Who is nortriptyline for and who needs to take extra care?

Who is nortriptyline for?

Nortriptyline is for adults with depression.

People who should take extra care with nortriptyline

Make sure you tell your doctor if you have, or have had in the past, any of the following (you might need to take extra precautions, or another medicine might be more suitable):

  • suicidal thoughts
  • a heart condition
  • prostate enlargement
  • glaucoma
  • hyperthyroidism
  • epilepsy
  • liver problems
  • bipolar disorder
  • schizophrenia
  • diabetes.

Get advice, either directly from your doctor or from a specialist information line, about taking antidepressants if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or thinking about becoming pregnant. See Antidepressants, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Older people should be particularly careful about taking a TCA because they increase the risk of falls, and older people may be particularly sensitive to other side effects such as confusion, dizziness on standing, dry mouth and blurred vision. If a TCA is used, nortriptyline is often chosen because it is less likely to cause side effects. A lower starting dose may also be appropriate.

Find out more about

If you are starting nortriptyline, see 10 things you should know about antidepressants.

You can also read more about depression and the options for treating it.

For more information

The consumer medicine information (CMI) for your brand of nortryptiline is available from our website or a pharmacist. The CMI includes:

  • How to take this medicine
  • What to do if you forget to take it
  • If you take too much (overdose)
  • Things you must and must not do while taking this medicine
  • Signs of severe reactions and what to do.
  • Rossi S, ed. eAMH [online]. Adelaide: Australian Medicines Handbook, 2012. www.amh.net.au. (Accessed 9 February 2012).
  • Psychotropic Expert Group. Therapeutic Guidelines: Psychotropic, Version 6. In: eTG complete [CD-ROM]. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited; 2008.
  • Aspen Pharmacare Australia Pty Ltd. Allegron consumer medicine information. January 2005. (Accessed 22 March 2012).