Tapering off of Nortriptyline?

I have been on 10mg of Nortriptyline for almost 7 weeks now. I don’t think it is doing much except increasing my belly fat, so I want to get off of it. Do I need to taper off such a low dose? My doc says no, but I am cautious. I would like to taper off the capsule, but not sure how? Should I take it every other day for as few days and then just stop?


I saw your post and wanted to reply. I am in the process of tapering off of Nortriptyline also. I had some pills made at a compounding pharmacy ( kind of expensive) so I have 2.5mg, 5 mg.pills and also 10mg pills. The highest I ever went was 7.5mg. I have had a huge problem with “belly fat” and was relieved to see you said the same thing. Now, even though Nortriptyline has definitely helped my MAV symptoms, I totally hate it. I feel like a different person, my shape has changed and I’ve gained weight from this drug.
Here is what I am doing. I started 2 night ago and instead of taking 7.5mg ( that is one5mg pill and one 2.5 pill) each night, I now take only 5mg. I will do that for a week, maybe 2 if I feel too many withdrawl symptoms, then I will just take a 2.5mg pill for a week maybe 2, if need be, then I will be OFF the stuff.
You sound like you have capsules. I don’t know if you can open the capsules and dump some out. That would not be very accurate, either. I wish you had the pill form. IF you just stop taking the 10mg, you might have some side effect from withdrawl. They could last for a week or 10 days, too. ( I had that happen to me with paxil once) I don’t know how else you can do it, with capsules.
Of course, the next problem is what to get on, after I am off Nori. I don’t want to get on any more triciclic antidepressants, as they just cause me to feel awful and get fat and my belly is hard and distended and bloated. I will look into Topamax or something else.
Good luck to you. Let me know what you decide to do. best wishes to you, Meredith ( Spinning Lady)

Hi Joanne Marie,
Forgot to say that just skipping a day for a week or two is probably your only solution and it would probably work. Good luck with it. Meredith

You can open up capsules. You can also get liquid nortriptyline, this is a regular rx meaning no compounding.

I have been on 10mg for months, and have not gained any weight the first 4months. I have gained weight the last month and a half
in the belly. But have been eating bad for the month as well. I immediately blamed the med, but and here is a huge but, ( some pun ha ha)
10mg is such a small dose, as it helps us I think, well if its helping than all the bad should come with the good right… yes, but I believe
no. For me, I believe mine was diet. I just dont see this small dose causing weight gain. Do you all really think its the med? I know it can
cause weight, but at such a low dose.

When I tapered off of Nortriptyline,my doc had me dropping much larger than 10mg increments. I think I was dropping 25mg at a time and I think he actually told me to drop 50mg at a time. So I think it is pretty safe to stop 10mg cold turkey without much worry. Obviously pay attention to your mood and take note of any strange swings or out of the ordinary behavior or depressive thoughts, but 10mg is such a tiny dose that I think most docs would tell you to just stop taking it without worrying.

Idk when I came off of topamax, I was only on 25mg and only a few weeks, I had withdrawl for 5 days.
I personally wouldn’t just stop. Your body gets used to these meds, even small doses.

Topamax at 25mg is SIGNIFICANTLY stronger than Nortriptyline at 10mg. You’re talking about totally different medications.

When I weened from Nortriptyline I went from 100mg to 0 in 15 days. 5 days at 75, 5 days at 50, 5 days at 25, done. My doc actually told me to do it in 10 days–he just said to do 10 days at 50mg and then be done, but he tends to be a little aggressive with meds.

So how are you going to ween from 10mg? Most people don’t even have a dosage smaller than 10mg. IMO taking it every other day isn’t a good idea, and doing something like getting it specially made in smaller than 10mg increments it silly and crazy expensive unless you have a specific need for that long-term.

Of course always consult your doctor, but I’m guessing most doctors would say that stopping from 10mg of Nortriptyline is not a problem. There just isn’t a lower dosage to ween down to. You’re already at the bottom.

Thanks for all the insight. I am sure the Nortriptyline is causing my belly fat. I didn’t have it before and my appetite and exercise regime is the same. I am very med sensitive. Prior to Nori, I was on 37.5mg of Zoloft and that helped with the anxiety but not the rocking vertigo and false motion sensations in my body. I had tablets so I just cut them up when I was tapering off it. I can’t do the same with Nori because of the capsules. I might try to break the capsule in half for 2-3 days then just get off. It might not be accurate but at least it’s better than cold turkey.

