Maprotiline is a tetracyclic antidepressant prescribed to treat a number of mental or mood disorders, including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. It may also sometimes be used to treat patients with chronic pain associated with the nervous system. Maprotiline can help to restore mental balance by working with certain chemicals in the brain.
Adults will typically start with a dosage of 25 milligrams (mg) of maprotiline to be taken one to three times daily. They will be monitored for the efficacy of the drug and the dosage may gradually increase on an as needed basis. Dosages do not usually exceed a total of 125 mg daily. There is no standard dosage for children. This medicine may be taken with or without food.
Patients should report bothersome or persistent side effects to the prescribing physician. These can include nausea, fatigue, and dry mouth. Nightmares, sensitivity to sunlight, and unusual changes in sex drive have also been known to occur. Some patients have experienced excessive sweating, weight changes, and difficult or frequent urination.
More serious side effects require immediate medical help. Patients should go to the emergency room if they experience slow or difficult speech, problems breathing or swallowing, or uncontrollable shaking. Muscle spasms, jaundice, and a shuffling walk can occur. Other possible side effects of maprotiline include an irregular heartbeat, a rash, and flu-like symptoms, including a fever and chills.
In clinical studies, some children and young adults no older than 24 experienced suicidal thoughts or actions after taking an antidepressant such as maprotiline. Parents and caregivers should be aware of the possible effects of this drug on a young person. If any unusual behavior is noticed, they should take the patient to his doctor. Some possible signs of unusual thoughts or behaviors include panic attacks, severe agitation and restlessness, and frenzied excitement, as well as worsening depression.
Maprotiline is not expected to cause harm to an unborn or nursing baby; however, patients should inform their doctors if they are pregnant or breastfeeding. Patients should inform the prescribing physician of all other medical conditions they have, including glaucoma, seizures, or an overactive thyroid gland. People with an enlarged prostate, heart or blood vessel disease, or liver disease, as well as asthma or stomach and intestinal problems may be unable to take maprotiline.
Before using this medication, patients should disclose their other medications and supplements to avoid a potential interaction. Serious side effects can occur if the patient has taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) within the last 14 days. Maprotiline may also interact with cold or allergy medicines, blood thinners, and birth control pills.