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Imipramine

Brand names of imipramine

  • Antipress
  • Apo-Imipramine
  • Impril
  • Imprin
  • Janimine
  • Novo-Pramine
  • PMS Imipramine
  • Presamoine
  • SK-Pramine
  • Tipramine
  • Tofranil
  • Tofranil-PM

Imipramine belongs to the class of medications known as tricyclic antidepressants (also known as TCAs) and is used to treat the symptoms related to serious depression. Depression is generally described as a continuous state of obscurity and unhappiness. It is believed that people suffering from this mental condition have anomalous neurotransmitter (chemical substances released by nerves to communicate among themselves) levels in their brain and this is responsible for their sufferings. It is understood that imipramine works to lift the mood by enhancing the concentration of neurotransmitters within the brain.

While scientists synthesized imipramine for the first time in the later part of 1940s, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its sale and use for treating depression in 1959 and in 1973, endorsing the use of the medicament for treating enuresis.

Things you need to tell your physician before taking imipramine

As in the instance of commencing treatment with any new prescription drug, before taking imipramine, you need to let your pharmacist and physician know a few important things about your health conditions. For instance, you ought to inform them if you have allergic reactions to this drug or other drugs. Also tell them about all the prescription as well as non-prescription drugs, dietary supplements, vitamins and herbal products you may be taking from before or you are planning to use.

Also talk to your physician if you recently suffered a heart attack. In case you have had one, it is most likely that your physician will advise you against treatment with imipramine. Inform your physician if you are currently undergoing electroshock therapy (a process whereby your brain is administered little electronic shocks for curing specific mental ailments); if you are suffering from or previously endured glaucoma (a medical condition associated with the eyes); problems in passing urine; any ailment related to the liver or kidneys; convulsions; an inflamed prostate (an ailment related to this reproductive gland in males); and/ or any heart ailment.

Women who intend to use imipramine ought to inform their physician in advance if they are pregnant or planning pregnancy. New mothers should tell their physician if they are breast feeding. Get in touch with your physician immediately in case you conceive while undergoing therapy with imipramine for his/ her guidance and help in such a situation. If you require undergoing any type of surgery, inform your dentist, surgeon and/ or physician that you are already using the antidepressant medication imipramine.

Before using imipramine, you ought to know that this medicament may cause drowsiness. Therefore, never undertake any task, such as driving or using machines, which may require alertness till you are sure of the effects of this drug on your body and till such a time when you are confident that you can accomplish the tasks safely.

Usage

Imipramine is a tricyclic medicament that is used to alleviate symptoms related to major depressions. In addition, this drug is also given to children who are five years and even older to cure bed-wetting.

How to use imipramine

Imipramine is commercially available in two different forms - tablet and capsule, and it is always taken orally. When treating depression, imipramine capsules or tablets are taken once or more times daily, with food or without it. However, when you are using this drug to cure bed-wetting in kids, the dosage is taking one tablet or capsule prior to bedtime. Nevertheless, the dosage for children wetting bed during the afternoon is one tablet/ capsule during the middle of afternoon and the other dose before bedtime. Imipramine ought to be taken at identical time(s) daily to ensure that the level of this drug always remains same in your bloodstream. Also take the medicament precisely according to your physicianís directions. Abide by the instructions in the prescription label strictly, and if you fail to comprehend anything or have any query, seek your physician or pharmacistís help. Never take this tricyclic medicament in excessive or lesser dosage or use it more frequently than what your physician has prescribed.

Usually, your physician will prescribe a low dose of imipramine when you begin treatment with this antidepressant medication and increase the dosage gradually.

The complete benefits of taking imipramine are not evident immediately, but it may perhaps take about one to three weeks to experience the advantages of taking this medicament. You need to continue taking this drug even when you start feeling better after a few weeks of therapy. It is advisable that you should not discontinue imipramine without consulting your physician. Prior to discontinuing this medicament, your physician will possibly decrease the dosage of imipramine gradually.

How imipramine works

Imipramine works by affecting the neurotransmitter levels within the brain, especially norepinephrine and serotonin, which are believed to be associated with emotions, mood and the mental condition of a person.

Side effects

Serious:
  • blurred or altered vision
  • breathing difficulty
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • difficult urination
  • difficulty swallowing or speaking
  • dilated pupils
  • extreme fatigue or drowsiness
  • eye pain
  • fainting
  • fever
  • hallucinations
  • heartbeat irregularities
  • impaired concentration
  • loss of coordination and balance
  • restlessness
  • seizures
  • shaking
  • shuffling gait
  • stiffness in the extremities
  • trembling
  • weakness
Common:
Less common:

Possible interactions

Herbal medicines or minerals:
As St. Johnís wort and the antidepressant medicament imipramine both work to enhance the serotonin levels in the brain, it is not advisable to use these in conjunction. Moreover, St. Johnís wort may possibly also result in enhanced photosensitivity and, therefore, never combine these two products. As ginseng may also partially act like MAO inhibitor, you should never use this herb in conjunction with imipramine.
Foods:
When you are using imipramine you may be required to restrict your food consumption with a view to put off too much weight gain. On the other hand, people who are using vitamin C in big dosages (for instance, in excess of two grams every day) are likely to need an elevated dose of imipramine.
Alcohol:
Consumption of alcoholic beverages or taking it in any different form is strictly prohibited for patients taking imipramine. This medicament has the ability to significantly enhance alcoholís inebriating effects. In addition, using imipramine in conjunction with alcohol may considerably slow down the functioning of the brain.
Tobacco smoking:
Smoking tobacco while undergoing therapy with imipramine may possibly hasten the removal of the drug from the body, necessitating additional doses for the patient.
Marijuana smoking:
Smoking marijuana while taking imipramine may result in augmented drowsiness as well as dryness of mouth. In addition, marijuana may also reduce the efficacy of this drug and also increase the pace of the heart excessively.
Exposure to heat:
The tricyclic antidepressant medicament imipramine possesses the aptitude to reduce perspiration and also damage the bodyís ability to get used to searing environments, thereby enhancing the chances of having a heatstroke. People taking this medicament should keep away from saunas.
Exposure to cold:
Elderly patients being treated with imipramine should be careful and keep away from conditions that may contribute to developing hypothermia.
Exposure to sun:
If you are taking imipramine, you ought to exercise precaution till you become sure of the medicationís effect on you - especially making you sensitive to sunlight. As the use of this drug may possibly result in photosensitivity, you should take care to avoid coming in contact with sunlight needlessly as well as for a protracted period. In addition, you should never forget to wear protecting garments and use sunscreen when you have to go outdoors in the sun.
Exposure to environmental chemicals:
People using imipramine should take care to avoid coming in contact with environmental chemicals, as this drug has the aptitude to conceal the symptoms related to poisoning caused owing to handling specific insecticides, particularly those of the organophosphorus type.

Discontinuation

Do not stop taking imipramine suddenly, especially after using it for a long period. You need to decrease the dose of this drug slowly through three to four weeks before discontinuing it. Discontinuing this medicament abruptly may result in various unpleasant effects, including headache, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, melancholy, vivid dreams and even unsound sleep. When you discontinue taking imipramine, you will also require adjusting the dosages of all additional medications you have been taking alongside.

Storage instructions

Imipramine should be kept in the container/ package the medicament came in. Seal the container firmly and place it somewhere beyond the accessibility of children. It is important to keep imipramine at ordinary room temperature and in a place away from extreme heat as well as dampness. Never store this medicament in your bathroom. All outdated medications as well as those no more required should be disposed of properly and safely. If necessary, you may consult your pharmacist regarding the appropriate manner to discard such products.

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