Imipramine belongs to a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It is not entirely clear how the drug works. It does affect several chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and norepinephrine. It is thought that perhaps imipramine allows these chemicals to stay in the brain longer, which can help with symptoms of depression.
The medication likely works in several ways to help with bedwetting. One of the side effects of tricyclic antidepressants is relaxation of the bladder muscles (which keeps the bladder from contracting forcefully). In adults, this can be a bothersome side effect that makes it difficult to urinate. However, it can also help children make it through the night without bedwetting. Imipramine may also have effects on the brain, hormones, and the sleep cycle (which may also help with bedwetting).
Considerations for when and how to take imipramine include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form. When used for depression, it is usually taken by mouth one to four times daily. When used for bedwetting, it is usually taken one hour before bedtime.
- You can take the medication with or without food. If imipramine upsets your stomach, try taking it with food.
- The drug should be taken at the same time(s) each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- For the medicine to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. Imipramine will not work if you stop taking it.
The dose of imipramine that your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- Your age
- The condition being treated
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you may currently be taking.
As with any medication, do not adjust your imipramine dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
(Click Imipramine Hydrochloride Dosing for more information.)