Compare Doxepin vs. desipramine

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

Zonalon (Doxepin)

Prescription only

Norpramin (desipramine)

Prescription only
Helps you stop itching.

Zonalon (Doxepin) works well treating itchy skin, but could make you sleepy.

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.

Upsides
  • In clinical trials, Zonalon (Doxepin) was found to be the most effective cream for treating itchy skin.
  • You can use Zonalon (Doxepin) for up to 8 days at a time.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • You need a prescription for Zonalon (Doxepin).
  • It isn't available as a generic, so it could be kind of pricey.
  • Zonalon (Doxepin) can make you sleepy.
  • Zonalon (Doxepin) can interact with other medications, vitamins, or alternative treatments.
  • 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.
Used for
  • Skin intching (moderate)
Dosage forms
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
Price
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$9.99
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Lowest price near you
$15.87
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Zonalon (Doxepin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Norpramin (desipramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Higher risk of suicide

    People under age 24

  • Serotonin syndrome

    Tricyclic antidepressants

    ...and 5 more risk factors

  • Changes to the heartbeat

    History of heart disease

  • Higher risk for seizures

    History of seizures

    ...and 1 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings