Tapering off of nortriptyline

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I started taking nortriptyline 7.5 weeks ago for insomnia and migraines.  Started at 10 mg for two weeks and then to 25mg for four.  Had a lot of side effects - blurry vision, constant migraine, dry mouth, voice is very groggy.  Doctor and I agreed that I should come off of it.  She suggested that I drop to 10mg for five days and then stop.  I thought it was too fast so I decreased to 20 mg for seven days and am not taking 17mg for the past five days.  I’m not feeling well - skin burning in arms and hands, angry, hot/cold, anxious and a bit nauseous.  Tapering hasn’t seemed to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. 

Is anyone else coming off of nortriptyline or has experience?  

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  • Posted

    I used to take Amitriptyline, but I never experienced those side effects. But I would go slow. Stay on the 20mg for 7-10 days to let your body adjust to the new dose and continue to taper when the withdrawal symptoms get a little better. Keep us posted and don’t hesitate to ask questions.
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    • Posted

      She did.  She wanted me to immediately drop from 25 to 10 and stay there for 5 days.  I’ve become very sensitive to medication so I was worried about the big drop and decided to go smaller first (25 to 20) and got hit with pretty bad symptoms about 7 days in.  I spoke with the pharmacist last night and she suggested that I go to 20mg and hang there for a while.

      This is all new to me.  I’ve never had any type of withdrawal before December 2017.  My neurologist had me on zyprexa for one month and took me off of 2.5 mg c/t and my body rebelled.  That’s how I ended up on nortriptyline in January to help with severe insomnia and anxiety.  She also put me on klonopin for the same reason.  My plan was to stay on klonopin while I tapered off of nortriptyline and then taper off of klonopin.  All of this to try to treat my chronic migraines sad

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  • Posted

    Yeah. I would recommend staying where you are for awhile. Also know that the last 2 or 3 drops will probably be the hardest so take it easy. 
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    • Posted

      Thank you!  One good thing that's coming from lowering my dose is that my tinnitus is mainly gone.  I did have it almost 24/7 but now it's just for short periods a couple of times a day.  Progress! smile

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  • Posted

    Yes I am also reducing my intake I was on 30mg a day have been on it 8 months for migraines  I have reduced it very slowly staring with 20 mg for about 3 weeks then reducing to 10 mg for another 2 weeks now I have stopped in on Sunday 8 th July but I have been suffering with stomach problems I digestion and feel light headed and restlessness although sleeping hasn’t been the best with the hot weather we have been having feeling a bit sickly too not sure if it’s a combination of things or the withdrawal coming off if nortriptyline.i will see after a week and if not getting better I will call my doctor maybe have to try something else for preventing my migraines but to be honest I have tried many 

    any advice would be helpful

    js

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    • Posted

      I went down from 20 mg to 10 mg for 6 weeks before stopping completely. My neurologist disappeared. I don't know what happened to so I did it on my own (my doctor yelled at me yesterday but I did do a lot of research). If possible,  you should check with you neurologist - they may be able to give you something to help with the withdrawal. 

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  • Posted

    Hi heather yes it’s my 3 rd day of not taking it and had been on 30mg a day for 8 months was fine on it really dry mouth but constipated and the migraines were less in severity but not how many I had .but I have never had problems before stopping tablets I was on amitripyline for about 2 years and didn’t have any of these withdrawal symptoms I am seeing my doctor Tommorrow Thursday to discuss if I can be referred to my head ache doctor again to see if I can try something else or even the magnesium route but there are so many different types and how much again I have researched it’s quite a high dosage a day and I’m not that good at taking tablets. But it does say not to just stop taking nortriptyline so we are doing it right hope you feel better soon 

    js

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  • Posted

    I’ve been taking nortriptylene for 10 weeks for back pain and tingling calves from a trapped nerve.  I went up to 60mg at one point for a few days but all in all the side effects of this medication outweigh the pain benefit for me.  My GP is pretty useless and wanted me to  just stop taking it but I’ve read a lot re withdrawal and decided to do it on my own slowly.  I’ve gone down by 10mg to 50 mg for one week and now intend to reduce by 5mg per week and then stick at 10mg for a few weeks as I reckon that will be the hardest to just stop that dose.  Any advice or other experiences would be much appreciated? 
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    • Posted

      Hi. I was on 37mg for 2 years which I took for lower back pain.

      I started weaning off In August and I'm now (November) on 10mg. It's getting really difficult and the side-effects are getting really bad including flu symptons, insomnia, poor sleep, busy dreams and constantly feeling tired. Apparently the worst side-effects are when reaching 10mg or less.

      No one ever warned me how bad this drug is! It was so easy to start taking it but I never expected it to be so hard to get off it! I probably have another 3 months to go before I am completely free of this drug. I'm now using small amounts of Zopiclone to fight the insomnia. However I am trying to avoid taking Zopiclone every night to prevent getting addicted to that medicine.

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  • Posted

    Hi heather it sounds like your coming off it the right way but as you say the doctors don’t advise you how to reduce it and for how long I thought I was doing it slow enough but obviously it wasn’t until I went back to my doctor explaining what withdrawal symptoms I was getting . She said go back on it 10 mg then up to 20 mg and stay on that then reduce it by 10 mg every other day then 10 mg every. 2 days etc I was originally on 30 mg a night . So hope it works for you 
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  • Posted

    It's been quite a few weeks since I quit. I do see more manageable headaches but my GERD is completely gone. I've had other improvements in my health too, although no weight loss. I'm happy with the outcome.

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