Anafranil for Anxiety


Anafranil is the brand name of the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine. It is approved by the FDA to treat obsessive compulsive disorder, and is also used to treat panic attacks, major depression, and other anxiety disorders.

Like all tricyclic antidepressants, clomipramine has a number of unwanted side effects. For this reason, it is not often used in the treatment of depression, and tends to be considered a second-line course of treatment after other medications have failed. However, it is prescribed frequently for OCD, as its effectiveness at treating the disorder often outweighs the side effects.

The beginning dosage of clomipramine for those over age 10 is 25 mg once a day, to be taken with a meal. The dose can then slowly be increased if needed, taken in divided doses during the day until an effective dose has been reached. At that point, the drug can once again be taken daily in a single dose. The maximum dose for adults is usually 250 mg, and for children is 200 mg.

Common side effects of clomipramine include dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, constipation, and weight gain. In addition, it is fairly common for anxiety symptoms to worsen in the first few weeks of treatment with clomipramine; this can often be minimized with a slow increase in dosage, and should be only temporary.

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