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Tofranil Uses for Bedwetting

Bedwetting, known medically as enuresis, is a common problem, especially in younger children. It can be embarrassing and frustrating, and it is important to remember that the condition can be due to several different causes. Often, the child's muscle or nervous system develops more slowly, which makes it difficult or impossible to control the bladder. Sometimes, the bladder fills up too quickly during the night (for various reasons). Some children have trouble waking up and recognizing a full bladder. Occasionally, bedwetting can be due to anxiety or stress in the child's life.
While most children will grow out of bedwetting, sometimes, it does not go away on its own. Fortunately, many different treatment options are available. There are several different alarm systems (which go off at the first signs of moisture), bladder training (exercises and techniques to help the child with bedwetting), and medications. One of the medications approved to treat bedwetting in children is Tofranil. However, this is not a cure for bedwetting; it often returns once the medication is stopped.

How Tofranil Works

Tofranil belongs to a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It is not entirely clear how the medication works. It does, however, affect several chemicals in the brain (including serotonin and norepinephrine). It is thought that perhaps Tofranil allows these chemicals to stay in the brain longer, which can help with symptoms of depression.
Tofranil probably 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 many adults, this is a bothersome side effect that makes it difficult to urinate. However, it can also help children make it through the night without bedwetting. Tofranil may also have effects on the brain, hormones, and the sleep cycle (which may help with bedwetting).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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