Compare doxepin vs. Tofranil

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

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doxepin

Prescription only
Treats depression and anxiety.

doxepin can treat depression and anxiety, but it's not a first choice medication because of its many side effects.

Improves your mood and stops bedwetting in children.

Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is one of the first choice medicines used to treat depression, but it can cause weight gain and sleepiness.

Upsides
  • doxepin has been consistently shown to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • doxepin has been used to treat depression for over forty years.
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is part of the first choice of medicines used to treat depression.
  • Available in generic.
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is usually taken only once a day.
  • Available in 3 different strengths.
Downsides
  • doxepin can make you very sleepy. Try taking it at bedtime if you need to be alert during the day.
  • You shouldn't drink alcohol with doxepin. It can worsen side effects like drowsiness.
  • You have to take it daily, especially if you are feeling better, for the medicine to do its job.
  • It can have more side effects than other antidepressants, like weight gain and increased appetite, decreased libido, and sleepiness.
  • It's not unusual for people to try different antidepressants until they find one that works for them.
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) can lower your sex drive and cause more weight gain than other similar medicines for depression.
  • You might be more sensitive to the sun and have a higher risk for heat stroke while taking Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride).
  • If you have a history of heart conditions, your symptoms might get worse with Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride). Talk to your doctor to see if Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is right for you.
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Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
The doxepin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) 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 under
  • Unmasking of bipolar disorder
    • Bipolar disorder
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors)
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart disease
    • Adults over 65
    • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Sleepiness
    • Adults 65 years or older
    • Taking other medicines that cause drowsiness (antihistamines, sleep medications, narcotic pain medications)
    • Alcohol
  • Dizziness and falls
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Higher risk of suicide
    • Under age 24
  • Possible bipolar disorder
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart disease
    • Overactive thyroid
  • Blood pressure changes
    • High blood pressure
  • Higher risk of seizures
    • History of seizures
  • Changes in metabolism
    • History of diabetes
See more detailed risks and warnings