Imipramine (Tofranil)
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Imipramine (Tofranil)

Tofranil®
(imipramine hydrochloride) Tablets USP (10 mg, 25 mg, and 50 mg)

Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs

Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of imipramine hydrochloride or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Imipramine hydrochloride is not approved for use in pediatric patients (see WARNINGS: Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk, PRECAUTIONS: INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS, and PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric Use).

DRUG DESCRIPTION

Tofranil (imipramine) is supplied in tablet form for oral administration.

Tofranil, imipramine hydrochloride USP, the original tricyclic antidepressant, is a member of the dibenzazepine group of compounds. It is designated 5-3-(Dimethylamino)propyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenz[b,f]-azepine monohydrochloride. Its structural formula is:

Tofranil®  (imipramine hydrochloride) Structural Formula Illustration

Imipramine hydrochloride USP is a white to off-white, odorless, or practically odorless crystalline powder. It is freely soluble in water and in alcohol, soluble in acetone, and insoluble in ether and in benzene. Inactive Ingredients: Calcium phosphate, cellulose compounds, docusate sodium, iron oxides, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, povidone, sodium starch glycolate, sucrose, talc, and titanium dioxide.

What are the possible side effects of imipramine (Tofranil, Tofranil-PM)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Tofranil »

What are the precautions when taking imipramine (Tofranil)?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have a certain medical condition. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have had: a recent heart attack.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: breathing problems (e.g., asthma, chronic bronchitis), certain eye problems (e.g., glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure), diabetes, eating disorders (e.g., bulimia), heart...

Read All Potential Precautions of Tofranil »

Last reviewed on RxList: 5/15/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

INDICATIONS

Depression - For the relief of symptoms of depression. Endogenous depression is more likely to be alleviated than other depressive states. One to three weeks of treatment may be needed before optimal therapeutic effects are evident.

Childhood Enuresis - May be useful as temporary adjunctive therapy in reducing enuresis in children aged 6 years and older, after possible organic causes have been excluded by appropriate tests. In patients having daytime symptoms of frequency and urgency, examination should include voiding cystourethrography and cystoscopy, as necessary. The effectiveness of treatment may decrease with continued drug administration.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Depression

Lower dosages are recommended for elderly patients and adolescents. Lower dosages are also recommended for outpatients as compared to hospitalized patients who will be under close supervision. Dosage should be initiated at a low level and increased gradually, noting carefully the clinical response and any evidence of intolerance. Following remission, maintenance medication may be required for a longer period of time, at the lowest dose that will maintain remission.

Usual Adult Dose

Hospitalized Patients - Initially, 100 mg/day in divided doses gradually increased to 200 mg/day as required. If no response after two weeks, increase to 250 to 300 mg/day.

Outpatients - Initially, 75 mg/day increased to 150 mg/day. Dosages over 200 mg/day are not recommended. Maintenance, 50 to 150 mg/day.

Adolescent and Geriatric Patients - Initially, 30 to 40 mg/day; it is generally not necessary to exceed 100 mg/day.

Childhood Enuresis

Initially, an oral dose of 25 mg/day should be tried in children aged 6 and older. Medication should be given one hour before bedtime. If a satisfactory response does not occur within one week, increase the dose to 50 mg nightly in children under 12 years; children over 12 may receive up to 75 mg nightly. A daily dose greater than 75 mg does not enhance efficacy and tends to increase side effects. Evidence suggests that in early night bedwetters, the drug is more effective given earlier and in divided amounts, i.e., 25 mg in midafternoon, repeated at bedtime. Consideration should be given to instituting a drug free period following an adequate therapeutic trial with a favorable response. Dosage should be tapered off gradually rather than abruptly discontinued; this may reduce the tendency to relapse. Children who relapse when the drug is discontinued do not always respond to a subsequent course of treatment.

A dose of 2.5 mg/kg/day should not be exceeded. ECG changes of unknown significance have been reported in pediatric patients with doses twice this amount.

The safety and effectiveness of Tofranil (imipramine) as temporary adjunctive therapy for nocturnal enuresis in children less than 6 years of age has not been established.

HOW SUPPLIED

Tablets 10 mg - triangular, biconvex, coral-reddish brown, sugar-coated tablet, imprinted with M on one side and “10” on the other side in black.

Bottles of 30........................NDC 0406-9920-03
Bottles of 100 .....................NDC 0406-9920-01

Tablets 25 mg - round, biconvex, coral-reddish brown, sugar-coated tablet, imprinted with M on one side and “25” on the other side in black.

Bottles of 30........................NDC 0406-9921-03
Bottles of 100...................NDC 0406-9921-01

Tablets 50 mg - round, biconvex, coral-reddish brown, sugar-coated tablet, imprinted with M on one side and “50” on the other side in black.

Bottles of 30........................NDC 0406-9922-03
Bottles of 100........................NDC 0406-9922-01

Store at 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature].

Dispense in tight container (USP) with a child-resistant closure.

