Pamelor FAQ

Pamelor is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) drug, first approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1964. Since that time, Pamelor (also known by the generic name nortriptyline) has been prescribed by health care providers primarily for use in the treatment of depression. Over time, other uses of Pamelor have been for treating issues such as hyperactivity and impulsivity found in patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and relief from persistent, burning pain associated with a shingles infection (post-herpetic neuralgia).

This drug works by increasing the amounts of norepinephrine and serotonin, two very important naturally-made chemicals (called neurotransmitters) in the brain that help regulate positive and negative aspects of mood. TCAs increase levels of these neurotransmitters which then prevents the brain’s nerve endings (synapses) from drawing the two chemicals back into their tissue.

Pamelor is a stimulant drug that is considered safe and generally to be physically non-addictive. However, there are risks involved with taking this medication. In particular is concern for use of Pamelor by adolescents. Pamelor has been approved by the FDA for individuals age 18 and over but physicians have been known to prescribe this drug to younger people – and this group is at a higher risk of developing suicidal thoughts.

Though Pamelor is described as physically non-addictive, a dependency can be formed. Caution should be taken as drug dependencies can often lead to a psychological addiction. This occurs as a person becomes reluctant to stop using the drug due to adverse side effects or the fear of feeling as poorly as they once had prior to using this drug.

If you suspect you’ve become reliant on using Pamelor, breaking this addiction is possible. To find out how, check out our questions below or contact a representative at The Recovery Village to learn about options available to you.