Clomipramine is used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It helps decrease persistent/unwanted thoughts (obsessions), and it helps reduce the urge to perform repeated tasks (compulsions such as hand-washing, counting, checking) that interfere with daily living.
This medication belongs to a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (serotonin, among others) in the brain.
Antidepressant medications are used to treat a variety of conditions, including depression and other mental/mood disorders. These medications can help prevent suicidal thoughts/attempts and provide other important benefits. However, studies have shown that a small number of people (especially people younger than 25) who take antidepressants for any condition may experience worsening depression, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts. Therefore, it is very important to talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of antidepressant medication (especially for people younger than 25), even if treatment is not for a mental/mood condition.
Tell the doctor right away if you notice worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). Be especially watchful for these symptoms when a new antidepressant is started or when the dose is changed.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used for depression, panic attacks, or ongoing pain.
How to Use This Medication
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking clomipramine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. To lessen side effects such as stomach upset, clomipramine may be started at a low dose, given in several doses during the day with meals, and slowly increased as your body gets used to it. After you have reached the best dose for you, the total dose can be taken once daily, usually at bedtime to prevent daytime drowsiness or as directed by your doctor.
Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Do not take more or less medication or take it more frequently than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster and your risk of side effects such as seizures may be increased. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while being treated with this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Grapefruit can increase the amount of certain medications in your bloodstream. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Continue to take it even if you feel well. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day.
Do not suddenly stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is abruptly stopped. You may experience sweating, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache, or irritability if you suddenly stop taking this drug. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
It may take 2 to 3 weeks or longer before the full effects of this medication are noticed. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or if it worsens.