Doxepin Hydrochloride


By Actavis Elizabeth

What is this medication for?

Doxepin belongs to the family of medications known as tricyclic antidepressants. It is used to treat different types of depression. It is particularly useful in treating depression symptoms, which include anxiety, tension, trouble sleeping, guilt, fear, and lack of energy. Doxepin is also used to treat people with alcoholism who also have anxiety or depression. Doxepin may be used for difficulty sleepitng (insomnia). Effects of doxepin on anxiety and difficulty sleeping are apparent before effects on depression. You may not feel the full antidepressant effect for 2 to 3 weeks.

Tricyclic antidepressants work by increasing the amount of certain chemicals in the brain that have an effect on mental well-being.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Doxepin Hydrochloride by Actavis Elizabeth is available as:

  • tablets
    • 3 mg
    • 6 mg
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.

How should I use this medication?

For depression and anxiety, the recommended adult daily dose of doxepin ranges from 75 mg to 300 mg. The usual starting dose is 75 mg daily. Doxepin can be taken in divided doses. The total dose can be taken at bedtime once a final dose is reached. If a once daily dose is used, the maximum recommended dose is 150 mg per day. Lower doses may be used by seniors.

For difficulty sleeping, the recommended adult daily dose of doxepin is 6 mg once daily within 30 minutes of bedtime and 3 mg once daily within 30 minutes of bedtime for seniors. The dose should not be taken within 3 hours of a meal.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to doxepin or any ingredients of the medication or any other dibenzoxepin compounds
  • have glaucoma or increased eye pressure
  • have taken a MAO inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine) within the last 14 days
  • have urinary retention
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The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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