Active Ingredient History
Desipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant that was approved by the FDA in 1964. It was derived from imipramine, which was the first tricyclic antidepressant to be manufactured. Desipramine is one of many tricyclic antidepressants, and this type of antidepressant gets its name due to its three-ring chemical structure. Desipramine, a secondary amine tricyclic antidepressant, is structurally related to both the skeletal muscle relaxant cyclobenzaprine and the thioxanthene antipsychotics such as thiothixene. It is the active metabolite of imipramine, a tertiary amine TCA. The acute effects of desipramine include inhibition of noradrenaline re-uptake at noradrenergic nerve endings and inhibition of serotonin (5-hydroxy tryptamine, 5HT) re-uptake at the serotoninergic nerve endings in the central nervous system. Desipramine exhibits greater noradrenergic re-uptake inhibition compared to the tertiary amine TCA imipramine. In addition to inhibiting neurotransmitter re-uptake, desipramine down-regulates beta-adrenergic receptors in the cerebral cortex and sensitizes serotonergic receptors with chronic use. The overall effect is increased serotonergic transmission. Antidepressant effects are typically observed 2 - 4 weeks following the onset of therapy though some patients may require up to 8 weeks of therapy prior to symptom improvement. Patients experiencing more severe depressive episodes may respond quicker than those with mild depressive symptoms. Desipramine is marketed under the trade name Norpramin, indicated for the treatment of depression. NCATS
Drug Pricing (per unit)
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