Amoxapine : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
A small number of children, adolescents, and young adults (up to 24 years of age) who took antidepressants (‘mood elevators’) such as amoxapine during clinical studies became suicidal (thinking about harming or killing themselves or planning or trying do what ). Children, adolescents, and young adults who take antidepressants to treat depression or other mental illnesses may be more likely to become suicidal than children, adolescents, and young adults who do not take antidepressants to treat these conditions. However, experts are not sure how great this risk is and how much should be considered when deciding whether a child or adolescent should take an antidepressant. Children under the age of 18 should not normally take amoxapine, but in some cases, a doctor may decide that amoxapine is the best medicine for treating a child’s condition.
You should know that your mental health can change in unexpected ways when you take amoxapine or other antidepressants, even if you are an adult over the age of 24. You may be suicidal, especially at the beginning of your treatment and anytime the dose is increased or decreased. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: new or worsening depression; thinking about, or planning or attempting to, hurt or commit suicide; extreme worry; agitation; panic attacks; Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; aggressive behavior; irritability; act without thinking; severe restlessness; and a frenzy of abnormal excitement. Make sure your family or caregiver knows what symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor when you cannot seek treatment on your own.
Your healthcare provider will want to see you often while you are taking amoxapine, especially at the beginning of your treatment. Make sure to keep all appointments for office visits with your doctor.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you start treatment with amoxapine. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also get the Medication Guide from the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/UCM096273.
Regardless of your age, before taking an antidepressant, you, your parents, or your caregiver should discuss the risks and benefits of treating your condition with an antidepressant or other treatments with your doctor. You should also talk about the risks and benefits of not treating your condition. You should know that having depression or another mental illness greatly increases your risk of becoming suicidal. This risk is higher if you or someone in your family has or has ever had bipolar disorder (mood that changes from depressed to abnormally excited) or mania (frantic, abnormally excited mood) or has thought or tried to commit suicide. Talk to your doctor about your condition, symptoms, and personal and family medical history. You and your doctor will decide what type of treatment is right for you.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Amoxapine is used to treat depression. Amoxapine belongs to a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). It works by increasing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain that are needed to maintain mental balance.
How should this medicine be used?
Amoxapine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken one or more times a day. If you take amoxapine once a day, it should be taken before bedtime. Try to take amoxapine at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you don’t understand. Take amoxapine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
It may take several weeks or longer for you to feel the full effect of amoxapine. Keep taking amoxapine even if you feel fine. Do not stop taking amoxapine without consulting your doctor. Your doctor will probably want to decrease your dose gradually.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking amoxapine,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to amoxapine, doxepin (Sinequan), any other medications, or any of the inactive ingredients in amoxapine tablets. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of inactive ingredients.
- Tell your doctor if you are taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate), or if you have stopped taking an inhibitor of the MAO in the last 14 days. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take amoxapine. If you stop taking amoxapine, you must wait at least 14 days before you start taking an MAO inhibitor.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin); antihistamines; cimetidine (Tagamet); flecainide (Tambocor); levodopa (Sinemet, Larodopa); lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); medications for high blood pressure, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, colds, or allergies; methylphenidate (Ritalin); muscle relaxants; propafenone (Rhythmol); quinidine; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) sedatives such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft); sleeping pills; thyroid medications; and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you more closely for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are being treated with electroshock therapy (a procedure in which small electrical shocks are administered to the brain to treat certain mental illnesses) and if you have or have ever had a heart attack, glaucoma (an eye disease), enlargement. prostate (a male reproductive organ), difficulty urinating, seizures, an overactive thyroid gland, or liver, kidney, or heart disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking amoxapine, call your doctor immediately.
- Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking amoxapine if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should generally not take amoxapine because it is not as safe or effective as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
- If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking amoxapine.
- You should know that this medicine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Remember that alcohol can increase the drowsiness caused by this drug.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Amoxapine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of the following symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- weakness or tiredness
- dry mouth
- skin more sensitive to sunlight than usual
- changes in appetite or weight
- difficulty urinating
- frequent urination
- blurred vision
- excessive sweating
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
- muscle stiffness
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- slow or difficult speech
- shuffling walk
- uncontrollable shaking or moving of a part of the body
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Amoxapine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure they cannot be consumed by pets, children, and others. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not resistant to children and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)
What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.