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Nortriptyline HCL is used for the treatment of depression in adults.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. This is also called a major depressive disorder or clinical depression. It affects how you think, feel, and behave. This condition may lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may also have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. Depression may require long-term treatment. Some signs and symptoms may include:
- The feeling of tearfulness, hopelessness, or emptiness
- Sleep disturbances such as insomnia or sleeping too much
- Lack of energy or tiredness
- Agitation or anxiety
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Trouble thinking, making a decision or remembering things
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Unexplained physical problems including back pain or headaches
This medication may also be used to treat nerve pain called neuralgia or neuropathic pain in adults. This is a pain that comes from problems with signals from the nerves. Various conditions can affect nerves and may cause neuropathic pain as one of the features of the condition. These include the following:
- Pain following shingles
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Phantom limb pain
- HIV infection
- Pain following chemotherapy
- Atypical facial pain
- Various other uncommon nerve disorders
Nortriptyline HCL is an antidepressant medicine that is sometimes also prescribed to treat nerve pain. This medication is sometimes called a tricyclic antidepressant. This affects the balance of certain natural chemicals in the brain. It may help improve mood and feelings of well-being, relieve anxiety and tension. It may as well increase your energy level. Nortriptyline HCL is a product supplied as a capsule for oral administration. Each capsule contains Nortriptyline HCL as an active ingredient. This is available in the dosage forms of 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg, and 75 mg. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication.
How does Nortriptyline HCL work?
Nortriptyline HCL works by enhancing the activity of the neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain. Neurotransmitters are natural body chemicals that act as chemical messengers between the nerve cells. Serotonin and noradrenaline are neurotransmitters identified to be involved in regulating mood, emotions, and behavior. In depressive illness, less serotonin and noradrenaline than normal is released from nerve cells in the brain. This drug stops the serotonin and noradrenaline that has been released from being reabsorbed back into the nerve cells in the brain. This helps to prolong their effects and over time this helps to lighten the mood and relieve depression.
Nortriptyline HCL won’t change your personality or make you feel instantly happy and relaxed. It works overtime to correct the chemical changes in your brain that have made you become depressed and helps you get back to feeling like your old self.
In treating nerve pain, this medication works by enhancing the nerve signals within the central nervous system. Naturally, it lessens pain messages arriving in the brain.
How to use Nortriptyline HCL?
The recommended dosage is based on your condition, age, weight, and response to the treatment. Your doctor may direct you to start at a low dose and gradually increase it. You must take this drug exactly as it is prescribed. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more or less than it is given by your doctor.
Nortriptyline HCL is to be taken by mouth. This is usually taken 1 to 4 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not crush or break it. Follow very carefully the directions of your doctor. It is important to continue taking this medication as prescribed even if you feel well. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do double the dose to make up for the missed dose.
What are the side effects of Nortriptyline HCL?
Common side effects:
- Blurred vision
- Fast heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Urinary retention
- Weight gain or loss
- Tingly feeling
- Loss of appetite
- Breast swelling (men or women)
- Dizziness upon standing
- Lack of coordination
- Unpleasant taste
- Ringing in your ears
- Decreased sex drive
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- Restless muscle movements in your eyes, jaw, or neck
- Eye pain or swelling
- A light-headed feeling like you might pass out
- Sudden numbness or weakness
- Problems with vision, speech or balance
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin
- Painful or difficult urination
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction:
- Hives or itching
- Difficult breathing
- Swelling of your face, tongue, lips, or throat
Warnings and Precautions
- Tell your doctor if you have any other medications such as vitamins or herbal supplements.
- This should only be used when needed during pregnancy. If you are breastfeeding women, consult your doctor first before taking a dose.
- Do not take this medication if you are allergic to it. This drug may contain some ingredients that cause an allergic reaction.
- This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
- You should not share this or any of your medications with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
- While having this treatment, avoid alcoholic beverages. Alcohol may increase drug levels.
- This drug should not be used by people with an irregular heartbeat, in a manic phase of bipolar disorder, and with severe liver disease.
- This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not use any machinery or do anything that needs your alertness.
- Before using, tell your doctor if you have a medical history of breathing problems, recent heart attack, and overactive thyroid.
- Keep Nortriptyline HCL and your other medications far from heat, moisture, and reach of children.