Last updated on RxList: 3/30/2017
Vivactil Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 1/31/2016

Vivactil (protriptyline hydrochloride) is a tricyclic antidepressant used to treat symptoms of depression. Vivactil is available in generic form. Common side effects of Vivactil include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, unpleasant taste, weakness, lack of coordination, tingly feeling, anxiety, restlessness, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, insomnia, nightmares, blurred vision, headache, ringing in ears, breast swelling (in men or women), decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm. Tell your doctor if you have worsening depression or thoughts of suicide while taking Vivactil.

The usual adult dosage of Vivactil is 15 to 40 mg a day divided into 3 or 4 doses. If necessary, dosage may be increased to 60 mg a day. Vivactil may interact with cimetidine, guanethidine, tramadol, heart rhythm medications, or anti-psychotic medications. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, Vivactil should be used only if prescribed. It may harm a fetus. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Vivactil (protriptyline hydrochloride) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Learn to Spot Depression: Symptoms, Warning Signs, Medication See Slideshow
Vivactil Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, rash, red or purple spots; fever; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, feeling light-headed;
  • blurred vision, eye pain or redness, seeing halos around lights;
  • restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • new or worsening chest pain, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, problems with vision, or speech;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding;
  • painful or difficult urination; or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • fast heartbeats;
  • problems with balance or muscle movement;
  • constipation;
  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • breast swelling (in men or women); or
  • decreased sex drive, impotence.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Vivactil (Protriptyline Hydrochloride Tablet)


Depression is a(n) __________ . See Answer
Vivactil Professional Information


Within each category the following adverse reactions are listed in order of decreasing severity. Included in the listing are a few adverse reactions which have not been reported with this specific drug. However, the pharmacological similarities among the tricyclic antidepressant drugs require that each of the reactions be considered when protriptyline is administered. Protriptyline is more likely to aggravate agitation and anxiety and produce cardiovascular reactions such as tachycardia and hypotension.


Myocardial infarction; stroke; heart block; arrhythmias; hypotension, particularly orthostatic hypotension; hypertension; tachycardia; palpitation.


Confusional states (especially in the elderly) with hallucinations, disorientation, delusions, anxiety, restlessness, agitation; hypomania; exacerbation of psychosis; insomnia, panic, and nightmares.


Seizures; incoordination; ataxia; tremors; peripheral neuropathy; numbness, tingling, and paresthesias of extremities; extrapyramidal symptoms; drowsiness; dizziness; weakness and fatigue; headache; syndrome of inappropriate ADH (antidiuretic hormone) secretion; tinnitus; alteration in EEG patterns.


Paralytic ileus; hyperpyrexia; urinary retention, delayed micturition, dilatation of the urinary tract; constipation; blurred vision, disturbance of accommodation, increased intraocular pressure, mydriasis; dry mouth and rarely associated sublingual adenitis.


Drug fever; petechiae, skin rash, urticaria, itching, photosensitization (avoid excessive exposure to sunlight); edema (general, or of face and tongue).


Agranulocytosis; bone marrow depression; leukopenia; thrombocytopenia; purpura; eosinophilia.


Nausea and vomiting; anorexia; epigastric distress; diarrhea; peculiar taste; stomatitis; abdominal cramps; black tongue.


Impotence, increased or decreased libido; gynecomastia in the male; breast enlargement and galactorrhea in the female; testicular swelling; elevation or depression of blood sugar levels.


Jaundice (simulating obstructive); altered liver function; parotid swelling; alopecia; flushing; weight gain or loss; urinary frequency, nocturia; perspiration.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Though not indicative of addiction, abrupt cessation of treatment after prolonged therapy may produce nausea, headache, and malaise.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Vivactil (Protriptyline Hydrochloride Tablet)

© Vivactil Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Vivactil Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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