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Nortriptyline is used in the treatment of depression

How it works

Nortriptyline increases the levels of chemical messengers in the brain that help in regulating the mood and treat depression.

Common side effects

Sleepiness, Increased heart rate, Weight gain, Difficulty in urination, Orthostatic hypotension (sudden lowering of blood pressure on standing), Dry mouth, Constipation

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Expert advice

  • Talk to your doctor if you feel sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • Do not take this drug if you are consuming antidepressants (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) or have been taking them within the previous two weeks.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are taking this drug.
  • Avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light (tanning beds and sunlamps) and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Nortriptyline may make your skin sensitive to sunlight or ultraviolet light. If your skin becomes reddened, swollen, or blistered, consult your doctor.
  • Do not suddenly withdraw or discontinue therapy.
  • Nortriptyline can make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving or performing activities that require mental alertness.

Frequently asked questions



Is nortriptyline an MAOI/SSRI?
No, they belong to class of medication called as tricyclic antidepressant


Is nortriptyline same as amitryptiline?
Nortriptyline and amitriptyline belongs to same category of drugs with similar action, but their effect may vary upon individual response


Is nortriptyline safe?
Nortriptyline is safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor

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What is nortriptyline/Sensival used for?
Nortriptyline is used for the treatment of depression and nocturnal bed wetting (enuresis) in children


Is nortriptyline like xenan?
No, xenan belongs to class of medication called as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor


Is nortriptyline a controlled substance?
No, Patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use


Can I take nortriptyline with ibubrufen/citalopram/ gabapentin/tramadol/hydrocodone/codeine/zopiclone/ clonazepam/Ambien (zolpidem)/Nyquil (antihistaminic)?
No possible interaction has been reported with these drugs. Patients should follow doctor's advice regarding its use


Does nortriptyline cause weight loss/gain, acne, sleepiness, hair loss, dry mouth, memory loss?
Nortriptyline may cause weight gain/loss, loss of hair, dry mouth. Always consult your doctor regarding possible side effects


Can nortriptyline be used for treating pain (back pain)?
No, it is used to treat depression and nocturnal bed wetting.

Content on this page was last updated on 12 April, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)