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Desipramine hydrochloride overdose

Definition

Desipramine hydrochloride is a type of medicine called a tricyclic antidepressant. It is taken to relieve symptoms of depression. Desipramine hydrochloride overdose occurs when someone takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medicine. This can be by accident or on purpose.

This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual overdose. If you or someone you are with overdoses, call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Poisonous Ingredient

Desipramine is harmful in large amounts.

Where Found

Medicines with these names contain desipramine hydrochloride:

  • Norpramin
  • Nebril
  • Nortimil
  • Pertofrane
  • Pertofrin
  • Sertofren

Other medicines may also contain desipramine hydrochloride.

Symptoms

Below are symptoms of a desipramine hydrochloride overdose in different parts of the body.

AIRWAYS AND LUNGS

BLADDER AND KIDNEYS

EYES, EARS, NOSE, MOUTH, AND THROAT

STOMACH AND INTESTINES

HEART AND BLOOD

NERVOUS SYSTEM

Home Care

Get medical help right away. DO NOT make the person throw up.

Before Calling Emergency

Have this information ready:

  • Person's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of product (ingredients and strength, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed
  • If the medicine was prescribed for the person

Poison Control

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

Take the container to the hospital with you, if possible.

The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Tests may be done to check the person's heart function. Symptoms will be treated.

The person may receive:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Breathing support, including a tube through the mouth and breathing machine (ventilator)
  • Chest x-ray
  • EKG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing)
  • Fluids through a vein (by IV)
  • Laxative
  • Medicine called an antidote to reverse the effects of the poison and treat symptoms
  • Tube from the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)

Outlook (Prognosis)

How well a person does depends on how quickly they receive treatment. The sooner they are treated, the greater the chance of recovery.

An overdose of desipramine hydrochloride can be very serious. Complications such as pneumonia, muscle damage from lying on a hard surface for a long period of time, or brain damage from lack of oxygen may result in permanent disability. Death can occur.

References

Kirk MA, Baer AB. Anticholinergics and antihistamines. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2007:chap 39.

Pryor KO, Storer KP. Drugs for neuropsychiatric disorders. In: Hemmings HC, Egan TD, eds. Pharmacology and Physiology for Anesthesia: Foundations and Clinical Applications. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 11.

Velez LI, Feng S-Y. Anticholinergics. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2014:chap 150.

Review Date:10/13/2015
Reviewed By:Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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Outcome Data

No data available for this condition/procedure.

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