Clomipramine

Brand names of clomipramine

  • Anafranil
  • Apo-Clomipramine
  • Dom-Clomipramine
  • Gen-Clomipramine
  • Maronil
  • Med-Clomipramine
  • Novo-Clopamine
  • Penta-Clomipramine

Clomipramine belongs to the class of medications known as tricyclic antidepressants. This medication influences the chemical substances present inside the brain which may become unstable. This medicament is employed to cure symptoms related to depression and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), for instance, monotonous acts or recurring feelings or thoughts.

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Things you need to tell your physician before taking clomipramine

Before beginning treatment with clomipramine, you ought to let your physician or pharmacist know whether you have allergic reactions to this medication, any of its constituents, any other similar drug or tricyclic antidepressant (for instance, nortriptyline, imipramine), or have any additional type of allergy. You should know that some inactive elements of this drug may result in allergies or additional health problems. If you are not certain about the ingredients of clomipramine, you should ask your pharmacist for a list of the same.

People suffering from particular health conditions should not use this medication. Therefore, prior to using clomipramine, you should tell your physician or pharmacist about your medical history, especially if you have ever suffered a heart attack. Also tell them whether you have or ever had breathing troubles (for instance, chronic bronchitis, asthma); problems related to blood (for instance, thrombocytopenia, purpura); eating disorders (for instance, bulimia); particular problems related to the eyes (for instance, augmented intraocular pressure (IOC), glaucoma); problems related to the heart (for instance, coronary artery ailment, arrhythmias); any disorder related to the liver or kidneys; intestinal problems (for instance, ileus, chronic constipation); any history of being hospitalized for any extremely severe reaction to particular drugs (neuroleptic malignant syndrome); any individual or family history pertaining to additional psychological mood conditions (for instance, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder); seizures; stomach acid or heartburn in esophagus (for instance, owing to hiatal hernia); an hyperactive thyroid; particular type of tumors (for instance, pheochromocytoma neuroblastoma); problems related to passing urine (for instance, enlarged prostate, urinary retention); any health problem which may possibly augment the chances of having seizures (for instance brain injury disease, alcohol sedative dependency, use of electroconvulsive therapy).

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People taking clomipramine should be aware of the fact that this medication may possibly result in a health condition that has an effect on the rhythm of the heart (QT prolongation). Sporadically, QT prolongation may cause severe (seldom life-threatening) rapid abnormal heartbeat as well as additional symptoms (for instance, acute stupor, or fainting), which needs instant medical care. The chances of developing QT prolongation may possibly be augmented provided you are suffering from specific health conditions or using additional medications, which may have an effect on your heart rhythm.

Before you start using clomipramine, inform your physician or pharmacist whether you are suffering from problems related to the heart (like slow heartbeat, heart failure, QT prolongation detected in electrocardiogram, also known as EKG) and/ or a family history related to specific maladies of the heart (sudden cardiac death, QT prolongation). In addition, poor magnesium or potassium levels in the bloodstream may possibly augment the chances of having QT prolongation. This hazard is likely to enhance provided you are using particular drugs (for instance, diuretics, also called 'water pills') or in case you are suffering from diarrhea, severe sweating or vomiting. In such cases, you need to discuss with your doctor the efficiency and safety of taking clomipramine.

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If you are taking clomipramine, it is essential that you restrict your consumption of alcoholic beverages, as alcohol may enhance the intoxicating effect.

People who plan to take clomipramine for their condition ought to be aware of the fact that this medication may possibly cause light-headedness or drowsiness or blur your vision for the moment. Therefore, you should not use a machine or drive or undertake any task requiring clear vision and alertness till when you are sure about the effect of the drug on your body and you are confident that you can execute these activities safely.

You need to arise slowly while getting up from a lying or seated position in order to lessen the dizziness and nauseating feeling. If you need to undergo a surgery, you ought to inform your physician in advance that you are using clomipramine. You should be careful while giving this medication to children who take a part in active sports, as it may possibly enhance the chances of developing problems related to the heart. Aged people taking clomipramine should also exercise precaution, as they are likely to be further susceptible to the side effects of this medication (for instance, dizziness, confusion and bleeding).

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Pregnant women should only take clomipramine when it is essential for their condition. It may be noted that newborns who have been exposed to this medication when their mothers were pregnant may possibly suffer from the side effects or withdrawal symptoms of using this clomipramine. Call your physician right away in case you experience any kind of quivering, nervousness, rapid breathing, problems related to feeding or convulsions in your baby. Such women need to talk to their physician regarding the advantages as well as hazards of taking clomipramine during pregnancy.

It has been found that clomipramine passes onto the breast milk resulting in an unwanted effect on the nursing newborn. New mothers should seek their physician's advice prior to breast feeding.

Usage

Clomipramine is employed to deal with depression as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

How to use clomipramine

Clomipramine should be taken orally along with food or without it. Alternately, take this medication according to your physician's directions. In order to diminish clomipramine's side effects, for instance, stomach disorder, your physician will possibly ask you to start this medication at a lower dosage, given to the patient in many dosages throughout the day along with your meals. The dosage may be increased gradually when your body becomes accustomed to this medication. When your physician has found the most appropriate dosage for you, you may take the entire dose once every day, generally before retiring to bed, as this will help to avoid drowsiness during daytime. Alternately, you may take this medication as per the instruction of your physician.

