Generic Name: Nortriptyline HCI (nor trip’ ti leen)

Drug Class: Antidepressant, Tricyclic

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Aventyl (Nortriptyline HCI) is is used for short-term treatment of various forms of depression. It may help improve mood and sense of well-being and allow enjoyment of everyday. Nortriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant. Your doctor may prescribe this medicine for other conditions as well.

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

It works by helping change certain chemicals in the brain, which professionals refer to as “neurotransmitters.” It is not yet well-understood why changing these neurochemicals results in symptom relief for the conditions this drug is commonly prescribed for.

How to Take It

Take this medicine as directed. It can be taken with or without food. Do not stop taking this medicine abruptly without consulting with your doctor.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • drowsiness or dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • blurred vision
  • weight gain

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • blurred or tunnel vision
  • eye pain / swelling
  • seeing halos around lights
  • painful urination
  • confusion, hallucinations
  • unusual thoughts or behavior
  • seizure or convulsions
  • irregular or unusually fast heartbeat (especially with fever and increased sweating).
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out

Warnings & Precautions

  • Do not take this medication if you have taken monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or linezolid within the last 2 weeks.
  • Do not take this medication if you are recovering from a recent heart attack.
  • This medicine may cause drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to this medicine.
  • Alcoholic beverages can increase the effects of this medicine and should be avoided.
  • This drug may make you more sensitive to the sun.
  • This medicine may increase your risk of getting diabetes or increase blood sugar levels.
  • This drug may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation).
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Before taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. This includes supplements and herbal products.

Dosage & Missed Dose

Symptoms may take up to 4 weeks to improve. Continue using the medication as directed and consult with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve during treatment.

Do not stop using this drug suddenly; withdrawal symptoms may occur.

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy. It is NOT known if this medicine is excreted in breast milk. It is recommended that you DO NOT breast-feed while taking this medicine unless your doctor or pediatrician has told you to.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider, or you can visit this website, for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.


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