Dosulepin (Prothiaden, Thaden)

Dosulepin is a tricyclic antidepressant. After 1998, it was also called dothiapin and was available under both generic names.

The Bottom Line: What You Really Need to Know


Dosulepin is used to treat depression with an anxiety component. It has not been approved by the FDA and is not available in the US.

Dosage and instructions

The effective dose of dosulepin varies widely between individuals. Most people start by taking 25 mg three times a day. The dose is gradually increased to 50 mg three times a day. It can also be taken as a single dose at bedtime. Some people may need up to 225 mg/day of dosulepin.

Elderly people usually need a reduced dose. The usual daily dose for elderly people is 50-75 mg/day.

How dosulepin works

Dosulepin and other antidepressants work by regulating the balance of neurotransmitter chemicals in the juncture between nerve cells. Imbalances in these substances, especially in serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine are thought to cause mood and anxiety disorders. Dosulepin improves depression and anxiety by regulating the neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. It also affects other neurotransmitters, particular cholinergic substances. Many of the side effects of dosulepin are related to its anticholinergic actions.

Side Effects

Many people experience mild, transient side effects when they first begin taking dosulepine. These can include dry mouth, metallic taste, constipation and large bowel movements and blurred vision.

Other side effects can include heart palpitations, difficulty urinating, tremors, low blood pressure (especially if you stand up suddenly), sexual problems, sweating, and sensitivity to sunlight.


Alcohol and other intoxicants and central nervous system depressants increase the effect of dosulepin.

Dangerous interactions can occur between dosulepin and other antidepressants, including MAOI and SSRI antidepressants. Symptoms can range from anxiety, restlessness and trembling to seizures, delusions and hallucinations, delirium, high fever, cardiovascular instability, and death.

Medications that regulate the heart beat can also interact with dosulepin.

Dosulepin can interact with anesthetics and should not be taken prior to elective surgeries.


The dose of dosulepin should be gradually tapered before you stop taking it. If you stop too quickly, you can experience dizziness, nausea, headache, chills, anxiety and other discontinuation symptoms.

Warnings, precautions and contraindications

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