Clomipramine (Anafranil)


Overview: Clomipramine, known by the brand name Anafranil, is an antidepressant of the Tricyclic class. Clomipramine is used to treat depression and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Clomipramine has helped many people recover from their mental health problems. Clomipramine is an older antidepressant, and is therefore not used much in the modern era. There are more side effects and general health concerns over Tricyclic antidepressants compared to newer SSRI antidepressants. Clomipramine is only available on prescription.




Key Facts: It will take around four to six weeks for Clomipramine to work, however minor improvements might be visible after around a week. There are some side effects to Clomipramine, as mentioned below. Clomipramine should be used without interruption – you shouldn’t suddenly stop taking the medicine. The medication should help jump start your mood, and slowly make you feel like your old self again.


How do they work?: Unfortunately, it isn’t entirely known how antidepressants work. The most widely accepted belief is that antidepressants work by increasing levels of a group of chemicals in the brain named neurotransmitters. Some of these neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and noradrenaline, can help improve mood and emotion. How this process exactly works is unknown. It is recommended that Clomipramine is used in conjunction with therapy.


Dosage: You should take Clomipramine once a day. It doesn’t upset the stomach, and therefore can be taken with or without food. You should take the tablet at the same time each day. The usual dose of Clomipramine is 100mg a day in adults. Sometimes, a lower dose will be prescribed, especially at the beginning of treatment. The maximum dose per day is 250mg. It can take some time to find the correct dose. A typical treatment course of Clomipramine is twelve months, though a longer treatment course is common.


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Side Effects

With each box of Clomipramine, there will be an information leaflet enclosed. This will provide an exhaustive list of side effects. Side effects from Clomipramine should only last a few days, though can cause issues. It is natural to experience some side effects as your body gets used to the medication.


Common side effects of Clomipramine include nausea, blurred vision, dry mouth, fatigue, weight gain, dizziness, headache, restlessness, sexual dysfunction and excessive sweating.


Serious side effects include suicidal thinking, seizures, chest pain and psychosis. An overdose should be avoided, as it can cause the potentially fatal Serotonin Syndrome, nervous system breakdown and cardiovascular problems. You should contact your doctor if any of these serious side effects take place.




You should always read the information leaflet that comes with your medication as it will include important information there. You should tell your doctor if you are taking any other medication. It is important that you don’t use the herbal remedy St. Johns wort. You shouldn’t take any other antidepressant with Clomipramine unless directed by your doctor. Opiods such as Tramadol are unsuitable to use with Clomipramine. Always ask your doctor if you are unsure on combining medicines.


Alcohol acts as a depressant, therefore it is recommended that anyone taking an antidepressant stays away from drinking alcohol. Combining Clomipramine with recreational drugs is also not recommended.


Clomipramine is not recommended in pregnancy or the breastfeeding stage. Antidepressants are generally considered unsafe to use in pregnancy.


Clomipramine is not normally prescribed to anyone under the age of 18. Instead, some form of psychotherapy is recommended. Younger people have been shown to be more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts when using antidepressants. In the case that an antidepressant needs to be prescribed, Fluoxetine will instead generally be prescribed.


Other Tricyclic Antidepressants: