Compare Pamelor vs. desipramine

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

Pamelor
(nortriptyline)

Norpramin
(desipramine)

Improves your mood. Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a good option for treating depression, especially for people who also have problems with persistent nerve pain.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.
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Coupons for Pamelor
Best available price for 30 (10mg) capsules of nortriptyline
Coupons for desipramine
Best available price for 30 (25mg) tablets of desipramine
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.47Pamelor
Reviews for Pamelor
79%
of people (All ages) say Pamelor is worth it
79%
say it works well
21%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Pamelor (nortriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Norpramin (desipramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Pamelordesipramine

We haven’t found good data for Pamelor side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Pamelor »

The desipramine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about desipramine side effects »
How it works
Pamelordesipramine
Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). It helps improve your mood by altering the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and other similar chemicals in your brain.Norpramin (desipramine) is a tricyclic antidepressant. It increases the amount of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, two chemicals that regulate mood.
Type of medication
Pamelordesipramine
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Pamelordesipramine
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
Pamelordesipramine
Risk factors for serious side effects
Pamelordesipramine
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Stopping Pamelor (Nortriptyline) suddenly
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of heart disease
Detailed Pamelor (nortriptyline) risks & warnings »
  • People under age 24
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Fentanyl
  • Tramadol
  • Buspirone
Detailed Norpramin (desipramine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Food
Pamelordesipramine
  • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
No food related info.
Upsides and benefits
Pamelordesipramine
  • 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 and risks
Pamelordesipramine
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Pamelordesipramine
  • Needs to be taken every day for 1 to 2 weeks to start feeling better, and for 6 to 8 weeks to see the full effect of the medication.
  • It's important to keep taking Pamelor (Nortriptyline) even when you feel your symptoms are getting better.
  • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • If you decide to stop taking Pamelor (Nortriptyline), work with your doctor to slowly get off this medicine to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Norpramin (desipramine) affects you since it can make you feel sleepy.
  • Talk to your doctor right away if your mood suddenly darkens and you want to hurt yourself while taking Norpramin (desipramine).
  • If you're being switched to Norpramin (desipramine) from monoamine oxidase inhibitors, you'll need to wait 2 weeks before you can start it.
  • Don't stop taking Norpramin (desipramine) suddenly without talking to your doctor first.
Learn more
More about PamelorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pamelor (nortriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about desipramineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Norpramin (desipramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it