Tofranil (imipramine) and M are registered trademarks of Mallinckrodt Inc. Mallinckrodt Inc. Hazelwood, MO 63042 U.S.A. Rev 050707. FDA revision date: 6/12/2002

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/27/2007
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

SIDE EFFECTS

Note - Although the listing which follows includes a few adverse reactions which have not been reported with this specific drug, the pharmacological similarities among the tricyclic antidepressant drugs require that each of the reactions be considered when Tofranil (imipramine) is administered.

Cardiovascular: Orthostatic hypotension, hypertension, tachycardia, palpitation, myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, heart block, ECG changes, precipitation of congestive heart failure, stroke.

Psychiatric: Confusional states (especially in the elderly) with hallucinations, disorientation, delusions; anxiety, restlessness, agitation; insomnia and nightmares; hypomania; exacerbation of psychosis.

Neurological: Numbness, tingling, paresthesias of extremities; incoordination, ataxia, tremors; peripheral neuropathy; extrapyramidal symptoms; seizures, alterations in EEG patterns; tinnitus.

Anticholinergic: Dry mouth, and, rarely, associated sublingual adenitis; blurred vision, disturbances of accommodation, mydriasis; constipation, paralytic ileus; urinary retention, delayed micturition, dilation of the urinary tract.

Allergic: Skin rash, petechiae, urticaria, itching, photosensitization; edema (general or of face and tongue); drug fever; cross-sensitivity with desipramine.

Hematologic: Bone marrow depression including agranulocytosis; eosinophilia; purpura; thrombocytopenia.

Gastrointestinal: Nausea and vomiting, anorexia, epigastric distress, diarrhea; peculiar taste, stomatitis, abdominal cramps, black tongue.

Endocrine: Gynecomastia in the male; breast enlargement and galactorrhea in the female; increased or decreased libido, impotence; testicular swelling; elevation or depression of blood sugar levels; inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (ADH) secretion syndrome.

Other: Jaundice (simulating obstructive); altered liver function; weight gain or loss; perspiration; flushing; urinary frequency; drowsiness, dizziness, weakness and fatigue; headache; parotid swelling; alopecia; proneness to falling.

Withdrawal Symptoms: Though not indicative of addiction, abrupt cessation of treatment after prolonged therapy may produce nausea, headache, and malaise.

Note - In enuretic children treated with Tofranil (imipramine) the most common adverse reactions have been nervousness, sleep disorders, tiredness, and mild gastrointestinal disturbances. These usually disappear during continued drug administration or when dosage is decreased. Other reactions which have been reported include constipation, convulsions, anxiety, emotional instability, syncope, and collapse. All of the adverse effects reported with adult use should be considered.

Read the Tofranil (imipramine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Drugs Metabolized by P450 2D6 - The biochemical activity of the drug metabolizing isozyme cytochrome P450 2D6 (debrisoquin hydroxylase) is reduced in a subset of the Caucasian population (about 7% to 10% of Caucasians are so-called “poor metabolizers”); reliable estimates of the prevalence of reduced P450 2D6 isozyme activity among Asian, African, and other populations are not yet available. Poor metabolizers have higher than expected plasma concentrations of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) when given usual doses. Depending on the fraction of drug metabolized by P450 2D6, the increase in plasma concentration may be small, or quite large (8-fold increase in plasma AUC of the TCA).

In addition, certain drugs inhibit the activity of this isozyme and make normal metabolizers resemble poor metabolizers. An individual who is stable on a given dose of TCA may become abruptly toxic when given one of these inhibiting drugs as concomitant therapy. The drugs that inhibit cytochrome P450 2D6 include some that are not metabolized by the enzyme (quinidine; cimetidine) and many that are substrates for P450 2D6 (many other antidepressants, phenothiazines, and the Type 1C antiarrhythmics propafenone and flecainide). While all the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), e.g., fluoxetine, sertraline, and paroxetine, inhibit P450 2D6, they may vary in the extent of inhibition. The extent to which SSRI-TCA interaction may pose clinical problems will depend on the degree of inhibition and the pharmacokinetics of the SSRI involved. Nevertheless, caution is indicated in the coadministration of TCAs with any of the SSRIs and also in switching from one class to the other. Of particular importance, sufficient time must elapse before initiating TCA treatment in a patient being withdrawn from fluoxetine, given the long half-life of the parent and active metabolite (at least 5 weeks may be necessary).

Concomitant use of tricyclic antidepressants with drugs that can inhibit cytochrome P450 2D6 may require lower doses than usually prescribed for either the tricyclic antidepressant or the other drug. Furthermore, whenever one of these other drugs is withdrawn from co-therapy, an increased dose of tricyclic antidepressant may be required. It is desirable to monitor TCA plasma levels whenever a TCA is going to be co-administered with another drug known to be an inhibitor of P450 2D6.

The plasma concentration of imipramine may increase when the drug is given concomitantly with hepatic enzyme inhibitors (e.g., cimetidine, fluoxetine) and decrease by concomitant administration with hepatic enzyme inducers (e.g., barbiturates, phenytoin), and adjustment of the dosage of imipramine may therefore be necessary.

