Anafranil® is the brand name for a medication called clomipramine. It is an antidepressant drug used to treat individuals who have been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in order to help maintain a sense of balance within the chemical makeup of the brain. Dosing varies based on the individual and length of the treatment, and a number of side effects can occur with the different dosing options.
Most of the common Anafranil® side effects are mild and decrease once the body becomes accustomed to the dosage of medication. These symptoms include gastrointestinal distress, such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. An individual may find his or her appetite increases or decreases severely as well. Some also may suffer from a short period of fatigue and drowsiness, while others might develop cold symptoms such as headaches, dry mouth or congestion; not all side effects are present in everyone. If side effects are severe enough to interfere with daily activities, a medical professional should be alerted.
Some patients may suffer from more severe Anafranil® side effects. These are less common, but still frequent enough that those taking the medication should be aware of them. Anafranil® changes the levels of the chemical serotonin in the brain. Therefore, some of the side effects that can be associated with taking the drug involve an individual's mental capacities.
Audio or visual hallucinations can be one of the more serious Anafranil® side effects. Some individuals will also begin to believe things that are not true, whether from an idea they developed themselves or based on something they have heard. Depression, worry, nervousness or agitation can all be side effects of many antidepressants, including Anafranil®. Others may go through periods of excitement or acting rashly, which can turn into unnaturally aggressive behavior. Rare but severe Anafranil® side effects can also include trembling throughout the body; an erratic heartbeat; seizures; or the development of signs of infection, such as a sore throat, fever or chills.
One of the most serious of the Anafranil® side effects is also one of the rarest. Even though the medication is an antidepressant, there are some individuals who may find themselves growing more susceptible to thoughts of suicide. This has typically only been found in young individuals who are taking the medication, specifically those younger than 24 years old. An increase in suicidal thoughts is not a side effect specific to only Anafranil® — it can occur with the administration of many types of antidepressants. It can also be helpful if those close to the individual prescribed the medication can watch for signs of developing suicidal thoughts.