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How can I minimize the side effects of Pamelor?

To minimize the side effects of the antidepressant Pamelor (nortriptyline), you should:
  • Take Pamelor as your doctor tells you to. Do not take more or less, or take it more or less frequently than recommended. Do not stop taking Pamelor without consulting your doctor, because suddenly quitting may cause withdrawal symptoms, such as headache, nausea and feeling ill all over.
  • Give your doctor a list of all your other medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and supplements before you begin taking Pamelor. Once you're on Pamelor, do not start any new drug or supplement without checking with your doctor first. 
  • Give your doctor a detailed medical history, including mental and physical conditions that you have now or had in the past, or that run in your family. 
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. Researchers don't know whether Pamelor is safe to take during pregnancy. 
  • Do not drink alcohol or use any drugs recreationally while taking Pamelor. 
  • Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when you're outside. Pamelor may increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Do not drive, operate machinery or engage in any potentially dangerous activity until you know how Pamelor affects you. Pamelor may cause drowsiness and other symptoms that could make accidents more likely.
If you experience side effects talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to reduce the side effects by adjusting your medicine dosage. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
  • signs of allergic reaction -- hives or itchy skin, chest tightness, trouble breathing, swelling of face, hands, mouth or throat
  • changes in mood or actions including worsened depression or anxiety; trouble sleeping; extreme worry, agitation, or irritability; restless, impulsive or aggressive behavior
  • chest pain or fast, pounding heartbeat
  • lightheadedness or fainting
  • numbness or weakness in your arm, leg or one side of your body
  • tingling or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs or feet
  • seizures or tremors
  • confusion or hallucinations
  • muscle twitching, spasms or other involuntary movements
  • sudden severe headache or problems with vision, speech, balance or walking
  • trouble sleeping or nightmares
  • fever or sore throat
  • yellowing of skin and whites of the eyes
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • difficulty swallowing

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.