Clinical data
Trade namesGamanil, Lomont, Tymelyt, others
Other namesLopramine; DB-2182; Leo-460; WHR-2908A[1][2][3][4]
AHFS/Drugs.comInternational Drug Names
Routes of
ATC code
Legal status
Legal status
  • UK: POM (Prescription only)
Pharmacokinetic data
Protein binding99%[6]
MetabolismHepatic (via cytochrome P450, including CYP2D6)[7]
MetabolitesDesipramine (major)
Elimination half-lifeUp to 5 hours;[1] 12–24 hours (active metabolites)
ExcretionUrine, feces (mostly as metabolites)
  • N-(4-chlorobenzoylmethyl)-3-(10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[b,f]azepin-5-yl)-N-methylpropan-1-amine
CAS Number
PubChem CID
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
ECHA InfoCard100.041.254 Edit this at Wikidata
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass418.97 g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
  • Clc1ccc(cc1)C(=O)CN(C)CCCN4c2ccccc2CCc3c4cccc3
  • InChI=1S/C26H27ClN2O/c1-28(19-26(30)22-13-15-23(27)16-14-22)17-6-18-29-24-9-4-2-7-20(24)11-12-21-8-3-5-10-25(21)29/h2-5,7-10,13-16H,6,11-12,17-19H2,1H3 checkY
 ☒NcheckY (what is this?)  (verify)

Lofepramine, sold under the brand names Gamanil, Lomont, and Tymelyt among others, is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) which is used to treat depression.[7][3][8] The TCAs are so named as they share the common property of having three rings in their chemical structure. Like most TCAs lofepramine is believed to work in relieving depression by increasing concentrations of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin in the synapse, by inhibiting their reuptake.[7] It is usually considered a third-generation TCA, as unlike the first- and second-generation TCAs it is relatively safe in overdose and has milder and less frequent side effects.[9]

Lofepramine is not available in the United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, although it is available in Ireland, Japan, South Africa and the United Kingdom, among other countries.[1]


In the United Kingdom, lofepramine is licensed for the treatment of depression which is its primary use in medicine.[6][10]

Lofepramine is an efficacious antidepressant with about 64% patients responding to it.[11]


To be used with caution, or not at all, for people with the following conditions:[7]

And in those being treated with amiodarone or terfenadine.[7]

Pregnancy and lactation

Lofepramine use during pregnancy is advised against unless the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.[7] This is because its safety during pregnancy has not been established and animal studies have shown some potential for harm if used during pregnancy.[7] If used during the third trimester of pregnancy it can cause insufficient breathing to meet oxygen requirements, agitation and withdrawal symptoms in the infant.[7] Likewise its use by breastfeeding women is advised against, except when the benefits clearly outweigh the risks, due to the fact it is excreted in the breast milk and may therefore adversely affect the infant.[7] Although the amount secreted in breast milk is likely too small to be harmful.[13]

Side effects

The most common adverse effects (occurring in at least 1% of those taking the drug) include agitation, anxiety, confusion, dizziness, irritability, abnormal sensations, like pins and needles, without a physical cause, sleep disturbances (e.g. sleeplessness) and a drop in blood pressure upon standing up.[13] Less frequent side effects include movement disorders (like tremors), precipitation of angle closure glaucoma and the potentially fatal side effects paralytic ileus and neuroleptic malignant syndrome.[13]

Dropout incidence due to side effects is about 20%.[11]

Side effects with unknown frequency include (but are not limited to):[13]


If abruptly stopped after regular use it can cause withdrawal effects such as sleeplessness, irritability and excessive sweating.[7]


Main article: Tricyclic antidepressant overdose

Compared to other TCAs, lofepramine is considered to be less toxic in overdose.[13] Its treatment is mostly a matter of trying to reduce absorption of the drug, if possible, using gastric lavage and monitoring for adverse effects on the heart.[7]


Lofepramine is known to interact with:[13][7]



See also: Pharmacology of antidepressants and Tricyclic antidepressant § Binding profiles

