|Type of medicine||Tricyclic antidepressant|
|Available as||Tablets and oral liquid|
Lofepramine is used to treat depression. It works by increasing the levels in the brain of naturally occurring chemicals, called noradrenaline and serotonin, which lift mood and help relieve depression.
Lofepramine cannot alter the circumstances which may have caused your depression, but it improves symptoms such as low mood, poor sleep and poor concentration. This in turn allows you to function normally and cope better with any difficult circumstances.
Before taking lofepramine
Before taking lofepramine make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have recently suffered a heart attack, have heart rhythm problems, or any other heart trouble.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you have thyroid problems.
- If you have epilepsy.
- If you have diabetes.
- If you have glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye).
- If you have experienced difficulty passing urine, or have had prostate trouble.
- If you have had problems with being constipated over a long time.
- If you have mood swings, mania (an abnormally 'high' mood), or any other mental health problems.
- If you are having electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
- If you have phaeochromocytoma (a growth on the adrenal glands).
- If you have porphyria (a rare blood disorder).
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines. This is especially important if you have taken a treatment for depression, known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), recently.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
How to take lofepramine
- Before beginning treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. Lofepramine may be taken before, with, or after food.
- Try to take lofepramine at the same times each day to avoid missing any doses.
- If you forget to take a dose, take one as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- It can take a few weeks to notice improvement in your depression. Do not stop taking lofepramine thinking that it is not working, but do let your doctor know if you are not feeling any benefit.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are taking lofepramine. Alcohol will increase the side-effects of this treatment, especially feelings of drowsiness.
- Keep your regular appointment with your doctor so your progress can be monitored.
- Talking through your feelings may help with depression. A friend or relative may help with this, but your doctor may suggest a local self-help group, or refer you to a counsellor. It is not weak to cry or admit that you are struggling.
- Regular exercise such as a daily brisk walk, jog or swim is thought to ease symptoms of depression. This is because any exercise releases endorphins that occur naturally in the body helping to improve mood.
- A normal course lasts up to six months or more, after symptoms have eased. So, do not stop taking lofepramine when your symptoms go, as they may quickly return.
- Stopping treatment suddenly can cause problems and your doctor will probably want you to reduce your dose gradually if this is necessary.
- If you are having any treatment like an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
- If you have diabetes, make sure you check your blood sugar levels regularly as lofepramine can affect the levels of sugar in your blood.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with lofepramine.
Can lofepramine cause problems ?
Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|Light-headedness or dizziness particularly when standing up||Getting up slowly should help. If you begin to feel dizzy, lie down so that you do not faint, then sit for a few moments before standing. If this continues, speak with your doctor|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum, or sucking sugar-free sweets|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well balanced diet containing plenty of fibre and drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day|
|Drowsiness, blurred vision||Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing any other jobs which could be dangerous if you were not fully alert or able to see clearly. Avoid alcohol as it will increase feelings of drowsiness|
|Difficulty passing urine, fast and fluttery heartbeat, anxiety, confusion, irritability, difficulty sleeping||Speak with your doctor if any of these become troublesome|
Important: when you are depressed you can have thoughts of harming or killing yourself. These thoughts may be increased when first starting treatment for depression, or soon after stopping treatment. Tell your doctor or go to a hospital straight away if you are having thoughts of harming yourself.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store lofepramine
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 59th Edition (March 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Lomont® 70 mg/5 ml Oral Suspension; Manufacturer's PIL, Lomont® 70 mg/5 ml Oral Suspension, Rosemont Pharmaceuticals Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated October 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Prof Cathy Jackson|
|Last Checked: 15/12/2011||Document ID: 910 Version: 24||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.