Generic Drug Name: Clomipramine
Other Common Names: Anafranil
Clomipramine is used to treat a wide variety of behavioral problems in cats and dogs, including generalized anxiety, phobias, compulsive disorders, and separation anxiety. It works by inhibiting the uptake of serotonin at nerve terminals in the brain.
Long-term use in cats appears to effectively reduce or eliminate urine-spraying.
Adverse side effects include sedation, reduced appetite, rapid heart rate, weight gain, and dry mouth. In cats, weight gain and sedation are the most common side effects. Urine retention is another side effect, although this side effect is used in a positive way to reduce urine marking.
Clomipramine should be used cautiously in patients with heart disease, since this medication can increase the heart rate. It should not be used in conjunction with other behavior-modifying drugs, such as other serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as amitraz and selegiline, should also be avoided while using clomipramine.
Clomipramine should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Overdoses can produce life-threatening cardio-toxicity, and if overdose occurs, a poison control center should be called immediately.
Clomipramine should be stored at room temperature and protected from moisture in a tightly sealed container.
Clomipramine is available in 20mg, 40mg, and 80mg tablets for veterinary use. It has also been successfully compounded into a tuna-flavored solution for cats.
A typical dose range for dogs is 1-3 mg/kg per day or every 12 hours by mouth. The initiating dose should be increased every 14 days. When beginning treatment, the patient will start with a lower dose and gradually increase the dosage until positive effects are noticed. There may be a two to four week delay after initiation of therapy before visible beneficial effects become noticeable. To treat territorial urine marking in cats, a typical dose range is 0.5mg/kg by mouth every 12-24 hours with a gradual increase.
Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.