How Long Does Pamelor (Nortriptyline) Stay In Your System?

Nortriptyline (brand name Pamelor) belongs to a class of drugs called antidepressants and is most often used to treat depression and certain mood disorders. While nortriptyline’s most common and approved use is in the treatment of depression, it is also sometimes prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults, children, and adolescents or as adjunctive therapy for chronic pain conditions.

Pamelor (Nortriptyline) Prescription Facts

Nortriptyline belongs to a class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. Pamelor works by helping to regulate the levels of certain chemicals in the brain.

Pamelor (Nortriptyline) Regulations

Pamelor is only available with a prescription and should only be taken while under a physician’s care. Be sure to inform your doctor of any allergies or reactions to drugs before taking nortriptyline.

Most Commonly Abused Drugs Containing Pamelor (Nortriptyline)

Nortriptyline is not considered addictive in the most commonly recognized sense as Pamelor doesn’t produce highs or cravings for the drug when discontinued. Therefore, it is at low risk for drug misuse.

How Pamelor (Nortriptyline) Affects The Brain And Body

Nortriptyline works by affecting the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that are associated with emotions. It is believed to function as a reuptake inhibitor of the chemicals norepinephrine and serotonin, which are responsible for mood regulation.

While many do greatly benefit from Pamelor’s desired effects, it may also cause some unwanted side effects. Some of the most common side effects include:

  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Weight gain
  • Dry mouth

Consult your doctor if you experience any of these more rare but serious side effects:

  • Severe stomach or abdominal pain
  • Persistent heartburn
  • Mask-like facial expressions
  • Muscle spasms
  • Shaking
  • Decreased sexual drive
  • Enlarged and/or painful breasts

Nortriptyline works to increase serotonin levels in the brain. In very rare cases, this can lead to a serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. Seek medical attention right away if you experience one or more of the following symptoms while taking Pamelor:

  • Shivering and goosebumps
  • A severe headache
  • Confusion
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Unexplained fever
  • Tremor
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Loss of muscle coordination or twitching muscles
  • Heavy sweating

Half-Life Of Pamelor (Nortriptyline)

To understand how long Pamelor stays in your system, you must first know what the half-life of the drug is. What do we mean by half-life? The half-life of a drug is the time taken for the plasma concentration of a drug to reduce to half its original value. That means that if a drug is 50 milligrams, its half-life is however long it takes for there to be only 25 milligrams of that drug left in your system. Nortriptyline’s half-life varies widely, with it generally having a half-life of anywhere between 16-90 hours.

Factors That Influence How Long Pamelor (Nortriptyline) Stays In Your System

Many aspects that will affect how long Pamelor will stay in your system. One big factor is how quickly you metabolize drugs. Those who metabolize drugs more quickly will clear the nortriptyline out of their system much quicker than those who metabolize drugs slower. Another factor that influences how long Pamelor stays in your system is what dosage you were on to begin with. The higher the dosage, the longer it will take to clear from your system. How long you were taking nortriptyline is another factor that will help to determine how long the drug will stay in your system. People who have taken Pamelor for an extended period will take longer to eliminate the drug from their system. Age and body weight also play important roles in determining how long nortryptyline will stay in your system. Pamelor is considered a lipophilic drug, which means it is highly fat-soluble That means that people with a high Body Mass Index (BMI) will have higher concentrations of nortriptyline in their systems. Thus it will take longer to clear the drug from their system.

How Long Does Pamelor (Nortriptyline) Stay In Your Urine, Hair and Blood?

According to the FDA, drug tests can begin to show a positive result as soon as 8-12 hours after taking Pamelor. It can take anywhere from 2 – 7 days after your last dose for you to not test positive, depending on the factors outlined above. The length of time it takes for nortryptyline to show in hair samples is less clear, as there have not been many conclusive studies done.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.