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Vivactil Uses

How Vivactil Works

Vivactil is a tricyclic antidepressant. Tricyclic antidepressants are an older group of medications that have been used to treat depression for many years. Even though Vivactil has been around for a long time, it is not entirely clear how it works. The medication affects several chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and norepinephrine.

Vivactil Uses in Children and Teens

Vivactil is not recommended for use in people under 18 years old, as it has not been thoroughly studied in children or teens. Antidepressants have been shown to increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in short-term research studies involving children and teenagers (see Vivactil and Suicide for more information). Talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options for childhood or teen depression.

Off-Label Vivactil Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Vivactil for treating something other than depression. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, there are several off-label Vivactil uses, including:
  • Chronic pain: Vivactil works best for chronic pain that is nerve-related, such as nerve pain from shingles (including postherpetic neuralgia).
  • Anxiety disorder: Many antidepressants (including Vivactil) are used to treat anxiety disorders.
  • Bedwetting: Vivactil has been used to help people stop bedwetting.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Vivactil can be used to treat ADHD, especially if other ADHD medications have not been effective or cause side effects.
  • Fibromyalgia: Vivactil has been used to treat pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia.
  • Migraine headaches: Vivactil can be used on a daily basis to prevent migraine headaches. However, the drug is not effective for treating a migraine headache once it starts.
  • Bulimia: Vivactil can help improve bulimia symptoms, including binge eating and vomiting.
  • Smoking cessation: Vivactil is sometimes used to help people quit smoking.
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