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.
How to use Clomipramine HCL
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. Keep taking 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.
Dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, changes in appetite/weight, flushing, sweating, tiredness and blurred vision may occur. Anxiety symptoms may temporarily worsen when you first start taking clomipramine. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To relieve dry mouth, suck on (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water or use a saliva substitute.
To prevent constipation, eat dietary fiber, drink enough water, and exercise. You may also need to take a laxative. Ask your pharmacist which type of laxative is right for you.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, depression, memory problems), enlarged/painful breasts, unwanted breast milk production, irregular/painful menstrual periods, muscle stiffness, ringing in the ears, sexual problems (e.g., decreased sexual ability, changes in desire), shakiness (tremors), numbness/tingling of the hands/feet, trouble urinating, easy bruising/bleeding, unusual/uncontrolled movements (especially of the tongue/face/lips), severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing of eyes/skin.
This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take. Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: black stools, chest pain, fainting, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, seizures, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, eye pain/swelling/redness, widened pupils, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: fever, swollen lymph nodes, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.