Imipramine and Weight Gain
Certain side effects may develop with the use of imipramine, and weight gain appears to be one of them. If you are taking imipramine and weight gain occurs, talk with your healthcare provider. He or she may suggest certain lifestyle changes -- such as eating heart-healthy foods, exercising more, and limiting your alcohol intake. If the weight gain continues, he or she may also recommend other lifestyle changes or prescribe a different antidepressant.
There are a number of possible side effects with imipramine hydrochloride (Tofranil®) and imipramine pamoate (Tofranil PM®). Weight gain does appear to be one of them. This data comes from clinical trials that extensively studied imipramine and documented its side effects.
Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies in which thousands of people are given a particular medicine and are then compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, side effects are always carefully documented. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, both weight gain and weight loss were reported as imipramine side effects, though the exact percentages were not reported. Therefore, it is difficult to say whether weight gain is caused by imipramine, other factors, or a combination of both.
If you are taking imipramine and weight gain becomes bothersome, talk with your healthcare provider. He or she will perform a physical exam and ask a number of questions to see if other medical conditions could be causing unexplained weight gain. If the weight gain remains unexplained, your healthcare provider may give you some lifestyle suggestions, such as eating heart-healthy foods, exercising more, and limiting your intake of alcohol. If the weight gain continues, he or she may also recommend other lifestyle changes or possibly switching to another depression medication.
(Click BMI Calculator to see if your weight is within a healthy range.)