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Nortriptyline (Pamelor) Reviews for ADHD

nortriptyline Pamalor Reviews ADHD tricyclics antidepressants norepinephrine NRI nootropics side effects

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#1 devinthayer

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 03:55 PM


This topic is lacking so much that I thought I'd bring it up for the whole internet to watch and learn.

I've tried a lot of ADHD medications, and I wanted to find one with a low side effect profile that still worked to not only help me focus, but also to help motivation and lethargy. Stimulants gave me really high blood pressure and tunnel vision. Strattera made me miserable and anorexic. Modafinil worked for 2-6hrs out of the day depending on how much I took, and then it didn't help with motivation or focus afterwards. Welbutrin almost worked, but it hurt my memory recall so bad I had to stop. There they are: all the basic ADHD meds.

Strattera "worked" the best, but I was such a miserable person that I may never turn back.

I asked my Psych about possibly Intuniv (guanfacine XR) or Clonidine. She said that those are mainly for hyperactive children, not inattentive adults. I asked her about Deprenyl tablets or capsules, which are covered by my insurance. She said that MAOi's have had very little effect on ADHD in trials, despite the dopamine/norepinephrine theories.

Finally I said, "Could I try a tricyclic?" To which she prescribed me generic Pamalor, nortriptyline. I looked it up on Wiki, and sure enough it was one of the better tricyclic antidepressants out there, a very strong NRI in comparison to 80% of the other ones. Since Strattera worked so well, I thought this one might work.

The side effects of antidepressants are mostly from titration. What that means is that your body responds to it poorly at first dose increase and then gets used to it over the course of a few days to a few weeks. Strattera had a nightmarish titration period that zapped me out of my energy, mood stability, and tolerance... but it was over within 3 days. Nortriptyline had a less severe but longer titration period of about 20-30 days.

During the first couple weeks, I was so absolutely tired, unmotivated, and depressed. I could see why people kill themselves when taking antidepressants. I called up my psych in this depression and asked if I could take myself off. She said that wouldn't be a problem, but the next day I had gotten some rest and felt like waiting it out.

It wasn't two days later that the depression completely subsided, and I got my energy back. One side effect still persists... the sweet tooth. I have been craving sweets all day long - every time I get bored or hungry. I feel like drinking soda, eating doughnuts, pounding down cookies, wolfing down ice cream, and popping chocolates in my mouth like its popcorn.

When I heard people take nortriptyline for headaches, I thought... wtf, this thing gave me a headache. My eye and ear hurts so bad... wait, that's from the giant cavity in my back molar that the constant sugar brigade has obviously worsened. I think it's on the same nerve channel... I'll have to look up the acupuncture diagrams or something.

As far as for the ADHD, nortryptaline has done almost nothing. Why I say "almost" is because it has helped me gain some perpetuated anxiety, which I totally lack so much that it actually complicates my ability to focus. Not to say that I don't get anxiety, but ADHD makes it hard to have anxiety for very long before the next butterfly or jet plane steels my attention. So to have some negative thought loops is actually a good sign it is working (effed up, but true). I've still got another week of this before I'm calling it quits and getting back on a low stimulant dose or Strattera.

A benefit from nortriptyline is it works as a decent decongestant and antihistamine.

Does anyone have any experience with this drug?

If so, when and did it help concentration, drive, or motivation?

Any thoughts and opinions on this matter will be appreciated, regardless.
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#2 snuffie

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 04:44 PM

No experience with that particular drug.

Glad you started this topic; I'm also looking for a good ADHD solution. Currently taking Wellbutrin for that + depression, but it's not optimal...still have the attention span of a squirrel on crack. Adderall gave me crazy ragey weepy mood swings, yikes. And everything makes me feel like my heart is going to explode. Surely there must be something out there that works and doesn't have such shitty side effects.

