This medication is also known under the following names in the USA:
Brand names: Aventyl and Pamelor
Generic name: Nortriptyline
What is Aventyl (Nortriptyline)?
Aventyl (nortriptyline) is an antidepressant used in the treatment of clinical depression. It helps improve the mood by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and modulating the histaminergic receptors in the brain. Aventyl is a product of Eli Lilly Canada Inc., a subsidiary of the Indiana-based Eli Lilly and Company.
Aventyl is formulated with nortriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant that contains a dibenzocycloheptene moiety. Being an active metabolite of amitriptyline, nortriptyline effectively inhibits norepinephrine reuptake in the synaptic cleft. This in turn increases the number of mood-regulating transmitters such as serotonin, resulting in an elevated mood. Nortriptyline also modulates the alpha-adrenergic, cholinergic and histaminergic receptors to exert its antidepressant effects.
The indications of Aventyl include
- Depression, or major depressive disorder (MDD).
Aventyl is available in a bottle of 100 capsules.
- For adolescents and elderly:
- Take 30 to 50mg daily in split doses or as a single dose.
- For adults:
- Take 25mg 3 to 4 times daily. Your doctor may adjust the dose as needed. It is not recommended to take more than 100mg a day.
- Shakiness or trembling
- Dryness of mouth
- Loss of balance control
This is not a complete list of side effects.
Warnings and precautions
The special warnings and precautions related to the drug are listed in the following sections.
The contraindications of Aventyl are as follows:
- Use of this medication during the recovery period after myocardial infarction;
- Patients who are on MAO inhibitors or other tricyclic antidepressants;
- Patients who are hypersensitive to nortriptyline.
This may not be a complete list of contraindications.
- If you are on any anti-thyroid medicines, use Aventyl cautiously as drug interactions may occur.
- The drug may predispose the patients to photosensitivity. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight while you are on Aventyl.
- Using Aventyl concurrently with chlorpropamide may cause high blood glucose (hyperglycemia). Check your blood glucose on a regular basis while taking this drug.
- If necessary, electroconvulsive therapy can be used along with the drug. Use electroconvulsive therapy cautiously as it is potentially hazardous.
- Prior to any surgery or emergency treatment, remind the doctor that you are taking Aventyl.
- Stop taking Nortriptyline for a few days before an elective surgery.
- Aventyl may interact with anticholinergic and sympathomimetic drugs. If you are taking these drugs, closely monitor the treatment response.
- The drug may lower the convulsive threshold. If you have seizures, use it cautiously.
- Nortriptyline may result in lightheadedness and drowsiness. Rise slowly when you stand up.
- Antihistamines, sedative or hypnotics, alcohol, opioids and other CNS depressants
- Hormonal contraceptives
- MAO inhibitors, or MAO-inhibitor like drugs including linezolid and methylene blue
- Medications that modulate on serotonergic neurotransmitter systems e.g. tramadol, buspirone, fentanyl, triptans, SNRIs and SSRIs
- Antithyroid medications
- anticholinergic agents e.g. haloperidol antidepressants, atropine, disopyramide, phenothiazines, quinidine and antihistamines
- Antihypertensive medications
- Drugs with adrenergic activity e.g. vasoconstrictors and decongestants
This is not a complete list of drug interactions.
How to store it
To prevent deterioration, store Aventyl capsules at room temperature (ideally between 15 and 30°C). Make sure that the bottle is closed securely. As with all medications, keep out of reach of children.
How and when to take this drug
Take Aventyl orally at about the same time every day for better results. This also helps to improve medication adherence.
Do not alter the dose of Nortriptyline without consulting the doctor. To reduce the risk of adverse effects, a lower dose is typically prescribed at the beginning of the treatment.
Strictly follow the dosing schedule, and do not stop taking Nortriptyline even if the symptoms do not improve immediately. The effects of the drug will gradually develop over a few weeks.
What if I overdose?
In case of overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Go to the nearest hospital or call a local Poison Control Center. If you take too much Aventyl, you may have difficulty breathing and feel drowsy or dizzy. Symptoms like muscle weakness and stiffness, seizures, fever, tachycardia, arrhythmia and vomiting may also occur. Seek medical help even if you do not experience these symptoms.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if the next dose is impending, skip to missed dose and take the next dose like you normally would. This is to avoid overdose. If you have trouble remembering to take Aventyl, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.