Doxepin, a medication primarily prescribed for the treatment of depression and anxiety, has recently become the subject of concern due to its discontinuation by pharmaceutical manufacturers. This abrupt discontinuation has left many patients and healthcare professionals wondering about the reasons behind this decision.

Doxepin belongs to a class of drugs known as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), which have been widely used for decades. However, over the years, newer and potentially more effective antidepressants have been introduced to the market, leading to decreased demand for older drugs like doxepin.

The side effects associated with doxepin, such as drowsiness, dry mouth, and blurred vision, have been reported to be more pronounced compared to newer antidepressants with more favorable side effect profiles. This has likely contributed to a decline in the prescription rate and overall use of doxepin.

Economic factors may also influence the discontinuation of doxepin by pharmaceutical manufacturers. Pharmaceutical companies typically prioritize the production of medications with higher demand and potential profitability. As newer antidepressants continue to gain popularity, the use of older drugs like doxepin becomes less economically viable, leading to their discontinuation.

What is Doxepin?

Doxepin is an antidepressant that is commonly prescribed for the treatment of sleep disorders, particularly insomnia. It is available in various doses, including 3 mg and 6 mg capsules. 

Doxepin belongs to a class of medications known as tricyclic antidepressants, which work by influencing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain.

Uses of Doxepin

Doxepin is primarily used for the treatment of insomnia, specifically sleep maintenance insomnia and sleep onset insomnia. It is also prescribed to individuals with difficulty falling or staying asleep throughout the night. 

Doxepin is known to improve sleep quality and reduce sleep disturbances in patients with chronic insomnia.

Why is Doxepin Discontinued in 2023?

Doxepin has been discontinued due to lack of generic competition, antidepressant newer alternatives with fewer side effects, and safety concerns. The discontinuation of doxepin in 2023 is primarily due to a shortage in supply. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has recommended alternative treatments for insomnia to address the discontinuation of doxepin. Prescribers are advised to consider other options and discuss them with their patients to ensure the continuity of treatment.

It is important for individuals who have been prescribed doxepin for insomnia to consult their healthcare provider and discuss alternative treatment options. The prescribing information for doxepin may contain additional details regarding its discontinuation and alternative medications that can be used in its place.

Reasons for Discontinuation

The discontinuation of doxepin can be attributed to several factors. One of the main reasons is the emergence of newer and more effective treatments for insomnia. Other antidepressants, such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline, have been shown to be equally effective in treating insomnia with fewer adverse effects.

Additionally, the use of low-dose doxepin for insomnia has become less common due to concerns about its side effects. While doxepin can be effective at low doses, it is also associated with drowsiness, weight gain, and other adverse effects.

Why is Doxepin Discontinued

Why is Doxepin Discontinued in 2023 A Comprehensive Guide

Impact on Patients

The discontinuation of doxepin has raised concerns among patients who rely on it to manage their sleep disorders. Doxepin, especially at low doses of 3 mg and 6 mg, has been found effective in helping individuals with sleep maintenance insomnia and sleep onset difficulties. 

However, the adverse effects, such as drowsiness and weight gain, associated with doxepin have prompted healthcare professionals to reconsider its use.

Alternatives to Doxepin

For patients who were prescribed doxepin, alternatives need to be considered. Amitriptyline and nortriptyline, also tricyclic antidepressants, have shown similar efficacy in treating insomnia. 

Additionally, non-pharmacological interventions like sleep hygiene practices can be helpful in managing sleep disturbances.

Future of Doxepin

The discontinuation of doxepin does not mean the end of research and development in insomnia treatment. 

Pharmaceutical companies may invest in improving the formulation of doxepin or develop new drugs with better safety and efficacy profiles to address the needs of patients with chronic insomnia.


The discontinuation of doxepin may pose challenges for patients who have benefited from its use in the treatment of insomnia. However, alternative options are available, and ongoing research may lead to the development of better treatments in the future. 

It is crucial for healthcare professionals to stay updated with the latest prescribing information and guidelines provided by organizations like the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to ensure optimal care for patients.


Why has Doxepin Been Discontinued?

Doxepin has been discontinued due to reasons such as supply shortages, manufacturing issues, or commercial decisions made by the pharmaceutical company.

Can I still get Doxepin Prescribed for my Condition?

Since Doxepin has been discontinued, it is unlikely that doctors will prescribe it anymore. However, they may suggest alternative medications or treatment options.

What were the usual Recommended Doses of Doxepin?

The usual recommended doses of Doxepin varied depending on the condition being treated. For insomnia, low doses of 3 mg or 6 mg were often prescribed.

What Type of Medication is Doxepin?

Doxepin is a tricyclic antidepressant that was also used to treat sleep disorders such as insomnia.

Can Doxepin be Used Specifically for Insomnia Treatment?

Yes, low-dose Doxepin was commonly prescribed for the treatment of insomnia, including sleep maintenance insomnia and sleep onset insomnia.

What were the Common Side Effects of Doxepin?

Common side effects of Doxepin include drowsiness, weight gain, and various adverse effects. It is important to consult your healthcare provider for more specific information.

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