GENERIC NAME: clomipramine
BRAND NAME: Anafranil
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Clomipramine (Anafranil) is a psychotropic agent used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Clomipramine shares structural similarities with a class of antidepressants known as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).
The exact mechanism by which clomipramine exerts its therapeutic benefits is not fully understood. However, similar to other TCAs, clomipramine is thought to enhance the actions of norepinephrine and serotonin (chemical neurotransmitters in the brain that nerves use to communicate with one another) by blocking their reuptake and prolonging their activity. Clomipramine also has anticholinergic properties which means it blocks the action of another neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. This increases the risk for certain side effects. It also has weak antihistamine properties which appear to play a role in the mild sedative effects observed with use. Clomipramine was approved by the US FDA for the treatment of OCD in 1991.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Clomipramine is used for treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects associated with the use of clomipramine include:
- upset stomach,
- dry mouth,
- sexual dysfunction,
- weight gain,
- low blood pressure,
- respiratory problems, and
- visual changes.
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