Nortriptyline is used primarily in the treatment of symptoms associated with depression.


What is Nortriptyline?


Nortriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant. It works by affecting the levels of molecules present in the brain to restore its balance.


How should Nortriptyline be taken?


In general, Nortriptyline is taken orally.


Side effects associated with Nortriptyline


Nortriptyline can alter the capacity for reasoning and reaction. It can also increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.


Among the other possible adverse effects are included:


  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite
  • Anxiety, insomnia
  • Dryness of the mouth, strange taste in the mouth
  • Decreased urination
  • Constipation
  • Vision problems
  • Swelling of the breasts
  • Problems in the sexual sphere


It is important to contact a doctor immediately if taking Nortriptyline triggers any of the following symptoms:


  • Blurred or tunnel vision, pain or swelling of the eyes, halos around lights
  • Uncontrolled movements of the eyes, tongue, jaw or neck
  • Feeling faint
  • Convulsions
  • Chest pain, heavy heartbeats, strange sensations in the chest
  • Sudden weakness or numbness, vision, speech or balance problems
  • Fever, sore throat, bruising, bleeding
  • Purple stains under the skin
  • Pain in the upper stomach, loss of appetite, jaundice
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Agitation, hallucinations, fever, rapid heartbeat, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Nortriptyline

Nortriptyline should not be taken in case of recent myocardial infarction or administration of methylene blue. It should also not be taken in case of treatment with MAO inhibitors within the last 14 days.

Moreover, it is recommended to avoid the simultaneous intake of alcohol, grapefruit and its juice.


The treatment may take a few weeks before reaching full effectiveness; thus, it is important not to stop treatment without first consulting your doctor, otherwise you may experience possible symptoms of withdrawal.


Before starting treatment it is important to tell your doctor if:


  • You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients, other medicines (especially to other antidepressants), food or any other substance
  • You are taking other medications, herbal remedies and supplements, especially sleeping pills, narcotics, muscle relaxants, medicines for anxiety or depression, anticonvulsants and SSRIs (even when taken in the previous 5 weeks)
  • You suffer (or have suffered) from heart disease, seizures, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or other mental illnesses, liver disease, thyroid problems, diabetes, narrow angle glaucoma or problems with urination
  • You have had a heart attack or stroke
  • You had cases in the family of sudden death associated with an abnormal heart rhythm
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding


Lastly, it is recommended to inform physicians, surgeons and dentists about ongoing treatment with Nortriptyline prior to any procedure.