Dosulepin [dothiepin] hydrochloride (Dopress brand)

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What's changing?

Dosulepine cap 25 mg and tab 75 mg are currently available for patients who were taking dosulepin [dothiepin] hydrochloride before to 1 June 2019. The prescription must be either:

  • endorsed by the prescriber or
  • annotated by the pharmacist.

The 25 mg capsule is not Medsafe approved and is supplied under section 29 of the Medicines Act.

Previously, the supplier had indicated that the product had been discontinued. Further stock of a different brand has since been sourced (Mylan brand). It may be subject to a discontinuation in the future.

People taking dosulepin should to talk to their health care professional about alternative treatments.

Dosulepin 25 mg capsules section 29

The 25 mg dosulepin capsules are not Medsafe-approved. Section 29 of the Medicines Act allows for medicines that are not Medsafe approved to be supplied to people. The medicine must be prescribed by someone registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand – e.g., doctors. 

We know supplying a medicine under section 29 is not ideal. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. 

Read more about supplying medicines under section 29 – Medsafe website(external link)

Information for your patients about what section 29 means – Health Navigator website(external link)

What are the funded treatment options?

The clinical advice we received from the Mental Health Subcommittee of the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (one of our expert clinical advisory committees) is that amitriptyline or nortriptyline would be appropriate alternatives for patients requiring dosulepin [dothiepin] hydrochloride; imipramine or mirtazapine could also be considered for some patients.

The full list of funded agents available for depression and anxiety is available here.  

Information for prescribers about changing patients

Bpacnz has published information the role of medicines in the management of depression in primary care which may be useful: https://bpac.org.nz/2017/depression.aspx(external link).   

Where can I get more information?

If you have any questions, contact PHARMAC at 0800 66 00 50 or enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz.

If you need to talk:

  • call or text 1737 any time (it’s free)
  • talk to a trained counsellor on the Depression helpline, 0800 111 757