In occasional susceptible patients or in those receiving anticholinergic drugs (including antiparkinsonism agents) in addition, the atropine-like effects may become more pronounced (e.g., paralytic ileus). Close supervision and careful adjustment of dosage is required when imipramine hydrochloride is administered concomitantly with anticholinergic drugs.

Avoid the use of preparations, such as decongestants and local anesthetics, that contain any sympathomimetic amine (e.g., epinephrine, norepinephrine), since it has been reported that tricyclic antidepressants can potentiate the effects of catecholamines.

Caution should be exercised when imipramine hydrochloride is used with agents that lower blood pressure. Imipramine hydrochloride may potentiate the effects of CNS depressant drugs.

Patients should be warned that imipramine hydrochloride may enhance the CNS depressant effects of alcohol (see WARNINGS).

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/27/2007
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

WARNINGS

Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk

Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatric disorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18-24) with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older.

The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescents with MDD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 24 short-term trials of 9 antidepressant drugs in over 4400 patients. The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in adults with MDD or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 295 short-term trials (median duration of 2 months) of 11 antidepressant drugs in over 77,000 patients. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidality among drugs, but a tendency toward an increase in the younger patients for almost all drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidality across the different indications, with the highest incidence in MDD. The risk differences (drug vs. placebo), however, were relatively stable within age strata and across indications. These risk differences (drug-placebo difference in the number of cases of suicidality per 1000 patients treated) are provided in Table 1.

Table 1

Age Range Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Cases of Suicidality per 1000 Patients Treated
Drug-Related Increases
< 18 14 additional cases
18-24 5 additional cases
Drug-Related Decreases
25-64 1 fewer case
&ge65 6 fewer cases

No suicides occurred in any of the pediatric trials. There were suicides in the adult trials, but the number was not sufficient to reach any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

It is unknown whether the suicidality risk extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond several months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance trials in adults with depression that the use of antidepressants can delay the recurrence of depression.

All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases.

The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and either the worsening of depression and/or the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality.

Consideration should be given to changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing the medication, in patients whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidality or symptoms that might be precursors to worsening depression or suicidality, especially if these symptoms are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient's presenting symptoms.

Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder or other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric, should be alerted about the need to monitor patients for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior, and the other symptoms described above, as well as the emergence of suicidality, and to report such symptoms immediately to health care providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers. Prescriptions for imipramine hydrochloride should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

Screening Patients for Bipolar Disorder - A major depressive episode may be the initial presentation of bipolar disorder. It is generally believed (though not established in controlled trials) that treating such an episode with an antidepressant alone may increase the likelihood of precipitation of a mixed/manic episode in patients at risk for bipolar disorder. Whether any of the symptoms described above represent such a conversion is unknown. However, prior to initiating treatment with an antidepressant, patients with depressive symptoms should be adequately screened to determine if they are at risk for bipolar disorder; such screening should include a detailed psychiatric history, including a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, and depression. It should be noted that imipramine hydrochloride is not approved for use in treating bipolar depression.

Children - A dose of 2.5 mg/kg/day of Tofranil (imipramine) should not be exceeded in childhood. ECG changes of unknown significance have been reported in pediatric patients with doses twice this amount.

Extreme caution should be used when this drug is given to: patients with cardiovascular disease because of the possibility of conduction defects, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, strokes, and tachycardia. These patients require cardiac surveillance at all dosage levels of the drug; patients with increased intraocular pressure, history of urinary retention, or history of narrow-angle glaucoma because of the drug's anticholinergic properties; hyperthyroid patients or those on thyroid medication because of the possibility of cardiovascular toxicity;

patients with a history of seizure disorder because this drug has been shown to lower the seizure threshold;

patients receiving guanethidine, clonidine, or similar agents, since Tofranil (imipramine) may block the pharmacologic effects of these drugs;

patients receiving methylphenidate hydrochloride. Since methylphenidate hydrochloride may inhibit the metabolism of Tofranil, downward dosage adjustment of imipramine hydrochloride may be required when given concomitantly with methylphenidate hydrochloride.

Tofranil (imipramine) may enhance the CNS depressant effects of alcohol. Therefore, it should be borne in mind that the dangers inherent in a suicide attempt or accidental overdosage with the drug may be increased for the patient who uses excessive amounts of alcohol (see PRECAUTIONS).

Since Tofranil (imipramine) may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks, such as operating an automobile or machinery, the patient should be cautioned accordingly.

PRECAUTIONS

General

An ECG recording should be taken prior to the initiation of larger-than-usual doses of Tofranil (imipramine) and at appropriate intervals thereafter until steady state is achieved. (Patients with any evidence of cardiovascular disease require cardiac surveillance at all dosage levels of the drug. (See WARNINGS.) Elderly patients and patients with cardiac disease or a prior history of cardiac disease are at special risk of developing the cardiac abnormalities associated with the use of Tofranil (imipramine) .

It should be kept in mind that the possibility of suicide in seriously depressed patients is inherent in the illness and may persist until significant remission occurs. Such patients should be carefully supervised during the early phase of treatment with Tofranil (imipramine) , and may require hospitalization. Prescriptions should be written for the smallest amount feasible. Hypomanic or manic episodes may occur, particularly in patients with cyclic disorders. Such reactions may necessitate discontinuation of the drug. If needed, Tofranil (imipramine) may be resumed in lower dosage when these episodes are relieved.

