Desipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant that like other TCAs is not the best tolerated of drugs, although it is better tolerated than most TCAs due to its relatively low propensity for blocking the mAChRs, α-adrenoceptors and H1 histamine receptors. Despite this it is third only to amoxapine (also not available in Australia) and maprotiline (also not available in Australia) for its toxicity in overdose, when compared to other antidepressants. It is also the active metabolite of imipramine, the first TCA to be marketed.
A recent review found the evidence to date regarding its efficacy in treating cocaine addiction to be inconclusive, although a trend was observed favouring desipramine over placebo for abstinence. One clinical trial (N=41) has demonstrated the possible efficacy (keeping in mind many studies go unpublished if they found negative results) of desipramine in children and adolescents with ADHD.