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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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Is Anafranil safe owing to harmful side effects?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 2844 Questions
Hello, I've just recently started taking Anafranil and seeing all these side effects really scared me. I guess they have to put them there. it doesn't necessarily mean I'll have them right?
Fri, 18 May 2018 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Anafranil is an older antidepressant medication (used for other things too) and there are two reasons there are a lot of side effects listed. When a medication has been around a long time, we know more about it and it's side effects. The other reason is that the older antidepressants, for some people, do pose more side effects than some of the newer ones. Anafranil is an antidepressant in the family of TCA, tricyclic antidepressants. These have more cholinergic system effects than newer ones.

The older TCA drugs can be very effective. But with starting any antidepressant, I follow the rule "Start low and go slow" meaning for tolerability, especially if a person has a history of being more sensitive to medications or for discontinuing a medication because of side effects, to start with a smaller dose and then when that is tolerated, in a couple of weeks or more, increasing the dose. It can take longer for the effects to start to be therapeutic that way, but it gives the body time to adjust and minimizes side effects.

Not all people have side effects from medications and when they do occur, they may not be intolerable. Most side effects occur in the first few weeks of starting a medication, but if you are finding you are having concerning side effects, call your doctor as he or she may want to cut the dose.

I hope this information helps. And I hope you are able to tolerate this medication well.

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