Administration of a tranquilizer may be useful in controlling such episodes.

An activation of the psychosis may occasionally be observed in schizophrenic patients and may require reduction of dosage and the addition of a phenothiazine.

Concurrent administration of Tofranil (imipramine) with electroshock therapy may increase the hazards; such treatment should be limited to those patients for whom it is essential, since there is limited clinical experience.

Patients taking imipramine hydrochloride should avoid excessive exposure to sunlight since there have been reports of photosensitization.

Both elevation and lowering of blood sugar levels have been reported with imipramine hydrochloride use.

Imipramine hydrochloride should be used with caution in patients with significantly impaired renal or hepatic function.

Patients who develop a fever and a sore throat during therapy with imipramine hydrochloride should have leukocyte and differential blood counts performed. Imipramine hydrochloride should be discontinued if there is evidence of pathological neutrophil depression.

Prior to elective surgery, imipramine hydrochloride should be discontinued for as long as the clinical situation will allow.

Information for Patients

Prescribers or other health professionals should inform patients, their families, and their caregivers about the benefits and risks associated with treatment with imipramine hydrochloride and should counsel them in its appropriate use. A patient Medication Guide about “Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and other Serious Mental Illness, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions” is available for imipramine hydrochloride. The prescriber or health professional should instruct patients, their families, and their caregivers to read the Medication Guide and should assist them in understanding its contents. Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss the contents of the Medication Guide and to obtain answers to any questions they may have. The complete text of the Medication Guide is reprinted at the end of this document.

Patients should be advised of the following issues and asked to alert their prescriber if these occur while taking imipramine hydrochloride.

Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk - Patients, their families, and their caregivers should be encouraged to be alert to the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression, and suicidal ideation, especially early during antidepressant treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down. Families and caregivers of patients should be advised to look for the emergence of such symptoms on a day-to-day basis, since changes may be abrupt. Such symptoms should be reported to the patient's prescriber or health professional, especially if they are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient's presenting symptoms. Symptoms such as these may be associated with an increased risk for suicidal thinking and behavior and indicate a need for very close monitoring and possibly changes in the medication.

Pregnancy

Animal reproduction studies have yielded inconclusive results (see also ANIMAL PHARMACOLOGY & TOXICOLOGY).

There have been no well-controlled studies conducted with pregnant women to determine the effect of Tofranil (imipramine) on the fetus. However, there have been clinical reports of congenital malformations associated with the use of the drug. Although a causal relationship between these effects and the drug could not be established, the possibility of fetal risk from the maternal ingestion of Tofranil (imipramine) cannot be excluded. Therefore, Tofranil (imipramine) should be used in women who are or might become pregnant only if the clinical condition clearly justifies potential risk to the fetus.

Nursing Mothers

Limited data suggest that Tofranil (imipramine) is likely to be excreted in human breast milk. As a general rule, a woman taking a drug should not nurse since the possibility exists that the drug may be excreted in breast milk and be harmful to the child.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in the pediatric population other than pediatric patients with nocturnal enuresis have not been established (see BOX WARNING and WARNINGS: Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk). Anyone considering the use of imipramine hydrochloride in a child or adolescent must balance the potential risks with the clinical need.

The safety and effectiveness of the drug as temporary adjunctive therapy for nocturnal enuresis in pediatric patients less than 6 years of age has not been established.

The safety of the drug for long-term, chronic use as adjunctive therapy for nocturnal enuresis in pediatric patients 6 years of age or older has not been established; consideration should be given to instituting a drug-free period following an adequate therapeutic trial with a favorable response.

A dose of 2.5 mg/kg/day should not be exceeded in childhood. ECG changes of unknown significance have been reported in pediatric patients with doses twice this amount.

Geriatric Use

In the literature, there were four well-controlled, randomized, double-blind, parallel group comparison clinical studies done with Tofranil (imipramine) in the elderly population. There was a total number of 651 subjects included in these studies. These studies did not provide a comparison to younger subjects. There were no additional adverse experiences identified in the elderly.

Clinical studies of Tofranil (imipramine) in the original application did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Post-marketing clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger subjects. In general, dose selection for the elderly should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy. (See also DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION: Adolescent and Geriatric Patients.) (See also PRECAUTIONS: General.)

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/27/2007
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

OVERDOSE

Deaths may occur from overdosage with this class of drugs. Multiple drug ingestion (including alcohol) is common in deliberate tricyclic overdose. As the management is complex and changing, it is recommended that the physician contact a poison control center for current information on treatment. Signs and symptoms of toxicity develop rapidly after tricyclic overdose. Therefore, hospital monitoring is required as soon as possible.

Children have been reported to be more sensitive than adults to an acute overdosage of imipramine hydrochloride. An acute overdose of any amount in infants or young children, especially, must be considered serious and potentially fatal.

