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What Is Dosulepin?

By Andy Josiah
Updated May 17, 2024
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Dosulepin is the international nonproprietary name (INN) of a prescription drug used to treat depression, thus making it a type of antidepressant. Its invention is attributed to Charles L. Zlrkle Berwyn, who had a patent issued for the medication on 28 September 1971. Dosulepin was formerly known by its British approved name, dothiepin. Additionally, it is sold under other brand names such as Abbott, Dothep, Dopress, Prothiaden, Thaden and Teofarma. As of April 2011, Dosulepin is available in more than 30 countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, Ireland, Singapore, Belgium, New Zealand and South Africa.

The dosulepin medication belongs to a class of pharmaceuticals called tricyclic antidepressants (TCA). The "tricyclic" part of the term refers to the three rings of atoms that comprise the drug's chemical structure. The origin of the TCA can be traced as far back as 11 December 1950, with the synthesis of chlorpromazine. Members of the medical community recognized its benefits as an antipsychotic, which led to a proliferation of TCAs in the 1960s.

Dosulepin belongs to a subset of TCAs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is credited for inducing one's feeling of well being. As a neurotransmitter, serotonin is released by nerves for other nerves to take them, a process known as reuptake, or reabsorption. Dosulepin works by suppressing the reuptake of serotonin, thereby increasing the amount of serotonin to better promote mood elevation.

As an SSRI, dosulepin is valuable for treating depression, which is also known as clinical depression, unipolar depression or major depressive disorder (MDD). This medical condition is characterized by extremely low moods and general disinterest in everyday normal activities. Dosulepin, though, is also used as an anxiolytic, which means it can treat anxiety or anxiety disorders. In some cases, dosulepin is combined with Temazepam, brand name Restoril, to treat insomnia and induce sleep. It is given to patients suffering from pain disorders, or used to prevent migraines.

People who take dosulepin might experience drowsiness, dry mouth and dry eyes. Although these are the most common side effects, there are others such as blurred vision, low blood pressure, dizziness, increased heart rate, tremors, lack of ability to urinate, increased sunlight sensitivity, sweating and sexual dysfunction. People who plan on taking the medication should inform their physicians if they have or have had medical conditions such as heart or liver disease, trouble urinating, epilepsy or diabetes.

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