Compare Vivactil vs. desipramine

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

Vivactil
(protriptyline)

Norpramin
(desipramine)

Improves your mood. Vivactil (protriptyline) is part of the first choice of medicines for depression, but it can cause problems with your heartbeat and change your sex drive.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 Vivactil
Best available price for 60 (5mg) tablets of vivactil
Coupons for desipramine
Best available price for 30 (25mg) tablets of desipramine
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Vivactil (protriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Norpramin (desipramine)?
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Side effects
Vivactildesipramine

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

More about Vivactil side effects »

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

More about desipramine side effects »
How it works
Vivactildesipramine
Vivactil (protriptyline) is a tricyclic antidepressant. It regulates mood by raising the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine in the 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
Vivactildesipramine
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Vivactildesipramine
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
Vivactildesipramine
Risk factors for serious side effects
Vivactildesipramine
  • Under age 24
  • History of heart disease
  • Overactive thyroid
  • History of seizures
  • High blood pressure
Detailed Vivactil (protriptyline) 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.

Upsides and benefits
Vivactildesipramine
  • Vivactil (protriptyline) is part of the first choice medicines for treating depression.
  • Compared to similar medicines, Vivactil (protriptyline) is less likely to make you feel sleepy.
  • Available in generic.
  • 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
Vivactildesipramine
  • Vivactil (protriptyline) can lower your sex drive more than some other similar medicines.
  • Because Vivactil (protriptyline) can cause dizziness, people age 65 and older need to take precautions when taking Vivactil (protriptyline).
  • Vivactil (protriptyline) can worsen heart conditions. If you have a history of heart problems, you may need to have regular testing for your heart.
  • 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
Vivactildesipramine
  • Take Vivactil (protriptyline) at night since it can make you sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
  • You might have to take Vivactil (protriptyline) for a few weeks before you notice any changes in your mood.
  • Vivactil (protriptyline) can make you more sensitive to the sun. Wear sunscreen or cover your skin if you're going to be out in the sun for a while.
  • Don't stop taking Vivactil (protriptyline) without talking to your doctor first.
  • Be very careful getting up if you've been sitting or lying down for a while since Vivactil (protriptyline) can make you feel dizzy.
  • 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 VivactilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Vivactil (protriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about desipramineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Norpramin (desipramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it