Manifestations

These may vary in severity depending upon factors such as the amount of drug absorbed, the age of the patient, and the interval between drug ingestion and the start of treatment. Critical manifestations of overdose include cardiac dysrhythmias, severe hypotension, convulsions, and CNS depression including coma. Changes in the electrocardiogram, particularly in QRS axis or width, are clinically significant indicators of tricyclic toxicity.

Other CNS manifestations may include drowsiness, stupor, ataxia, restlessness, agitation, hyperactive reflexes, muscle rigidity, athetoid and choreiform movements.

Cardiac abnormalities may include tachycardia and signs of congestive failure. Respiratory depression, cyanosis, shock, vomiting, hyperpyrexia, mydriasis, and diaphoresis may also be present.

Management

Obtain an ECG and immediately initiate cardiac monitoring. Protect the patient's airway, establish an intravenous line and initiate gastric decontamination. A minimum of 6 hours of observation with cardiac monitoring and observation for signs of CNS or respiratory depression, hypotension, cardiac dysrhythmias and/or conduction blocks, and seizures is necessary. If signs of toxicity occur at anytime during this period, extended monitoring is required. There are case reports of patients succumbing to fatal dysrhythmias late after overdose; these patients had clinical evidence of significant poisoning prior to death and most received inadequate gastrointestinal decontamination. Monitoring of plasma drug levels should not guide management of the patient.

Gastrointestinal Decontamination - All patients suspected of tricyclic overdose should receive gastrointestinal decontamination. This should include large volume gastric lavage followed by activated charcoal. If consciousness is impaired, the airway should be secured prior to lavage. Emesis is contraindicated.

Cardiovascular - A maximal limb-lead QRS duration of ≥ 0.10 seconds may be the best indication of the severity of the overdose. Intravenous sodium bicarbonate should be used to maintain the serum pH in the range of 7.45 to 7.55. If the pH response is inadequate, hyperventilation may also be used. Concomitant use of hyperventilation and sodium bicarbonate should be done with extreme caution, with frequent pH monitoring. A pH > 7.60 or a pCO2 < 20 mmHg is undesirable. Dysrhythmias unresponsive to sodium bicarbonate therapy/hyperventilation may respond to lidocaine, bretylium, or phenytoin. Type 1A and 1C antiarrhythmics are generally contraindicated (e.g., quinidine, disopyramide, and procainamide).

In rare instances, hemoperfusion may be beneficial in acute refractory cardiovascular instability in patients with acute toxicity. However, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, exchange transfusions, and forced diuresis generally have been reported as ineffective in tricyclic poisoning.

CNS - In patients with CNS depression, early intubation is advised because of the potential for abrupt deterioration. Seizures should be controlled with benzodiazepines, or if these are ineffective, other anticonvulsants (e.g., phenobarbital, phenytoin). Physostigmine is not recommended except to treat life-threatening symptoms that have been unresponsive to other therapies, and then only in consultation with a poison control center.

Psychiatric Follow-up - Since overdosage is often deliberate, patients may attempt suicide by other means during the recovery phase. Psychiatric referral may be appropriate.

Pediatric Management - The principles of management of child and adult overdosages are similar. It is strongly recommended that the physician contact the local poison control center for specific pediatric treatment.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

The concomitant use of monoamine oxidase inhibiting compounds is contraindicated. Hyperpyretic crises or severe convulsive seizures may occur in patients receiving such combinations. The potentiation of adverse effects can be serious, or even fatal. When it is desired to substitute Tofranil (imipramine) in patients receiving a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, as long an interval should elapse as the clinical situation will allow, with a minimum of 14 days. Initial dosage should be low and increases should be gradual and cautiously prescribed.

The drug is contraindicated during the acute recovery period after a myocardial infarction. Patients with a known hypersensitivity to this compound should not be given the drug. The possibility of cross-sensitivity to other dibenzazepine compounds should be kept in mind.

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/27/2007
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

The mechanism of action of Tofranil (imipramine) is not definitely known. However, it does not act primarily by stimulation of the central nervous system. The clinical effect is hypothesized as being due to potentiation of adrenergic synapses by blocking uptake of norepinephrine at nerve endings. The mode of action of the drug in controlling childhood enuresis is thought to be apart from its antidepressant effect.

Animal Pharmacology & Toxicology

A. Acute: Oral LD50 ranges are as follows:

Rat 355 to 682 mg/kg

Dog 100 to 215 mg/kg

Depending on the dosage in both species, toxic signs proceeded progressively from depression, irregular respiration and ataxia to convulsions and death.

B. Reproduction/Teratogenic: The overall evaluation may be summed up in the following manner:

Oral: Independent studies in three species (rat, mouse, and rabbit) revealed that when Tofranil (imipramine) is administered orally in doses up to approximately 2-1/2 times the maximum human dose in the first 2 species and up to 25 times the maximum human dose in the third species, the drug is essentially free from teratogenic potential. In the three species studied, only one instance of fetal abnormality occurred (in the rabbit) and in that study there was likewise an abnormality in the control group. However, evidence does exist from the rat studies that some systemic and embryotoxic potential is demonstrable. This is manifested by reduced litter size, a slight increase in the stillborn rate, and a reduction in the mean birth weight.

