clomipramine (Anafranil)

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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).

Although not approved by the FDA for these indications, clomipramine is used off-label for the treatment of major depression, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and premature ejaculation.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/10/2014



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