Frequently asked questions for Nortriptyline
Q. What is Nortriptyline used for?Nortriptyline is used to treat depression and nocturnal (night time) bedwetting in children. It restores the chemical imbalance in the brain and enhances mood and behavior. In some cases, it may also be prescribed to relieve neuropathic (nerve) pain.
Q. Can I take Nortriptyline for nerve pain? How do I know if I have nerve pain?Yes, Nortriptyline can be taken for nerve pain. Your doctor may prescribe this medicine in combination with gabapentin. Nerve pain (or neuropathic pain) is commonly described as a shooting, burning or stabbing type of pain that may be associated with tingling, numbness or a pin and needles like feeling. The pain may be spontaneous which means it may be triggered without the presence of any stimulating factor. Additionally, you may experience an increase in the sensitivity to touch. Consult your doctor if you experience such pain.
Q. What are the side effects of Nortriptyline?The side effects of Nortriptyline are increased heart rate, weight gain, difficulty in urination, orthostatic hypotension (sudden decrease in blood pressure on standing), dryness in mouth and constipation. Please consult your doctor if these side effects do not go away or worry you.
Q. Is Nortriptyline same as amitriptyline?Nortriptyline and amitriptyline belong to the same category of medicines with similar action, but their effect may vary upon individual response.
Q. Is Nortriptyline safe?Nortriptyline is safe if used in the dose and duration advised by your doctor. Take it exactly as directed and do not skip any dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully and let your doctor know if any of the side effects bother you.
Q. Can I just stop taking Nortriptyline?No, you must not stop taking Nortriptyline suddenly even if you are feeling better as it may worsen your condition. It may also cause withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness, sleep problems, fever and irritability. Continue taking Nortriptyline for the duration prescribed by your doctor to get maximum benefit. If any of the side effects are bothering you, consult your doctor. In case you have completed your course of treatment, your doctor will reduce your dose gradually before taking you off this medicine completely.
Q. Is there anything I need to be careful about while on therapy with Nortriptyline?Nortriptyline may cause drowsiness and dizziness, especially in the beginning of the treatment. Do not drive or work with tools or machinery if your alertness is affected. It is not advisable to drink alcohol during treatment with this medicine as it might worsen the drowsiness. Tell your doctor if you have any problems with your liver or kidneys. Let your doctor know about all the other medicines you are taking because they may affect, or be affected by, this medicine. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to conceive or breastfeeding to prevent any harmful effects on the baby.
Q. Can Nortriptyline cause urinary problems?Yes, Nortriptyline can cause urinary problems. It is more commonly seen in elderly people who are above 65 years of age. The person may face difficulty in passing urine which can further lead to a urinary tract infection. You should consult your doctor immediately if you develop these symptoms.
Q. What if I overdose?An overdose of Nortriptyline can be significantly dangerous. In case of an overdose, you may experience symptoms such as blurred vision, fast or irregular heartbeats, dry mouth and tongue, fits and fever. You may also experience agitation (anxiety), confusion, hallucinations, uncontrolled movements, low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, discoloration of the skin (turning blue), drowsiness, loss of consciousness, or you may even go into a state of coma. Immediately consult your doctor and seek medical help if you have taken more than the recommended amount of Nortriptyline.
Q. What if I miss a dose of Nortriptyline?If you have missed a dose of Nortriptyline, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next scheduled dose. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed one as this may increase the chances of developing side effects.
Q. What all should I inform my doctor before taking Nortriptyline?Before taking Nortriptyline, you should tell your doctor if you are allergic to Nortriptyline or any of its ingredients to avoid any allergic reactions. Inform your doctor if you have any problems with your heart, liver, thyroid, prostate or kidneys. Tell your doctor if you have or ever had epilepsy (seizures or fits), diabetes, or glaucoma. Let your doctor know about all the other medicines you are taking because they may affect, or be affected by, this medicine. Also, inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to conceive or breastfeeding to prevent any harmful effects on the baby.
Q. Is Nortriptyline effective?Yes, Nortriptyline is effective if taken in the dose and duration prescribed by the doctor. Do not consume more than the recommended dose and avoid skipping doses. Inform your doctor if you experience any side effects while taking Nortriptyline to know about ways to manage or prevent them. It may take a few weeks for you to see improvement in your symptoms. However, the treatment may be continued for a few months for effective management of your condition.