Compare desipramine vs. Topamax

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

Norpramin (desipramine)

Prescription only

Topamax (topiramate)

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.

Prevents seizures and migraine headaches.

Topamax (topiramate) is very effective at preventing many types of seizures and migraines, but it can cause several severe side effects that can lead to stopping the medication.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 56 reviewsforTopamax
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.
  • Can lower your number of seizures and also prevent migraine headaches. This medicine can be used on its own or with other antiepileptic medicines to lower the frequency of seizures.
  • Doesn't need routine blood tests like similar medications.
  • Available in short-acting and long-acting forms.
  • Comes as a generic, so it's relatively cheap.
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.
  • Can cause many severe side effects. People starting Topamax (topiramate) need to be monitored for these effects as soon as they start treatment.
  • This medicine can take 4 to 6 weeks for the full effects of this medication to kick in, especially for people taking it for migraines.
  • Children taking Topamax (topiramate) for long periods of time need to have their dose adjusted by their pediatrician as they grow.
  • At higher doses (ie. 400 mg/day), children may experience difficulty with concentration/attention, fever, flushing, and confusion.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release capsule
Price
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Reviews
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56 reviews so far
52%
saidit'sworth it
50%
saiditworked well
36%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Norpramin (desipramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
39possible side effects
  • Sleepiness
    26%
  • Loss of appetite
    24%
  • Fatigue
    16%
  • Injury
    14%
  • Nervousness
    14%
  • Personality disorder (behavior problems)
    11%
  • Difficulty with concentration/attention
    10%
  • Weight loss
    9%
  • Aggressive reaction
    9%
  • Abnormal gait
    8%
  • Purpura
    8%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    8%
  • Viral infection
    7%
  • Impaired coordination
    6%
  • Nausea
    6%
  • Increased saliva
    6%
  • Muscle spasm
    5%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Difficulty with memory
    5%
  • Pneumonia
    5%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Speech disorders/ related speech problems
    4%
  • Nose bleed
    4%
  • Confusion
    4%
  • Urinary incontinence
    4%
  • Stomach flu
    3%
  • Psychomotor slowing
    3%
  • Skin disorder
    3%
  • Allergic reaction
    2%
  • Abnormal reflexes
    2%
  • Thirst
    2%
  • Pussing
    2%
  • Hair loss
    2%
  • Dermatitis
    2%
  • Increased hair growth
    2%
  • Red skin rash
    2%
  • Eye abnormality
    2%
  • Abnormal vision
    2%
  • Leukopenia
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Higher risk of suicide
    • People under age 24
  • Possible bipolar disorder
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Tricyclic antidepressants
    • Fentanyl
    • Tramadol
    • Buspirone
    • ADHD medicines
    • Triptans
  • Changes to the heartbeat
    • History of heart disease
  • Higher risk for seizures
    • History of seizures
    • History of brain damage or alcohol withdrawal
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Fever and inability to sweat
    • Children
  • Mental and cognitive changes
    • History of metabolic disorders
    • People also taking Depakote
  • Kidney stones
    • Low-carb diet
    • Dehydration
    • Drug interactions
  • Vision problems
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Topamax (topiramate) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings