Maprotiline | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

maprotiline, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Ludiomil (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for maprotiline

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1

Maprotiline is used to treat depression, as well as anxiety linked with depression.

2

This medication comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth.

3

Maprotiline is available only as a generic drug. It doesn’t have a brand-name version.

4

The more common side effects of this drug can include dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, or constipation.

5

Within the first few months of treatment or with changes in dosage, maprotiline may increase thoughts of harming yourself. This risk is higher in children, teenagers, and young adults. (This drug shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Suicide risk warning. Maprotiline may increase thoughts of harming yourself within the first few months of treatment or with changes in dose. This risk is higher in children, teenagers, and young adults. Pay close attention to any unusual changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. If you notice these changes, call your doctor right away. (This drug shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.)

Bipolar disorder

Do not take maprotiline if you have bipolar disorder.If you have this condition, maprotiline can worsen manic episodes. Depression could be a symptom of bipolar disorder. Before you start taking maprotiline, your doctor should ask about your and your family’s history of suicide, depression, and bipolar disorder.

Seizures

Maprotiline may cause seizures. You’re at higher risk of seizures if your dose is increased too fast, or if you take doses that are higher than your doctor recommends. If your dosage needs to be increased, your doctor shouldn’t increase it more often than every 2 weeks. If you have a history of seizures, you should not take this drug.

Heart problems

Taking maprotiline raises your risk of a fast heart rate, irregular heart rhythms, heart attack, stroke, or other heart problems. Before starting maprotiline, tell your doctor if you have any heart problems, or have had a recent heart attack.

What is maprotiline?

Maprotiline is a prescription drug. It comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth.

Maprotiline is available only as a generic drug. It doesn’t have a brand-name version.

Maprotiline may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Maprotiline is used to treat depression, as well as anxiety linked with depression.

How it works

Maprotiline belongs to a class of drugs called tetracyclic antidepressants.

More Details

How it works

Maprotiline belongs to a class of drugs called tetracyclic antidepressants. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

It’s not fully known how maprotiline works to help treat depression. It may increase the amount of norepinephrine in your brain. This is a chemical that affects your mood.

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maprotiline Side Effects

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More common side effects

The more common side effects of maprotiline can include:

  • drowsiness

  • weakness

  • tiredness

  • trouble sleeping

  • headache

  • dizziness

  • feeling nervous or anxious

  • tremor

  • dry mouth

  • blurry vision

  • nausea

  • constipation

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Suicidal thoughts or mental health problems. Symptoms can include:

    • thoughts about suicide or dying
    • attempts to commit suicide
    • new or worse depression
    • new or worse anxiety
    • new or worse irritability
    • feeling very agitated or restless
    • panic attacks
    • trouble sleeping
    • acting aggressive, angry, or violent
    • acting on dangerous impulses
    • mania (an extreme increase in activity and talking)
    • other usual changes in behavior or mood
  • Vision problems. Symptoms can include:

    • eye pain
    • swelling and redness in or around the eye
    • blurred vision or trouble focusing
  • Liver problems. Symptoms can include:

    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
    • pain in the abdomen (stomach area)
    • nausea
    • loss of appetite
  • Breathing problems

  • Seizures

  • Severe allergic skin reactions. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

    • severe rash with skin swelling, such as on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet
    • painful reddening of the skin, or blisters or ulcers (sores) on your body or in your mouth
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team
Maprotiline may cause drowsiness. You shouldn’t drive, use heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how this drug affects you.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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maprotiline May Interact with Other Medications

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Maprotiline can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

Maprotiline can cause suicidal thoughts and actions. Having drinks that contain alcohol while taking maprotiline can make these side effects worse. If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Drugs you should not use with maprotiline

Do not take these drugs with maprotiline. When used with maprotiline, these drugs can cause dangerous effects in the body. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine.When used with maprotiline, these drugs increase your risk of serotonin syndrome. If you stop using maprotiline to take an MAOI or vice versa, you must wait 14 days before starting the other drug.

Interactions that increase your risk of side effects
  • Increased side effects from other drugs: Taking maprotiline with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from those drugs. Examples of these drugs include:
    • Drugs for overactive bladder, such as oxybutynin.
      • Increased side effects can include a fast heart rate, blurry vision, drowsiness, or confusion. Your doctor may adjust your dosage of maprotiline.
    • Nasal decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine.
      • Increased side effects can include a faster heart rate. Your doctor may adjust your dosage of maprotiline.
    • Thyroid medications, such as levothyroxine.
      • Increased side effects can include heart problems such as a fast heart rate, palpitations (feeling like your heart is skipping a beat), or irregular heart rhythm.
    • Antipsychotics, such as chlorpromazine.
      • Increased side effects can include seizures.
    • Anxiety drugs, such as lorazepam or diazepam.
      • Increased side effects can include seizures. This risk is highest when the dosage of these drugs is reduced too quickly.
  • Increased side effects from maprotiline:Taking maprotiline with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from maprotiline. This is because the amount of maprotiline in your body may be increased. Examples of these drugs include:
    • Cimetidine.
      • Your doctor may decrease your dosage of maprotiline.
    • Antidepressants, such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, bupropion, sertraline, or duloxetine.
      • Your doctor may decrease your dosage of maprotiline.

Interactions that can make maprotiline less effective
  • When used with maprotiline, these drugs can make maprotiline less effective. This means it won’t work as well to treat your condition. This is because the amount of maprotiline in your body may be decreased. Examples of these drugs include:
    • Seizure drugs, such as barbiturates (including phenobarbital) or phenytoin.
      • Your doctor may increase your dosage of maprotiline.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Maprotiline warnings
People with major depression and psychiatric conditions
People with major depression and psychiatric conditions

Maprotiline may worsen your depression or increase your risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Your risk of these side effects is higher during the first few months of treatment, or when your dosage is changed. Call your doctor right away if you have any unusual changes in thoughts or behavior.

