Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Nortriptyline hydrochloride is a tricyclic antidepressant used to relieve the symptoms of depression. Nortriptyline hydrochloride is available in generic form. Common side effects of nortriptyline hydrochloride include:
- fast heart rate,
- blurred vision,
- urinary retention or urinary frequency,
- dry mouth,
- weight gain or loss,
- skin rash,
- confusion (especially in the elderly),
- numbness or tingling of extremities,
- strange taste in mouth,
- abdominal cramps,
- breast enlargement,
- changes in sex drive,
- high blood pressure, and
- low blood pressure on standing (orthostatic hypotension).
Antidepressants such as nortriptyline hydrochloride may increase suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and young adults. Tell your doctor if your depression worsens or you have suicidal thoughts while taking nortriptyline hydrochloride.
The usual adult dose of nortriptyline is 25 mg three or four times daily. Nortriptyline may interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), cimetidine, propafenone, flecainide, quinidine, fluoxetine, alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, narcotics, or reserpine. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, nortriptyline should be used only if prescribed. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking this medication.
Our nortriptyline hydrochloride Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
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.
Included in the following list are a few adverse reactions that have not been reported with this specific drug. However, the pharmacologic similarities among the tricyclic antidepressant drugs require that each of the reactions be considered when nortriptyline is administered.
- Dry mouth and, rarely, associated sublingual adenitis; blurred vision, disturbance of accommodation, mydriasis; constipation, paralytic ileus; urinary retention, delayed micturition, dilation of the urinary tract. Allergic - Skin rash, petechiae, urticaria, itching, photosensitization (avoid excessive exposure to sunlight); edema (general or of face and tongue), drug fever, cross-sensitivity with other tricyclic drugs.
- Gynecomastia in the male, breast enlargement and galactorrhea in the female; increased or decreased libido, impotence; testicular swelling; elevation or depression of blood sugar levels; syndrome of inappropriate ADH (antidiuretic hormone) secretion.
- Jaundice (simulating obstructive), altered liver function; weight gain or loss; perspiration; flushing; urinary frequency, nocturia; drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, fatigue; headache; parotid swelling; alopecia.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Nortriptyline Hydrochloride (Nortriptyline Hydrochloride Capsules)