Depression Home > Pamelor

Pamelor is often prescribed to treat depression. Although it is not entirely clear how the medication works, it is believed to cause certain chemicals to stay in the brain longer, which can help alleviate symptoms of depression. Pamelor is available as a capsule or in a liquid form, and it is taken one to four times a day. Potential side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion.

What Is Pamelor?

Pamelor® (nortriptyline hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used to treat depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression).
 
(Click What Is Pamelor Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes It?

Brand-name Pamelor is made by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. Generic Pamelor is made by several manufacturers.
 

How Does Pamelor Work?

Pamelor belongs to a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It is not entirely clear how the drug works. However, it does affect several chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and norepinephrine. Pamelor may allow these chemicals to stay in the brain longer, which can help with symptoms of depression.
 

When and How to Take It

Some considerations for when and how to take Pamelor include the following:
 
  • The medication comes in capsule form. When used for depression, it is usually taken by mouth one to four times daily.
     
  • For people with trouble swallowing capsules, a liquid form (Pamelor Oral Solution) is available.
     
  • You can take Pamelor with or without food. If the medication upsets your stomach, try taking it with food.
     
  • Pamelor should be taken at the same time(s) each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
     
  • For the medication to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. Pamelor will not work if you stop taking it.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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