Amitriptyline Vs Nortriptyline

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Charlene Says:
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Hi everyone, I'm interested in amitriptyline and/or nortriptyline. I have been taking amitriptyline 100mg at night. As usual my dose was increased over time. The only side effect I had difficulty with is that grogginess in the morning which I don't like. I'm most interested in no grogginess. I was told that it shall pass as my body adjusts. I found a different drug called nortriptyline accidentally while looking for insurance. They consider amitriptyline to be a tier 4 as to nortriptyline a tier 2, that's a huge difference in price for me, so I looked it up and they seem to be basically the same medicine but I noticed that in the comments area the grogginess was not so much a problem as to the other medicine...so if anyone can help me out with feedback that would be great. I don't go back to the dr. for 3 weeks...and I want to be prepared for what I might ask for. So is nortriptyline better than amitriptyline? Thx everyone.


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Galina Says:
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Hello Charlene, I was prescribed nortriptyline and amitriptyline for the nephropathy by my neurologist. I had a bad experience with these drugs. Both of them caused grogginess the next day and also balance and memory issue. After about 2 weeks, I stopped taking these medications because I read a lot about very bad side effects of these medications. These are anti seizure medications that are prescribed off label for a nerve pain. After experiencing bad side effects, I discontinued these drugs and not taking anything for the nerve pain. I’ve learned how to deal with the nerve pain and will not take these medications that not help the body to recover but instead masking and compounding the problem. Charlene, I don’t know what for you were prescribed amitriptyline, but if I were you I would not take any anti seizure meds that include lyrica and cymbalta too. I hope I did not scare you but I just want to help. Just know that doctors hand out the meds like candy and don’t care about side effects they can cause.

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Granna Says:

I am also on Amitriptline and have been for years. My dosage is 50 mg. Initially it also made me very groggy, but after my body adjusted the grogginess went away and I woke up feeling wonderfully refreshed and ready to face the day. What a godsend! It has made a HUGE difference in my life.

You are taking 100 mg. That's a high dose. Did your doctor start you out at a lower dose and gradually increase it? Or did he start you out at 100 mg? My doctor started me at 25 mg and once my body adjusted he increased it to 50.

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Kevin Says:

Hello Charlene,

It seems you have done some proper research on the drugs but there are a few key things to keep in mind. First being that every user is going to experience the drug differently so while it is still good to look up reviews to see how common or strong the side effects are for most people it doesn't necessarily mean you will have the same experience. Something else to take into consideration is that since you are not going to see your doctor for 3 weeks perhaps by that time your body will have adjusted more to the grogginess. If not, ask your doctor how long the adverse reaction is going to last give your situation and see if it is even worth switching drugs.

If the grogginess has dissipated slightly but not completely it may be worth sticking with it because there is always a risk when trying new drugs. It might be worth waiting out this adverse reaction simply because you know the drug works with your body and there is no certainty that the nortriptyline will work for you.

Just keep these in mind when you go in. As for the nortriptyline vs amitriptyline adverse reaction I have found that both drugs commonly have the grogginess as an adverse reaction but most users say that the nortriptyline does wear off faster. So even if you do switch it is possible that your body will need to readjust again and you'll still be experiencing the symptom. Talk with your doctor and see what they think as it never hurts to know all of your options.

Best wishes.

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Ruthiebee Says:
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I’ve been on nortriptyline for 5 years and have never experienced any grogginess.

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Charlene Says:
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Thank you everyone, my new friends,,..I did start out with amitriptyline 25mg the doctor working her way up to 100mg/day..someone told me if I liked amitriptyline that I would love nortriptyline. Like I said I'm trying to figure out what would work out best insurance wise..both drugs are listed as a tier 4 preferred generic, but nortriptyline is by far cheaper..to me its crazy I mean amitriptyline is old school medacine. I take the amitriptyline for depression, but mostly I asked for it because I have read it's also treats some nerve damage I have in my facial area. My face skin feels like it's a bad sunburn. The amitriptyline deffinly helps. My face doesn't hurt any more. I also take gabapentin 800mg x3/day..now the gaba, I have been on for a good while now. Probably the two meds working out together has also helped me alot.when I google nurve pain it says antidepressants work great to..so I'm still taking the venlafaxine 150mg..

