Depression Home > Nortriptyline Sexual Side Effects

When taking nortriptyline, sexual side effects may potentially develop. These sexual side effects may include impotence or changes in sex drive. However, clinical studies have not shown how often these sexual side effects occurred due to nortriptyline. Therefore, if you are taking nortriptyline and sexual side effects occur, talk to your healthcare provider so he or she can recommend some treatment options, such as adjusting your nortriptyline dosage or switching you to another antidepressant.

An Overview of Nortriptyline Sexual Side Effects

Nortriptyline hydrochloride (Pamelor®) is a prescription medication that is used for the treatment of depression. It is part of a group of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. As with all medicines, nortriptyline has possible side effects. Some of these side effects can affect a person's sexual well-being. In the case of nortriptyline, there have been a few sexual side effects reported. However, it was not reported how often they occurred.

Sexual Side Effects With Nortriptyline

In clinical studies using nortriptyline to treat depression, the following sexual side effects were reported:
  • Changes in sex drive (libido), including an increased or decreased sex drive.
  • Impotence. Impotence is usually defined as a total inability to achieve an erection, an inconsistent ability to do so, or a tendency to sustain only brief erections. Ultimately, impotence is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Impotence is also known as erectile dysfunction (or ED for short).
The exact percentages of people that experienced these side effects were not reported.

Nortriptyline, Sexual Side Effects, and Suggestions

It is impossible for your healthcare provider to know whether you will develop any sexual side effects while taking nortriptyline. Also, if a person does develop sexual side effects, it is difficult to know whether these problems are caused by another condition or by nortriptyline itself.
However, if you develop any sexual side effects while taking nortriptyline, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider. There is treatment that he or she may be able to recommend, such as an erectile dysfunction medication. Depending on the severity of your sexual side effects, he or she may also recommend that you adjust your nortriptyline dosage or try another medication for depression.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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