Definition

A metabolite of AMITRIPTYLINE that is also used as an antidepressive agent. Nortriptyline is used in major depression, dysthymia, and atypical depressions.

Description

Nortriptyline hydrochloride, the N-demethylated active metabolite of amitriptyline, is a dibenzocycloheptene-derivative tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). TCAs are structurally similar to phenothiazines. They contain a tricyclic ring system with an alkyl amine substituent on the central ring. In non-depressed individuals, nortriptyline does not affect mood or arousal, but may cause sedation. In depressed individuals, nortriptyline exerts a positive effect on mood. TCAs are potent inhibitors of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake. Secondary amine TCAs, such as nortriptyline, are more potent inhibitors of norepinephrine reuptake than tertiary amine TCAs, such as amitriptyline. TCAs also down-regulate cerebral cortical β-adrenergic receptors and sensitize post-synaptic serotonergic receptors with chronic use. The antidepressant effects of TCAs are thought to be due to an overall increase in serotonergic neurotransmission. TCAs also block histamine-H1 receptors, α1-adrenergic receptors and muscarinic receptors, which accounts for their sedative, hypotensive and anticholinergic effects (e.g. blurred vision, dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention), respectively. See toxicity section below for a complete listing of side effects. Nortriptyline exerts less anticholinergic and sedative side effects compared to the tertiary amine TCAs, amitriptyline and clomipramine. Nortriptyline may be used to treat depression, chronic pain (unlabeled use), irritable bowel syndrome (unlabeled use), diabetic neuropathy (unlabeled use), post-traumatic stress disorder (unlabeled use), and for migraine prophylaxis (unlabeled use).

Top Gene Interactions

Related Pathways

General Information

Toxicity

Mechanism of Action

Nortriptyline Interacts with Diseases

Nortriptyline Interacts with Genes