Imipramine: Uses & Side Effects

Imipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant. Imipramine affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression.

Imipramine is used to treat symptoms of depression. Imipramine is sometimes used to treat bed-wetting in children ages 6 and older.

How should I take imipramine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use imipramine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using imipramine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

It may take up to 3 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

You should not stop using imipramine suddenly. Follow your doctor’s instructions about tapering your dose.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

Precautions

You should not use imipramine if you are allergic to it, or if:

  • you recently had a heart attack;
  • you are allergic to other antidepressants (amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine, desipramine, doxepin, nortriptyline, protriptyline, or trimipramine).

Do not use imipramine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

To make sure imipramine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, a history of heart attack, stroke, or seizures;
  • bipolar disorder (manic-depression), schizophrenia or other mental illness;
  • kidney or liver disease;
  • overactive thyroid, adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma);
  • diabetes (imipramine may raise or lower blood sugar);
  • narrow-angle glaucoma;
  • problems with urination;
  • a condition for which you are being treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Imipramine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. Imipramine is not approved to treat depression in anyone younger than 18 years old. Imipramine should not be used to treat bed-wetting in a child younger than 6 years old.

Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • new or worsening chest pain, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • fever, sore throat;
  • confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • painful or difficult urination;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • tingly feeling, weakness, lack of coordination;
  • dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea;
  • vision changes, ringing in your ears;
  • breast swelling (in men or women);
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.

Interactions

Taking imipramine with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking imipramine with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Many drugs can interact with imipramine. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • any other antidepressant;
  • cimetidine (Tagamet);
  • clonidine;
  • guanethidine;
  • bladder or urinary medicines such as darifenacin, fesoterodine, oxybutynin, tolterodine, solifenacin;
  • bronchodilators such as aclidinium, ipratropium, tiotropium, or umeclidinium;
  • cold or allergy medicine;
  • diet pills, stimulants, ADHD medication (such as Ritalin or Adderall);
  • medication for Parkinson’s disease;
  • medication to treat excess stomach acid, stomach ulcer, motion sickness, or irritable bowel syndrome;
  • seizure medicine such as phenytoin or phenobarbital.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Keyword: imipramine.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.