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Pamelor

Generic Name: nortriptyline (nor TRIP ti leen)
Brand Name: Pamelor

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Jun 22, 2020 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Pamelor?

Pamelor is a tricyclic antidepressant that is used to treat symptoms of depression.

Pamelor may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use Pamelor if you recently had a heart attack.

Do not use Pamelor if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if:

Do not use Pamelor if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

Tell your doctor if you have used an "SSRI" antidepressant in the past 5 weeks, such as citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone, or vilazodone.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • unexplained fainting spells;

  • a genetic heart condition called Brugada syndrome;

  • a family history of unexplained death at younger than 45 years old;

  • heart disease;

  • a heart attack or stroke;

  • a seizure;

  • bipolar disorder (manic-depression);

  • schizophrenia or other mental illness;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • problems with urination;

  • narrow-angle glaucoma; or

  • if you are receiving electroshock treatment.

Be sure your doctor knows if you also take stimulant medicine, opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. These medicines may interact with Pamelor and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Pamelor is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take Pamelor?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

If you need surgery, tell your surgeon you currently use Pamelor. You may need to stop for a short time.

Do not stop using Pamelor suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.

It may take a few weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of Pamelor can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include irregular heartbeats, severe drowsiness, vision problems, confusion, hallucinations, agitation, stiff muscles, overactive reflexes, vomiting, feeling hot or cold, feeling like you might pass out, seizures, or coma.

What should I avoid while taking nortriptyline?

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how Pamelor will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Pamelor could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Pamelor side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;

  • restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • new or worsening chest pain, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • sudden numbness or weakness, problems with vision, speech, or balance;

  • fever, sore throat, easy bruising, unusual bleeding;

  • painful or difficult urination; or

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Common side effects may include:

  • increased blood pressure;

  • numbness or tingling in your hands or feet;

  • dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;

  • blurred vision;

  • rash, itching; or

  • breast swelling (in men or women).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Pamelor?

Using Pamelor with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect Pamelor, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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

Frequently Asked Questions