Definition

A dibenzoxepin tricyclic compound. It displays a range of pharmacological actions including maintaining adrenergic innervation. Its mechanism of action is not fully understood, but it appears to block reuptake of monoaminergic neurotransmitters into presynaptic terminals. It also possesses anticholinergic activity and modulates antagonism of histamine H(1)- and H(2)-receptors.

Description

Doxepin hydrochloride is a dibenzoxepin-derivative tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). TCAs are structurally similar to phenothiazines. They contain a tricyclic ring system with an alkyl amine substituent on the central ring. In non-depressed individuals, doxepin does not affect mood or arousal, but may cause sedation. In depressed individuals, doxepin exerts a positive effect on mood. TCAs are potent inhibitors of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake. Tertiary amine TCAs, such as doxepin and amitriptyline, are more potent inhibitors of serotonin reuptake than secondary amine TCAs, such as nortriptyline and desipramine. TCAs also down-regulate cerebral cortical β-adrenergic receptors and sensitize post-synaptic serotonergic receptors with chronic use. The antidepressant effects of TCAs are thought to be due to an overall increase in serotonergic neurotransmission. TCAs also block histamine H1 receptors, α1-adrenergic receptors and muscarinic receptors, which accounts for their sedative, hypotensive and anticholinergic effects (e.g. blurred vision, dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention), respectively. Doxepin has less sedative and anticholinergic effects than amitriptyline. See toxicity section below for a complete listing of side effects. Doxepin may be used to treat depression and insomnia. Unlabeled indications include chronic and neuropathic pain, and anxiety. Doxepin may also be used as a second line agent to treat idiopathic urticaria.

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General Information

Toxicity

Mechanism of Action

Doxepin Interacts with Diseases

Doxepin Interacts with Genes