What is this medication?
IMIPRAMINE (im IP ra meen) treats depression. It increases the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, substances that help regulate mood. It may also help reduce bedwetting in children. It belongs to a group of medications called tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Tofranil
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- An alcohol problem
- Asthma, difficulty breathing
- Bipolar disorder or schizophrenia
- Difficulty passing urine, prostate trouble
- Fast or irregular heart beat
- Heart disease or recent heart attack
- Kidney or liver disease
- Thoughts or plans of suicide, a previous suicide attempt, or family history of suicide attempt
- Thyroid disease
- An unusual or allergic reaction to imipramine, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with water. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Keep taking this medication unless your care team tells you to stop. Stopping it too quickly can cause serious side effects. It can also make your condition worse.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
- Arsenic trioxide
- Certain medications used to regulate abnormal heartbeat or to treat other heart conditions
- MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
- Methylene blue (injected into a vein)
- Other medications for mental health
- Phenothiazines, such as perphenazine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine
- St. John's Wort
This medication may also interact with the following:
- Atropine and related medications, such as hyoscyamine, scopolamine, tolterodine
- Barbiturate medications for inducing sleep or treating seizures, such as phenobarbital
- Local anesthetics
- Medications for high blood pressure
- Prescription pain medications
- Seizure or epilepsy medication, such as carbamazepine or phenytoin
- Stimulants, such as dexmethylphenidate or methylphenidate
- Thyroid hormones
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Tell your care team if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse. Visit care team for regular checks on your progress. Because it may take several weeks to see the full effects of this medication, it is important to continue your treatment as prescribed by your care team.
Patients and their families should watch out for new or worsening thoughts of suicide or depression. Also watch out for sudden changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose, call your care team.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medication. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or allergies without asking your care team for advice. Some ingredients can increase possible side effects.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your care team if the problem does not go away or is severe.
This medication may cause dry eyes and blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses you may feel some discomfort. Lubricating drops may help. See your eye care team if the problem does not go away or is severe.
This medication can cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your care team.
This medication can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Heart rhythm changes— fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
- Infection—fever, chills, cough, or sore throat
- Irritability, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, muscle stiffness, twitching muscles, sweating, high fever, seizure, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, which may be signs of serotonin syndrome
- Low blood pressure—dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Sudden eye pain or change in vision such as blurry vision, seeing halos around lights, vision loss
- Thoughts of suicide or self-harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression
- Trouble passing urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Change in sex drive or performance
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Tremors or shaking
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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