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/27/2007
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

PATIENT INFORMATION

Medication Guide
Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and other Serious Mental Illnesses, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions

Read the Medication Guide that comes with you or your family member's antidepressant medicine. This Medication Guide is only about the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions with antidepressant medicines. Talk to your, or your family member's, healthcare provider about:

  • all risks and benefits of treatment with antidepressant medicines
  • all treatment choices for depression or other serious mental illness

What is the most important information I should know about antidepressant medicines, depression and other serious mental illnesses, and suicidal thoughts or actions?

  1. Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults when the medicine is first started.
  2. Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions. These include people who have (or have a family history of) bipolar illness (also called manic-depressive illness) or suicidal thoughts or actions.
  3. How can I watch for and try to prevent suicidal thoughts and actions in myself or a family member?
  • Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is first started or when the dose is changed.
  • Call the healthcare provider right away to report new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings.
  • Keep all follow-up visits with the healthcare provider as scheduled. Call the healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you have concerns about symptoms.

Call a healthcare provider right away if you or your family member has any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:

  • thoughts about suicide or dying
  • attempts to commit suicide
  • new or worse depression
  • new or worse anxiety
  • feeling very agitated or restless
  • panic attacks
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • new or worse irritability
  • acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
  • acting on dangerous impulses
  • an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
  • other unusual changes in behavior or mood

What else do I need to know about antidepressant medicines?

  • Never stop an antidepressant medicine without first talking to a healthcare provider. Stopping an antidepressant medicine suddenly can cause other symptoms.
  • Antidepressants are medicines used to treat depression and other illnesses. It is important to discuss all the risks of treating depression and also the risks of not treating it. Patients and their families or other caregivers should discuss all treatment choices with the healthcare provider, not just the use of antidepressants.
  • Antidepressant medicines have other side effects. Talk to the healthcare provider about the side effects of the medicine prescribed for you or your family member.
  • Antidepressant medicines can interact with other medicines. Know all of the medicines that you or your family member takes. Keep a list of all medicines to show the healthcare provider. Do not start new medicines without first checking with your healthcare provider.
  • Not all antidepressant medicines prescribed for children are FDA approved for use in children. Talk to your child's healthcare provider for more information.

This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for all antidepressants.

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/27/2007
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

>

PATIENT INFORMATION

Medication Guide
Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and other Serious Mental Illnesses, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions

Read the Medication Guide that comes with you or your family member's antidepressant medicine. This Medication Guide is only about the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions with antidepressant medicines. Talk to your, or your family member's, healthcare provider about:

  • all risks and benefits of treatment with antidepressant medicines
  • all treatment choices for depression or other serious mental illness

What is the most important information I should know about antidepressant medicines, depression and other serious mental illnesses, and suicidal thoughts or actions?

  1. Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults when the medicine is first started.
  2. Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions. These include people who have (or have a family history of) bipolar illness (also called manic-depressive illness) or suicidal thoughts or actions.
  3. How can I watch for and try to prevent suicidal thoughts and actions in myself or a family member?
  • Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is first started or when the dose is changed.
  • Call the healthcare provider right away to report new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings.
  • Keep all follow-up visits with the healthcare provider as scheduled. Call the healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you have concerns about symptoms.

Call a healthcare provider right away if you or your family member has any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:

  • thoughts about suicide or dying
  • attempts to commit suicide
  • new or worse depression
  • new or worse anxiety
  • feeling very agitated or restless
  • panic attacks
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • new or worse irritability
  • acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
  • acting on dangerous impulses
  • an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
  • other unusual changes in behavior or mood

What else do I need to know about antidepressant medicines?

  • Never stop an antidepressant medicine without first talking to a healthcare provider. Stopping an antidepressant medicine suddenly can cause other symptoms.
  • Antidepressants are medicines used to treat depression and other illnesses. It is important to discuss all the risks of treating depression and also the risks of not treating it. Patients and their families or other caregivers should discuss all treatment choices with the healthcare provider, not just the use of antidepressants.
  • Antidepressant medicines have other side effects. Talk to the healthcare provider about the side effects of the medicine prescribed for you or your family member.
  • Antidepressant medicines can interact with other medicines. Know all of the medicines that you or your family member takes. Keep a list of all medicines to show the healthcare provider. Do not start new medicines without first checking with your healthcare provider.
  • Not all antidepressant medicines prescribed for children are FDA approved for use in children. Talk to your child's healthcare provider for more information.

This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for all antidepressants.

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/27/2007
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Disclaimer

Tofranil Consumer

IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

IMIPRAMINE - ORAL

(ih-MIH-pra-meen)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Tofranil

WARNING: Antidepressant medications are used to treat a variety of conditions, including depression and other mental/mood disorders. These medications can help prevent suicidal thoughts/attempts and provide other important benefits. However, studies have shown that a small number of people (especially people younger than 25) who take antidepressants for any condition may experience worsening depression, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts. Therefore, it is very important to talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of antidepressant medication (especially for people younger than 25), even if treatment is not for a mental/mood condition.

