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Sinequan (Doxepin): 8 Answers Inc. Dosages, Withdrawals, and Side Effects

Answers to the most common questions about Sinequan

Doxepin, sold under the brand name Sinequan, is a drug used for treating depression, anxiety, hives, and insomnia. With over 2 million prescriptions annually, Sinequan is one of the top 300 most prescribed drugs in the United States. It is available in an oral form, as a cream for topical use, and as an injectable.

The content on this page is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, you should talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare professional. This is particularly important if you are taking multiple medications or have any existing medical conditions.

  1. How long does Sinequan (doxepin) take to work?
  2. What time should you take Sinequan (doxepin) for insomnia?
  3. What are the side effects of Sinequan (doxepin)?
  4. How long does Sinequan (doxepin) stay in your system?
  5. Which Sinequan (doxepin) dosage is right for me?
  6. Can I drink alcohol while taking Sinequan (doxepin)?
  7. Does Sinequan (doxepin) cause weight gain?
  8. Can Sinequan (doxepin) cause withdrawal symptoms?

1. How long does Sinequan (doxepin) take to work?

The time it takes for Sinequan to be effective will vary based on both the indication for use and dosage form (capsule or liquid). The tablet is named (Silenor) and the cream Prudoxin. Patients treating depression or anxiety with Sinequan can expect it to take 2 to 3 weeks before seeing significant improvement. Patients using Sinequan for insomnia may see improvement within the first couple of days of treatment. Finally, patients using the topical version of the drug to treat hives should expect to see improvement within a week.

2. What time should you take Sinequan (doxepin) for insomnia?

Taking Sinequan for insomnia properly requires some planning on the part of the patient. You must practice good sleep hygiene when taking Sinequan; insufficient sleep can lead to drowsiness. Ensure you plan to have 7 to 8 hours of sleep; take Sinequan 30 minutes before bedtime.

Patients taking Sinequan should also be careful not to take it within 3 hours of a meal. Taking it with a high fat meal alters the drug availability and can lead to drowsiness in the morning

3. What are the side effects of Sinequan (doxepin)?

Sinequan can potentially cause side effects ranging from mild to severe. The list below includes some of the most common side effects but is not a complete list. Mild side effects may go away after a few days or weeks of consistent medication-taking, but if they persist or worsen you should speak with your doctor.

Common side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Cold-like symptoms
    Serious side effects:
  • Chest pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Symptoms of anemia (pale skin, light-headedness, clammy hands, and feet)

In some rare cases, patients can experience allergic reactions. Seek emergency medical care if you experience any of the following symptoms after taking Sinequan.

  • Skin rash
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the throat or chest
  • Difficulty talking or breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat

4. How long does Sinequan (doxepin) stay in your system?

The availability of Sinequan in your system is dependent on height, weight and age. It takes an average of 30hrs for the drug to be eliminated from your system after discontinuation.

It’s worth noting that you should not stop taking Sinequan abruptly as there may be withdrawal symptoms. If you’re planning to stop the treatment you need to first speak with your doctor.

5. Which Sinequan (doxepin) dosage is right for me?

The proper dosage of Sinequan will vary between patients and is based on several factors. You should always follow your doctor’s instructions or the directions on the label. The following information refers to typical doses for adult patients.

Most patients who take Sinequan to treat depression, anxiety, or insomnia will begin taking it with a daily dose of 75 mg. Depending on how well the patient responds to treatment, the dosage can be altered. The typical range is between 75 mg/day and 150 mg/day. However, in some severe cases, doses can be increased up to 300 mg/day.

For patients using the topical version, Pruxodin, specific doses will be determined by your doctor. Applying a thin layer of cream to the affected skin four times a day will be a starting point for most patients.

6. Can I drink alcohol while taking Sinequan (doxepin)?

Drinking alcohol while taking Sinequan is not recommended. Combining alcohol with Sinequan can lead to increased adverse side effects such as drowsiness. If you do plan to consume alcohol while taking Sinequan you need to first consult with your doctor.

7. Does Sinequan (doxepin) cause weight gain?

Some patients have reported experiencing either short-term or long-term weight gain while taking Sinequan. Since everyone is affected differently by the medication, we can’t predict whether you will gain weight. If you’re concerned about weight gain or experience it after beginning treatment, you should speak with your doctor about the possibility of alternative treatments.

8. Can Sinequan (doxepin) cause withdrawal symptoms?

Patients who have been taking Sinequan for a while are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, especially if they stop abruptly. Symptoms typically involve heightened side effects, insomnia, or drowsiness. For this reason, doctors will usually help patients taper off of the medication safely.

If you are planning to stop treatment, you must speak with your doctor first to put together a plan so you can safely stop taking Sinequan.


The content on this page is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, you should talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare professional. This is particularly important if you are taking multiple medications or have any existing medical conditions.

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