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General information
What should I know before taking this drug?
Adverse reactions
Additional information if any


Nortriptyline is pronounced as: nor TRIP ti leen

 Type: OTC / Prescription

Nortriptyline is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner. 
Nortriptyline belongs to the class of tricyclic anti depressants.  
  • Nortriptyline is used to treat depression. 
  • Nortriptyline is also used in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy to heal nerve pain and it also helps to quit smoking. 
  • Nortriptyline is also used in the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders.
  • Use nortriptyline as instructed on the label or as prescribed by the doctor. Do not take the drug in more or less amounts.
  • Nortriptyline can be taken with or without food.
  • Use of nortriptyline should not be stopped suddenly, as this may worsen your condition. If you want to discontinue it, start by slowly reducing your dosage. However, it is best to consult your doctor before you stop taking this medication. At times it is advised to continue with the medication even if you feel well.
  • Use Nortryptline carefully under constant medical supervision. During the treatment, consult your doctor frequently. Do not miss any appointments, as the doctor may change the dosage on the basis of your condition. 
  • Nortriptyline takes a few weeks to take full affect. In order to improve your condition, use the drug as long as directed by the physician.
Children: Safety and effectiveness is not confirmed in children in children. Nortriptyline should be used with extreme caution in children.
Older people: Nortriptyline should be cautiously used in opder people as they are more sensitive to adverse effects of it.
Pregnant women: Nortriptyline belongs to FDA pregnancy category C. This means that nortriptyline may harm an unborn baby if used during pregnancy but potential benefit may warrant use of the drug in pregnant woman despite potential risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.
Lactating women: It is not known whether nortriptyline passes into breast milk or if it could harm the baby. Do not take nortriptyline with out first talking to doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.
Other:  Use nortriptyline under strict medical supervision.
Before starting the treatment, inform your doctor if you have any medical history related to heart disease, glaucoma, asthma, liver problems and kidney problems. Also inform him of any personal or family medical history of any other mental/mood conditions as well as the list of substances you are allergic to.
In case if you have diabetes, inform your physician before hand as during nortriptyline treatment blood sugar levels may become uncontrolled.
Before any surgery, inform your doctor/dentist that you are using this medication.
As the drug causes dizziness and lightheadedness do not handle heavy machinery and do not drive during the treatment.

During the treatment, do not rise suddenly from sitting position as it may cause excess dizziness. Avoid activities that require alertness of mind.  

As the patient may experience different mental conditions during the treatment, it is advised that the family members keep the patient under constant care. This is because during the treatment the patient may develop suicidal tendency. 
Common side effects of nortriptyline include:
  • Dry mouth  
  • Blurred vision 
  • Headache, Drowsiness, Dizziness 
  • Constipation 
  • Nausea, Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach cramps
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Diarrhea
Store nortriptyline at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed off safely.
  • Nortriptyline is used for treating depression. However, in younger adults below 24 years of age, the drug may cause severe side effects like mental / mood changes, suicidal tendency and increased depression. Therefore, nortriptyline is not recommended for people who are below 24 years of age.
  • Avoid using nortriptyline if you have suffered from any heart problem in the recent past and if you have taken MAO inhibitor in the last 14 days.
  • Call your doctor immediately if you experience serious side effects like trouble sleeping, anxiety, unusual behavioral changes and panic attacks.
  • Drink plenty of water during nortriptyline treatment to prevent constipation.
  • Do not handle heavy machinery and avoid driving for long hours during the treatment. This is because the drug causes side effects like drowsiness and dizziness during the treatment.


Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: August 10,2009

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