Compare Tofranil vs. Prozac

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Tofranil
(imipramine hydrochloride)

Prozac
(fluoxetine)

Improves your mood and stops bedwetting in children. Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is one of the first choice medicines used to treat depression, but it can cause weight gain and sleepiness.Improves mood and helps you relax. Prozac (Fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, but may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Prozac
62%
-62% worse vs. Tofranil
40%
-40% worse vs. Tofranil
16%
+16% better vs. Tofranil
1319 reviews
Have you used Prozac (fluoxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
TofranilProzac

The Tofranil FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Tofranil side effects »
  • Nausea 13%
  • Headache 2%
  • Insomnia 18%
  • Nervousness 5%
  • Somnolence 7%
  • Anxiety 6%
  • Diarrhea 4%
  • Asthenia 5%
  • Anorexia 7%
  • Dizziness 3%
More Prozac side effects »
How it works
TofranilProzac
Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is a tricyclic antidepressant. It raises the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, 2 chemicals that are known to regulate mood. It's not known exactly how Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) treats bedwetting.Prozac (Fluoxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
TofranilProzac
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
TofranilProzac
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Liquid
Used for
TofranilProzac
Risk factors for serious side effects
TofranilProzac
  • Under age 24
  • History of heart disease
  • Overactive thyroid
  • High blood pressure
  • History of seizures
Detailed Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Prozac (Fluoxetine) suddenly
  • History of heart problems
  • History of liver problems
Detailed Prozac (fluoxetine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
TofranilProzac
  • Don't drink alcohol while taking Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride).
No alcohol related info.
Food
TofranilProzac
No food related info.
  • Take in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
Sex
TofranilProzac
No sex related info.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
Sleep
TofranilProzac
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) can make you feel sleepy, so don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
No sleep related info.
Weight
TofranilProzac
  • Compared to other medicines for depression, Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) can make you more likely to gain weight and have changes in blood sugar. If you have diabetes, your doctor might need to change the doses of your medications to make sure your blood sugar stays controlled. Talk to your doctor to see if you should take another medicine besides Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride).
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
TofranilProzac
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is part of the first choice of medicines used to treat depression.
  • Available in generic.
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is usually taken only once a day.
  • Available in 3 different strengths.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression and bulimia nervosa.
  • Causes less sleepiness than other antidepressants.
  • It's more energizing than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have low energy.
  • It has been used to treat depression for a long time, so there's a lot of information available about how it works and how safe it is.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides and risks
TofranilProzac
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) can lower your sex drive and cause more weight gain than other similar medicines for depression.
  • You might be more sensitive to the sun and have a higher risk for heat stroke while taking Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride).
  • If you have a history of heart conditions, your symptoms might get worse with Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride). Talk to your doctor to see if Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) is right for you.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Can increase feelings of anxiety or cause headaches during the first few weeks of taking it. These effects should go away over time.
  • More likely than other antidepressants to interact with other medications you're taking.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
TofranilProzac
  • You might need to take Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) for a few weeks before you notice any changes in your mood.
  • Don't drink alcohol while taking Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride).
  • If you miss your bedtime dose, skip it and take your regular dose the next evening. Don't take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.
  • You might be more sensitive to the sun while taking Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride). Make sure to drink plenty of liquids, wear sunscreen, or cover your skin if you'll be out in the sun.
  • Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) can make you feel sleepy, so don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Don't stop taking Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride) without talking to your doctor first.
  • Take in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
Learn more
More about TofranilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride)?
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More about ProzacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Prozac (fluoxetine)?
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