UPDATED 05/12/2016

Vivactil Review
Vivactil Review

PUBLISHED: 06/09/2012 by brreader
Editor's Review: 2.2/5.0
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Vivactil (also known as Protriptyline) is a prescription drug used to treat depression and ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The product is included in the tricyclic antidepressants group, one of the first discovered and used in the treatment of depression. The name comes from the structure of these drugs which is of 3 rings of atoms.

The manufacturer, Merck & Co, resulted from the association of 2 reputable companies: Merck and Schering-Plough in 2009. The new company has succeeded in becoming the second healthcare company worldwide.

Even though the mechanism of action is not fully known, it is believed that tricyclic antidepressants beneficial effects are a result of their ability to balance the natural neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain. Vivactil is only offered by a prescription and it is typically not offered until other forms of medication have proven to be unsuccessful. It is a product with many potentially dangerous or life-threatening side effects.

Vivactil Ingredients

Vivactil contains the following ingredients: Protriptyline HCl, anhydrous lactose, carnauba wax, corn starch, dibasic calcium phosphate, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, propylene glycol, sodium starch glycolate, and titanium dioxide.

Vivactil 5 mg tablets also contain FD&C Yellow 6 and FD&C Red 40.

Product Features

Vivactil is an antidepressant indicated for the treatment of depression and ADHD. Vivactil or Protriptyline is unique among tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) because it tends to have an energizing effect, instead of the sedative one specific to the rest of drugs from the group.

Antidepressants containing Protriptyline are sometimes used to treat recurring headaches (migraines) and other chronic pain.

Protriptyline is used primarily to treat depression and the combination of symptoms of anxiety and depression. Like most of the antidepressants from this class it has also been used, on a limited scale, for the treatment of panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, cocaine dependency, ADHD and eating disorders.

The side effects are multiple and potentially dangerous. Some of the most common include dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention, increased heart rate, dizziness, anxiety, headache, insomnia, low blood pressure, nightmares, rapid or irregular heartbeat, rash, seizures. Being a prescription drug, Vivactil should only be taken as recommended by a healthcare professional.

The usual dose is 15 to 40 mg a day, divided into 3 or 4 doses.

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  • Efficient in the treatment of depression;
  • Good reviews from consumers who have used the product for migraine treatment;
  • Vivactil is approved by the FDA.


  • Prescription drug with multiple harmful side-effects;
  • Short-term studies regarding major depressive disorder have revealed it increases the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults.


Therefore, it is recommended only when other medication has failed to take effect. It is believed it works by decreasing the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. In a similar way to other antidepressants, the therapeutic effects of Protriptyline appear slowly, approximately after 2 weeks of treatment. The drug is not recommended for people who suffered from heart attacks or have used MAO inhibitors within the last 2 weeks before using Vivactil.

Also, the drug may be harmful to unborn babies, therefore it is recommended to inform the healthcare professional if any of these cases apply. The use of children under 18 years old is forbidden without the advice of a doctor.

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Vivactil Reviewbrreader2.252016-05-12 12:09:31
Vivactil Review
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