Has Doxepin Been Discontinued? It's Complicated for This Antidepressant

Here's what we know about the drug's current status.

Jamie Bichelman - Author

Apr. 29 2024, Published 3:14 p.m. ET

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Mental health diagnoses like depression can be overwhelming, and finding an effective treatment can be difficult. Therefore, when antidepressants like doxepin are seemingly discontinued, it can be troubling for users to modify their routine and seek support elsewhere.

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Below, we investigate if doxepin was actually discontinued — and where — and shine a light on what appears to be the mystery surrounding doxepin.

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What is doxepin?

According to Drugs.com, doxepin is a drug used to treat depression and/or anxiety, as well as other off-label uses like insomnia. Doxepin is thought to help users avoid the physical (tolerance) and psychological (dependence) symptoms of addiction, and per the Mayo Clinic, doxepin is available as a tablet, capsule, or liquid solution.

There are many common medications that could produce adverse effects when taken in conjunction with doxepin (i.e. interactions) per Mayo Clinic. Doxepin itself also has many potential side effects similar to those of other common SSRIs prescribed for depression, as well as potential withdrawal symptoms if the user tapers off the medication too quickly.

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Is doxepin discontinued? Here's the drug's status in the U.S.

No, doxepin has not been discontinued — not completely, at least. In the U.S., one major brand name under which doxepin was sold, Sinequan, was discontinued. However, the generic version as well as another major brand name have survived.

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According to the mental health resource website Simple and Practical Mental Health, Sinequan, the brand name for the drug doxepin, was discontinued. Sinequan was FDA-approved to treat patients with depression and/or anxiety and doses ranged from 25 to 300 milligram per day.

Doxepin as an oral medication lives on through the brand name Silenor in the U.S., as well as in a generic version. Per Simple and Practical Mental Health, Silenor is FDA-approved to treat insomnia and is available in both 3 and 6 milligram tablets.

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Doxepin is also prescribed in the U.S. and as a medicated topical for eczema relief, per WebMD. FDA records indicate that doxepin hydrochloride was approved in February 2023 as a topical cream intended for short-term use. In this form, the brand name is Zonalon, per WebMd, and it works by blocking histamine to aid in the relief of eczema symptoms.

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Is doxepin discontinued anywhere? Here's the drug's status in the U.K and New Zealand.

According to the U.K.-based blog Prescribing Advice for GPs, it was thought that doxepin would be discontinued altogether by October 2006. However, the blog notes that as of 2022, the drug remains available in generic form in the U.K. in doses of 25 milligrams and 50 milligrams.

In 2019, New Zealand announced that doxepin and dosulepin, both of which are tricyclic antidepressants, would not be available in New Zealand any longer.

That was because Mylan, the company that produced doxepin for New Zealand (where it was known by the brand name Anten), discontinued its manufacturing supply internationally. So, doxepin is seemingly not available at all in New Zealand.

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