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Doxepin for Insomnia: How It Works?

Doxepin for Insomnia: How It Works?

Doxepin for Insomnia: How It Works?

Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology

Umar Javed



The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient’s unique health circumstances and needs.

According to the CDC, approximately 70 million [1*]  Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders. Those statistics are disturbing because, fundamentally, sleep impacts everyone’s health. Sound sleep of the recommended 7-8 hours [2*]  allows the body to repair itself, so a person will wake up feeling rejuvenated and prepared to face the day.

The good news for people having sleep loss issues is that there are different treatment options available. For example, Doxepin is one of the drugs doctors recommend for sleep disorders such as insomnia. Here is all a person should know about the Doxepin drug.

Get insomnia medications prescribed online.

What Is Doxepin?

Doxepin belongs to the class of drugs known as tricyclic antidepressants [3*] . A patient can take Doxepin medicine in the form of capsules, liquid, or tablets.

Doxepin increases neurotransmitter levels in the brain, mainly serotonin and dopamine. Also, it has a potent antihistaminic activity, which makes it a viable option as a sleep aid. It works by slowing down brain activity to induce sleep.

What is Doxepin Used for?

Doctors prescribe it to people with insomnia as one of the Doxepin uses is to help them fall asleep or stay asleep. Doxepin can also be an alternative to antidepressants like trazodone in treating conditions such as anxiety and depression.

The medication should improve sleep quality within the first few days. Doxepin, used for insomnia treatment, has shown high efficacy during clinical trials [4*] . If a patient’s sleep does not improve or worsens over the next 7-10 days, they should see a doctor.

Doxepin for Insomnia: How It Works?

Doxepin Dosage

Doxepin for sleep disorders treatment is available as an orally administered tablet under the brand name Silenor, among others. Health providers recommend people take 3 to 6 mg of it once daily, 30 minutes before bed, for a short duration of 4-8 weeks. However, all patients require personalized doxepin dosage for sleep. One should take the drug as prescribed by their doctor or indicated on the label.

No patient should adjust their dosage or increase or decrease the frequency of use without consulting their doctor.

What if a Patient Misses a Dose?

If a patient forgets to take their medication, they should take it as soon as they remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, they should skip the one they missed and take the next dose. They should avoid taking double the recommended dose.

Doxepin Withdrawal

Stopping long-term usage suddenly without gradually lowering the dose increases the risk of withdrawal. Patients should always consult their doctor for advice on how to stop taking Doxepin without experiencing withdrawal. Stopping Doxepin abruptly may cause nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, insomnia, and irritability.

Get a personalized treatment plan to manage the symptoms of insomnia soon.

Overdose Risks

If an individual overdoses on Doxepin, people around them should call a doctor immediately if they seem to be in distress. Symptoms of Doxepin overdose may include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Clumsiness
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Hallucination
  • Seizures
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Breathing problems
  • Fast heartbeat

Doxepin Side Effects

Although it is a safe, low-risk drug, patients may experience side effects of Doxepin. In most cases, however, they don’t warrant medical care. During treatment, their body may become accustomed to the medication, and the symptoms disappear.

  • Common side effects: drowsiness, constipation, nausea, weight gain, blurred vision, cold symptoms, dry mouth, and vomiting.
  • Serious side effects: many doxepin users rarely experience any adverse effects, but if a patient experiences severe dizziness, panic attacks, pain when urinating, and a fast heartbeat, they should contact their doctor immediately.
Doxepin for Insomnia: How It Works?


Patients with untreated narrow-angle glaucoma, heart diseases, or urinating problems should avoid taking the drug without consulting a physician, as it can worsen their condition. Doxepin (Silenor) may also cause rapid onset of drowsiness and persistent drowsiness in its users.

If a patient has ever had an allergy or any adverse reaction to Doxepin or other medication, they should inform their doctor.

In some cases, taking doxepin drugs can lead to sleep-related activities like sleep-driving, sleep-walking, having sex, talking on the phone, and even preparing and eating food. If a person has any of these side effects, they should consult their physician immediately.


Food and Alcohol Interactions

Patients should not take Doxepin medication within 3 hours of their meals. Taking it with or immediately after a meal may reduce the effectiveness or cause them to feel tired the next day.

Doxepin can make a person sleepy and less aware, so patients should avoid drinking alcohol while taking the drug. They should not operate a motor vehicle or engage in tasks requiring total concentration. Accidental falls are another potential hazard.

Drug Interactions

When used together, some drugs and supplements may negatively interact with Doxepin. Patients should tell their healthcare provider and a pharmacist about all their medicines and supplements (prescription and over-the-counter).

People should avoid this medication for 14 days after taking MAO inhibitors such as isocarboxazid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, linezolid, tranylcypromine, rasagiline, or selegiline.

Final Word

Doxepin, used for insomnia treatment, is an effective antidepressant medication with sleep-inducing properties. The drug has its side effects, but patients can ask their doctor about measures they can take to lessen the severity of these side effects. Contact MEDvidi doctors to assess your symptoms, get a diagnosis, and receive an online prescription for medications that will suit you best.


+4 sources
  1. About Our Program
    Source link
  2. How Does Sleep Affect Your Heart Health?
    Source link
  3. Tricyclic Antidepressants. (2023)
    Source link
  4. Efficacy and Safety of Doxepin 1 mg, 3 mg, and 6 mg in Adults with Primary Insomnia. (2007)
    Source link
Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology

Umar Javed

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Evidence Based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.