, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp 361–371 | Cite as

Psychopharmacology of imipramine and desipramine: A comparative study of their effects in normal males

  • Alberto Di Mascio
  • George Heninger
  • Gerald L. Klerman
Original Investigations


The effects of imipramine and desipramine were each examined at three dose levels in normal males. A placebo-controlled, double-blind procedure was employed. Effects were measured in a variety of behavioral and subjective responses. The resulting drug-action profiles reveal that imipramine produced hypnotic-like actions, as evidenced by the observation — and subjective reports — of marked sleepiness and concomitant impairment of intelectual and visuo-motor functioning. Side-effects of a cardiovascular, gastrointestinal disturbing, or anticholinergiclike nature were often experienced.

In contrast, desipramine produced effects in only two of the areas measured — a slight increase in sleepiness and a rise in pulse rate. The increased sleepiness was not accompanied by self-reports of a generalized impairment of performance, nor by actual decrements in performance measures. The side-effects reported were few in number and minimal in degree.

For both drugs the effects were dose related, maximal 2 1/2 hours after ingestion, and had subsided within 7 hours. The relationship of these effects to chemostructural variations, to clinical applications, and to possible modes of action of the two drugs were discussed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto Di Mascio
    • 1
    • 2
  • George Heninger
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gerald L. Klerman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychopharmacology Research LaboratoryMassachusetts Mental Health CenterBoston 15
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryHarvard Medical SchoolBoston 15

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