Tofranil FAQ

Tofranil is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) drug, available only through prescription from a health care provider. TCAs have been around for several decades and are most commonly used to treat symptoms of anxiety, depression, and certain types of pain. Tofranil works by increasing concentrations of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain – both chemicals responsible for the positive or negative alteration of mood in a person.

Originally prescribed to help people battle depression, TCAs are often prescribed for other off-label conditions, including those associated with nerve pain (such as shingles, or diabetic neuropathy), phantom limb pain, and panic disorder. In the case of Tofranil, it is used primarily to treat depression, but it is also used to prevent bedwetting in children. How it works to prevent bedwetting is not known.

Tricyclic antidepressants like Tofranil are not considered to be physically addictive, though a dependency on them can be formed. This occurs as a better sense of well-being is achieved when using the drug and an individual wants to further enhance that feeling. If they choose to self-regulate their medication (upping their dosage or taking it more often that prescribed), a “high” similar to that seen with narcotic drugs won’t be achieved, but instead a tolerance will build up. With a higher tolerance often comes a dependency, heightened by the fear of returning to an emotional state that is uncomfortable if the drug is stopped. This dependency is then really a psychological addiction.

If you suspect you may have developed an addiction to Tofranil and want to learn more, our frequently asked questions can help, or you can contact us at our toll-free hotline.