Generic name: Nortriptyline Capsules [ nor-TRIP-ti-leen ]
Brand names: Aventyl, Pamelor
Drug class: Tricyclic antidepressants
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 17, 2023.
- 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 Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules); any part of Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- 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 for depression or Parkinson's disease in the last 14 days. This includes isocarboxazid, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, selegiline, or rasagiline. Very high blood pressure may happen.
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.
- 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.
- A severe and sometimes deadly problem called serotonin syndrome may happen. The risk may be greater if you also take 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; severe diarrhea, upset stomach, or throwing up; or very bad headache.
- 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, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the 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.
- Keep taking Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- Do not stop taking Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules) all of a sudden without calling your doctor. You may have a greater risk of side effects. If you need to stop Aventyl (nortriptyline capsules), you will want to slowly stop it as ordered by your doctor.
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.
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, or change in eyesight.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Fast or abnormal heartbeat.
- Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
- Feeling confused.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Bad dreams.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Trouble controlling body movements.
- Ringing in ears.
- Severe constipation or stomach pain. These may be signs of a severe bowel problem.
- Trouble passing urine.
- Fever, chills, or sore throat; any unexplained bruising or bleeding; or feeling very tired or weak.
- 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.
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 dizzy, sleepy, tired, or weak.
- Constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, upset stomach, throwing up, or feeling less hungry.
- Change in taste.
- Stomach cramps.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Weight gain or loss.
- Sweating a lot.
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 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
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 and Disclaimer
- 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.
- 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.
Frequently asked questions
More about Aventyl Hydrochloride (nortriptyline)
- Check interactions
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- Side effects
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy
- Drug class: tricyclic antidepressants
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