People with a history of mania or bipolar disorder
People with a history of mania or bipolar disorder

If you have bipolar disorder, maprotiline can worsen manic episodes. Do not take this drug if you have bipolar disorder.

People with seizures
People with seizures

Maprotiline may cause you to have seizures. Do not take this drug if you have a history of seizures.

People with a history of heart problems
People with a history of heart problems

Maprotiline can make existing heart problems worse. This may occur if you have a history of problems such as high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, angina, heart attack, or stroke. Talk with your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you.

 People with high thyroid levels
People with high thyroid levels

When taking maprotiline, you’re at higher risk of heart problems. These include a fast heart rate, palpitations (feeling like your heart is skipping a beat), or irregular heart rhythm.

People with liver disease
People with liver disease

Maprotiline is partly removed from your body by your liver. If you have liver problems, some of this drug may build up in your body. This raises your risk of side effects. To avoid this, your doctor may start you on a lower dosage or put you on a different dosing schedule.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Maprotiline is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals hasn’t shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Animal studies don’t always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.

Women who are breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

Maprotiline passes into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors
For seniors

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects, such as confusion.

For children
For children

Maprotiline hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years. This drug may cause suicidal thoughts and attempts in children and teens during the first few months of use.

When to call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

Allergies
Allergies

Maprotiline can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your face, tongue, eyes, or mouth
  • rash
  • hives (itchy welts)
  • severe rash with skin swelling and peeling (including on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet)
  • painful reddening of the skin, or blisters or ulcers on your body or in your mouth

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take maprotiline (Dosage)

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All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Depression

Generic: maprotiline

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18-59 years)

Your total daily dose can be divided into several doses throughout the day, or taken in one dose. This medication typically starts working in 3–7 days. In some cases, it may take 2–3 weeks of treatment to start working.

  • Typical starting dosage: 15 mg daily (7.5 mg twice per day).
    • Mild to moderate depression: 75 mg per day.
    • Severe depression being treated in a hospital: 100–150 mg per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may slowly increase your dosage as needed. The dose can be increased by 25 mg every 2 weeks.
  • Typical maintenance dosage: 75–150 mg per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 225 mg per day.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 60 years and older)

Your total daily dose can be divided into several doses throughout the day, or taken in one dose. This medication typically starts working in 3–7 days. In some cases, it may take 2–3 weeks of treatment to start working.

  • Typical starting dosage: 25 mg per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dosage by 25 mg every 2 weeks.
  • Typical maintenance dosage: 50–75 mg per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 225 mg per day.

Warnings

Maprotiline may cause seizures. You’re at higher risk of seizures if your dosage is increased too fast, or you take doses that are higher than recommended. If needed, your dosage should be increased no more than every 2 weeks.

Anxiety linked with depression

Generic: maprotiline

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18-59 years)

Your total daily dose can be divided into several doses throughout the day, or taken in one dose. This medication typically starts working in 3–7 days. In some cases, it may take 2–3 weeks of treatment to start working.

  • Typical starting dosage: 15 mg daily (7.5 mg twice per day).
    • Mild to moderate depression: 75 mg per day.
    • Severe depression being treated in a hospital: 100–150 mg per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may slowly increase your dosage as needed. The dose can be increased by 25 mg every 2 weeks.
  • Typical maintenance dosage: 75–150 mg per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 225 mg per day.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 60 years and older)

Your total daily dose can be divided into several doses throughout the day, or taken in one dose. This medication typically starts working in 3–7 days. In some cases, it may take 2–3 weeks of treatment to start working.

  • Typical starting dosage: 25 mg per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dosage by 25 mg every 2 weeks.
  • Typical maintenance dosage: 50–75 mg per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 225 mg per day.

Warnings

Maprotiline may cause seizures. You’re at higher risk of seizures if your dosage is increased too fast, or you take doses that are higher than recommended. If needed, your dosage should be increased no more than every 2 weeks.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Maprotiline comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all

Your depression or anxiety may not improve or may get worse.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • heart problems, including irregular heart rhythms and very low blood pressure
  • very fast heart rate
  • feeling restless or agitated
  • rigid muscles
  • loss of coordination
  • very high fever
  • a bluish tint (color) to your skin
  • vomiting
  • dilated pupils (widening of the black centers of your eyes)
  • extreme drowsiness
  • seizures
  • coma

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your symptoms of depression or anxiety should get better. Your mood should improve.

Maprotiline is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking maprotiline

Take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor

If this drug causes you to have trouble sleeping, it may help to take the entire dose in the morning. If this drug causes you to be drowsy, it may help to take the entire dose at bedtime.

Store this drug carefully

  • Store maprotiline at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Store this medication away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:

  • Mood. Pay close attention to sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. If there are any unusual changes, call your doctor right away.
  • Eye health. Maprotiline may cause vision problems such as eye pain or blurred vision.
  • Liver function. Maprotiline may cause liver damage. Your doctor will do some blood tests to make sure maprotiline is safe for you to take.
  • Heart function. Maprotiline can make heart problems worse. Your doctor may do heart tests to make sure maprotiline is safe for you to take.

Sun sensitivity

Maprotiline can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. This increases your risk of sunburn. Avoid the sun if you can. If you can’t, be sure to wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen.

Hidden costs

You may need to have blood tests done during your treatment with maprotiline. The cost of these tests will depend on your insurance coverage.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does maprotiline Cost?

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Lowest price for maprotiline

Walgreens $123.87
CVS Pharmacy $128.24
Rite-Aid $132.07
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for maprotiline on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for maprotiline on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on December 3, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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