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Generally, the dose of clomipramine would not exceed 250 mg in the case of adults and 200 mg for children as well as teens. It is essential that you strictly follow your physician's directions. Never take this medication in excess or lesser dose or more often than what has been prescribed by your physician. If you take the medication in excess or more often, it will not help to improve your condition rapidly. On the contrary, it will augment the chances of experiencing the side effects of the medication, for instance, you may have seizures more often.

The dosage of clomipramine is dependent on the medical condition of the patient and his/ her reaction to the treatment. Provided your physician has not advised you otherwise, stay away from consuming grapefruit or drinking its juice when you are undergoing treatment with clomipramine. You ought to know that consuming or drinking grapefruit in any form may augment the level of specific medicaments in the bloodstream. It is advisable that you talk to your physician or pharmacist for further information in this regard.

In order to obtain the maximum benefit of using clomipramine, you should take this medication on a regular basis. Also ensure take you the medication at identical time(s) daily, as it will help you to remember that you have to take it. Even if you start feeling better after few weeks of treatment with clomipramine, you need to keep taking this medication for the prescribed regimen.

Never discontinue clomipramine without talking to your physician and all of a sudden. If you stop taking this medication suddenly it may result in further deterioration of your condition. In such cases you are likely to undergo nausea, dizziness, perspiration, headache, vomiting or even tetchiness. Before you discontinue clomipramine, it is essential to reduce the dose of the medication gradually. The benefits of clomipramine are not evident immediately, but it may take about two to three weeks' time or even more for you to experience the complete benefits of taking the medication. Call your physician if you notice that your condition remains the same or deteriorates further even after starting treatment with clomipramine.

How clomipramine works

As a tricyclic antidepressant, clomipramine works by influencing the concentration of a particular chemical in the brain (serotonin), which is believed to be related to emotions, mood and the mental condition of an individual.

Side effects

Serious:
  • breathing difficulty
  • confusion
  • difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • difficult urination
  • dilated pupils
  • extreme and persistent restlessness
  • extreme fatigue or drowsiness
  • eye pain
  • fainting
  • fever
  • hallucinations
  • heartbeat irregularities
  • impaired concentration
  • loss of balance and coordination
  • seizures
  • sexual dysfunction
  • shuffling gait
  • staring and absence of facial expression
  • stiffness in the extremities
  • trembling
  • vision problems
  • weakness
Common:
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • heightened sensitivity to light
  • increased appetite
  • nausea
  • unpleasant taste
  • weight gain
Less common:

Possible interactions

Herbal medicines or minerals:
As both clomipramine and the herb St. John's wort may possibly work to augment the levels of serotonin, never use them in conjunction. In addition, St. John's wort is also known to augment sensitivity to the sun. The herb ginseng may also partially work in the form of a MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitor; you should avoid using it in combination with clomipramine. People taking clomipramine would do better if they also keep away from yohimbe and ma huang. Also avoid the herbs kava kava and Indian snakeroot while undergoing treatment with this medicament.
Alcohol:
Consumption of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited for those taking clomipramine. This drug has the aptitude to significantly enhance the inebriating actions of alcohol. Moreover, using alcohol in combination with clomipramine may possibly slow down the functioning of the brain considerably.
Tobacco smoking:
Tobacco smoking should be avoided by people taking clomipramine, as nicotine is likely to interrupt the process of eliminating this drug from the body. If this happens, the patient may need to adjust his/ her dosage of the medication.
Marijuana smoking:
If you are being treated with clomipramine you should avoid smoking marijuana, as this combination augments stupor and dryness of the mouth, while making the drug less effective.
Exposure to heat:
People undergoing treatment with clomipramine ought to take case to avoid exposure to hot environments, because this medication may possibly damage the body's ability to adapt to such surroundings and also augment the chances of having a heatstroke. People taking clomipramine should also stay away from saunas.
Exposure to environmental chemicals:
People using clomipramine should preferably stay away from being exposed to the chemicals in the environment, as this medication is likely to conceal the indications of poisoning owing to handling specific insecticides (especially, those of the organophosphorus kind).

Discontinuation

Never stop taking clomipramine suddenly. It is advisable that you lessen the dose of the medication gradually during two to three weeks time before discontinuing it. If you discontinue clomipramine suddenly after using it for a prolonged period, it may result in a number of withdrawal symptoms, including headache, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, irritability, depression, vertigo and even sleeping disorders. In fact, if you stop this medicine all of a sudden it may further deteriorate oppressive-compulsive disorder (OCD). You may require altering the doses of other medications in order to regulate the changes in your body when you stop taking clomipramine.

Storage instructions

Always keep clomipramine in a container that is firmly sealed. This container ought to be kept at controlled temperature and in a place free from light and dampness. It is advisable that you seek the guidance of your pharmacist in this regard. Never keep clomipramine in your bathroom. It is important that you store all medicaments in a place that is inaccessible for children as well as pets. If a medication has become outdated or you do not require it any more, you should discard it in a proper as well as safe manner. Never dispose of such products by flushing them down your toilet or pouring them into a drain. Seek the advice of your pharmacist in this regard.

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