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Tofranil (Imipramine)

What is Tofranil? Tofranil, or imipramine, is used to control depression in adults, young adults, and teens. Tofranil is a tricyclic antidepressant and can also be used to help prevent or control bedwetting in children, panic attacks, or eating disorders. Tofranil comes in tablet or capsule that is taken one or more times per day when used for depression. A person may start taking a small dose of Tofranil and then gradually increase their daily dose over time; a doctor can help their patients find the correct dose of this medication. Children being treated for bedwetting are usually prescribed Tofranil and instructed to this medication about an hour before bedtime each evening. It may take several weeks before the full effects of Tofranil are realized; most users report improvement within three weeks of starting this medication.


Important Information Before Use:

  • Antidepressants like Tofranil may cause an increase in suicidal behavior or thoughts in children, teens, or young adults under the age of twenty-four. Your doctor can help you decide if the benefit of this medication outweighs the risk of using it.
  • Do not take Tofranil within two weeks of taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor; let your doctor know if you have taken an MAO inhibitor recently.
  • If you have had a heart attack, Tofranil may not be a good choice for you; review your heart health history with your doctor to see if this medication is right for you.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever received electroshock therapy.
  • Talk to your doctor before you take Tofranil if you have or have ever had glaucoma, an enlarged prostate, diabetes, an overactive thyroid, or any type of liver, kidney, or heart disease.
  • You should also inform your doctor of any serious reactions you have had to other similar medications.
  • Tofranil may interact with other medications or supplements, including MAO inhibitors, medications for motion sickness, Parkinson's disease medications, anticoagulants, antihistamines, antidepressants, antacids, antifungals, sleeping pills, antipsychotics, high blood pressure medications, and more. If you are taking other prescription drugs or vitamins, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking Tofranil.

Important Information During Use:

  • Tofranil can cause problems in newborns if taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. You should talk to your doctor about alternative treatments for depression if you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking Tofranil.
  • Tofranil can make you very drowsy. Using alcohol with Tofranil can worsen this side effect. Don't drive or work with heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
  • If you are having any type of surgery, including oral or dental surgery, then you should tell your doctor or anesthesiologist that you take Tofranil.
  • Avoid cigarettes and tobacco products when you take Tofranil; these items could interfere with your medication.
  • You may become more sensitive to sunlight when you take this medication. Avoid prolonged sun exposure when taking Tofranil.
  • You should only take the amount of Tofranil that has been prescribed by your doctor. Taking too much of this medication can be fatal. Signs of Tofranil overdose include vomiting, hallucinations, extreme drowsiness, uneven heartbeat, coma, or loss of consciousness.
  • If you experience serious or severe side effects from Tofranil you should call your doctor.


Tofranil Side Effects


  • Irregular, pounding, or fast heartbeat
  • Unusual, uncontrollable shaking or tremors
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Speech difficulties
  • Spasms of neck, back, or jaw
  • Slow or shuffling walk
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Yellowed eyes or skin

Less Serious:

  • Drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, or weakness
  • Anxiety or excitement
  • Numbness or tingling in feet or hands
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight gain or increase in appetite
  • Nausea or constipation
  • Difficult or frequent urination
  • Nightmares
  • Sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Changes in sex drive or ability

You should not stop taking Tofranil abruptly, and do not reduce or discontinue this medication on your own. Work with your doctor to taper off of this medication slowly over time. Doing so will help reduce Tofranil withdrawal symptoms.

Possible Symptoms of Tofranil Withdrawal:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Overall malaise or feeling generally unwell


Comparing Tofranil

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Last Update: 02-20-2013


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