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Frequently Asked Questions
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.
Nortriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that is used to treat symptoms of depression.
Nortriptyline may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medicine if:
- you are allergic to nortriptyline or similar medicines (amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine, desipramine, doxepin, imipramine, protriptyline, trimipramine);
- you are allergic to certain seizure medications (carbamazepine, eslicarbazepine, oxcarbazepine, rufinamide); or
- you recently had a heart attack.
Do not use nortriptyline if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, and others.
Tell your doctor if you have used an "SSRI" antidepressant in the past 5 weeks, such as citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone, or vilazodone.
Tell your doctor if you also take stimulant medicine, opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. An interaction with nortriptyline could cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- unexplained fainting spells;
- a genetic heart condition called Brugada syndrome;
- a family history of unexplained death at younger than 45 years old;
- heart disease;
- a heart attack or stroke;
- a seizure;
- bipolar disorder (manic-depression);
- schizophrenia or other mental illness;
- a thyroid disorder;
- problems with urination;
- narrow-angle glaucoma; or
- if you are receiving electroshock treatment.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Measure liquid medicine with the supplied syringe or a dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Tell your doctor if you have a planned surgery.
You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop using nortriptyline suddenly. Ask your doctor before stopping the medicine.
Your symptoms may not improve for a few weeks.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms may include irregular heartbeats, severe drowsiness, vision problems, confusion, hallucinations, agitation, stiff muscles, overactive reflexes, vomiting, feeling hot or cold, feeling like you might pass out, seizures, or coma.
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.
Nortriptyline could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
- restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- seizure (convulsions);
- new or worsening chest pain, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
- sudden numbness or weakness, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- fever, sore throat, easy bruising, unusual bleeding;
- painful or difficult urination; or
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Common side effects may include:
- increased blood pressure;
- numbness or tingling in your hands or feet;
- dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
- blurred vision;
- rash, itching; or
- breast swelling (in men or women).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Using nortriptyline with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
- medicine to treat depression, anxiety, mood disorders, or mental illness;
- cold or allergy medicine (Benadryl, Sudafed, and others);
- a stimulant medicine, such as diet pills or ADHD medicine;
- medicine to treat Parkinson's disease;
- medicine to treat stomach problems, motion sickness, or irritable bowel syndrome;
- medicine to treat overactive bladder; or
- bronchodilator asthma medication.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect nortriptyline, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Your pharmacist can provide more information about nortriptyline.
|Brand Name Examples||Supplied As||Strength|
|Pamelor||capsule||10 mg25 mg50 mg75 mg|
|Generic Examples||Supplied As||Strength|
|Nortriptyline Hydrochloride||solution||10 mg/5 mL|
|capsule||10 mg25 mg50 mg75 mg|