Hi JamieH,
I am very med sensitive. You are not. You sound like you could eat a horse and not even burp. I had Dr. Hain suggest I have Nortriptyline made into smaller doses for ME, a med sensitive person. He did not think it was silly. I also see Scott has Paxil at 2.5 mg dose. Again, not silly. so everyone is different. Right?

Right, I understand you are med sensitive and that is why your have your meds specially made. I also suspect that it is relatively rare for someone to need increments of nortriptyline less than 10mg or you wouldn’t have to have it made special. I don’t think most people have to deal in increments less than 10mg at a time. Is Joanne similarly med sensitive?

If Joanne was looking to increase her dose because Nortriptyline was helping her but she couldn’t seem to tolerate a full 10mg increase I would recommend she look into doing something custom like you do. But she is simply looking to get off of a very small dosage of the medication. It is my completely non-medical opinion that getting custom meds created simply for the purpose of tapering her off of what is already an extremely small dose of the medication would not be a wise use of her money. But I am less familiar with the cost than you are–perhaps it is not as expensive as I think it is.

I encourage her to consult with her doctor if she is really concerned about it. I think most doctors would tell her that going cold turkey off of 10mg of nortriptyline is just fine, but I am not a doctor so I do not know for sure. I only know that my doctor was fine with me stopping from 50mg without further tapering (I didn’t–I did it from 25), so I can only imagine that stopping from 10mg must not be a very big problem in general.

Hi Jamie, I was actually told to get off of 25mg topomax cold turkey. The doctor said it was a small dose and I was only on it for a month.
I did and had 5 days of hell. So if 25mg is supposedly a small dose as 10mg of nortriptyline is a small dose, then why is it that one would
cause problems and the other would not. I see you are on a high dose of nortrip. so the 2 of us on less maybe the outcast, but yours is to.
Wow. Its great you can tolerate it so well. If I have to come off of it, I will for sure split it up best I can. I would never just stop even if its
a small dose, as again your body gets used to it. Not to mention its better safe than sorry, especially with us, we are so sensitive to change.

Liquid is not customized.

Joann I think at least somewhat of a taper is a good idea. I was asking if you really thought it was the nortrip causing the weight because
I did not gain anything at all and although I have been eating bad last 6 or so weeks, I gained weight. So I was thinking maybe a little of both.
Nortrip. and eating bad, not a good idea on my part.

Good luck.

Kayera, why are you making assumptions about Nortriptyline based on Topamax? They are completely different medications that have nothing to do with each other. The fact that getting off of Topamax caused you problems doesn’t automatically mean that trying to get off of a small dose of Nortriptyline would also give you problems. And that’s ignoring the fact that we’re talking about a different person here.

The reason you were told to stop Topamax at 25mg is likely because, in general, 25mg is the lowest dosage of Topamax that is widely available. I’ve heard of 12.5mg being available in some cases but usually 25mg is the smallest you can get. So there really isn’t a way to go smaller than 25mg other than to start splitting tablets, which often doctors don’t ask you to do. You really aren’t supposed to take any of these medications every other day–that isn’t how any of them are supposed to work. So for the most part, you can only taper down to the lower available dose, which would be 10mg for Nortriptyline and 25mg for Topamax. Topamax is a powerful medication that is tough to start and stop, no question. It knocked my on my ass when I started it up and again every time I changed dosages. It doesn’t surprise me that it was hard for you to get off of it.

I really don’t have a dog in this fight–if Joanne wants to go to extra measures to look for a dosage of Nortriptyline that is lower than 10mg that is obviously her choice. It is just my opinion that most doctors would tell her that it is not necessary for her to do so and that stopping 10mg of Nortriptyline is not likely to pose any issues. As I’ve said several times before, she should check with her doctor if she is really concerned.

Jamie, wow not sure why you are so upset. Im not arguing at all.

Funny you say I’m ignoring the fact we are talking about someone else here, as My point is that everyone is different as every medication is different. You say topamax is soooo powerful and I can not compare the two. well
Im not. Im saying that everyone one/med is different. and better safe than sorry. Some can tolerate topamax just fine and cannot nortriptyline.
Which proves it doesn’t matter what is the strongest med is, only who is taking it.

Good luck Joanne.

Thanks JamieH X