Maybe the best treatment is no treatment at all...maybe our brains just aren't designed to function in these weird societies we live in. It can't be normal to sit in a cubicle all day long, and I suspect that taking ADHD drugs to enable me to do this is missing the point. Maybe we all just need to be like Richard Branson and do crazy stuff start a zillion companies and go to outer space.

(but first, I need to write my thesis, so...I need to find a good ADHD drug. sigh.)
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#3 devinthayer

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 05:08 PM

Snuffie, I feel ya. I do not intend on taking ADHD medications my whole life. I intend on finding a lifestyle that is healthy for my abilities. However, this society is a high anxiety-bred, coffee-fed team of workaholics and cold, ruthless micro-managers. To function in a world as such, we have to phase shift until we are free.
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#4 manic_racetam

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 05:24 PM

If only someone felt like paying me to research and experiment with nootropics all day, my ADD wouldn't be an issue... LOL
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#5 devinthayer

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 07:50 PM

If only someone felt like paying me to research and experiment with nootropics all day, my ADD wouldn't be an issue... LOL


That can be arranged... mwahahaha...

#6 pycnogenol

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 10:36 PM

I take Pamelor for a chronic condition and have for about 5 years. I was on the 50 mg strength but started getting
testicular pain so now they have me take the 10 mg strength and let me take up to 5 capsules per day if I need to.
I usually just take 20 to 30 mg daily. Helps pretty well for nerve issues but not for motivation, drive, or concentration.

Edited by pycnogenol, 27 September 2011 - 10:38 PM.

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#7 mmakam2

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 11:04 PM

I have experience with some of these. This is what I've found:

Strattera: I wanted to kill myself. Made me a zombie
Ritalin: Worked pretty good, shitty come down
Concerta: Again worked alright, shitty come down
Remeron: This is a tricyclic antidepressant as well, I was on it for sleep, stopped taking it though because it made me gain a lot of weight.
Adderall: Works amazing for me, but the side effects are not worth, if i wanted to do amphetamine might as well do some crank
Piracetam: On it right now, helps with mood, energy, and spatial intelligence, does not help with adhd symptoms :(
Aniracetam: Loads of energy, helps the same as above, doesnt last long though, again doesn't help with adhd

I take fish oil and multivitamins, seem to help overall well being, but again no luck with the adhd.

I can completely relate to the fitting into society part. I am extremely intelligent when it comes to many subjects, but studying is almost impossible. I learn by doing and this is how I've gotten through life thus far. I've taught myself automotive mechanics, built a car in my garage when i was 17, I run a IT business again, self taught. Business is shitty though, and I've been working on certifications to work in the corporate world, and the going is tough. In high school I was taking AP BC calculus, and was failing the entire year. I took adderall for 3 days and read the entire book, and passed my AP test and got college credit for it. This is just an example of how well adderall works for me, but it feels like I have an empty hole where my soul used to be as well as insomnia, no appetite, and comedown depression. This being said, I am 23 and I am all over the map when it comes to different projects and goals I am trying to acheive.

I would also like to add before people say im abusing adderall or taking too much of it. I can take as little as 5-10mg and feel like utter asshole by the end of the day. I have to weigh quality of life over the benefits, and it just doesn't weigh up for me.

Edited by mmakam2, 27 September 2011 - 11:17 PM.

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#8 semi-retarded-individual

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 11:17 PM

Good thread Devin. What happened with your MB trial? I seem to recall you as one of the experimenters who had good results. Also, ever try deprenyl? I'm taking on average about 4mg/day now and so far I think it's going well. It isn't a personality overhaul but I can see subtle enhancements in mood, cognition and motivation....subtle being the operative word.
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#9 snuffie

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:34 AM

Snuffie, I feel ya. I do not intend on taking ADHD medications my whole life. I intend on finding a lifestyle that is healthy for my abilities. However, this society is a high anxiety-bred, coffee-fed team of workaholics and cold, ruthless micro-managers. To function in a world as such, we have to phase shift until we are free.


I should print that out and post it in my cubicle.



