Generic Name: nortriptyline (nor TRIP ti leen)
Brand Name: Pamelor
Medically reviewed: July 20, 2016
What is Pamelor?
Pamelor is a tricyclic antidepressant. This medicine affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression.
Pamelor is used to treat symptoms of depression.
Pamelor may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use Pamelor if you have recently had a heart attack, or if you are allergic to certain medicines.
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 Pamelor if you are allergic to it, or if:
you have recently had a heart attack;
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.
To make sure Pamelor is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease, or a history of heart attack, stroke, or seizures;
bipolar disorder (manic-depression);
schizophrenia or other mental illness;
a thyroid disorder;
diabetes (Pamelor may raise or lower blood sugar);
narrow-angle glaucoma; or
problems with urination.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using Pamelor. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
It is not known whether Pamelor will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether Pamelor passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice. Pamelor is not approved for use in children.
How should I take Pamelor?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Pamelor. You may need to stop using the medicine 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.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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.
What should I avoid while taking Pamelor?
Do not drink alcohol. Pamelor can increase the effects of alcohol, which could be dangerous.
This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Pamelor can make you sunburn more easily. 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;
new or worsening chest pain, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
sudden numbness or weakness, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
painful or difficult urination; or
Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medication.
Common side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
anxiety, sleep problems (insomnia);
dry mouth, unusual taste;
little or no urinating;
breast swelling (in men or women); or
decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Pamelor?
Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking Pamelor with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Before taking Pamelor, tell your doctor if you have used an "SSRI" antidepressant in the past 5 weeks, such as citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, or sertraline. You must wait at least 5 weeks after stopping fluoxetine (Prozac) before you can take this medicine.
Many drugs can interact with Pamelor, which may cause unwanted or dangerous effects. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with this medicine. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.
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.
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- Drug class: tricyclic antidepressants
Other brands: Aventyl Hydrochloride