Generic Name: Protriptyline hydrochloride

  • What is Vivactil?

    Vivactil is a tricyclic antidepressant used to treat depression in people who are under close medical supervision. It is particularly suitable for those who are inactive and withdrawn.
  • What is the most important information I should know about Vivactil?

    Antidepressants can increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children and teenagers. Adult and pediatric patients taking antidepressants should be watched closely for changes in moods or actions, especially when they first start therapy or when their dose is increased or decreased. Patients and their families should contact the doctor immediately if new symptoms develop or seem to get worse. Signs to watch for include anxiety, hostility, sleeplessness, restlessness, impulsive or dangerous behavior, and thoughts about suicide or dying.

    Because Vivactil can affect blood sugar levels, the doctor may monitor your blood sugar or change the dose of any diabetes medication you are taking.

    Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Vivactil before receiving any medical or dental care, emergency treatment, or surgery.

    Do not abruptly stop taking Vivactil without talking to your doctor first. Suddenly stopping this medication may cause withdrawal symptoms such as headache, nausea, and tiredness.

  • Who should not take Vivactil?

    Do not take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) within 2 weeks before or after treatment with Vivactil. In some cases a serious, possibly fatal, reaction may occur. Examples of MAOIs include selegiline and the antidepressants phenelzine and tranylcypromine. Do not combine Vivactil with cisapride.

    Vivactil should not be used during the recovery phase following a heart attack.

    Do not use Vivactil if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Vivactil?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Vivactil. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have an overactive thyroid, glaucoma, heart problems, kidney or liver problems, diabetes, seizures, blood diseases, an enlarged prostate, difficulty urinating, and psychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, suicide attempts, or suicidal thoughts.
  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: 15-40 milligrams (mg) taken in divided doses 3-4 times a day. Your doctor may increase the daily dose to 60 mg; daily doses above 60 mg are not recommended.

    Adolescents and older patients: The usual starting dose is 5 mg 3 times a day with gradual increases if needed. In older patients, careful monitoring of the heart is necessary if the daily dose exceeds 20 mg.

  • How should I take Vivactil?

    Take Vivactil at the same time every day, with or without food.
  • What should I avoid while taking Vivactil?

    Do not drive or perform other possibly dangerous activities until you know how this drug affects you.

    Do not drink alcohol while taking Vivactil, since this may increase the risk of side effects.

    Vivactil may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these side effects.

    To prevent heatstroke while taking Vivactil, do not become overheated while doing physical activity outdoors.

    Vivactil may increase sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how this drug affects you. Always use sunscreen when you are outside.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Vivactil?

    If Vivactil is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Vivactil with the following: other antidepressants, astemizole, antifungals such as fluconazole, barbiturates and other sedatives, cisapride, cimetidine, clonidine, duloxetine, guanethidine, MAOIs, quinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, dalfpristin and similar drugs, phenylephrine and similar drugs, terbinafine, and tramadol.
  • What are the possible side effects of Vivactil?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: agitation, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, impotence, sweating, tiredness, upset stomach, weight loss or gain, pupil dilation, sensitivity to sunlight, excitement, anxiety, blurred vision, confusion, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, seizures, trouble urinating, vomiting

  • Can I receive Vivactil if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Vivactil during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Vivactil?

    Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once. If you take one dose daily at bedtime, do not take the missed dose the next morning.
  • How should I store Vivactil?

    Store at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom.