Information on Tablets A-Z
Generic name: Protriptyline hydrochloride
Why is this drug prescribed: Vivactil is used to treat the symptoms of mental depression in people who are under close medical supervision. It is particularly suitable for those who are inactive and withdrawn. Vivactil is a member of the family of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. Researchers don't know exactly how it works. Unlike the class of antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), it does not act primarily through stimulation of the central nervous system. It tends to work more rapidly than some other tricyclic antidepressants. Improvement sometimes begins within a week.
Most important fact about this drug: If you are prone to anxiety or agitation, Vivactil can make the problem worse. It can also exaggerate the symptoms of manic-depression and schizophrenia. If this seems to be happening, let your doctor know immediately. The doctor may have to reduce the dose of Vivactil or add another drug to your regimen.
How should you take this medication: Take Vivactil exactly as prescribed. Do not take it with alcohol. --If you miss a dose... 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 2 doses at once. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container.
What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Vivactil. Side effects may include Abdominal cramps, abnormally high or low blood pressure, abnormal touch sensation, agitation, anxiety, black tongue, blood disorders, blurred vision, breast enlargement in males and females, breast milk production, changes in taste, confusion, constipation, delusions, diarrhea, disorientation, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, drug fever, exacerbation of psychoses, fatigue, fever, flushing, headache, hair loss, hallucinations, heart attack, heart block, high or low blood sugar, high pressure in the eyes, hives, hyperactivity, impotence, increased or decreased sex drive, inflammation of the mouth or tongue, insomnia, intestinal distress, intestinal paralysis, irregular or rapid heartbeat, itching, lack of coordination, light sensitivity, liver problems, loss of appetite, muscle weakness, nausea, nerve disturbances, nightmares, numbness, palpitations, panic, pupil dilation, rashes, restlessness, ringing in the ears, seizures, stroke, sweating, swelling (general or in the face and mouth), testicular swelling, tingling, tremors, urinary problems, visual focusing difficulties, vomiting, weakness, weight gain or loss, yellowing of skin or eyes
Why should this drug not be prescribed: Due to the possibility of life-threatening side effects, Vivactil must never be taken with a drug classified as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, such as the antidepressants Nardil and Parnate. Allow at least 14 days between the last dose of one of these drugs and the first dose of Vivactil. Vivactil should not be used during recovery from a heart attack. It also cannot be used by anyone who has had an allergic reaction to it.
Special warnings about this medication: Drugs such as Vivactil sometimes cause heartbeat irregularities. Vivactil should be used with caution by people who have heart problems or a thyroid disorder. Caution is also advisable if you have a history of seizures, tend to retain urine, have high pressure in the eyes, or use alcohol excessively. The drug is not recommended during shock therapy. It should be discontinued several days before any surgery. Vivactil may impair the physical and/or mental abilities required to drive a car or operate heavy machinery.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: Remember that Vivactil must never be combined with monoamine inhibitors such as Nardil and Parnate. 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: Antidepressants that boost serotonin, including Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft Antipsychotic medications such as Mellaril and Thorazine Barbiturates such as Nembutal and Seconal Certain blood pressure medications such as guanethidine Cimetidine (Tagamet) Decongestants such as Sudafed Drugs that quell spasms, such as Donnatal and Levsin Epinephrine (EpiPen) Flecainide (Tambocor) Narcotic painkillers such as Percodan and Vicodin Norepinephrine Other antidepressants such as Elavil and Tofranil Propafenone (Rythmol) Quinidine (Quinaglute) Tramadol (Ultram) Tranquilizers and sleep aids such as Halcion, Valium, and Xanax
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Vivactil during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. It should be used during pregnancy only if its benefits outweigh the potential risk. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is not known whether Vivactil makes its way into breast milk. Consult with your doctor before deciding to breastfeed.
Recommended dosage: The doctor will start with a low dose and increase it gradually, watching for side effects and a positive response ADULTS: The usual adult dosage is 15 to 40 milligrams in 3 or 4 doses per day. The maximum dosage is 60 milligrams daily. Increases are made in the morning dose. CHILDREN: The safety and efficacy of Vivactil in children have not been established. OLDER ADULTS AND ADOLESCENTS: Lower dosages are recommended for adolescents and older adults. Five milligrams 3 times a day may be given initially, followed by a gradual increase if necessary. Heart function must be monitored in older adults who are taking 20 or more milligrams per day.
Overdosage: An overdose of Vivactil can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical help immediately. Critical signs of Vivactil overdose may include: Convulsions, irregular heartbeat, severely low blood pressure, reduced level of consciousness or even coma. Other signs of Vivactil overdose may include: Agitation, confusion, dilated pupils, disturbed concentration, drowsiness, fever, hyperactive reflexes, low body temperature, muscle rigidity, sporadic hallucinations, stupor, vomiting, or any of the other symptoms listed in the "side effects" section