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Vivactil Warnings and Precautions

Specific Vivactil Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Vivactil include the following:
  • Antidepressants (including Vivactil) may increase the risk of suicidal thinking or behavior (see Depression and Suicide). Therefore, if you notice any changes in symptoms, or if new symptoms appear, talk to your healthcare provider immediately. Some of these symptoms may include:
    • Anxiety
    • Hostility
    • Agitation
    • Panic
    • Restlessness
    • Hallucinations
    • Extreme hyperactivity
  • Before prescribing Vivactil for depression, your healthcare provider should make sure that you do not have bipolar disorder instead. Sometimes, the symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression can be similar, and Vivactil can cause problems in people with bipolar disorder.
  • Vivactil may cause a worsening of schizophrenia. Discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking the drug.
  • For people taking Vivactil, caution should be used when driving, operating heavy machinery, or performing other tasks that require concentration, especially when first starting the medication or when switching dosages. Vivactil may affect a person's mental or physical ability to perform these tasks. Make sure you know how the drug affects you before performing any task that requires mental or physical concentration.
  • Vivactil can interact with certain medications (see Vivactil Drug Interactions).
  • Vivactil may not be safe for use during pregnancy. Discuss the benefits and risk of using the drug while pregnant with your healthcare provider (see Vivactil and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if Vivactil passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, talk with your healthcare provider about what makes most sense for your particular situation (see Vivactil and Breastfeeding).
  • Special care should be used when taking the drug if you have a history of seizures, bladder problems, or glaucoma, as Vivactil can make these conditions worse.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider before taking the medication if you have any heart problems, as it can affect the heart and its electrical system.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider before taking Vivactil if you have hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or take thyroid medication.
  • Taking the medication while receiving electroshock or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can increase your risk of side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider about these risks.
  • Vivactil 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 Vivactil, which can increase their risk of side effects, such as delirium and confusion. In these particular situations, the healthcare provider will start people on lower doses of the drug and monitor them more closely.
  • If you have diabetes, when starting Vivactil or changing dosages, make sure to check your blood sugar levels more often. There have been reports of increased or decreased blood sugar levels in people who take the medication.
  • Do not treat yourself for the common cold, a cough, or allergies without first talking to your healthcare provider. Some of these medicines can increase the risk of Vivactil side effects.
  • Do not stop taking Vivactil without first discussing it with your healthcare provider. Stopping the medicine abruptly may increase the risk for withdrawal symptoms (see Vivactil Withdrawal).
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