Nortriptyline For pain management A patient’s guide Introduction
This leaflet provides information about yourmedication, which is called Nortriptyline.
Please read this information carefully before you starttaking your Nortriptyline.
You should also read the manufacturer’s patientinformation leaflet – ask the hospital pharmacist for acopy if you have not been given one. Why am I taking Nortriptyline?
You have been prescribed Nortriptyline to help relieveyour pain.
It is different from other painkillers as it will not workimmediately, and may take up to a month or longer toreach its full effect.
It is used to treat painful conditions that have notresponded to other treatments and it is particularlyhelpful for pain relating to nerve irritation ordamage.
How should I take it?
Please see the table at the end of this leaflet.
You will usually start at a lower dose and increase, asdirected by your doctor or nurse, until you reach thedose that is right for you. The tablets should beswallowed whole, with a glass of water. What if I forget a dose?
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is nearly time foryour next dose DO NOT double up, just miss the doseyou forgot. What are the side effects?
Side effects are rare, however you may experiencedizziness and drowsiness.
If you are affected, do not drive or operate machinery.
Other side effects include dry mouth, blurred vision,constipation and difficulty in passing water. Some sideeffects should lessen with time.
See the manufacturer’s leaflet for more information. Ifyou are finding the side effects troublesome please talkto the doctor or pain nurse. How long should I take it for?
You can take this medicine for as long as you need it. Donot stop taking this medicine without speaking to yourdoctor. Can I take other medicines?
Most other medicines can be taken safely withNortriptyline, but check with your doctor or pharmacistbefore starting any new medicine, including thosebought from the chemist, or herbal remedies. Can I drink alcohol?
Alcohol may be consumed in moderation but may makeyou more drowsy than usual. Is it safe to drive?
Nortriptyline may cause drowsiness. If this happens, donot drive. Can I take it if I am pregnant or planning a pregnancy?
If, whilst taking Nortriptyline, you think you may havebecome pregnant consult your doctor as soon aspossible. If you are a woman planning a pregnancy youshould speak to your doctor before taking Nortriptyline. Licensing
Nortriptyline is also used in the treatment of depressionat higher doses than those used for the treatment ofpain.
The use of this medicine in the treatment of pain is wellrecognised, but the drug company cannot recommendits use for all types of chronic pain.
If you have any questions about this please ask thedoctor, pain nurse or pharmacist.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free tocontact us as below. How to take your Nortriptyline Lunchtime Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s Patient Advice andLiaison Service (PALS) is located on the ground floor ofthe hospital, opposite the escalators. They can help if youhave any concerns about any aspect of our services, needany information about accessing healthcare, or have anysuggestions or queries. The team provide a confidentialservice and can be telephoned on 020 8846 6727 oremailed at PALS@chelwest.nhs.uk.
This leaflet has been produced by staff in the Pain Management Team.
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