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Dosulepin hydrochloride chemical structure
Dosulepin hydrochloride

11-(3-Dimethylaminopropylidene)-6,-11- dihydrodibenz [b,e]thiepin hydrochloride
IUPAC name
CAS number
ATC code


Chemical formula {{{chemical_formula}}}
Molecular weight 331.9 g/mol
Bioavailability 30%
Metabolism Hepatic
Elimination half-life 20 hours
Excretion Renal
Pregnancy category C
Legal status Rx-only
Routes of administration Oral

Dosulepin hydrochloride (INN) (formerly the BAN dothiepin hydrochloride) is an antidepressant of the tricyclic family. It is sold under the brand names Prothiaden and Thaden.


Dosulepin is relatively mild and is used for low level anxiety depression and similar disorders, particularly where insomnia and/or loss of appetite are present. It can take between two and four weeks of regular usage to become effective, it is often started at a low level and the dosage increased if this is ineffective. The drug causes drowsiness as a side-effect, and this may be used as part of the treatment, since anxiety depressive patients may have difficulty sleeping, but it can be combined with other drugs such as temazepam.

Side effects

The most common side-effects are drowsiness and dry mouth. Other less common side-effects may include:

These side-effects cease when treatment ceases. Alcohol should be avoided whilst taking dosulepin as it may increase some side-effects.

Whilst dosulepin is not addictive, it should not be stopped suddenly as there is a risk of initial withdrawal symptoms which may be mistaken for some of the original indications for the drug:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Giddiness
  • Chills
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety


Contra-indications include:

Drug interactions

The drug can interact dangerously with vasoconstrictors and should not be taken in combination with phenylephrine or adrenaline in particular.

This drug should not be started within 2 weeks of stopping a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MOAI) antidepressant, and should not be co-administered with any selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant such as fluoxetine), or any medication which affects the electrical impulses to the heart (e.g. astemizole, halofantrine or terfenadine).

The drug is not recommended for use by children nor taken in combination with some other drugs, including herbal remedies.


Main article: Tricyclic antidepressant

The symptoms and the treatment of an overdose are largely the same as for the other tricyclic antidepressants.

See also

Antidepressants (ATC N06A) edit
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) Harmaline, Iproclozide, Iproniazid, Isocarboxazid, Nialamide, Phenelzine, Selegiline, Toloxatone, Tranylcypromine
Reversible inhibitor of monoamine oxidase A (RIMA) Brofaromine, Moclobemide
Dopamine reuptake inhibitor (DARI) Amineptine, Phenmetrazine, Vanoxerine, Modafinil
Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors Bupropion
Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NRI) or (NARI) Atomoxetine, Maprotiline, Reboxetine, Viloxazine
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) Duloxetine, Milnacipran, Venlafaxine
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) Alaproclate, Etoperidone, Citalopram, Escitalopram, Fluoxetine, Fluvoxamine, Paroxetine, Sertraline, Zimelidine
Selective serotonin reuptake enhancer (SSRE) Tianeptine
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) Amitriptyline, Amoxapine, Butriptyline, Clomipramine, Desipramine, Dibenzepin, Dothiepin, Doxepin, Imipramine, Iprindole, Lofepramine, Melitracen, Nortriptyline, Opipramol, Protriptyline, Trimipramine
Tetracyclic antidepressants Maprotiline, Mianserin, Nefazodone, Trazodone
Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant (NaSSA) Mirtazapine
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