Too early to try nortriptyline?

For the past few years I have been very susceptible to motion sickness. I work in a grocery store and walking the aisles was enough to make me dizzy. I also suffer from intermittent (maybe once or twice a month) migraines for which I take imitrex. The last two weeks I have had mild vertigo daily, general dizziness and then getting bad headaches at night like at around 7pm. Also last week had a bad episode which caused me to throw up, get light sensitive and knocked me on my ass for like 5 hours. I went to my dr yesterday and she prescribed for me nortriptyline, it’s a 5 week starter pack which starts at 10mg and gradually increases. I took the first dose last night at 6pm and woke up at 545am (my normal wake up time unfortunately!) and was immediately dizzy and then vomited and had to stay in bed all day with the lights out. When I finally came to, I read that that is a side effect of the drug. Then I found this great forum. So I am wondering, is this just too much too soon? The way I felt this morning was worse than having a nasty headache at night…the cure shouldn’t be worse then the symptom…but then again maybe it was just another episode unrelated the the nortriptyline …any thoughts from you who have taken this med?


I took amitriptyline which is very similar, I started on half a 5 mg and got dizzier but not bad. I went up to 5, then 7.5 and then to 10. You might try cutting back and make sure you take it with food. Hopefully that will help you tolerate the med.
Good luck!!

its hard to say if it was related to the nori…but if it continues to make you That sick…i would stop. i was up to 30mg & am back down to 10mg…i just hate the way it makes me feel, but my vertigo has stopped & that is the only reason im still taking the nori.

give it a few more nights to make sure. I know how you feel when the side effects of the drug are worse than the illness.

I had bad experiences with Nortriptyline - racing heart, fast pulse, overheating to name a few even on 10mg. I persevered up to 50mg but didn’t get any better. I switched to Prothiaden and have been feeling much better on this. I’m very careful with upping the dose slowly over a few weeks but so far (85mg) so good - i.e. as good as anyone taking tricyclics can be!!

I am on 25mg of Nortriptyline and started at 10mg. For me it has been a wonder drug so far! I haven’t really had a head migraine since I started taking it. I have had my usual “eargraines” which are migraines in my right ear. Really painful and I take Relpax for them. They are connected to foods so if I avoid the food I am sensitive to I won’t get those either.

The only side effects of Nortriptyline I have had are strange nightmares, cold hands and a bit of a hazy feeling when I first started it. The good side effects are that it has leveled my mood and decreased my anxiety. I can look at life much more rationally now. I would say it isn’t too soon to start taking it. If you migraines are getting more severe then it’s better to catch them and control them before they get worse. That’s just my opinion though.

If you have already tried diet and lifestyle modifications, then it is a great time to start a medication.

— Begin quote from “ichbindarren”

If you have already tried diet and lifestyle modifications, then it is a great time to start a medication.

— End quote

I agree. And as frustrating and hard as it is, starting a preventative med can mean you feel worse before you feel better. You have to ride it out and go slowly if need to with the dose increases. I’ve experienced many side effects that are not fun while starting preventative meds, but now I’m finally on the right combination and feeling really good, with the exception of a few days a month.

Hang in there!

I say hang in there with the Nortriptalyne. This is the “gold standard” drug. I started also at 10mg and have been at 75mg for 4 years now. I understand that all of us are different and have different experiences with drugs, but in Dr. Buchholz book, he stresses the importance of giving the drug the proper amount of time to work…that after 1 day, any reaction is most likely not the drug, but still Migraine symptoms. Hang in there the best you can!!



I started taking 10 mg of nori each night about 4 weeks ago. I immediately felt a slight difference, and over a few weeks had a noticeable change in certain symptoms. The tingling on the left side of my head decreased, the pain in my eye was almost gone. My imbalance is still around, but is definitely triggered by certain motions. The unfortunate thing is that after 4 weeks at 10 mg, my heart has struggled with the med. my resting heart rate, which is usually 55-60, now ranges between 80-90 bpm. Walking up 4 flights of stairs today increased it to @130 bpm. I saw my neuro yesterday ad he concerned that an increased dose would be unwise. He is interested in switching me to Topamax, but my family has a history of gallstones/kidney stones, which he is also concerned about with topamax. If I could have stated on nori and had no heart problems, I think I would have. I encourage you to stay on for a little longer and see if the side effects go away, as it seemed to be helping me.
Good luck! Hope you find something that works! :smiley:

Thanks everyone for the advice. I am sticking with it and it looks like that first day was the worst. I am now just experiencing low level dizziness and no night headaches. Could be a placebo effect but who cares if its working. I got up to 20mg in another day we will see how it goes

Thanks again

Glad u are sticking with it denise…the first 1-2 wks are the worst.