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Charlene Says:
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Ruthiebee (# 4) --

Hi, my sister takes 75mg a day and she says she has never got groggy feeling from it either but she has been on it for many years. Maybe she has forgotten about the grogginess idk..

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Charlene Says:
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Kevin (# 3) --

Hi Kevin, thanks for answering some questions for me. And yes I have googled and googled this medacation looking for answers. I have turned into a Google freak lol. I was hoping for luck with this new medacine I'm on, I found out some don't like one of the side effects it also has is: weight gain. And I have had a rough year and list the weight I worked so hard to get..its part of the reason I chose this one because I figured out not only helps my nerve damage, my skin on my face hurts like an if I had a sunburn thank goodness I have turned into a Google freak I guess I kinda diagnosed myself and went to the doctor with my results. Ok amitriptyline says it works for nurve damage, mood lift, and sleep. So I was trying to see if there was a pill for all 3 problems..so I was able to delete 3 of my medications and just take one..I started on 25mg and worked up to 100mg/day..so thank you so much for helping me decide what to take..if u have any more info I'd appreciate it alot...I go to the doc December 5th..so I still have time to look at more results..I wunder what other meds are out there?? I'm sure my doc will know because his SPECIALTY is psychiatry/neurology. I just like to look up to make sure my insurance will cover it..but crazy as of now they consider amitriptyline and nortriptyline to be a tier 4 a preferred generic. But the two fore some reason differ in price

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Charlene Says:
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Galina (# 1) --

Galina, thanks for getting back to me on this subject. The reason why I asked my doctor to prescribe this to me the amitriptyline is I was looking for one pill that could replace 3 of my other drugs.for sleep, mood, and facial pain. I bumped into this on Google. So the amitriptyline is more money per insurance by $20 but I delete the other three that cost $10 a piece. I asked the doctor to prescribe it and she did..25mg working up to 100mg/day. U mentioned something that brought up my attention tho. I have noticed I keep loosing items around the house, but then again I has several little projects I'm working on..but could be my age, 58yrs. .. I actually thought about lyrica or cymbalta? But when I Googled them I happen to notice more negative replays than positive. Now I take amitriptyline now because I had a lot of facial pain meaning my face skin feels like a sunburn. So I googled that and found amitriptyline. I'm not sure what I will do. My face stopped hurting. U said u have been able to deal with the pain but damn my face used to hurt so much...I'm going to Google more and see what I come up with. I really appreciate your time to help me out..if u have any more feedback please let me know..happy Thanksgiving..

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Galina Says:
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Charlene (# 8) --

