Compare desipramine vs. Lidocaine

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Norpramin
(desipramine)

Lidoderm
(lidocaine)

Stabilizes your mood. Norpramin (desipramine) is not a first choice for treating depression because of its effects on the heart, but it can be good if other medicines haven't worked.Treats nerve pain. Lidoderm (Lidocaine) patches work well by releasing a local anesthetic into the skin and relieving pain by targeting damaged nerves.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Norpramin (desipramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Lidocaine
67%
-67% worse vs. desipramine
72%
-72% worse vs. desipramine
22%
+22% better vs. desipramine
Have you used Lidoderm (lidocaine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
desipramineLidocaine

The desipramine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about desipramine side effects »

The Lidocaine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Lidocaine side effects »
How it works
desipramineLidocaine
Norpramin (desipramine) is a tricyclic antidepressant. It increases the amount of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, two chemicals that regulate mood.Lidoderm (Lidocaine) is a local anesthetic. It absorbs into your skin where it targets damaged nerves and relieves burning pain.
Type of medication
desipramineLidocaine
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
desipramineLidocaine
  • Pill
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Jelly
  • Spray
  • Topical solution
  • Patch
Used for
desipramineLidocaine
Risk factors for serious side effects
desipramineLidocaine
  • People under age 24
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Fentanyl
  • Tramadol
  • Buspirone
Detailed Norpramin (desipramine) risks & warnings »
  • Use of heating pad on skin
  • Applying patch to red, irritated or broken skin
  • Leaving patch on for more than 12 hours
  • Using patch on a very large area
  • Older age and lower body weight
Detailed Lidoderm (lidocaine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Pain
desipramineLidocaine
No pain related info.
  • Lidoderm (Lidocaine) can treat pain better for people who can't take oral pain medications due to allergies or bad side effects.
  • Has been shown to relieve nerve pain due to shingles for up to 12 hours at a time.
Upsides and benefits
desipramineLidocaine
  • Norpramin (desipramine) is available in generic and in many different strengths, so the dose can be more customized.
  • Norpramin (desipramine) has fewer side effects than similar tricyclic antidepressants.
  • Lidoderm (Lidocaine) can treat pain better for people who can't take oral pain medications due to allergies or bad side effects.
  • Has been shown to relieve nerve pain due to shingles for up to 12 hours at a time.
  • Patches can be cut into smaller pieces to best fit the areas of skin they need to be used on.
Downsides and risks
desipramineLidocaine
  • Norpramin (desipramine) isn't recommended if you or your family has heart disease, seizures, or glaucoma.
  • Norpramin (desipramine) isn't a first choice for depression because it has more side effects than other antidepressants.
  • In some people, Norpramin (desipramine) can make you sleepy. In other people, Norpramin (desipramine) can keep you awake.
  • If you have diabetes, Norpramin (desipramine) can make your blood sugar go up.
  • Not recommended in children under 12 years of age.
  • Can cause skin irritation after using it the first time, but for most people it's mild and goes away in a few minutes or hours.
  • Used patches contain enough medicine to be dangerous to children and pets, so store and dispose of the patches in a safe place out of their reach.
  • Might not be the best choice if you've had allergic reactions to numbing medications (local anesthetics) in the past.
  • Even though only small amounts of Lidoderm (Lidocaine) are absorbed into the body through the skin, if you're taking medications that treat arrhythmias, Lidoderm (Lidocaine) can affect how they work.
  • Patches shouldn't be left on for more than 12 hours, used on very large areas of skin, or covered with a heating pad.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
desipramineLidocaine
  • Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Norpramin (desipramine) affects you since it can make you feel sleepy.
  • Talk to your doctor right away if your mood suddenly darkens and you want to hurt yourself while taking Norpramin (desipramine).
  • If you're being switched to Norpramin (desipramine) from monoamine oxidase inhibitors, you'll need to wait 2 weeks before you can start it.
  • Don't stop taking Norpramin (desipramine) suddenly without talking to your doctor first.
  • Starts working with the first dose, but full effects can take longer.
  • Remove the protective lining on the patch before applying the patch to unbroken skin.
  • Leave the patch on for up to 12 hours during a 24 hour period.
  • You can cut the patches to create a custom fit for the area of skin you need to apply it to.
  • Don't place any tight wraps or heating pads over the patch while it's on.
  • Make sure not to touch your eyes after touching the patch. Always wash your hands after putting it on or taking it off.
Learn more
More about desipramineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Norpramin (desipramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LidocaineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lidoderm (lidocaine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it