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Anafranil (clomipramine)

Anafranil is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and is in the class of medications known as tricyclic antidepressants. It works by increasing levels of the chemical serotonin in the brain.

Anafranil
Anafranil

What is Anafranil?

Anafranil is a tricyclic antidepressant that is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. This drug primarily affects the neurotransmitter serotonin by decreasing its absorption and thus increasing its level. This causes a decrease in symptoms of depression and anxiety. It may take two to three weeks to feel the full effect of this medication. Anafranil works on the central nervous system.

Uses of Anafranil

Anafranil is used generally for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder but is also used to treat major depressive disorder, panic disorder and nerve pain. It is also used in the treatment of dual diagnosis disorders (mental health disorders and substance abuse combined). It is not recommended for bipolar disorder with manic and depressive episodes as it can induce mania in some patients. It can be used successfully for treatment of cocaine addiction as it helps prevent cocaine relapse. Anafranil should not be combined with stimulants such as amphetamines as it will enhance the action of the stimulant. Caution must be used with patients who suffer from cardiac conditions when prescribing Anafranil.

Anafranil has a high rate of side effects relative to other SSRIs.

Anafranil Side Effects

Anafranil may cause side effects similar to other antidepressant drugs. These include but are not limited to:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Change in appetite
  • Nervousness
  • Stuffy nose
  • Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)
  • Increased sweating
  • Decreased memory
  • Hearing loss
  • Lower back pain

Notify your doctor if these Anafranil side effects do not away or worsen.

Some less common but more serious Anafranil side effects of the drug are similar to those in the antidepressant class. These include but are not limited to:

  • Tremors
  • Heart palpitations
  • Seizures
  • Eye pain or itchiness
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Depression
  • Detachment from self

If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.

Anafranil Withdrawal Symptoms

As with other antidepressants, many people experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping Anafranil use. While these Anafranil withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening, they may be quite uncomfortable. Consult your doctor before stopping Anafranil use, as symptoms are decreased by slowly tapering off this medication. Anafranil withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Mood changes or anxiety
  • Irritability or agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Sweats
  • Insomnia and tiredness
  • Vomiting
  • General feeling of discomfort

When taking Anafranil, one should always check with his or her prescribing physician, as some medication in combination with this drug will cause serious side effects such as depressed respiration.

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