedwetting, panic disorder, PTSD, and even neuropathic pain. 
  • Desipramine is a medication that is not considered as the first choice drug as it can lead to heart-related issues. Whereas, Imipramine is considered the first choice medication used to treat mental disorders. 
  • Desipramine is a drug that is not recommended to patients with heart-related issues, epilepsy, glaucoma. Whereas, Imipramine is a drug that is not recommended to people who are diagnosed with diabetes as it can increase blood sugar levels. 
  • Desipramine is the drug that can be consumed by pediatrics under the physician’s surveillance whereas, Imipramine is not suggested to be consumed by the pediatrics. 
  • Desipramine is the medication that can lead to drowsiness; however, it depends upon person to person. Whereas, Imipramine can lead to lowering one`s sex drive and can even cause weight gain. 

Study: Which is Effective Desipramine vs Imipramine

Objective: Comparison between Imipramine plus mianserin and Desipramine plus mianserin within the subjects with post-stroke depression. 

Aim: the aim is to have a minimum baseline score of 5 on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) and The Melancholia Scale (MES)

Method: according to The Melancholia Scale (ME), which is primarily used for measuring the depressive state detected the somatic symptoms had a minute influence on the evaluation of depression. About 20 patients fulfilled the criteria. Out of 120 stroke patients, The doses given of the drugs were flexible by means of side effects as a guide during treatment.

Results: Both intention to treat analysis and efficacy data excluding patients who had dropped out during the first 2 weeks of treatment due to the side effects showed that imipramine (mean dose 75 mg daily) plus mianserin with the dosage dose 25 mg per day was superior to desipramine (mean dose 66 mg daily) plus mianserin (27 mg daily). The only difference that was detected during the test was that the patients who were on Imipramine had most of the complaints within the 14 days, which faded quickly.(Gram, L.F. and Jensen, T.S., 2003)

Dosage of Desipramine

The dosage strength of this medication depends on adults and pediatrics, which should be only taken under doctor’s consultation. 

Adult Dosage

The dosage of Desipramine is as follows: 

Strength: The strength of the drug is as follows: 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg.

Initial Dosage: The initial dosage of the medication is 100mg to 200mg orally. 

Maximum Dosage: The maximum dosage is 300mg. 

Pediatric Dosage

Strength: The strength of the drug is as follows: 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg.

Initial dosage: the initial dosage of this drug is 25mg to 100mg orally. 

Maximum dosage: the maximum dosage is about 100mg which can be further increased; however, a dosage over 150mg is not advised. 

Dosage Of Imipramine

The dosage strength of this medication depends on adults and pediatrics, which should be only taken under doctor’s consultation. 

Adult dosage

Strength: 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg

Initial dosage: the dosage of this drug is 75 mg per day orally. 

Maintenance and Maximum dosage: the dosage strength is further increased, subsequently 200mg to maintenance till the maximum dosage that is 300mg orally. 

Pediatric dosage

This medication is not advised to be consumed by the pediatrics consult the medical practitioner in any case. 

Side effects of Desipramine

The side effects can range from adverse to common; however, in any case, consult the medical expert if noticed any of the side effects. 

Adverse Side Effects

The adverse side effects are as follows: 

  • Worsening the depression.
  • Increase in suicidal tendency 
  • Eye pain or redness in the eyes
  • Increase in heart palpitation
  • Epilepsy or seizures 
  • Serotonin syndrome   

If notice any of these side effects consult the professionals regarding it.

Common Side Effects

  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Sexual issues
  • Constipation or diarrhea

These are a few common side effects that would fade away in a few days. If not, then consult the doctor.  

Side Effects Of Imipramine 

The side effects can range from adverse to common; however, in any case, consult the medical expert if you noticed any of the side effects. 

Adverse side effects

  • Panic attack or anxiety
  • Worsens the depression
  • Insomnia 
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Aggression or unusual behavior 
  • Seizure 

If notice any of these side effects; consult the professionals regarding it as fast as possible. 

Common side effects

  • Loss of appetite 
  • Sexual issues
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Constipation
  • Fever

These are a few common symptoms

Desipramine vs Imipramine: Which Is More Effective? 

Both the medications are antidepressants. Their work is similar but not the same. Both Desipramine and Imipramine are considered effective but depend upon person to person and according to the medical expert’s prescription. However, do not consume the medications without strict medical guidance as they can lead to adverse symptoms. 

How does Imipramine And Desipramine Work? 

Imipramine and Desipramine work by blocking the selectively blocking reuptake of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) from the neuronal synapse. And by increasing the naturally occurring chemical in the brain that uplifts the mood. 

Warnings For Desipramine And Imipramine.

Do not consume this drug if you are diagnosed with any conditions such as heart condition, disorders such as bipolar disorder, seizure or epilepsy, diabetes, or kidney-related issues.

Do not consume this medication if on any MOA inhibitors in the past two weeks. 

Do not consume this medication if pregnant or breastfeeding; in any case, consult the physician before taking the drug.(Amitai, Y. and Frischer, H., 2006)

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