Protriptyline affects chemical levels in the brain and is specifically designed to battle symptoms associated with depression. It falls under the class of tricyclic antidepressant, and it’s intended to improve mood function and increase energy levels.

Despite its proven benefits, this drug also has a lengthy list of side effects. Those side effects should be seriously considered and weighed against the anticipated benefits by every person interested in this medication.

In the following information, the common signs, symptoms and side effects to watch for when taking Vivactil will be presented.

What Is Vivactil (Protriptyline)?

Vivactil is the brand name of generic protriptyline and is classified as a tricyclic antidepressant. Tricyclic antidepressants have been in existence since the 1950s and, while effective, they tend to have more side effects than typical antidepressants. Protriptyline alters brain chemistry by blocking absorption of serotonin and norepinephrine and causing increased levels of these hormones that subsequently decrease the symptoms of depression.

The average course for Vivactil is six months with full effectiveness occurring somewhere in the 2-4-week range.

Some symptoms that can occur because of taking Protriptyline as prescribed or excessively include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth

A doctor should be contacted immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

  • Persistent heartburn
  • Anxiety, frustration, or confusion
  • Muscle spasms
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Eye pain
  • Rash
  • Severe dizziness

Vivactil (Protriptyline) Addiction

Tricyclic antidepressants such as Vivactil are not considered psychologically addictive but when treatment is stopped it can cause symptoms of withdrawal that mimic addiction to opioids. Some of the symptoms include motor disturbance, headaches, malaise, insomnia, and anxiety.

Due to the mind-altering effects of Protriptyline, people taking it might grow used to the feeling of decreased depression symptoms and begin to feel reliant on the medication.

The US government classifies these psychiatric medications as non-abusable, but any chance of possible addiction and substance misuse is increased if people take Vivactil excessively and disregard the direction of their physician.

If a person ceases taking Protriptyline suddenly, they can expect to experience a rise of withdrawal-like symptoms. It is recommended for a patient to slowly phase out the medication and consult their doctor if any discontinuance symptoms arise or increase.

Vivactil (Protriptyline) Long-Term Effects

Antidepressants have been proven to increase tendencies of suicidal thoughts in young adults, adolescents, and children. Potentially interested parties must weigh their personal need against the associated risks, such as their current symptoms of depression increasing or leading to suicidal tendencies. People taking Protriptyline might also experience a decreased sex drive and, in extreme cases, impotence.

Behavior should be monitored for a period after starting to take Vivactil to ensure that depression is not increasing, and if it’s found that it is getting worse, the dosage should be gradually reduced so as not to abruptly cause the rise of other withdrawal symptoms.

It’s of the utmost importance that anyone considering taking or already taking a tricyclic antidepressant such as Vivactil deeply ponder the short-term side effects and potentially long-lasting side effects.

Medical Disclaimer

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.