Nortriptyline is taken along with other drugs because a combination of meds is known to treat mental health conditions like depression and anxieties (or related disorders) more effectively. Active ingredients of select antidepressants – such as nortriptyline – help boost the presence of a few neuro transmitters. You are likely to get relief from mental problems within a few weeks into your medication plan. But, what are the precautions needed prior to using this antidepressant med? It is a vital thing to know all about such precautions.

There are many types of antidepressant, and drugs belonging to the tricyclic genre are considered a popular version. Nortriptyline is a salient example of antidepressants of the tricyclic type. This drug is commonly prescribed for treating mental conditions such as mood shifts, being depressed or schizophrenia. It is consumed as a combinatorial treatment – along with other drugs. These treatments are administered when mental health conditions require more than one drug. Nortriptyline works by enhancing the availability of neuro transmitting chemicals in your brain. In this light, it is important to know that depletion or a low level of transmitters is a key cause for mental conditions like anxieties, phobias, etc. This antidepressant is also available as a generic medication; this makes it easier and less expensive to administer.

What are the safety precautions to be adhered before starting the intake of nortriptyline?

This tricyclic antidepressant is capable of causing a few allergies in users with prior spells of allergies to such genre of meds. It becomes essential to keep your treating physician fully aware of known allergies to key chemicals used in antidepressants; especially prior to starting the treatment. People who are sensitive may experience allergic conditions like inflammation of facial parts such as cheeks, nose, etc., oral parts like lips, tongue or gums, skin conditions such as rashes, itchiness and / or hives. In some cases, an increase in body temperature has been observed. Those who have prior sensitivity to sun’s rays or sunlight may turn oversensitive to such sources of light. It is a good practice to always step out of your home after applying a skin cream or ointment. As an extended precautionary measure, minimise exposure of body parts such as arms, face or legs. It is advised to wear gloves or other garments while staying outdoors.

Nortriptyline is known to trigger toxicity by making an abundant supply of norepinephrine as well as dopamine to your system. Hence, a long term intake of this med may lead to suicidal instincts, turning more aggressive, convulsions or epileptic seizures as well as overall weakness. Upon sensing any of these signs and / or stiffening of muscles, it is highly recommended to consult with your treating doctor as quickly as you possibly can. The effects of this drug can be more pronounced among elderly patients. Hence, older people – those aged above 55 years – must stay aware of excessive levels of drowsiness, accidental falls as well as acute episodes of dizziness. Owing to such discomforts, elders are likely to encounter an accidental fall. The risks of being demented are also high among the elderly; this is because of nortriptyline can act like an anticholinergic agent. Those who are seeing adverse signs such as staying confused, changes in pulse rates or erratic heartbeats, etc., must tell your caregiver of all such undesired outcomes.

Women who are pregnant may need to stay clear of this drug as the effects of its key ingredients on fetal wellbeing remains largely unclear. This is one of the reasons this drug is seldom prescribed to women who are pregnant. However, in a few instances – doctors have administered this drug onto pregnant women; in all such cases, the risks are known to be lesser than the positive effects / merits of using this med.

On the other hand, those who plan to become pregnant in the short term are recommended to employ suitable birth control techniques. While choosing a contraceptive, it is a safe thing to opt for a non-hormonal measure like a vaginal ring or a patch worn on skin. It is a good practice to talk to your treating doctor to know what type of birth control measure suits you best prior to using it.

Unintended or undesired outcomes of this antidepressant

This tricyclic antidepressant can cause a few undesired as well as unintended outcomes and side effects. Users have experienced discomforts such as frequent episodes of dehydration (here, you may observe parching of skin or lips), a marked decline in the discharge of urine, blurred vision, mental conditions such as fears and anxieties. Moderation is essential while taking this med; also, dosages for no two people remain the same. You need to know that your dosage value is influenced by the seriousness of mental problems and also based on frequency of such conditions.

Nortriptyline and its extended uses

This antidepressant – owing to its pain numbing effects and a few related capabilities, is also used for treating an inner ear condition called tinnitus. It is not a very common condition and may show up in some 10 – 11% of adults. This is characterised by hearing a sharp sound or a ringing buzz inside your ear. The treatment plan includes consulting with an ear specialist (known as an otologist) and a mental health specialist / psychologist. In some cases, needful advice from a qualified neurologist is also taken to obtain relief from such inner ear problems.

But, how does nortriptyline help treat this inner ear conditions? This is mainly due to a chemical called norepinephrine – which is another key chemical that works as a transmitter in your brain. Once the level of such brain chemicals is increasingly made available, you may observe a remarkable reduction of loud noises inside ears. Also, severely depressed people are more likely to develop ear problems like tinnitus; thus, nortriptyline helps ease both conditions and helps keep you relaxed. As per one recent scientific study, loudness linked to ear problems such as tinnitus is known to reduce as much as 40% (or more) upon taking this drug. Such studies also indicate that – on an average, decibels to the tune of 9 dB have been known to be decreased inside your ears.

Intake of nortriptyline for treating bowel syndrome

In a few closed research studies, antidepressants like nortriptyline have brought about needful cure for intestinal conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. As antidepressants can allay pains as well as unwanted fears, these factors contribute immensely to reduce discomforts in your gastric tract. It is another inherent property of such meds to ensure better digestion. The mechanism of action of nortriptyline is primarily focused on the central nervous system which enables remedy from conditions such as IBS.

It is important to know that – of the several forms of antidepressants, meds with tricyclic structure are widely administered. Though the use of meds like serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibiting (SNRIs) meds and selective serotonin reuptake inhibiting (SSRIs) drugs is also prescribed, nortriptyline remains a key tricyclic antidepressant to enable reduction of gut-level movement or motility and determine how fast food travels through your digestive system. These effects are possible as the key chemicals of nortriptyline regulate velocity of flow of food in your gastric tract as well as streamline motility rate of your intestines. These effects are largely due to the key ingredients and their ability to influence the rate at which food reaches your gastric system as well as to direct the muscles present in the digestive tract to either expand or contract. These capabilities are attributed to larger availability of neuro chemicals such as dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine as well as serotonin. In general, nortriptyline plays an essential role in reducing the reuptake or processing of brain chemicals; one of the indirect yet useful outcomes of such actions is to offer remedy to a few abdominal conditions.

Use of nortriptyline to help quit smoking

Smokers can tell you how difficult it is to stop the smoking habit. Active chemicals used in nortriptyline can help quit the tobacco habit; owing to this, this drug fares regularly in tobacco cessation programs. Success rates are fairly high and are only known to get better over the long term. Nortriptyline is free from addiction causing compounds such as nicotine. Absence of such addictive chemicals helps further inhibit craving in smokers who regularly use tobacco products. You can choose from a broad based dosage strengths varying from 10 milligrams (mg) to 25 mg, 75mg. However, you are advised to talk to your treating doctor / mental health specialist prior to starting your medication plan. But, never expect this drug to stop your cravings immediately; it often takes quite a while to stop smoking. So, if your quit date is say 2 weeks from now, you are advised to start taking the drug today onwards for better results.

In sum, tricyclic antidepressants such as nortriptyline can cause allergies like swelling of facial or oral organs and may also trigger rashes or hives. Long term intake of this antidepressant can cause toxicity of brain substances like serotonin and norepinephrine. It is a safe practice to start your medication plan under proper clinical supervision of a qualified medical professional or a mental health specialist. In order to have a complete account of all needful precautions, talk to your caregiver and / or pharmacist.

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