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Doxepin Hydrochloride Topical cream

It is used on the skin to treat itching caused by certain types of skin disorders.

Generic Name: doxepin topical  |  Brand Name: Zonalon

Brand Names: Zonalon, Prudoxin

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.


FDA approved a REMS for doxepin to ensure that the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks. The REMS may apply to one or more preparations of doxepin and consists of the following: medication guide. See the FDA REMS page ([Web]) or the ASHP REMS Resource Center ([Web]).

What is this medicine?

DOXEPIN (DOX e pin) is used on the skin to treat itching caused by certain types of skin disorders.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • bipolar disorder
  • difficulty passing urine
  • glaucoma
  • heart disease
  • if you frequently drink alcohol containing drinks
  • liver disease
  • lung or breathing disease, like asthma or sleep apnea
  • prostate trouble
  • schizophrenia
  • seizures
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to doxepin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for external use only. Follow the direction on the prescription label. Apply a thin film of cream to the affected area as often as directed. Do not cover the area with a bandage or dressing. Do not get this medicine in your eyes. If you do, rinse out with plenty of cool tap water. Use your doses at regular intervals. Do not use your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. There should be at least 3 to 4 hours in between each dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

-any medicine that makes you drowsy or helps you sleep, such as antihistamines, tranquilizers, barbiturates, seizure medicine, muscle relaxants and others
-dextromethorphan (included in some cough medicines)
-medicines for correcting heart rhythm problems
-medicines for treating depression, especially MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
-methylene blue

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional to check on your progress. Do not use this medicine for more than 8 days.

You may get drowsy or dizzy, especially if you are applying this medicine to large areas. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • burning, tingling feeling on the skin
  • changes in vision
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • fast heartbeat
  • muscle stiffness or problems with movement
  • pain or difficulty passing urine
  • seizures
  • unusually weak or tired
  • worsening of eczema

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • changes in taste
  • drowsiness or dizziness
  • dry mouth or thirst
  • dry, tight skin
  • headache
  • skin scaling and cracking

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature below 27 degrees C (80 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: July 28, 2011
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