Side effects

Hey everyone,

I’ve been on nortriptyline for three and a half weeks now. One thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve been really drowsy ever since I started taking it. At first I felt kind of sleepy tired, now I feel out of it and kind of weird. I was wondering if this drowsiness goes away eventually?

Thanks, Seth

Sedation is definitely one of the SEs. your body should adjust. I took it a few yrs ago, but stopped at 20mg. I had increased dizziness and sedation when starting or increasing the dose for about 10 days. I am going to take it again and stick with it this time. I also had dry mouth, constipation, which your body should also adjust to.

Thanks for the encouraging words Lisa! I think it may be working some right now, but the side effects almost cancel out any benefit you get from it. I guess I’m lucky that the only side effect I have is sedation. The whole process just requires patience I guess.

yes, lots of patience. wish i stuck w/ it last time. are u taking it in pm?

I’m taking it 4 times a day right now. I take one in the morning, one in the afternoon, one around evening time, and the last before I go to sleep. My doctor must be a lot more aggressive on this then most; I’m not even to 4 weeks yet and i’m taking 40 mg a day. How long did you take it last time before you gave it up?

I was on 10mg for several wks and 20 for 10 days. why not take all in PM? did doc explain his rationale. I ended up stopping because I went to another doc who put me on verapamil, which didn’t help at all. I am now being treated by original doc, and will start up again soon. I am pregnant, due next wk, and will start med after I have baby. I hope I get my life back.

Hi Seth,
I have been on Nortryptiline for the last 7 months, I started on 10 mg and am now on 30 mg.
I was told to take it at 6 pm so that when I start feeling drowsy I am ready for bed. I find if I stay up later than 11 / 11,30 pm I am unable to keep my eyes open, but other than that don’t have a problem with drowsiness.
Hope things get better for you.


My doctor never gave me any instruction on when to take the medication. He just said take this much this day, and that was the extent of it. I think he may be treating my case different than same because I potentially could be a quick fix (I wish). My symptoms aren’t as bad as many on this board. That being said, it almost feels like it will never go away. Lisa, I really hope that works for you this time around. Congrats on the baby! Penny, have you found this medication to work? How long did it take? Do you still get drowsy, or does that wear off?


Hi Seth,
Glad you hear you have found a drug to give you some relief so quickly. Given your side effects it might make sense to check in with your doc about your dosing schedule. Maybe taking the entire dose at night might do the trick… give you a great night’s sleep too:)

Good luck and keep us posted!
Lisa (the other one…lol)

Haha Lisa! Seems to be a popular name around here.:slight_smile: So you think it wouldn’t be a problem to take them all at the end of the day? If that’s the case, I would for sure do that. I’ll have to ask my doctor.

Hi everyone,

I’ve got another side effect question. For the last day I’ve had this tingling sensation. The tingling is in my head a bit, but I’ve also felt it in my body also. I’ve taking nortriptyline for 5 weeks now. The dizziness symptoms have been greatly reduced! I haven’t taken pill since last night, but I still have the tingling feeling today. Has anyone who has taken nortriptyline experienced this? Or could it be something that isn’t a side effect?

Thanks, Seth

Hi Seth,
To answer your last question, I still get the drowsiness if I stay up late, if I am watching tv at 11 pm, forget it , I fall asleep everytime.
Apart from that , no drowsiness.
Yes, the meds have made a huge difference, I am one of the lucky ones. The longer I take them the better I feel. Still effected by weather a little so if it is cloudy and rainy I am less well than if it is sunny and colder, but in general, yes, they are working for me.
No tingling since I have taken the meds, a lot of tingling when I was at my worse tho ’ before I started to take them…head, face , arms and hands,
Hope you get the timing sorted out.


Hi Seth,

I’ve been on Nort for about six weeks now. The rocking/unsteadiness seems to be a little better but I am still stuck with terrible daily headaches and neck pain. I’m taking 30 mg right now, main side effects have been dry mouth and my morning washroom runs are gone (which I don’t mind). I was going to ask my Neuro if I should step up the dosage because of the headaches, or if I should switch to something else. He mentioned Beta Blockers but it doesn’t seem too many people here have had success with them.


Thanks guys! It’s really hard to explain what I’m feeling right now. As I said, the medication has pretty much 95% taken away my dizziness symptoms. The feeling I have now is almost like a lightheaded feeling, my head feels a little bit like a balloon. I would also describe it as a spacy feeling. I’m assuming it’s a side effect that will go away hopefully, but I just wanted to make sure that it’s the medication that’s making me feel this way. If I can just get rid of these side effects I think I am home free.

Now I’m just curious, has anyone had any dizziness or lightheadedness from taking nortriptyline? I’ve had a different type of dizziness that I’ve never experienced that came on 2 days ago. I’m hoping it’s not one of those things again that’s going to stick around a long time.:frowning:

Seth, I was on nort for a month but had to stop because I was having the opposite problem, that of terrible insomnia, night after night. I asked the pharmacist about it and he said insomnia as a side effect is not likely to go away, however, he did say that sedation would most likely go away. That is usually not a permanent effect, but it is a very common one.

As far as the lightheaded balloon feeling - does this co-incide with a dose increase? It might be a good idea to call the pharmacist and ask him/her. I have often found them to more helpful than the doctor.


Thanks for commenting bookworm! Ah, I’ve been taking nort for a little over 5 weeks, the first time I noticed the lightheaded feeling was 3 days ago. I’ve been on 50 mg for nine days now. I think it could be a side effect, or it could also be a sinus bug that I just picked up. I was just wondering if this was common. The amazing thing is though, the other problem I was having is pretty much completely gone.


So I talked to my doctor about the side effects. He told me to take 40mg instead of 50mg and hopefully they will go away. What I’ve noticed is that when I hold my hands out my hands are tingling and twitching; I’ve also noticed that my legs are numb. When I run my legs feel like bricks, it’s almost as if the blood circulation isn’t reaching my lower legs or feet. I looked through the side effects of nortriptyline, and one of them is tingling and numbness. Does anyone think this tingling and numbness will go away? I hope so! My head feels pretty good.


So apart from the s/e has it made the dizzys go away ? or toned it down? Im having a bad day need to hear something positive xxx :smiley:

Yes Blondie the dizziness has gone away. I still have a tad bit of dizziness, but its not nearly as bad or as bothersome as it used to be. I guess beggars can’t be choosers in the way they feel. I should be happy. I hope you start feeling better!