Nortriptyline: What is it? and Precautions to Take into Account

What is it?

Nortriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant , one of the first groups and therefore the oldest and most studied types of antidepressants.

How is it used?

The presentation in capsules avoids the fractionation of the dose, which is not necessary because there are many presentations 10, 25, 50 and 75 mg. The recommended dose is 150 mg / day. It is preferable that the medicine be distributed over most of the day and part of the night, for example, the fourth dose in the morning, afternoon and quarter of the night, thus generating the least side effects, therefore manifest the effects more strongly while the patient is sleeping. To mitigate the side effects of the dose should be increased slowly and at the end of the treatment also remove slowly, with several days interval between each reduction

What does nortriptyline do in the body?

Its main indications are to treat depression, and among the tricyclic drugs this is the most recommended for the elderly. It also has a good efficacy to block panic attacks and to inhibit nocturnal enuresis (urinating during sleep after having control already acquired).

The main side effects:

The main limitation of this medication are side effects that are often not well tolerated by patients.

  • The dryness of the mouth, which must be overcome with frequent small sips of water. You should avoid chewing gum and sugary sweets. A dental check-up is recommended every three months.
  • The constipation it causes can be controlled with a diet rich in fiber such as wheat bran, does not make you fat and facilitates intestinal transit, the bagasse of oranges are also very useful and healthy.
  • Increase in appetite and consequently weight gain. People with a tendency to gain weight should try to eat a balanced and healthy diet.
  • Blurred vision, this is a problem that must be overcome by reducing the dose and the use of eye drops is not indicated.
  • The inhibition of sexual desire is proportional to the dose.
  • Generic effects such as headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, decreased blood pressure when standing and can even cause heart rhythm disturbances in people with previous problems.
  • All these problems disappear when the medication is stopped and generally improve when the dose is reduced.

Important considerations

This medicine should not be used in the following situations: patients with narrow-angle glaucoma , during the first trimester of pregnancy or during breast-feeding, if they have an allergy to tricyclic antidepressants. Situations that require special attention are patients with cardiac arrhythmias, hyperthyroidism with hepatic insufficiency in the use of tranylcypromine or other inhibitors, and patients with epilepsy.