IRFANA PARVEEN
By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

24 November 2021
Medically reviewed by
Sumayya Salam
Pharm D
How Long Does Imipramine Stay In Your System?
Table of Contents

Imipramine is an antidepressant medication sold under the brand name Tofranil. It comes under a class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. It is used to treat depression and bedwetting in children under six. It is available as tablets and oral liquid medicine. You can also purchase Tofranil from a certified online pharmacy, but getting a doctor's prescription is recommended first.

Imipramine treats depression by increasing the number of natural neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, in the brain, which is needed to maintain mental balance. You should always only take the amount of Imipramine prescribed by your doctor.

If you miss a dose, take the medication as soon as you remember. If it's time for your next dose, skip the missed dose, and continue your regular dosing schedule.

Note:  Taking Antidepressants showed an increased risk compared to a placebo of suicidal thoughts in patients, especially adolescents, children, and young adults in studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders.

How Imipramine Affects the Body and Brain

Imipramine can balance neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters regulate the transmission of nerve impulses between cells. The correct balance of neurotransmitters results in mental well-being. Imipramine increases the concentration of specific neurotransmitters, serotonin, and norepinephrine. It also blocks the action of acetylcholine. 

This drug is not always immediate when you start taking Tofranil. Usually, benefits are not evident until two to three weeks after beginning treatment.

How Long Does Imipramine Stay In Your System?

The average half-life of Imipramine is around 19 hours. Half-life refers to the time your body takes to reduce the medication in your blood by 50 percent. Usually, about 80% of Imipramine is removed through urine, and the rest 20% through feces. The duration time of Imipramine depends on several factors, such as age, metabolism, frequency, and more. Since every

person's body functions differently, the time taken to eliminate Imipramine from your body might vary. Different types are available to determine how long Imipramine stays in your body. The average time Imipramine stays in your urine, blood, and hair is,

  • Urine: Imipramine can be found in your urine for around 3-4 days.
  • Blood: Imipramine can be found in your blood for up to 24 hours.
  • Hair: Imipramine can be detected in the hair follicles for approximately 90 days.

Factors That Influence The Stay Of Imipramine

Age: an individual's age influences how long a drug stays in their system. A younger person's organs and metabolism are better than his older peers. Meaning, the patient, is young, it will take less time for Imipramine to leave the system than the older patients.

Body (height/weight/ fat): the amount of Imipramine your doctor prescribes depends on your height, weight, and fats. Taking more than the recommended dosage will extend the time taken to eliminate the drug.

Genetics: genetic factors can also influence how long Imipramine stays in your body and affect the reaction of Imipramine in the body.

Kidney and liver functions: your liver and kidney are responsible for processing and eliminating everything you put into your mouth. If your liver or kidney is damaged, then, in turn, it will take a longer time for you to eliminate the drug.

Metabolism: the faster your rate of metabolism, the quicker it will take for you to process foods, liquids, and medication, including Imipramine. Thus if you have a slow metabolism rate, it will take longer to get rid of the drug.

Usage frequency: the frequency at which you have been using Imipramine also defines how long it will take to get rid of the drug. If you take Imipramine at high dosages frequently, it will stay in your system for longer and vice versa.

Possible Side Effects

Common Side Effects Severe Side Effects
Nausea Stomach pain
Drowsiness Nervousness
Constipation Sleep issues, such as trouble sleeping and nightmares
Blurred vision Nausea
Dizziness Vomiting
Diarrhea Tiredness
Trouble urinating Stomach cramps
Loss of appetite Diarrhea

These side effects might go away within a few days or weeks if they are mild. While using Imipramine, you might develop suicidal thoughts if you are under 24 years. Contact your doctor or concerned medical professional regarding abnormal

ideas if you have any severe side effects, such as: 

  • Blistering or bleeding easily
  • Vision Speech or balance issues
  • Unexpected numbness or weakness
  • Unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum),
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • New or worsening chest discomfort
  • Dizziness
  • Pounding heartbeats or fluttering in the chest

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Imipramine is an antidepressant drug used to treat depression and bedwetting in children. The average half-life of Imipramine is 19 hours. The time for which Imipramine stays in your body varies from person to person Many factors like age, body composition, metabolism rate, frequency of the drug, etc., influence the stay of Imipramine.

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  • Saraf, K.R., Klein, D.F., Gittelman-Klein, R. et al. Imipramine side effects in children. Psychopharmacologia 37, 265–274 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00421540 Obtain On 25/11/2022
  • Sindrup, Søren Hein, et al. "Venlafaxine versus imipramine in painful polyneuropathy: a randomized, controlled trial." Neurology 60.8 (2003): 1284-1289. https://doi.org/10.1212/01.WNL.0000058749.49264.BD Obtain On 25/11/2022
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