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Aventyl

Generic Name: Nortriptyline Capsules (nor TRIP ti leen)
Brand Name: Aventyl, Pamelor

Medically reviewed on May 2, 2018

Warning

  • Drugs like this one have raised the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions in children and young adults. The risk may be greater in people who have had these thoughts or actions in the past. All people who take Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) need to be watched closely. Call the doctor right away if signs like low mood (depression), nervousness, restlessness, grouchiness, panic attacks, or changes in mood or actions are new or worse. Call the doctor right away if any thoughts or actions of suicide occur.
  • This medicine is not approved for use in children. Talk with the doctor.

Uses of Aventyl:

  • It is used to treat low mood (depression).
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Aventyl?

  • If you have an allergy to nortriptyline or any other part of Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules).
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have had a recent heart attack.
  • If you have a certain heart problem called Brugada syndrome or you have ever passed out for an unknown reason.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Linezolid or methylene blue.
  • If you have taken certain drugs used for low mood (depression) like isocarboxazid, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine or drugs used for Parkinson's disease like selegiline or rasagiline in the last 14 days. Taking Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) within 14 days of those drugs can cause very bad high blood pressure.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules).

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Aventyl?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists. This medicine may need to be stopped before certain types of surgery as your doctor has told you. If Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) is stopped, your doctor will tell you when to start taking Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) again after your surgery or procedure.
  • If you have been taking Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules).
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) affects you.
  • To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down. Be careful going up and down stairs.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
  • Tell your doctor if you have signs of high or low blood sugar like breath that smells like fruit, dizziness, fast breathing, fast heartbeat, feeling confused, feeling sleepy, feeling weak, flushing, headache, more thirsty or hungry, passing urine more often, shaking, or sweating.
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol or use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • Talk with your doctor if you have seizures or have ever had seizures.
  • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
  • Be careful in hot weather or while being active. Drink lots of fluids to stop fluid loss.
  • Some people may have a higher chance of eye problems with Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules). Your doctor may want you to have an eye exam to see if you have a higher chance of these eye problems. Call your doctor right away if you have eye pain, change in eyesight, or swelling or redness in or around the eye.
  • A certain heart problem (Brugada Syndrome) has shown up in some people taking Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules). These people had this problem but did not know it at the time. People with Brugada Syndrome have a heartbeat that is not normal and are at risk for sudden death. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you are 65 or older, use Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Aventyl) best taken?

Use Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take at bedtime if taking once a day.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Keep taking Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • If you take 1 daily dose at bedtime, do not take the missed dose the next morning.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of high or low blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, change in eyesight.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
  • Bad dreams.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Change in balance.
  • Shakiness.
  • Trouble controlling body movements.
  • Ringing in ears.
  • Very hard stools (constipation).
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Seizures.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Yellow skin or eyes.
  • Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
  • Change in tongue color.
  • Change in how often urine is passed.
  • Hair loss.
  • Enlarged breasts.
  • Nipple discharge.
  • Change in sex interest.
  • Not able to get or keep an erection.
  • Swelling of the testicles.
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called serotonin syndrome may happen. The risk may be greater if you take Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) with drugs for depression, migraines, or certain other drugs. Call your doctor right away if you have agitation; change in balance; confusion; hallucinations; fever; fast or abnormal heartbeat; flushing; muscle twitching or stiffness; seizures; shivering or shaking; sweating a lot; very bad diarrhea, upset stomach, or throwing up; or very bad headache.

What are some other side effects of Aventyl?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Dry mouth.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Headache.
  • Not hungry.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Change in taste.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Weight gain or loss.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • Flushing.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Aventyl?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) is refilled. If you have any questions about Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules), please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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