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Gabapentin (brand name Neurontin) is a medication originally developed for the treatment of epilepsy. Presently, gabapentin is widely used to relieve pain, especially neuropathic pain. Gabapentin is well tolerated in most patients, has a relatively mild side-effect profile, and passes through the body unmetabolized.
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).
Symptoms of overdose include ataxia, labored breathing, ptosis, sedation, hypoactivity, and excitation.
“Symptoms of overdose include cardiac dysrhythmias, severe hypotension, shock, congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, convulsions, and CNS depression, including coma. Changes in the electrocardiogram, particularly in QRS axis or width, are clinically significant indicators of tricyclic antidepressant toxicity.
Side effects include: sedation, hypotension, blurred vision, dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention, postural hypotension, tachycardia, hypertension, ECG changes, heart failure, impaired memory and delirium, and precipitation of hypomanic or manic episodes in bipolar depression.
Withdrawal symptoms include gastrointestinal disturbances, anxiety, and insomnia.”
For the management of postherpetic neuralgia in adults and as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial seizures with and without secondary generalization in patients over 12 years of age with epilepsy.
For the treatment of depression, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep disorders, diabetic neuropathy, agitation and insomnia, and migraine prophylaxis.