Tell the doctor immediately if you notice worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). Be especially watchful for these symptoms when a new antidepressant is started or when the dose is changed.

USES: This medication is used to treat depression. It is also used with other therapies for the treatment of nighttime bed-wetting (enuresis) in children. Using this medication to treat depression may improve your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy level and may help restore your interest in daily living. Imipramine can help your child control nighttime bed-wetting.

Imipramine belongs to a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine) in the brain. For bed-wetting, this medication may work by blocking the effect of a certain natural substance (acetylcholine) on the bladder.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may also be used for the treatment of anxiety, panic disorders, and certain types of ongoing pain.

HOW TO USE: Read the Medication Guide available from your pharmacist. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 1-4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. If you have daytime drowsiness, your doctor may direct you to take the entire dose once daily at bedtime. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. In children, dosage may also be based on body weight. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may start you at a low dose and gradually increase your dose.

When used in children for bed-wetting, imipramine should be taken one hour before bedtime. If your child usually wets the bed early in the night, the drug may be given earlier in separate doses (e.g., one dose in the afternoon and one dose at bedtime).

Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Do not take more or less medication or take it more frequently than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster and your risk of side effects will increase. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day.

This medication does not work right away. It may take up to 3 weeks before you experience the full benefits if you are taking this medication for depression.

It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

When used for an extended period in children for bed-wetting, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with the doctor if this medication stops working well.

Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Disclaimer

Tofranil Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: Dry mouth, blurred vision, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, stomach cramps, weight gain/loss, and increased sweating may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, depression, hallucinations, memory problems), enlarged/painful breasts, unusual breast milk production, irregular/painful menstrual periods, muscle stiffness/twitching, restlessness, ringing in the ears, sexual problems (e.g., decreased sexual ability, changes in desire), shakiness (tremors), numbness/tingling of the hands/feet, pain/redness/swelling of arms or legs, trouble urinating, severe vomiting.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing of eyes/skin.

Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, seizures, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, vision changes.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the Tofranil (imipramine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have a certain medical condition. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have had: a recent heart attack.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: breathing problems (e.g., asthma, chronic bronchitis), certain eye problems (e.g., glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure), diabetes, eating disorders (e.g., bulimia), heart problems (e.g., arrhythmias, coronary artery disease), liver problems, kidney problems, personal or family history of other mental/mood conditions (e.g., bipolar disorder, schizophrenia), seizures, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), trouble urinating (e.g., due to enlarged prostate), any condition that may increase your risk of seizures (e.g., alcohol/sedative dependency, use of electroconvulsive therapy, brain injury/disease such as stroke), certain types of tumors (e.g., pheochromocytoma, neuroblastoma).

Imipramine may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can infrequently result in serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that require immediate medical attention. The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may affect the heart rhythm (see also Drug Interactions section). Before using imipramine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).

Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using imipramine safely.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

To decrease dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position.

This drug may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.

If you have diabetes, this drug may make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if you have symptoms such as increased thirst/urination, shakiness, unusual sweating, or hunger. Your anti-diabetic medication or diet may need to be adjusted.

Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the side effects of the drug, especially effects on the heart and mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, agitation).

Caution is advised when using this drug in children. (See also the Warning section.)

This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Infants born to mothers who have taken similar medications during pregnancy may have symptoms such as trouble urinating, prolonged sleepiness, shaking, and seizures. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Disclaimer

Tofranil Consumer (continued)

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur: arbutamine, disopyramide, sibutramine, MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine).

Avoid taking MAO inhibitors within 2 weeks before, during, and after treatment with this medication. In some cases a serious, possibly fatal drug interaction may occur.

If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting imipramine.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: anticholinergics (e.g., atropine, belladonna alkaloids, scopolamine, drugs for Parkinson's disease such as benztropine), inhaled bronchodilators (e.g., albuterol, salmeterol), certain drugs for high blood pressure (e.g., clonidine, guanadrel, guanethidine, reserpine), digoxin, nasal decongestants (e.g., epinephrine, phenylephrine), levodopa, lithium, stimulants (e.g., amphetamine, epinephrine, methylphenidate), thyroid supplements, valproic acid, drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove imipramine from your body (e.g., alcohol, barbiturates such as phenobarbital, cimetidine, cisapride, haloperidol, certain drugs for heart rhythm such as flecainide/propafenone, halofantrine, certain HIV protease inhibitors such as amprenavir/fosprenavir, phenothiazines such as thioridazine, pimozide, certain anti-seizure drugs such as carbamazepine/phenytoin, antidepressants such as citalopram/fluoxetine/fluvoxamine/paroxetine/trazodone, St. John's wort, terbinafine).

Many drugs besides imipramine may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including amiodarone, dofetilide, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), sparfloxacin, among others. Therefore, before using imipramine, report all medications you are currently using to your doctor or pharmacist.

Also report the use of drugs which might increase seizure risk (decrease seizure threshold) when combined with this medication such as bupropion, isoniazid (INH), theophylline, or tramadol, among others. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-anxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., levetiracetam), drugs for motion sickness (e.g., meclizine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-containing ingredients or decongestants that could increase your heart rate or blood pressure. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.

