Also Known As: Clomipramine, Anafranil
Clomipramine (Anafranil) is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). It was developed in the 1960s by the Swiss drug manufacturer Geigy (now known as Novartis) and has been in clinical use worldwide ever since.
Clomipramine had been used experimentally to reduce relapses in cocaine addicts, and to repair neurotransmitter damage caused by cocaine; however, further studies are needed in this area. Clomipramine has also been used experimentally to treat dogs with severe anxiety disorders (separation anxiety, etc.), OCD, or cognitive dysfunction syndrome.
It may take two to three weeks before the full effects of this medication are noticed in most indications and two months or more in OCD.
In a trial involving four SSRIs to test their relative efficacies in treating OCD, clomipramine proved to be the most effective.
Along with SSRIs, clomipramine is a frequently prescribed drug for the treatment of OCD. As is typical with the older tricyclic antidepressants (the tertiary amines), it has more side effects than SSRIs, so some authorities regard it as a second-line treatment to be used if treatment with SSRIs fails. However, disregarding side effects, it may be slightly more effective in combating the symptoms of OCD. It is not commonly used for treating depression, and usually another tricyclic (or drug from a different class) would be used. Clomipramine and the SSRIs (specifically paroxetine) have also been used to treat premature ejaculation.