Compare desipramine vs. Tofranil

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

Norpramin (desipramine)

Prescription only
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.

Improves your mood and stops bedwetting in children.

Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is one of the first choice medicines used to treat depression, but it can cause weight gain and sleepiness.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is part of the first choice of medicines used to treat depression.
  • Available in generic.
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is usually taken only once a day.
  • Available in 3 different strengths.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) can lower your sex drive and cause more weight gain than other similar medicines for depression.
  • You might be more sensitive to the sun and have a higher risk for heat stroke while taking Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride).
  • If you have a history of heart conditions, your symptoms might get worse with Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride). Talk to your doctor to see if Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is right for you.
Used for
Dosage forms
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Price
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$15.87
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$11.33
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Norpramin (desipramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • Higher risk of suicide

    Under age 24

  • Heart problems

    History of heart disease

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Blood pressure changes

    High blood pressure

  • Higher risk of seizures

    History of seizures

  • Changes in metabolism

    History of diabetes

See more detailed risks and warnings