Anafranil has been approved for use in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults, teenagers, and children. It is not entirely clear as to how the medication works, but it is known that Anafranil affects several chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and norepinephrine. It is thought that Anafranil allows these chemicals to stay in the brain longer, which can help alleviate the symptoms of OCD. There are currently several off-label Anafranil uses, such as treating autism, chronic pain, and depression.
An Overview of Anafranil UsesAnafranil® (clomipramine hydrochloride) has been licensed for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults, teens, and children.
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) suffer intensely from recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or rituals (compulsions) that they feel they cannot control. Rituals such as hand washing, counting, checking something, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these rituals, however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them greatly increases anxiety. The exact cause or causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder are not fully known at this time.
Anafranil is approved for OCD treatment in children, teens, and adults. Although antidepressants, such as Anafranil, are effective for treating the symptoms of OCD, behavior therapy for OCD is often used along with medications. Ask your healthcare provider about behavior therapy for OCD.
How Anafranil Works for OCDAnafranil belongs to a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It is not entirely clear how Anafranil works. However, it is known that Anafranil does affect several chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and norepinephrine. It is thought that maybe Anafranil allows these chemicals to stay in the brain longer, which can help with symptoms of OCD.
Even though Anafranil is classified as a tricyclic antidepressant (due the chemical structure of the molecule), it actually acts much like a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). SSRIs are a newer group of antidepressant medications, and many people consider Anafranil to be an SSRI, even though it is technically a tricyclic antidepressant.