Generic Name: Imipramine (im-IP-ra-meen)

Drug Class: Antidepressant, Tricyclic

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Tofranil (imipramine) is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) used for treatment of various forms of depression. It increases the activity of certain chemicals in the brain that help elevate mood. Your doctor may prescribe this medicine for other conditions as well.

It is important for family and caregivers to closely watch patients who take imipramine.

Tofranil is also used to treat nighttime bed-wedding in children, along with other therapies. It is not approved for use in all children.

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

It works by helping change certain chemicals in the brain, which professionals refer to as “neurotransmitters.” It is not yet well-understood why changing these neurochemicals results in symptom relief for the conditions this drug is commonly prescribed for.

How to Take It

Take this medicine as directed. This medicine is taken orally and can be taken with or without food. Do not stop taking this medicine abruptly without consulting with your doctor.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • changes in weight, weight gain
  • dry mouth
  • dilated pupils
  • blurred vision
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • dizziness

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • hearing loss
  • painful or difficult urination
  • abdominal or stomach pain
  • lack of coordination
  • clay-colored stools
  • restlessness
  • seizures
  • facial swelling
  • nightmares
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • difficulty sleeping

Warnings & Precautions

  • DO NOT use this medication if you have taken monoamine oxidase inhibitor in the last two weeks.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly if you are taking this medication and have diabetes. Tell your doctor if you are excessively thirsty or hungry, and experience shakiness or unusual sweating.
  • DO NOT use this medication if you have narrow angle glaucoma.
  • DO NOT use this medication if you are recovering from a recent heart attack.
  • Elderly patients may find they become dizzy following use of this medication.
  • Sun sensitivity may be higher for those on this medication. Do not stay in the sun for too long, or use sunlamps or tanning booths. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
  • This medicine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Alcoholic beverages can increase the side effects of this medicine and should be avoided.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non-emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Possible drug interactions may occur with this medicine and phenobarbital as well as MAO inhibitors (severe).

Dosage & Missed Dose

Generic imipramine is available as a tablet.

Tofranil is available in tablet form in 10 mg, 25 mg, and 50 mg strengths. There is also an injection available.

Tofranil-PM tablets are available in 75 mg, 100 mg, 125 mg, and 150 mg strengths.

Imipramine dosage varies based on the condition that is being treated.

If you miss a dose, take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


During pregnancy, this medication should be used only if absolutely necessary. Infants may be born with problems, including seizures, trouble urinating, prolonged sleepiness, or shaking. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Do not stop taking this medication unless directed by your doctor. If you become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately so you can discuss the benefits and risks of using this medication during pregnancy.

Tofranil passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider, or you can visit this website, for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.


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