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Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Tofranil, Tofranil-PM
Pharmacologic ClassificationsAntidepressant, Tricyclic
- Blackbox Warning
- Proper Use
- Missed Dose
- Use & Storage
- Before Using
- Breast Feeding
- Drug Interactions
- Other Interactions
- Other Medical Problems
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Imipramine is used to treat depression. It belongs to a group of medicines known as tricyclic antidepressants (TCA). These medicines are thought to work by increasing the activity of a chemical called serotonin in the brain.
Imipramine tablets are also used to treat enuresis (bedwetting) in children.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor to benefit your condition as much as possible. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
This medicine comes with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (capsules):
- For depression:
- Adults—At first, 75 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 200 mg per day, unless you are in the hospital. Some hospitalized patients may need higher doses.
- Teenagers and older adults—At first, 25 to 50 mg per day using the tablets. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed and switch you to the capsule form. However, the dose is usually not more than 100 mg per day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For depression:
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For depression:
- Adults—At first, 75 milligrams (mg) per day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However the dose is usually not more than 200 mg per day. Some hospitalized patients may need higher doses.
- Teenagers and older adults—30 to 40 mg per day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 100 mg per day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For enuresis (bedwetting):
- Children 6 years of age and older—At first, 25 milligrams (mg) once a day, taken 1 hour before bedtime. Your doctor may adjust the dose as needed.
- Children younger than 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For depression:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Use & StorageTOP
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of imipramine capsules to treat depression in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of imipramine tablets in children with enuresis (bedwetting) younger than 6 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of imipramine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving imipramine.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Methylene Blue
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Amtolmetin Guacil
- Aripiprazole Lauroxil
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Chloral Hydrate
- Choline Salicylate
- Flufenamic Acid
- Glycopyrronium Tosylate
- Inotuzumab Ozogamicin
- Iobenguane I 123
- Iobenguane I 131
- Mefenamic Acid
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Niflumic Acid
- Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
- Peginterferon Alfa-2b
- Salicylic Acid
- Secretin Human
- Sodium Phosphate
- Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
- Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
- Sodium Salicylate
- Tiaprofenic Acid
- Tolfenamic Acid
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical ProblemsTOP
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Bipolar disorder (mood disorder with mania and depression), or risk of or
- Diabetes or
- Glaucoma (angle-closure type), or
- Heart or blood vessel disease or
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or
- Mania, history of or
- Schizophrenia (mental illness) or
- Seizures, history of or
- Urinary retention (trouble urinating), history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Heart attack, recent—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to allow for changes in your dose and to check for any unwanted effects. Blood tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects. Check with your doctor right away if you start having a fever or sore throat while taking this medicine.
Do not take imipramine with a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, isocarboxazid [Marplan®], linezolid [Zyvox®], methylene blue injection, phenelzine [Nardil®], selegiline [Eldepryl®, or tranylcypromine [Parnate®]). Do not start taking imipramine during the 2 weeks after you stop a MAO inhibitor and wait 2 weeks after stopping imipramine before you start taking a MAO inhibitor. If you do take them together or do not wait 2 weeks, you may develop confusion, agitation, restlessness, stomach or intestinal symptoms, a sudden high body temperature, an extremely high blood pressure, or severe convulsions.
Imipramine may cause some teenagers and young adults to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. Some people may have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. If you, your child, or your caregiver notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor or your child's doctor right away. Let the doctor know if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
Imipramine may cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome if taken together with some medicines. Do not use imipramine with buspirone (Buspar®), fentanyl (Abstral®, Duragesic®), lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), methylene blue injection, tryptophan, St. John's wort, or some pain or migraine medicines (eg, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, tramadol, Frova®, Imitrex®, Maxalt®, Relpax®, Ultram®, Zomig®). Check with your doctor first before taking any other medicines with imipramine.
Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely. This will decrease the chance of having withdrawal symptoms such as agitation, breathing problems, chest pain, confusion, diarrhea, dizziness or lightheadedness, fast heartbeat, headache, increased sweating, muscle pain, nausea, restlessness, runny nose, trouble in sleeping, trembling or shaking, unusual tiredness or weakness, vision changes, or vomiting.
This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other central nervous system (CNS) depressants (medicines that cause drowsiness). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicines, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for seizures or barbiturates, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using this medicine.
Before having any kind of surgery, tell the medical doctor in charge that you are using this medicine. Taking imipramine together with medicines used during surgery may increase the risk of side effects.
This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests, or if you have any questions, check with your doctor.
This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
This medicine may cause some people to become drowsy or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are drowsy or not alert.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.