As with all tricyclic antidepressants, Clomipramine carries a wide range of side effects and potential drug interactions. Patients are encouraged to notify their doctor of all related side effects they experience as well as discuss even subtle changes in other medications prior to making any adjustments.
Tricyclic antidepressants attempt to balance chemicals in the brain that cause emotions and emotional reactions. Most often used to treat obsessive compulsive disorders as well as disorders which relate to self abuse and phobias, Clomipramine raises both the serotonin and the norepinephrine levels in the brain by slowing down the re-absorption rate of the nerve cells. This has a dramatic effect on behaviors which are repetitive and destructive.
Tricycle antidepressants are the leading cause of overdose related death in the United States. This is partially due to the lethal nature of overdosing on tricyclic antidepressants. Almost 100% of overdoses result in death whether or not it was intended.
Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are quite common when starting any tricyclic antidepressant, especially in patients under eighteen. It is vital to keep close monitoring on behavioral changes or thought patterns that may be warning signs that even the patient can not detect.
Tricyclic antidepressants absolutely can not be mixed with any other antidepressant. This results in catastrophic events and most likely, death. It is absolutely vital that a period of no less than five weeks passes since the past dosage of any antidepressant before starting Clomipramine.
Clomipramine is not intended for patients with eating disorders, bi-polar disorder- or disorders which are not psychotic in nature. It can not be used in patients with heart attack histories, narrow angle glaucoma, kidney or liver diseases, or patients with a seizure disorder.
Headaches, confusion, profuse sweating, fevers, fast heart rates, fainting, pale skin, bruising and bleeding easily, muscular stiffness, or symptoms which mimic that of a heart attack or stroke are side effects that need immediate medical intervention. Even if the patient isn’t sure whether their symptoms of side effects are adequate for an emergency room visit, they should be encouraged to err on the side of caution.
Most patients complain of general discomfort when tolerable side effects are presented. They include but are not limited to nausea, vomiting, headaches, constipation or diarrhea, dry mouth, foul taste, sleep problems, weight and appetite loss or gain, sweating, sexual dysfunction, and blurry vision.
The possibility of drug interactions is quite high with Clomipramine. It has negative reactions to seizure and heart medications, blood pressure medication, over the counter cough and cold remedies, blood thinner, hormone therapy, and a host of anti psychotics and psychotropic medications. It is vital that the prescribing physician be made aware of every medication the patient is currently taking, including over the counter medications, prior to prescribing Clomipramine.
While tricyclic medications receive positive reviews from critics due to its effectiveness is assisting treatment, it must be utilized with caution in order to prevent catastrophic consequences for an uniformed patient. Physician vigilance is vital when prescribing Clomipramine to any patient.
Clomipramine (clomipramine hydrochloride capsules, USP), is an antiobsessional drug that belongs to the class (dibenzazepine) of pharmacologic agents known as tricyclic antidepressants. Anafranil is available as capsules of 25, 50, and 75 mg for oral administration. Clomipramine hydrochloride is a white to off-white crystalline powder. It is freely soluble in water, in methanol, and in methylene chloride, and insoluble in ethyl ether and in hexane.
Clomipramine has the following structural formula: