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The information in this leaflet is to guide your use of nortriptyline
this medicine safely. Further information is available inside the
What is nortriptyline for?
Notriptyline is a medicine which may help improve your pain
control. It is different from other pain relief drugs. It can help nerve
pain, for example shooting or burning pains.
Nortriptyline is also used to treat depression, but you have been
prescribed it to improve pain control. You may find the medication leaflet supplied with your nortriptyline only gives information for the
How should I take nortriptyline?
The starting dose for nortriptyline for pain is 10mg once a day.
The dose is usually taken1-2 hours before normal sleep time.
It may be 2 weeks before you start to see a real benefit. Your
dose of nortriptyline may be slowly increased to between 50mg
and 75mg a day depending on how helpful it is for your pain relief, your doctor will advise how to do this (see table below)
Dose (once a day)
Swallow the tablets with a drink of water
Are there any side effects?
What if I am prescribed other medicines?
All medicines can sometimes cause side effects. If you are worried,
Some other medicines can affect the way nortriptyline works.
you can talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Always tell your doctor you are taking nortriptyline when they
The most common side effects of this drug are drowsiness, dry
mouth, constipation, feeling lightheaded or dizziness. Some people
also develop blurred vision or problems passing urine.
of these side effects will improve after several days, so it is
worth carrying on with the nortriptyline
As with all medicines, keep them in a safe place away from
How to manage side effects
Should you wish to ask any further questions about your
Dry mouth- Drink more non
-alcoholic drinks, chewing also
medication please do not hesitate to ask the Doctor, Nurse or
Constipation- Drink more non-alcoholic drinks, eat plenty of
fibre containing foods and fruit and vegetables.
Please see your pharmacist or GP if problems continue.
A common side effect of this drug is drowsiness. If you are drowsy
you must not drive or operate machinery.
Drinking alcohol may make you more drowsy
. Restrict your
alcohol intake to 1-2 units per day (1unit= ½ pint beer or lager a
small glass of wine or a measure of spirit).
How long will I take notriptyline for?
You will probably need to take this medicine for as long as you
Other treatments or pain killers may also help your pain and the
dose of nortriptyline may need to be reduced.
Approved by: Pharmacy Directorate Management Board – Medicines Management Committee – Calderdale + Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
Please do not stop nortriptyline suddenly
. It needs to be
NHS Kirklees Medicines Management + NHS Bradford + Airedale Medicines
reduced gradually over 4 weeks
. Please discuss with your doctor
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