Cigarette smoking decreases blood levels of this medication. Tell your doctor if you smoke or if you have recently stopped smoking.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe dizziness, fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, hallucinations, seizures.

NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood counts, EKG, kidney function) may be performed regularly to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. Keep all medical appointments.

MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

STORAGE: Store the US product in a tightly closed container at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture.

Store the Canadian product in a tightly closed container at room temperature between 35.6-86 degrees F (2-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture.

Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

Information last revised September 2011. Copyright(c) 2011 First Databank, Inc.

Tofranil Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Tofranil, Tofranil-PM

Generic Name: imipramine (Pronunciation: im IP ra meen)

What is imipramine (Tofranil)?

Imipramine is in a group of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. Imipramine affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced.

Imipramine is used to treat symptoms of depression.

Imipramine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Imipramine 10 mg-GG

round, yellow, imprinted with GG, 41

Imipramine 10 mg-MUT

round, yellow, imprinted with MP 4

Imipramine 10 mg-PAR

triangular, yellow, imprinted with par, 54

Imipramine 25 mg-GG

round, beige, imprinted with 47, GG

Imipramine 25 mg-PAR

round, brown, imprinted with 55, par

Imipramine 25 mg-URL

round, brown, imprinted with MP 8

Imipramine 50 mg-GG

round, green, imprinted with GG, 42

Imipramine 50 mg-MUT

round, green, imprinted with MP 79

Imipramine 50 mg-PAR

round, green, imprinted with 56, par

Imipramine Pamoate 100 mg-ROX

red/yellow, imprinted with 54758

Imipramine Pamoate 150 mg-ROX

red, imprinted with 54 161

Imipramine Pamoate 75 mg-ROX

red, imprinted with 54591

Tofranil 25 mg-MAL

round, orange, imprinted with M inside a box, 25

Tofranil 50 mg-MAL

round, orange, imprinted with 50, M inside a box

Tofranil 10 mg-MAL

triangular, orange, imprinted with 10, M inside a box

What are the possible side effects of imipramine (Tofranil)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fast, pounding, or uneven heart rate;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • confusion, hallucinations, or seizure (convulsions);
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
  • urinating more or less than usual;
  • extreme thirst with headache, nausea, vomiting, and weakness;
  • skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, or muscle weakness.

Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • constipation or diarrhea;
  • dry mouth, unpleasant taste;
  • weight changes;
  • weakness, lack of coordination;
  • feeling dizzy, drowsy, or tired;
  • nightmares;
  • blurred vision, headache, ringing in your ears;
  • breast swelling (in men or women); or
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Tofranil (imipramine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

What is the most important information I should know about imipramine (Tofranil)?

Do not use imipramine if you have recently had a heart attack, or if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days.

You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Side Effects Centers

Tofranil Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking imipramine (Tofranil)?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to imipramine, or if you have recently had a heart attack.

Do not use imipramine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Serious, life-threatening side effects can occur if you take imipramine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

Before taking imipramine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • heart disease;
  • a history of heart attack, stroke, or seizures;
  • bipolar disorder (manic-depression);
  • kidney or liver disease;
  • overactive thyroid;
  • diabetes (imipramine may raise or lower blood sugar);
  • adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma);
  • glaucoma; or
  • problems with urination.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use imipramine, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Tell your doctor if you have worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.

Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Imipramine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to anyone younger than 18 years old without the advice of a doctor.

How should I take imipramine (Tofranil)?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are taking imipramine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Do not stop using imipramine without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely. Stopping this medication suddenly could cause you to have unpleasant side effects.

It may take up to 3 weeks of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 3 weeks of treatment.

Store imipramine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Side Effects Centers

Tofranil Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Tofranil)?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Tofranil)?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of imipramine can be fatal.

Symptoms of an imipramine overdose may include uneven heartbeats, extreme drowsiness, agitation, vomiting, blurred vision, sweating, muscle stiffness, swelling, shortness of breath, blue lips or fingernails, feeling light-headed, fainting, seizure (convulsions), or coma.

What should I avoid while taking imipramine (Tofranil)?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can cause dangerous side effects when taken together with imipramine.

Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxers, medicine for seizures, or other antidepressants). They can add to sleepiness caused by imipramine.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with imipramine. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor before increasing or decreasing the amount of grapefruit products in your diet.

Imipramine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Imipramine can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.

What other drugs will affect imipramine (Tofranil)?

Before taking imipramine, tell your doctor if you have used an "SSRI" antidepressant in the past 5 weeks, such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), or sertraline (Zoloft).

Before taking imipramine, tell your doctor if you are currently using any of the following drugs:

  • cimetidine (Tagamet);
  • clonidine (Catapres);
  • guanethidine (Ismelin);
  • methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin, Daytrana); or
  • heart rhythm medications such as flecainide (Tambocor), propafenone (Rhythmol), or quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinidex, Quinaglute).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use imipramine, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There are many other medicines that can interact with imipramine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist has information about imipramine written for health professionals that you may read.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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