Chemical Component Summary

FormulaC18 H22 N2
Molecular Weight266.38
Isomeric SMILESCNCCCN1c2ccccc2CCc3ccccc13

Chemical Details

Formal Charge0
Atom Count42
Chiral Atom Count0
Bond Count44
Aromatic Bond Count12

Drug Info: DrugBank

DrugBank IDDB01151 
  • approved
  • investigational
DescriptionDesipramine hydrochloride is a dibenzazepine-derivative tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). TCAs are structurally similar to phenothiazines. They contain a tricyclic ring system with an alkyl amine substituent on the central ring. In non-depressed individuals, desipramine does not affect mood or arousal, but may cause sedation. In depressed individuals, desipramine exerts a positive effect on mood. TCAs are potent inhibitors of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake. Secondary amine TCAs, such as desipramine and nortriptyline, are more potent inhibitors of norepinephrine reuptake than tertiary amine TCAs, such as amitriptyline and doxepine. TCAs also down-regulate cerebral cortical &beta;-adrenergic receptors and sensitize post-synaptic serotonergic receptors with chronic use. The antidepressant effects of TCAs are thought to be due to an overall increase in serotonergic neurotransmission. TCAs also block histamine-H<sub>1</sub> receptors, &alpha;<sub>1</sub>-adrenergic receptors and muscarinic receptors, which accounts for their sedative, hypotensive and anticholinergic effects (e.g. blurred vision, dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention), respectively. See toxicity section below for a complete listing of side effects. Desipramine exerts less anticholinergic and sedative side effects compared to tertiary amine TCAs, such as amitriptyline and clomipramine. Desipramine may be used to treat depression, neuropathic pain (unlabeled use), agitation and insomnia (unlabeled use) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (unlabeled use).
  • Desipramine
  • Desipramina
  • Déméthylimipramine
  • Desipraminum
  • N-(3-methylaminopropyl)iminobibenzyl
Brand Names
  • Norpramin Tab 50mg
  • Ratio-desipramine Tab 75mg
  • Nu-desipramine - Tab 25mg
  • PHL-desipramine
  • Norpramin Tab 75mg
IndicationFor relief of symptoms in various depressive syndromes, especially endogenous depression. It has also been used to manage chronic peripheral neuropathic pain, as a second line agent for the management of anxiety disorders (e.g. panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder), and as a second or third line agent in the ADHD management.
  • Adrenergic Agents
  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
  • Agents producing tachycardia
  • Agents that produce hypertension
  • Agents that reduce seizure threshold
CAS number50-47-5

Drug Targets

NameTarget SequencePharmacological ActionActions
Sodium-dependent noradrenaline transporterMLLARMNPQVQPENNGADTGPEQPLRARKTAELLVVKERNGVQCLLAPRD...unknowninhibitor
Sodium-dependent serotonin transporterMETTPLNSQKQLSACEDGEDCQENGVLQKVVPTPGDKVESGQISNGYSAV...unknowninhibitor
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Drug Info/Drug Targets: DrugBank 3.0: a comprehensive resource for 'omics' research on drugs. Knox C, Law V, Jewison T, Liu P, Ly S, Frolkis A, Pon A, Banco K, Mak C, Neveu V, Djoumbou Y, Eisner R, Guo AC, Wishart DS. Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan; 39 (Database issue):D1035-41. | PMID:21059682