Information on Tablets A-Z
Studies have shown that children and teenagers who take antidepressants ('mood elevators') such as nortriptyline are more likely to think about harming or killing themselves or to plan or try to do so than children who do not take antidepressants. Children younger than 18 years of age should not normally take nortriptyline.If your child’s doctor has prescribed nortriptyline for your child, you should watch his or her behavior very carefully, especially at the beginning of treatment and any time his or her dose is increased or decreased. Your child may develop serious symptoms very suddenly, so it is important to pay attention to his or her behavior every day. Call your child’s doctor right away if he or she experiences any of these symptoms: new or worsening depression; thinking about harming or killing him- or herself or planning or trying to do so; extreme worry; agitation; panic attacks; difficulty falling or staying asleep; irritability; aggressive behavior; acting without thinking; severe restlessness; frenzied abnormal excitement, or any other sudden or unusual changes in behavior.Your child’s doctor will want to see your child often while he or she is taking nortriptyline, especially at the beginning of his or her treatment.Your child’s doctor may also want to speak with you or your child by telephone from time to time. Be sure that your child keeps all appointments for office visits or telephone conversations with his or her doctor.Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of giving nortriptyline to your child.
Nortriptyline, an antidepressant, is used to treat depression.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used:
Nortriptyline comes as a capsule and an oral liquid to take by mouth. It is usually taken three or four times a day and may be taken with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take nortriptyline exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Continue to take nortriptyline even if you feel well. Do not stop taking nortriptyline without talking to your doctor, especially if you have taken large doses for a long time. Your doctor probably will want to decrease your dose gradually. This drug must be taken regularly for a few weeks before its full effect is felt.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet when you begin treatment with nortriptyline. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you have.
Other uses for this medicine:
Nortriptyline is also used occasionally to treat panic disorders, chronic pain, premenstrual depression, and some skin conditions. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
Before taking nortriptyline,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to nortriptyline or any other drugs.
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to sulfites; some preparations of nortriptyline contain sodium bisulfite.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nondescription medications you are taking or have taken within the last 2 weeks, especially anticoagulants [warfarin (Coumadin)]; antihistamines; antipsychotics; cimetidine (Tagamet); estrogens; levodopa (Sinemet, Larodopa); lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); MAO inhibitors [phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate)]; medication for high blood pressure, seizures, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, asthma, nausea, colds, or allergies; methylphenidate (Ritalin); muscle relaxants; oral contraceptives; quinidine (Quinidex); sedatives; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem); sleeping pills; thyroid medication; tranquilizers; and vitamins.
tell your doctor if you have or have ever had, or anyone in your family has or has ever had, depression, bipolar disorder (mood that changes from depressed to abnormally excited), or mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood), or have thought about or attempted suicide. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had glaucoma, an enlarged prostate, difficulty urinating, diabetes, seizures, an overactive thyroid gland, or liver, kidney, or heart disease.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking nortriptyline, call your doctor immediately.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking nortriptyline.
you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this drug.
you should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways, especially at the beginning of your treatment and any time that your dose is increased or decreased. These changes may occur at any time if you have depression or another mental illness, whether or not you are taking nortriptyline or any other medication. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: new or worsening depression; thinking about harming or killing yourself, or planning or trying to do so; extreme worry; agitation; panic attacks; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; aggressive behavior; irritability; acting without thinking; severe restlessness; and frenzied, abnormal excitement. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor when you are unable to seek treatment on your own.
If I forget a dose:
If you take several doses per day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it and take any remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule.
If you take nortriptyline once a day at bedtime and do not remember to take it until the next morning, skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects:
Side effects from nortriptyline are common:
weakness or tiredness
excitement or anxiety
skin more sensitive to sunlight than usual
changes in appetite or weight
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
changes in sex drive or ability
If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
jaw, neck, and back muscle spasms
slow or difficult speech
persistent fine tremor or inability to sit still
difficulty breathing or swallowing
severe skin rash
yellowing of the skin or eyes
What storage conditions:
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose:
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to nortriptyline.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.