Compare Pamelor vs. desipramine

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

Pamelor (Nortriptyline)

Prescription only

Norpramin (desipramine)

Prescription only
Improves your mood.

Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a good option for treating depression, especially for people who also have problems with persistent nerve pain.

4.0/ 5 average rating with 19 reviewsforPamelor
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
  • Helpful with treating certain types of pain, like migraines or nerve-related pain.
  • Generally well tolerated and has fewer side effects than other medicines in the same class of drugs.
  • 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
  • Side effects are usually manageable, but can be annoying.
  • Increases the risk of falls, especially when used in the elderly.
  • There's an increased chance of it causing heart problems, especially in people with a history of heart problems.
  • 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
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
19 reviews so far
79%
saidit'sworth it
79%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Pamelor (Nortriptyline) 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 risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Low blood pressure
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Pamelor (Nortriptyline) suddenly
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart disease
    • Older age
    • Electrolyte imbalance
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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