Generic name: Clomipramine hydrochloride.

Anafranil is a tricyclic antidepressant. It blocks the movement of certain stimulant chemicals in and out of nerve endings. 

Quick Facts About Anafranil


Used to treat obsessive and compulsive disorders.

Anafranil Dosage

Take with meals to avoid stomach upset, initially. Take exactly as prescribed. Do not stop taking abruptly to avoid withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, fever, general feeling of illness, headache, high fever, irritability or worsening emotional or mental problems, nausea, sleep problems, vomiting.

  • Usual adult dose: 25 milligrams per day, initially. Doctor may increase to 100 milligrams during the first 2 weeks. Maximum dose — 250 milligrams per day. After dose is determined, can take a single dose at bedtime.
  • Usual child dose: 25 milligrams per day, divided into smaller doses and taken with meals. Doctor may increase to maximum of 100 milligrams or 3 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight per day, whichever is smaller. Maximum dose — 200 milligrams or 3 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight, whichever is smaller. Once dose is determined, can be taken in a single dose at bedtime.
  • Missed dose: if you take 1 dose at bedtime, consult your doctor. Do not take missed dose in the morning. If you take 2 or more doses per day, take missed dose as soon as possible, unless almost time for next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose: go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Anafranil Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

early signs — agitation, coma, convulsions, delirium, drowsiness, grimacing, exaggerated reflexes, loss of coordination, restlessness, rigid muscles, staggering gait, stupor, sweating, twitching, writhing. Other signs — bluish skin color, dilatec pupils, excessive perspiration, fever, irregular heartbeat, little or no urine, low blood pressure, rapic heartbeat, shallow breathing, shock, vomiting. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention. Overdose can be fatal.

More common side effects: abdominal pain, abnormal dreaming, abnormal milk secretion, abnorma tearing, agitation, allergy, anxiety, appetite loss, back pain, chest pain, confusion, constipation, coughing, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, extreme sleepiness, failure to ejaculate, fast heartbeat, fatigue, fever, flushing, fluttery heartbeat, frequent urination, gas, headache, hot flushes, impotence, inability to concentrate, increased appetite, increasec sweating, indigestion, inflamed lining of the nose or sinuses, itching, joint pain, light-headedness upon standing up, memory problems, menstrual pain and disorders, middle ear infection (children), migraine, muscle pain or tension, nausea, nervousness, pain, rash, red or purple areas on the skin, ringing in the ears, sex-drive changes, sleeplessness, sleep disturbances, taste changes, tingling or pins and needles, tooth disorder, tremor, twitching, urinary problems, urinary tract infection, vision problems, vomiting, weight gain, weight loss (children), yawning.

Less common Anafranil side effects: abnormal skin odor (children), acne, aggression (children), eye allergy (children), anemia (children), bad breath (children), belching (children), breast enlargement, breast pain, chills, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), difficult or labored breathing (children), difficulty swallowing, difficulty or pain in urinating, dilated pupils, dry skin, emotional instability, eye twitching (children), fainting (children), hearing disorder (children), hives, irritability, lack of menstruation, loss of sense of identity, mouth inflammation (children), muscle weakness, nosebleed, panic, paralysis (children), skin inflammation, sore throat (children), stomach and intestinal problems, swelling due to fluid retention, thirst, unequal size of pupils of the eye (children), vaginal inflammation, weakness (children), wheezing, white or yellow vaginal discharge.


Never take with antidepressant (MAO inhibitors) such as Nardil or Parnate; can cause serious, even fatal reactions.

Inform your doctor before combining Anafranil with:

antispasmodic drugs such as Donnatal, Cogentin, and Bentyl; barbiturates such as Phenobarbital; certain blood pressure drugs such as Ismelin and Catapres-TTS; Cimetidine (Tagamet); Digoxin (Lanoxin); Fluoxetine (Prozac); Haloperidol (Haldol); Methylphenidate (Ritalin); major tranquilizers such as Thorazine; Phenytoin (Dilantin); thyroid medications such as Synthroid; tranquilizers such as Xanax and Valium; Warfarin (Coumadin).

Avoid alcohol while taking Anafranil. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform f your doctor immediately Should not be used during pregnancy unless absolutely necessary; babies born to women taking Anafranil sometimes experience withdrawal symptoms such as jitteriness, tremors, and seizure. Appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Follow doctor’s instructions carefully for children.

  • Can worsen narrow-angle glaucoma or urination difficulties. Use with caution if you have: kidney function that is not normal; recently had a heart attack; tumor of the adrenal gland.
  • May cause skin sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Inform your doctor or dentist before surgery involving anesthesia.
  • May cause seizure; take special precautions operating machinery or driving a car. Risk of seizure increased by: history of alcoholism, brain damage seizure, or if taking a medication that might cause seizures.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Anafranil side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.