How long taking Nortriptyline to see improvement?

I’ve begun taking Nortriptyline, halving my 10mg pill in 2 (5mg) so that I’m starting super low and building up.

The reason for starting so low is I took a nocturnal panic attach the first night I took 10mg, although I do take these when stressed from time to time I had a slight inclination the Nortriptyline could have been a contributing factor.

I have a cold right now that some other members of my family have so my vestibular and sinus symptoms are 2-fold at the moment.

Can anyone describe their time-line and how they felt taking Nortriptyline?

I’m a 28-year-old male by the way.

I was very very lucky because I took 5mg of nortriptyline at 6pm and the very next morning I was 50% better having suffered constant nausea, motion intolerance and vertigo on and off for 11 years with periods of extreme symptoms and some respite in between. I am still on 5mg a day and I am feeling much better. I have been taking it for about a month now. Hope this helps.

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I started off with 10mgs and am now on 20mgs daily. I was on drug for two weeks and noticed a decrease in motion sensitivity and visual vertigo.

I do have days when I feel a bit “off”. All in all I am so far pleased with response.
You might notice an increase in dizziness the first few days of taking this drug.
Good luck. Hope you find some relief of your symptoms!

It’s been a slower burner for me. I started with 10 mg for six weeks then went to 20. Probably a month after that I had some noticeable improvement. During this time though there were some big side effects. Rapid heart beat, very bad dreams etc. This all settled when I was about this far in. I still have crazy dreams though!

Maybe 5/6 months after I started, I made it to 30. Each time I increased the pressure I’m my head returned, I’d get dizzier and I’d be so fatigued I’d barely be able to function for a couple of weeks.

A couple of months later I made it to 35mg. I’m a teacher (albeit part time)so had to plan my increases into the holidays as there’s no way I could work when I was increasing the meds. I then crept up to 37.5mg and then a year after I started I got to 40.

I realise I’m not selling it well in this message! But I’m great now and swear by it, diet and lifestyle changes. Don’t be deterred by any initial roughness with it, it smooths out, or it did for me anyway, and be patient.

Thanks for sharing Scott.

What is your diet on a typical day and what lifestyle changes did you make?

What do you think would happen without the meds?


Hmm, this could take a while! Well I have three young children so a typical day is pretty noisy and chaotic. Given this, I really worked on slowing things down where I could. I really watched how much I was doing in a day - and that means day to day things that nobody else would think twice about! I couldn’t race around cleaning the house, do exercise, get the kids out for play dates and get to the supermarket in one day. I’d chose one maybe two things to do and not push myself. If I was wiped out I just had to stop (as much as several small children will allow anyway).

I worked two days a week and either side of those very stressful days I did as little as I could. It’s not something that comes easy to me (half my trouble) so I had to learn to let myself do this. It’s not being lazy, it’s about doing what your body needs you to to get better.

I worked out hard before all this and didn’t want to stop but I was very careful not to push too much. Some days some gentle yoga was all I could manage so I wouldn’t push beyond this.

I go to bed roughly at the same time and get up in the morning. If it’s been a rough night with the little ones I’m super gentle on myself the next day.

I eat regular meals and I spent a long time sweating about food and the diet but don’t any more. I follow my doctor’s diet but I don’t go above and beyond as I did to begin with. I make my own muesli for breakfast and have it with oat milk. It’s full of seeds but not nuts as although I don’t avoid them, I don’t eat them daily. I eat lots of fruit and veg. I’ll have soup (carefully selected shop bought) or sandwich for lunch. Then I’ll cook dinner, just regular things, like spaghetti bolognase, chicken with veg or fish etc. I drink loads of redbush tea and water.I drink alcohol at the weekend- lager or white wine. Thank goodness I seen to get away with it.

I take 500mg of magnesium glycinate and 400 mg of vitamin b2 and a B complex. I started meditating and really got on top of my stress levels which was the main problem.

I can list my doctor’s diet should you want it.

Yes, please share Scott.

Thank you

Basically the six Cs:
So no citrus, but no bananas or pineapple either. Citric acid as an ingredient is ok.
No caffeine, limit decaf to one or two a day.
No chocolate.
No Chinese, or msg in large quantities e.g flavoured crisps or ready meals. It’s virtually impossible to avoid entirely so don’t worry about small amounts.
No chianti or any red wine. I’m ok with white wine.
No cheese or some other dairy such as cream, buttermilk or yoghurt. Small amounts of milk are fine, cottage cheese and any goat or sheep cheese is fine. That includes the really aged ones, I don’t get it but that’s what he said.
Also no eggs, but don’t worry if they’re an ingredient e.g. mayo or cake.
No fresh bread, it must be 24 hours old, and no marmite.

It’s not as restrictive as other diets. I’ve read all the books too though and I’m mindful not to have to many nuts or nitrates, I dont worry about some. Once I’m off the meds I’ll be able to start to reintroduce things.

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Thanks a lot, Scott.

I’ve been following a similar diet although I have been eating eggs, I should get those out.

So, people usually aim to stop the medication later down the line?

It’s only been 4 days on the Nortriptyline, my sleep has been a bit disturbed but I feel a little better today.