Imipramine tablets and capsules serve as remedies for depression. Imipramine tablets are additionally employed for the prevention of bedwetting in children. Imipramine belongs to the category of drugs known as tricyclic antidepressants. It alleviates depression by augmenting the levels of specific natural substances in the brain that are essential for sustaining mental equilibrium. The mechanism through which imipramine prevents bedwetting is not fully understood.
Uses and Dosage
Take this medication by mouth, with or without food, in accordance with your doctor’s instructions, typically ranging from 1 to 4 times daily. If you experience daytime drowsiness, your doctor may advise you to take the entire dose once daily before bedtime. The prescribed dosage is contingent upon your medical condition and how you respond to the treatment. In the case of children, the dosage may also be determined based on their body weight. To mitigate the risk of side effects, your doctor might initiate treatment with a low dose and then gradually increase it.
For children using imipramine to address bed-wetting, the medication should be taken an hour before bedtime. If your child tends to wet the bed earlier in the night, the drug may be administered earlier, potentially in separate doses (e.g., one in the afternoon and one at bedtime).
Follow your doctor’s instructions meticulously. Do not alter the dosage, frequency, or duration of the medication without your doctor’s approval. Taking more or less than prescribed or deviating from the recommended schedule will not expedite your recovery and may heighten the risk of side effects. To facilitate adherence, establish a consistent daily routine for taking the medication.
Be aware that this medication does not yield immediate results. It may take up to three weeks before you experience the full therapeutic benefits if you are using it to manage depression.
Even if you begin to feel better, continue taking this medication as prescribed. Do not abruptly discontinue its use without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may worsen when the drug is halted suddenly, and your dosage may need to be gradually tapered off.
In cases where this medication is used over an extended period by children for bed-wetting, its efficacy may diminish and necessitate adjustments to the dosing regimen. If you observe that this medication is no longer effective, discuss this matter with your doctor.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- weakness or tiredness
- excitement or anxiety
- dry mouth
- skin more sensitive to sunlight than usual
- changes in appetite or weight
- difficulty urinating
- frequent urination
- changes in sex drive or ability
- excessive sweating
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- jaw, neck, and back muscle spasms
- slow or difficult speech
- shuffling walk
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- fever, sore throat, or other signs of infection
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- severe rash
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- irregular heartbeat
Before initiating this medication, notify your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergies, particularly if you are allergic to this medication, other tricyclic antidepressants like desipramine and amitriptyline, or any other substances. This product may contain inactive ingredients that could provoke allergic reactions or other complications.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history, especially if you have a history of respiratory problems like asthma or chronic bronchitis, a personal or family history of angle-closure glaucoma, diabetes, eating disorders such as bulimia, heart conditions like arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, or prior heart attacks, liver or kidney issues, a personal or family history of other mental/mood disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, a history of seizures, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), difficulties with urination due to an enlarged prostate, any conditions that may elevate your risk of seizures, or certain types of tumors such as pheochromocytoma or neuroblastoma.
Imipramine may lead to a heart rhythm condition called QT prolongation, which can rarely cause serious (and occasionally fatal) rapid/irregular heartbeats and other symptoms like severe dizziness or fainting, necessitating immediate medical attention. Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood can also elevate your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you are using specific drugs (e.g., diuretics or “water pills”) or if you experience conditions such as heavy sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting.
This medication may induce dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. The consumption of alcohol or marijuana can intensify these effects. Avoid activities that require alertness or clear vision, such as driving or operating machinery, until you can do so safely.
Imipramine may increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Minimize your sun exposure and avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Promptly notify your doctor if you experience sunburn or skin blistering/redness.
For individuals with diabetes, this medication may pose challenges in controlling blood sugar levels. Regularly monitor your blood sugar as instructed and share the results with your doctor. Notify your doctor immediately if you exhibit symptoms such as increased thirst or urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise regimen, or diet.
Elderly individuals may be more susceptible to the side effects of this medication, especially when rising from a sitting or lying position, drowsiness, constipation, difficulties with urination, mental/mood changes such as confusion or agitation, and heart effects like QT prolongation. Dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion can heighten the risk of falling.
Children may also be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially concerning heart effects.
During pregnancy, this medication should only be employed when it is unquestionably necessary. Infants born to mothers who have used similar medications during pregnancy may display symptoms such as difficulties with urination, prolonged sleepiness, tremors, and seizures. Deliberate the potential risks and benefits with your doctor.
Given that untreated mental/mood disorders can be a serious concern, do not discontinue this medication unless instructed by your doctor. If you are contemplating pregnancy, become pregnant, or suspect pregnancy, promptly consult with your doctor to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using this medication during pregnancy.
This medication passes into breast milk and may have adverse effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Tofranil is available in the following forms and strengths:
Tofranil coated tablet:
How long does Tofranil take to work for depression?
You might start to feel improvements in your depression symptoms after about 1 to 3 weeks of starting imipramine. But keep in mind that it generally takes about 1 to 2 months of treatment for you to get the full benefits from antidepressants.
Is Tofranil good for anxiety?
Tofranil isn’t FDA-approved for anxiety. But there’s some research showing that imipramine can help with certain types of anxiety problems, like panic attacks or generalized anxiety disorder.