DSM as a free ligand exists in 2 entries. Examples include: 2QJU 2QB4

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Chemical Component Summary

FormulaC18 H22 N2
Molecular Weight266.38
Isomeric SMILESCNCCCN1c2ccccc2CCc2ccccc12

Chemical Details

Formal Charge0
Atom Count42
Chiral Atom Count0
Chiral Atomsn/a
Bond Count44
Aromatic Bond Count12
Leaving Atomsn/a

Drug Info: DrugBank

DrugBank IDDB01151 Different stereochemistry
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).
  • 3-(10,11-DIHYDRO-5H-dibenzo[b,F]azepin-5-yl)-N-methylpropan-1-amine
  • 5-(gamma-Methylaminopropyl)iminodibenzyl
  • 5-(γ-methylaminopropyl)iminodibenzyl
  • Déméthylimipramine
  • Desipramin
SaltsDesipramine Hydrochloride
Brand Names
  • Desipramine
  • Desipramine Hydrochloride
  • Desipramine-10 - Tab 10mg
  • Desipramine-25 - Tab 25mg
  • Desipramin
Affected OrganismHumans and other mammals
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.
PharmacologyDesipramine, a secondary amine tricyclic antidepressant, is structurally related to both the skeletal muscle relaxant cyclobenzaprine and the thioxanthene antipsychotics such as thiothixene. It is the active metabolite of imipramine, a tertiary amine TCA. The acute effects of desipramine include inhibition of noradrenaline re-uptake at noradrenergic nerve endings and inhibition of serotonin (5-hydroxy tryptamine, 5HT) re-uptake at the serotoninergic nerve endings in the central nervous system. Desipramine exhibits greater noradrenergic re-uptake inhibition compared to the tertiary amine TCA imipramine. In addition to inhibiting neurotransmitter re-uptake, desipramine down-regulates beta-adrenergic receptors in the cerebral cortex and sensitizes serotonergic receptors with chronic use. The overall effect is increased serotonergic transmission. Antidepressant effects are typically observed 2 - 4 weeks following the onset of therapy though some patients may require up to 8 weeks of therapy prior to symptom improvement. Patients experiencing more severe depressive episodes may respond quicker than those with mild depressive symptoms.
Mechanism of actionDesipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) that selectively blocks reuptake of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) from the neuronal synapse. It also inhibits serotonin reuptake, but to a lesser extent compared to tertiary amine TCAs such as imipramine. Inhibition of neurotransmitter reuptake increases stimulation of the post-synaptic neuron. Chronic use of desipramine also leads to down-regulation of beta-adrenergic receptors in the cerebral cortex and sensitization of serotonergic receptors. An overall increase in serotonergic transmission likely confers desipramine its antidepressant effects. Desipramine also possesses minor anticholinergic activity, through its affinity for muscarinic receptors. TCAs are believed to act by restoring normal levels of neurotransmitters via synaptic reuptake inhibition and by increasing serotonergic neurotransmission via serotonergic receptor sensitization in the central nervous system.
Route of administrationOral
  • Adrenergic Agents
  • Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Central Nervous System Agents
CAS number50-47-5

Drug Targets

NameSequence SearchPharmacological ActionActions
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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