Lofepramine (and metabolite)[14][15]
Site LPA DSI Species Ref
SERT 70 17.6–163 Human [16][17]
NET 5.4 0.63–3.5 Human [16][17]
DAT >10,000 3,190 Human [16]
5-HT1A 4,600 ≥6,400 Human [18][19]
5-HT2A 200 115–350 Human [18][19]
5-HT2C ND 244–748 Rat [20][21]
5-HT3 ND 4,402 Mouse [21]
5-HT7 ND >1,000 Rat [22]
α1 100 23–130 Human [18][23][17]
α2 2,700 ≥1,379 Human [18][23][17]
β >10,000 ≥1,700 Rat [24][25]
D1 500 5,460 Human/rat [26]
D2 2,000 3,400 Human [18][23]
H1 245–360 60–110 Human [27]


H2 4,270 1,550 Human [27]
H3 79,400 >100,000 Human [27]
H4 36,300 9,550 Human [27]
mACh 67 66–198 Human [18][23]
  M1 67 110 Human [28]
  M2 330 540 Human [28]
  M3 130 210 Human [28]
  M4 340 160 Human [28]
  M5 460 143 Human [28]
σ1 2,520 4,000 Rodent [29][14]
σ2 ND 1,611 Rat [14]
Values are Ki (nM). The smaller the value, the more strongly the drug binds to the site.

Lofepramine is a strong inhibitor of norepinephrine reuptake and a moderate inhibitor of serotonin reuptake.[14] It is a weak-intermediate level antagonist of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors.[14]

Lofepramine has been said to be a prodrug of desipramine,[30] although there is also evidence against this notion.[8]


Lofepramine is extensively metabolized, via cleavage of the p-chlorophenacyl group, to the TCA, desipramine, in humans.[7][8][1] However, it is unlikely this property plays a substantial role in its overall effects as lofepramine exhibits lower toxicity and anticholinergic side effects relative to desipramine while retaining equivalent antidepressant efficacy.[8] The p-chlorophenacyl group is metabolized to p-chlorobenzoic acid which is then conjugated with glycine and excreted in the urine.[7] The desipramine metabolite is partly secreted in the faeces.[7] Other routes of metabolism include hydroxylation, glucuronidation, N-dealkylation and N-oxidation.[7][1]


Lofepramine is a tricyclic compound, specifically a dibenzazepine, and possesses three rings fused together with a side chain attached in its chemical structure.[31] Other dibenzazepine TCAs include imipramine, desipramine, clomipramine, and trimipramine.[31][32] Lofepramine is a tertiary amine TCA, with its side chain-demethylated metabolite desipramine being a secondary amine.[33][30] Unlike other tertiary amine TCAs, lofepramine has a bulky 4-chlorobenzoylmethyl substituent on its amine instead of a methyl group.[32] Although lofepramine is technically a tertiary amine, it acts in large part as a prodrug of desipramine, and is more similar to secondary amine TCAs in its effects.[34] Other secondary amine TCAs besides desipramine include nortriptyline and protriptyline.[35][34] The chemical name of lofepramine is N-(4-chlorobenzoylmethyl)-3-(10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[b,f]azepin-5-yl)-N-methylpropan-1-amine and its free base form has a chemical formula of C26H27ClN2O with a molecular weight of 418.958 g/mol.[2] The drug is used commercially mostly as the hydrochloride salt; the free base form is not used.[2][3] The CAS Registry Number of the free base is 23047-25-8 and of the hydrochloride is 26786-32-3.[2][3]


Lofepramine was developed by Leo Läkemedel AB.[36] It first appeared in the literature in 1969 and was patented in 1970.[36] The drug was first introduced for the treatment of depression in either 1980 or 1983.[36][37]

Society and culture

Generic names

Lofepramine is the generic name of the drug and its INN and BAN, while lofepramine hydrochloride is its USAN, BANM, and JAN.[2][3][38][4] Its generic name in French and its DCF are lofépramine, in Spanish and Italian and its DCIT are lofepramina, in German is lofepramin, and in Latin is lofepraminum.[3][4]

Brand names

Brand names of lofepramine include Amplit, Deftan, Deprimil, Emdalen, Gamanil, Gamonil, Lomont, Tymelet, and Tymelyt.[1][2][3][4]


In the United Kingdom, lofepramine is marketed (as the hydrochloride salt) in the form of 70 mg tablets [12] and 70 mg/5 mL oral suspension.[39]



A formulation containing lofepramine and the amino acid phenylalanine is under investigation as a treatment for fatigue as of 2015.[40]


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