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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Vivactil

Generic Name: protriptyline (Pronunciation: proe TRIP ti leen)

What is protriptyline (Vivactil)?

Protriptyline is in a group of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. Protriptyline affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced.

Protriptyline is used to treat symptoms of depression.

Protriptyline may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of protriptyline (Vivactil)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fast, pounding, or uneven heart rate;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • confusion, hallucinations, or seizure (convulsions);
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • extreme thirst with headache, nausea, vomiting, and weakness; or
  • feeling light-headed or fainting.

Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • constipation or diarrhea;
  • dry mouth, unpleasant taste;
  • weakness, lack of coordination;
  • feeling anxious, restless, dizzy, drowsy, or tired;
  • sleep problems (insomnia), nightmares;
  • blurred vision, headache, ringing in your ears;
  • breast swelling (in men or women); or
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about protriptyline (Vivactil)?

Do not use protriptyline if you have recently had a heart attack, or if you have taken cisapride (Propulsid) or used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days.

You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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