Hello Charlene, Yes, I understand you and feel for you. You have a facial nerve pain and that is very hard to deal with. In my. An my case, I have very bad neuropathy in my legs, right hand and some in my face and head. I have a nerve damage from metronidazole antibiotic that I took 8 months ago and since then I’ve been slowly recovering. Charlene, I’ve visited 2 neurologists and they were tying to put me on gabapentin, nortriptyline, and amitriptyline but used them for only 2 weeks because I did not like how they affected my thinking, memory, and balance. I just don’t like to take anything that alters the clarity of my mind. The doctors also prescribed me a low dose to start with and told me to increase it overtime. When I mentioned side effects, they brushed off and told me to continue. At this point I realized that they don’t rely care abou the patient wellbeing and just want to push the medals and move on to the next patient. I read a lot about the long term side effects of these medications and decided not to take a chance. But I also understand that every person is different and some people take them for a long time before the side effects appear. I read the articles of some good neurologists stating that gabapentin and other antidepressants that are prescribed for nerve pain and insomnia are damaging for our health. They slowdown metabolic rate that is important for the nerve and other systems healing. They also negatively impact memory and brain function. These neurologists recommended to be patient and let the body heal itself without using pharmaceuticals as they alter our chemistry. I know, it is easy to say to not take anything and just wait when you are in so much pain, but leaving the body along and let it heal is the best. In my situation, I just let the neuropathy run it’s course. I know the nerve healing is the slow process but it will heal eventually just had to be patient and hang on. Instead of taking drugs, I am been taking different approach to heal my nervous system. I take 6000 of Vitamin D every day and I feel much better. I’ve been taking it for 3 months now. It is very protective of nervous system. I also started taking alpha lipoid acid 200mg once a day. My new doctor recommended for the nerve pain. Charlene. I also had very bad insomnia for about 6 months after the metronidazole damaged my nerves in the head. For this problem I was drinking camomile tea to relax. I think as time went on, my insomnia went away as the nerves healed in the head. I thought the would never heal, but they did. So I am sure the nerves in your face will heal too. Just give it a time an be patient! Treat your body well! Respect it and it will heal overtime! Charlene, I recommend you to read these 2 books as they helped me a lot: Fullvcatastrophe living by Jon Cabat Zinn, Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. These books will teach you have to heal physically(pain, sleeping, stress, more) and strengthen your mind. Charlene, I see that gabapentin helped you with the face pain. That is good but try not to take it a long term. If feel that you can manage without then don’t take it and let your body heal on its on. Please be careful with taking the meds long term! They all have side effects! Believe me you are much stronger and wiser and you can heal without taking these pills! I wish you to have a wonderful Thanksgivings and be well!!!!

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Charlene Says:
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Good afternoon everyone, thx again for all your support and feedback. This is what I have been experiencing so far on the amitriptyline, because I am not yet prescribed the nortriptyline yet...anyway towards the evening time just after I take my meds..I start off with some balance issues, ans memory loss. I have been doing some extra cleaning since it's that time of year, Christmas. So I keep loosing items or forgetting what I was doing. Here my BIG PROBLEM. Because of these issues I'm being accused of taking some kind of drugs**. I understand why,,. Its because I'm in recovery. I have been since 2007. Using subutex. A few time I have broke down and took a klonopin, but it rare. So I see where this is coming from..but as for awhile now I have not done anything like that and its causing problems with my marriage. We just had our 37yrs anniversary. I'm sorry I just got into this story. But I'm sure it must be my body still adjusting to the 100mg of amitriptyline at night time only...I read someone's story about this .and because I don't feel that pain in my facial area, I hate to give it up and stop the amitriptyline, does anyone know of any side effects to the nortriptyline? Maybe it will work for me. Thanks again for all the info u have given me with support

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Galina Says:
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Charlene (# 10) --

Good morning Charlene, Happy 37th university! Charlene, the grogginess, memory and balance issues are the side effects of amitriptyline. You experience these symptoms because you have trouble tolerating this drug and even a 100mg is too much for you. Your body tries to tell you through these symptoms that it doesn’t like this medicine. Be aware of this and listen to your body. I have a follow up appointment with my new doctor on Monday and will ask him about the amitriptyline and nortriptyline drugs and which one may be better as far as side effects. My doctor is very good and knowledgeable about the drugs. He uses conventional and no conventional medicine to treat a variety of conditions. I will let you know what he thinks about your situation and what may help you.

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Charlene Says:
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Galina (# 11) --

Well Galina, thank you so much!! For going out of your way to try and help me your very kind..this is what we need in the world is more people like you,.good friends are hard to come by everyone's days are so busy any more..let alone to help others out. My last two night have been kinda bad because of my balance issues I dropped my glass of ice tea and while bending down to pick it up I just about fell standing back up. Also I noticed because of anxiety issues, I take nothing for I probably should talk to the doctor about..it seems I cannot control my voice. It sounds like its skipping around..I'm not sure about that and what's going on. But because I have be in recovery since 2007. I haven't done any drugs I only take my subutex that prescribed to me..ok so usually a feel hours after my dose of amitriptyline my husband is also noticed a difference in me like ( cough I be doing some kind of drug again) my answer to that is no..but I can say something seems to be going on..I can't wait for my new doctor appointment dec.5th. To find answers..I really was hoping this medicine would work for me. I mean it has taken the nerve pain away but at the Sam time causing problems to..thanks for your help.

