Nobritol and Sleep
Nobritol is often used as an "off-label" treatment for insomnia.
However, some doctors believe there are safer, more effective sleep therapies available, so the drug is rarely prescribed for insomnia anymore.
Q: I'm currently taking 10 mg of amitryptyline at night, before bed. Can I still drink alcohol? If so, do I take my pill before bed still after an evening of drinking or do I take it earlier on in the day?
A: Nobritol may enhance the effects of alcohol, barbiturates, and other medicines that can affect the brain. This may lead to an increased risk of drowsiness, dizziness, suicidal thoughts, and other symptoms. Make sure to talk with your health care provider about drinking alcohol while taking Nobritol. Lori Mendoza, PharmD Poulin, PharmD -
On this page
- About Nobritol for pain
- Key facts
- Who can and can't take Nobritol
- How and when to take it
- Side effects
- How to cope with side effects
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Cautions with other medicines
- Common questions
2. Key facts
- Nobritol is widely used to treat depression, but at lower doses it's also very good for treating pain.
- Nobritol can make you feel sleepy so it's best to take it in the evening or before you go to bed.
- You may notice a difference after a week or two but it can take 6 weeks for Nobritol to work as a painkiller.
- Nobritol can cause extra side effects if you stop taking it suddenly. Talk to your doctor if you're thinking of stopping taking Nobritol.
Nobritol side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Nobritol: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
unusual thoughts or behavior;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
a seizure (convulsions);
painful or difficult urination;
easy bruising, unusual bleeding; or
sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing.
Common Nobritol side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, upset stomach;
mouth pain, unusual taste, black tongue;
appetite or weight changes;
urinating less than usual;
itching or rash;
breast swelling (in men or women); or
decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Can Nobritol cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with Nobritol. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
Rated Nobritol (Elavil) for Pain Report
I was prescribed Nobritol about ten years ago for neck pain. Gradually over the last three years have had many side effects including nightmares, dry mouth, feeling of acute fatigue and have recently been hospitalised for severe constipation and tenesmus ( feeling as though you frequently need the loo but can't). I was completely oblivious to these side effects. Fortunately now I no longer take them I feel 100 per cent better.
Dosage for depression
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
- Typical starting dosage: 75 mg per day, usually in divided doses.
- Dosage increases: Your doctor will slowly increase your dosage if needed.
- Maximum dosage: 150 mg per day.
- Alternative dosage regimen: Start with 50 to 100 mg at bedtime. This may be increased by 25 or 50 mg as needed in the bedtime dose, for a total of 150 mg per day.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)
It hasn’t been confirmed that Nobritol is safe and effective for use in children younger than 17 years.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)
The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.
Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
When to call the doctorCall your doctor if you notice worsening depression or suicidal thoughts. Also call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.
What is Nobritol?
Nobritol (a-muh-trip-tuh-leen) is a drug that can reduce your pain and discomfort, and help you get a good night’s sleep.
You can discuss the benefits and risks of taking Nobritol with healthcare professionals before you start treatment, so you’re able to make an informed decision.
Nobritol is a type of drug called a tricyclic antidepressant. These drugs were originally developed to treat anxiety and depression, but when taken at a low dose they can reduce or stop pain.
Nobritol works by increasing the amount of serotonin your brain makes. Serotonin is a chemical, called a neurotransmitter, that the brain sends out to nerves in the body. It’s thought to improve your mood, emotional state, sleep and the way your body responds to pain.
By raising your serotonin levels, Nobritol should change your body’s reaction to pain. The low dose won’t treat depression, but it should reduce your pain, relax your muscles and improve your sleep.
It’s safe to be prescribed to adults or children. It should help you sleep as soon as you start taking it, but significant changes to your pain and mood can take up to six weeks.
Nobritol is prescribed for many painful, long-term conditions that affect your muscles or bones. These include:
- arthritis (arth-rye-tus)
- back pain
- fibromyalgia (fie-bruh-my-al-juh)
- tension headaches and migraines
- damage to nerve endings in limbs, which may be described to you as peripheral neuropathy (pe-rif-er-ul new-ro-pa-thee).
You may not be able to take Nobritol if:
- you’ve had an allergic reaction to a medication in the past
- you have heart problems, as it can make them worse
- you have uncontrolled bipolar disorder
- you have the rare inherent blood disorder porphyria (por-fear-ee-ya) which affects the nervous system
- you have liver or kidney problems
- you have epilepsy, as it can increase the risk of seizures
- you’ve had or are having treatment for depression, as some medicines can interact badly with it
- you have glaucoma (glor-co-ma), as it can increase the pressure in your eye
- you have extreme mood swings, thoughts of self-harming or suicide.
If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or want to try for a baby, you may be prescribed another medicine instead of Nobritol.
3. Who can and can't take Nobritol
Nobritol can be taken by most adults. It can also be taken by children aged 2 to 17 years for some types of nerve pain.
Nobritol isn't suitable for some people. Check with your doctor before starting to take Nobritol if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to Nobritol or any other medicines in the past
- have a heart problem - Nobritol can make some heart problems worse
- have a rare illness called porphyria
- have liver or kidney problems
- have epilepsy - Nobritol can increase seizures
- have ever taken any medicines for depression - some rarely-used antidepressants can interfere with Nobritol
- are trying to become pregnant, are already pregnant or you are breastfeeding - Nobritol isn't always recommended in pregnancy or while breastfeeding
- have an eye problem called glaucoma - Nobritol can increase the pressure in your eye
- have thoughts about harming yourself or ending your life
If you have diabetes, Nobritol may change your blood sugar level. Check your blood sugar more often for the first few weeks of treatment with Nobritol. Talk to your diabetes doctor if the reading goes too high or low.
One in four people will get significant pain relief with Nobritol. This is regarded as an excellent result for chronic pain conditions. It is started at a low dose (10 or 25 mg a day) and gradually increased in 10 or 25 mg increments each week up towards 75 mg if side effects are tolerable. Your doctor may advise you to go higher than this dose. The tablets are small and difficult to cut in half, and will often produce numbness of the tongue due to a local anaesthetic effect, but it is available as a syrup. It is better to use the syrup if small increases of dose are required during the titration (dose build-up) phase.
Is Nobritol safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Safety of Nobritol in pregnancy and children is not established.
Nobritol is secreted in human milk and potentially can adversely affect the nursing infant.
Nobritol (Endep )is an antidepressant medication. In patients with depression, abnormal levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters may relate to their depression. Nobritol elevates mood by raising the level of neurotransmitters in brain tissue. Nobritol is also a sedative, and is useful in the treatment of insomnia, restlessness, and nervousness. It has also been found to be helpful in the treatment of fibromyalgia and symptoms related to chronic pain. It is extremely important to be aware of the drug interactions related to Nobritol, effects on pregnancy and nursing mothers, as well as common side effects on the user.