Pamelor is a medication indicated to treat mental and mood problems such as depression. The active ingredient in Pamelor is nortriptyline hydrochloride. Nortriptyline belongs to a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It works by adjusting the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and similar neurotransmitters in the brain.
Pamelor can be used to improve mood, and feelings of well-being, relieve anxiety and tension, and may also be used to treat panic or anxiety disorders and certain types of pain. You will need to take nortriptyline every day for 1 to 2 weeks before you start feeling better, and for 6 to 8 weeks to feel the full effects of the medication.
Uses and Dosage
Nortriptyline is available as capsules to take the medication as directed by your doctor. Typically, it is taken by mouth 1 to 4 times daily, and the dose may need to be adjusted based on your individual needs and response to treatment. Take the medication regularly to get the most benefit from it, and to take it at the same time each day to help remember it.
Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed, as this can increase the risk of side effects without improving your condition any faster. Your doctor will monitor you closely to be sure the medication is working as it should and to check for any side effects.
The typical dosing for nortriptyline (Pamelor) is 25 mg by mouth taken three or four times per day, and doses higher than 150 mg per day are not recommended.
Common Side Effects of Pamelor (Nortriptyline):
- Dry mouth
- Little or no urinating
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of coordination
- Overactive reflexes
- Painful or difficult urination
- Sleep problems (insomnia)
- Unusual taste
Serious Side Effects of Pamelor (Nortriptyline):
- Blurred and tunnel vision
- Eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights
- Fever, sore throat, easy bruising, unusual bleeding
- Light-headed feeling like you might pass out
- New or worsening chest pain
- Painful or difficult urination
- Pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest
- Problems with vision, speech, or balance
- Restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck
- Seizures (convulsions)
- Sudden numbness or weakness
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
Form and Strength
Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is available in the following forms and strengths:
- 10 mg
- 75 mg
- While Nortriptyline has not been observed to increase suicide risk in adults over age 24 and reduces the risk in adults aged 65 and older, all ages should be monitored for worsening mental state, suicidal thoughts, or behavioral changes while using antidepressants.
- Nortriptyline (Pamelor) can cause pupil dilation, leading to eye pain, swelling, redness or vision changes, and worsening of glaucoma in some patients. An eye exam may be needed prior to use to assess the risk of eye-related issues. Inform your healthcare provider of any pre-existing eye problems before taking nortriptyline (Pamelor).
- If you have a history of heart disease (including previous heart attack, stroke, fast or uncontrolled heart rate, or irregular heartbeat) there are moderate risks associated with Nortriptyline (Pamelor) affecting heart rate control.
- Nortriptyline (Pamelor) can increase your sun sensitivity. To prevent sunburn, limit your time in the sun, avoid tanning beds and sunlamps, and wear protective clothing and sunscreen when outside. If you experience sunburn, skin blisters, or redness, notify your doctor promptly.
- Nortriptyline (Pamelor) may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How quickly does nortriptyline work?
It may take 6 to 8 weeks to feel the full effects of nortriptyline (Pamelor). You should take this medication exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Can I drink alcohol with Pamelor?
No, you should not drink alcohol with Pamelor. Drinking alcohol while taking this medication may increase the risk of overdose or suicidal thoughts in people who have a history of mental health conditions.
Can I just stop taking nortriptyline?
No, you should not stop taking nortriptyline (Pamelor) suddenly without speaking to your healthcare provider first. If you plan to stop the medication, you should consult with your healthcare provider to slowly lower the dose so that you can gradually stop the medication.