Compare desipramine vs. Doxepin

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

ADVERTISEMENT

Norpramin (desipramine)

Prescription only

Zonalon (Doxepin)

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.

Helps you stop itching.

Zonalon (Doxepin) works well treating itchy skin, but could make you sleepy.

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.
  • In clinical trials, Zonalon (Doxepin) was found to be the most effective cream for treating itchy skin.
  • You can use Zonalon (Doxepin) for up to 8 days at a time.
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.
  • You need a prescription for Zonalon (Doxepin).
  • It isn't available as a generic, so it could be kind of pricey.
  • Zonalon (Doxepin) can make you sleepy.
  • Zonalon (Doxepin) can interact with other medications, vitamins, or alternative treatments.
ADVERTISEMENT
Used for
  • Skin intching (moderate)
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Price
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Learn more
Reviews
Not enough review data.Leave a review
Not enough review data.Leave a review
Side effects
The Norpramin (desipramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Zonalon (Doxepin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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