Compare Tofranil vs. Remeron

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

Tofranil
(imipramine hydrochloride)

Remeron
(mirtazapine)

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. Remeron (Mirtazapine) is okay for treating depression and good for sleep. More likely to cause weight gain than any other antidepressant.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Remeron
45%
-45% worse vs. Tofranil
39%
-39% worse vs. Tofranil
26%
+26% better vs. Tofranil
152 reviews
Have you used Remeron (mirtazapine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
TofranilRemeron

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

More about Tofranil side effects »
  • Drowsiness 36%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Increased appetite 15%
  • Constipation 6%
  • Weight gain 10%
  • Muscle weakness 3%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Flu syndrome 2%
  • Abnormal dreams 3%
  • Thinking abnormal 2%
More Remeron side effects »
How it works
TofranilRemeron
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.Remeron (Mirtazapine) is an atypical antidepressant. It stimulates your body to make certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which regulate mood.
Type of medication
TofranilRemeron
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
TofranilRemeron
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for
TofranilRemeron
Risk factors for serious side effects
TofranilRemeron
  • 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
  • History of heart problems
  • History of liver problems
  • Higher dose
Detailed Remeron (mirtazapine) 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
TofranilRemeron
  • Don't drink alcohol while taking Tofranil (imipramine hydrochloride).
No alcohol related info.
Sleep
TofranilRemeron
  • 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
TofranilRemeron
  • 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).
  • Remeron (Mirtazapine) can increase appetite and cause you to gain weight.
  • Can increase appetite and weight.
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
Upsides and benefits
TofranilRemeron
  • 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 some depression symptoms.
  • Starts to work more quickly than most antidepressants.
  • Might be a good option for people who have insomnia with their depression, because it can make you very sleepy.
  • Good option for people who are underweight or frail, because it can help you gain weight.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides and risks
TofranilRemeron
  • 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.
  • Not as effective as other medications for depression.
  • More sedating than other antidepressants.
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
  • Like most antidepressants, can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
  • 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
TofranilRemeron
  • 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.
  • Makes you sleepy. Take at bedtime.
  • Can increase appetite and weight.
  • Takes 8 to 12 weeks to see full effects on mood.
  • Stop taking slowly to avoid 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)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about RemeronSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Remeron (mirtazapine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it