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Precautions and Warnings With Amoxapine

Some Amoxapine Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions with amoxapine to be aware of include:
  • Antidepressants (including amoxapine) may increase the risk of suicidal thinking or behavior in children, teenagers, and adults (see Depression and Suicide for more information). Therefore, if you notice any changes in symptoms or new symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider immediately. Some of these symptoms may include anxiety, hostility, agitation, panic, restlessness, hallucinations, extreme hyperactivity, and suicidal thinking or behavior (see Amoxapine and Suicide for more information).
  • Before prescribing amoxapine for depression, your healthcare provider should make sure that you do not have bipolar disorder (instead of depression). Sometimes, the symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression are very similar, and amoxapine can cause problems in people with bipolar disorder.
  • Amoxapine can cause tardive dyskinesia (unusual uncontrollable facial or body movements). Tardive dyskinesia usually occurs after years of amoxapine use, although it may appear earlier. Often, the first signs of this problem involve movements of the tongue or lips. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you are experiencing unusual facial or body movements, as tardive dyskinesia can become a permanent condition.
  • Amoxapine can cause a life-threatening condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Symptoms of NMS include very high fever, muscle tension, confusion, sweating, and problems with blood pressure, heart rate, or heart rhythm. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you think you may be experiencing NMS.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider before taking amoxapine if you have any heart problems, as amoxapine can affect the heart and its electrical system.
  • Special care should be used when taking amoxapine if you have a history of seizures, bladder problems, or glaucoma. Amoxapine can make these conditions worse.
  • For people taking amoxapine, caution should be used when driving, operating heavy machinery, or performing other tasks that require concentration, especially when first starting amoxapine or when switching dosages. This is because amoxapine may affect a person's mental or physical ability to perform these tasks. Make sure you understand how amoxapine affects you before performing any task that requires mental or physical concentration.
  • Amoxapine can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Amoxapine).
  • Amoxapine may enhance the effects of alcohol, barbiturates, and other medicines that affect the brain. This can lead to an increased risk for drowsiness, dizziness, suicidal thoughts, and other amoxapine overdose symptoms. Make sure to talk with your healthcare provider about drinking alcohol while taking amoxapine.
  • Amoxapine is considered a pregnancy Category C medicine. This means it may not be safe for use during pregnancy. Discuss the benefits and risk of using amoxapine during pregnancy with your healthcare provider (see Amoxapine and Pregnancy for more information).
  • Amoxapine passes through breast milk and may cause harm to your baby. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about what makes most sense for your particular situation (see Amoxapine and Breastfeeding).
  • Taking amoxapine while receiving electroshock or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can increase your risk of side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider about these risks.
  • Amoxapine may cause a dry mouth. Sucking on hard candy, chewing gum, or melting bits of ice in your mouth can provide relief.
  • The elderly appear to be more sensitive to amoxapine, which can increase their risk of side effects, such as delirium and confusion. In these particular situations, the healthcare provider will start people with lower doses of amoxapine and monitor them more closely.
  • Do not treat yourself for the common cold, a cough, or allergies without first talking to your healthcare provider. Some over-the-counter medicines used to treat these conditions can increase the risk for developing amoxapine side effects.
  • Do not stop taking amoxapine without first discussing it with your healthcare provider.
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