What Is Nortriptyline Used For?

Nortriptyline is used to treat depression in adults by affecting certain chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and norepinephrine. The medication also has several off-label uses, such as treating chronic pain, helping people quit smoking, and preventing migraine headaches. Because nortriptyline has not been thoroughly studied in children and teenagers, the medication is not approved for people under 18 years old.

An Overview of Uses for Nortriptyline

Nortriptyline hydrochloride (Pamelor®) is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression).
 
Depression is more than just "feeling sad." Common symptoms of depression include:
 
  • Changes in sleep (sleeping too much or not enough)
  • Eating too much or too little (and weight gain or weight loss)
  • Having little interest in things that you used to enjoy
  • Physical pain
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Suicidal thoughts.
     
Nortriptyline has been proven in large clinical trials to help adults with depression. However, keep in mind that many antidepressants (including nortriptyline) take several weeks to begin working. Sometimes, other people will notice an improvement in your depression symptoms before you do. Often, the physical symptoms of depression (such as pain or changes in sleep) will improve first, sometimes very quickly. It usually takes a few weeks before significant changes in mood occur. It is important to give nortriptyline a chance to work before becoming discouraged.
 
Counseling and therapy (see Psychotherapy for Depression) are often used along with antidepressant medication to treat depression. Ask your healthcare provider if counseling or therapy would be good options for you (see Depression Treatment).
 
 
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Nortriptyline HCl Drug Information

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