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Charlene Says:
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Galina (# 9) --

Hi again, I just wanted to let u know I wrote down the two books u told me to read, and I wrote down the two vitamins u suggest..I have started taking magnesium supplement I'm in a group on Facebook about natural remedies and found out most people are magnesium deficiency. And depending on your date of birth it tells u what your body needs. So I have been taking the magnesium matate. It's for energy, and much more. Oh it helps heal nerves that's why I chose this cells salt.. now that was a whole new experience for me I had no idea they had 12 cell salts to choose from and everyone does different things..I also make my own turmeric capsules. And the probiotics. Thx for helping me.

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Galina Says:
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Charlene (# 13) --

Hello Charlene, I am so glad that you are in the support group because talking to people and getting support you needed is very helpful in the healing process. I also been taking magnesium 250 mg daily for about 2 months and I just learned that magnesium chelate is a better form than other form of magnesium. So I think I will switch to the magnesium chelate for the better absorption. I also think that you may benefit a lot by taking vitamin D especially. It is very beneficial for health: it protects the nervous system and plays the major role in protecting cells from developing cancer. Charlene, i was wondering if you tried an acupuncture for the facial pain and insomnia. I had several acupuncture visits for the pain in my head and severe insomnia and it helped me a lot to sleep better. May be it can help you too. I will talk to my doctor tomorrow about amitriptyline and nortriptyline and will let you know what he thinks. Have a good night!!!

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Galina Says:
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Charlene (# 13) --

Hello Charlene, my doctor is out of office today and they rescheduled me to come in this Wednesday. I will send you a message after I talk to him. Have a nice day!!!!

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Charlene Says:
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Galina (# 15) --

You are so kind..I'm very happy to have you as a friend. In the long run I'm just monitoring the situation and see what happens

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Charlene Says:
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Galina (# 14) --

Hi I'm going to try the vitamin D, for sure..I never had acupuncture. I wonder if my insurance company will cover it but its worth a try..I also take Ashwagandha and then I take rhodiola rosea I will only buy one type thought. It's from all natural perfect rhodiola rosea, minimum 3% rosavins,.and 1% salidrosides,.pure freeze dried. I bought them both from Amazon. Kinda expensive but it works.. as far as the magazine goes, I had to do a lot of research. I had no idea how many their is to choose from the magnesium matate is for energy, muscle, and pain so I chose this one. I'm still doing research on it I find it interesting. On youtube they have videos on how magnesium works on your birth chart..check it out. Seach for "cell salts birth chart". All these vids will show up and they are so interesting. I love to learn about zodiac sighs, and I do research on the start, moon ,and the planets and beyond. Call me crazy, that's ok LOL. But this is the best time of year to search the skies.. The winter months. {affiliate link added}

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Galina Says:
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Charlene (# 16) --

Hello Charlene, I am going to see my doctor this Wednesday and he may ask me a question about why you have a pain in your face. Do you know what is the cause of your nerve pain? Is it caused by physical trauma, medications, health condition, etc. if you can, let me know what caused you to have the nerve pain. I will ask my doctor whether nortriptyline is better than amitriptyline and has less side effects. I hope he can help.

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Cheryl Says:
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Galina (# 18) --

I take 25 mg of non tripling given to me by my neurologist . I take it at night sleep well and no groggy at all. It helps with my it band syndrome

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Galina Says:
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Charlene, Thank you for providing me with more information. I will let you know what my doctor thinks tomorrow. Have a good night!!!

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