Doxepin was discovered in Germany in 1963. It was introduced by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer under the brand name Sinequan.
Doxepin is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) administered as a pill. The prescription medication is used to treat anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder (MDD) and chronic hives. It is FDA-approved for depression, sleep-maintenance insomnia and itchy skin. As of 2017, doxepin was used in phase II clinical trials for the treatment of localized neuropathic pain.
The subsequent information points out signs and symptoms of substance misuse as well as long-term effects associated with doxepin.
As mentioned, Sinequan is a tricyclic antidepressant. This class of medications was discovered in the 1950s. Named for the chemical structure based on the three rings of atoms. TCAs have been largely replaced by selective serotonin inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (NRIs).
TCAs are commonly prescribed for the treatment of mood disorders and major depressive disorder. They are also effective against anxiety disorders, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), body dysmorphic disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain.
It is vital to let a doctor or pharmacist know of any allergies to TCAs. Sinequan contains a few inactive ingredients known to bring about allergic reactions. Consult a medical professional if any of the following conditions are present in your medical history:
- Itching or swelling of the face, tongue or throat
- Severe dizziness
- Trouble breathing
- Bleeding problems
- Breathing problems
- Liver problems
- Recent heart attack
- Urination problems
- Overactive thyroid
- A family history of glaucoma
- Mental or mood disorders
Adverse effects related to doxepin and other TCAs are quite like those of SSRIs. Those may include the following:
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Urinary trouble
- Increased appetite
- Weight gain
Experts recommend getting up slowly from sitting or lying down to reduce the risk of dizziness. Sugarless hard candy or gum, water, and ice chips are effective and tasty methods to relieve dry mouth.
There are some more serious side-effects related to Sinequan. Contact a doctor immediately if any of the following are experienced:
- Precipitation of glaucoma
- Increased anxiety
- Low blood pressure
- Abnormal heart rhythms
Rare cases of serious conditions related to Sinequan have been reported. However, patients should closely monitor their intake while looking for these side-effects:
- Liver damage
- Nerve damage
- Hypoplastic anemia
- Breast enlargement
- Milk secretion from breast tissue
Sinequan also causes increased sensitivity to the sun. Any and all exposure to the sun should be closely monitored.
Substance addiction is a risk of taking any prescription medication, especially antidepressants. Although TCAs have been replaced by newer and more improved antidepressants, they are still used when others do not seem to be effective. TCAs are not considered addictive.
There are very few cases involving the non-prescription use of TCAs within the last three decades. TCAs are known to have a very low chance of substance misuse or addiction. Many of the cases involved the medication’s partnership with other substances including methadone and alcohol.
Antidepressants themselves may cause symptoms of discontinuation syndrome, making them difficult to stop. Gradual discontinuation of Sinequan (doxepin) is highly recommended. A patient should remain patient and plan the discontinuation over a period of a few weeks. A doctor or health professional’s assistance is highly recommended on the road to recovery.
Signs of addiction or discontinuation syndrome may include the following symptoms:
- Motor disturbance
Adverse biological effects are certainly a risk when it comes to administering TCAs. Long-term issues may arise, and it is important to research any side-effect associated with Sinequan.
Like any medication, pregnancy may lead to long-term effects. For example, doxepin passes through breast milk leading to serious risks to infants. Since depression and anxiety when left untreated are serious medical conditions, it is necessary to consult a doctor before administration.
Patients with diabetes should recognize the chance for decreased control of blood sugar levels. Diabetes medication, exercise regiments or diets may need to be adjusted to take Sinequan.
Finally, doxepin has been known to increase the risk of heart problems. This may include anything up to and including heart failure or cardiac arrest.
Recovery is the most important step to ensure any short-term and long-term effects are avoided while ensuring a healthy substance-free life.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.