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What Is Anafranil®?

Anafranil works by elevating levels of the chemical serotonin in the brain.
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  • Written By: Jacquelyn Gilchrist
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Anafranil® is a brand name for the generic drug clomipramine. It is a tricyclic antidepressant typically prescribed to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Although this is not a cure for the disorder, it can alleviate common symptoms, such as repetitive thoughts and actions. Anafranil® works by elevating levels of the chemical serotonin in the brain to restore proper mental balance.

Patients may take Anafranil® with food if they experience an upset stomach. It is taken orally. The doctor will typically prescribe a dosage to be taken three times each day as the patient adjusts to the medication. Following a period of adjustment over several weeks, the doctor may change the dosage and instruct the patient to take it once daily.

Anafranil® should not be discontinued abruptly, so patients who wish to stop taking it should consult their doctor. The physician will decrease the dosage over a period of time to reduce the risk of withdrawal effects which can include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Insomnia, irritability, and weakness may also occur.

Tricyclic antidepressants carry the risk of other side effects, as well. Patients may experience appetite and weight changes, nervousness, and a reduced concentration or memory. Drowsiness, dry mouth, and constipation are also potential side effects.

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People taking Anafranil® should go to the emergency room immediately if they experience serious side effects, such as seizures, uncontrollable shaking, or a rapid or irregular heartbeat. Other possible side effects can include loss of bladder control, eye pain, difficulty breathing, severe muscle stiffness and fever. Some patients may experience hallucinations. In addition, symptoms of an overdose may include coma, loss of coordination, and a blue discoloration of the skin.

Some patients, particularly those under the age of 24, have experienced suicidal thoughts or actions while taking a tricyclic antidepressant. Patients and caregivers should get medical help immediately if they notice any of these signs. Before taking Anafranil®, people should discuss these concerns with their doctors.

While taking Anafranil®, patients should take measures to ensure their general safety. They should avoid consuming alcohol, which may intensify certain side effects. The prescribing doctor should be informed if the patient uses tobacco products, which can lessen the drug's efficacy. Doctors should also be aware if the patient is undergoing electroshock therapy or is pregnant or breastfeeding.

This medication may be unsafe to use for people with certain medical conditions, such as brain damage, glaucoma, or irregular heartbeat. Anafranil may also interact with other drugs, including blood thinners, oral contraceptives, and other medications intended to treat mental disorders. Patients should discuss these possible interactions with their doctors.

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