Compare Lamictal vs. desipramine

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

Lamictal (Lamotrigine)

Prescription only

Norpramin (desipramine)

Prescription only
Prevents seizures and stabilizes mood.

Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is most useful for treating severe seizure disorders, and for bipolar disorder with more depression symptoms than manic symptoms. Just be careful to increase your dose slowly to avoid skin rash.

5.1/ 7 average rating with 184 reviewsforLamictal
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
  • Effective at lowering the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome. Typically used together with other medications for severe seizure disorders.
  • Works best for partial, tonic-clonic, and absence seizures.
  • A first-line treatment for bipolar disorder. Effective long-term treatment for stabilizing mood. Prevents both depressive and manic episodes, but the effect is greater for preventing depression.
  • Doesn't require routine blood tests.
  • 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
  • Can cause double vision, dizziness, sleepiness, and headache.
  • Has the risk of a rare but life-threatening rash.
  • Can make hormonal birth control less effective.
  • Might be less effective than other medicines for treating manic episodes (acute mania) in people with bipolar disorder.
  • 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
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
Price
Lowest price near you
$8.7
Find instant savings
Lowest price near you
$15.87
Find instant savings
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, and other pharmacies.
Reviews
184 
66%
think this treatment is worth it
58%
think this treatment works well
18%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Lamictal (Lamotrigine)?

Leave a review
Not enough review data.Leave a review
Side effects
10possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    38%
  • Headache
    28%
  • Diplopia
    28%
  • Ataxia
    22%
  • Nausea
    19%
  • Blurred vision
    16%
  • Somnolence
    14%
  • Rhinitis
    14%
  • Pharyngitis
    10%
  • Rash
    10%
See more detailed side effects
The Norpramin (desipramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

    History of depression

  • Serious skin rash

    People also taking Depakote

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Interactions with birth control pills

    Taking birth control pills

  • Withdrawal seizures

    Stopping Lamictal (Lamotrigine) suddenly

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