Although I agree that we have to figure out how to "phase shift" as you say, it's the "until we are free" part that we really have to be careful of. I'm still working in a cubicle 7 years later. It's too easy to settle and be complacent in misery because it gets you health insurance and a pension. (which is good, because you end up needing the health benefits to pay for the meds and therapy you need because you hate your life so much) :-D

...I am plotting my escape...
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#10 devinthayer

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 02:27 PM

Pycnogenol, I currently take two 25mg pills in a day. I do not experience testicular pain, but definitely eye, ear, and tooth pain... probably from the sweet intake increase. That's a shame it doesn't help with motivation or concentration. I thought I might be barking up the wrong pill tree when it started making me depressed.

I have never taken Deprenyl, but I would if I could. I can't afford it without insurance and a prescription. From what I understand, it is as you say, "subtle", in its effects. This may still help, since I have atypical ADHD-PI, and a strange resistance to certain medications. It could be that I have too many enzymes. I wonder if there is a way of getting my DNA tested for cheap or free money or free?

Methylene Blue (MB) works as a general nootropic or life enhancer, but after reading the studies about mice and mutations, I stopped the chronic use and take it very infrequently, only on a bad day. It shouldn't cause major health problems since I am healthy, but I'd rather not take equivalent doses that made mice develop mutations. Who knows, maybe a third arm would be nice. Humans and mice are 20% of DNA difference, and that might make all the difference in protecting nucleic acids from small cyclic Sulfur Ion Molecules.

Snuffie, when you plot your escape, remember me. I live not too far from the Border. I can hide you in my basement, away from the work zombies.

#11 devinthayer

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 02:36 PM

I have experience with some of these. This is what I've found:

Strattera: I wanted to kill myself. Made me a zombie
Ritalin: Worked pretty good, shitty come down
Concerta: Again worked alright, shitty come down
Remeron: This is a tricyclic antidepressant as well, I was on it for sleep, stopped taking it though because it made me gain a lot of weight.
Adderall: Works amazing for me, but the side effects are not worth, if i wanted to do amphetamine might as well do some crank
Piracetam: On it right now, helps with mood, energy, and spatial intelligence, does not help with adhd symptoms :(
Aniracetam: Loads of energy, helps the same as above, doesnt last long though, again doesn't help with adhd

I take fish oil and multivitamins, seem to help overall well being, but again no luck with the adhd.

I can completely relate to the fitting into society part. I am extremely intelligent when it comes to many subjects, but studying is almost impossible. I learn by doing and this is how I've gotten through life thus far. I've taught myself automotive mechanics, built a car in my garage when i was 17, I run a IT business again, self taught. Business is shitty though, and I've been working on certifications to work in the corporate world, and the going is tough. In high school I was taking AP BC calculus, and was failing the entire year. I took adderall for 3 days and read the entire book, and passed my AP test and got college credit for it. This is just an example of how well adderall works for me, but it feels like I have an empty hole where my soul used to be as well as insomnia, no appetite, and comedown depression. This being said, I am 23 and I am all over the map when it comes to different projects and goals I am trying to acheive.

I would also like to add before people say im abusing adderall or taking too much of it. I can take as little as 5-10mg and feel like utter asshole by the end of the day. I have to weigh quality of life over the benefits, and it just doesn't weigh up for me.


I too am one with sensitivity to stimulants. I never thought Adderall to be a creativity blocker, rather an enhancer for me. Creative work is 1000x easier to plow through, just like any other work. However, work becomes an obsession, and I put 10x more effort into something than I should have. That's why I'll never ask for another prescription. It made me overproductive, which is just as bad, maybe worse than ADHD symptoms.

I took Pramiracetam, and all that did was make my mind go wild with desire to learn, which was distracting me from the things that didn't require learning. Haha, oh well.

#12 pycnogenol

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:09 PM

Pycnogenol, I currently take two 25mg pills in a day. I do not experience testicular pain, but definitely eye, ear,
and tooth pain...


Good to hear you have no testicular pain. My doctor was telling me that Pamelor has a long half-life in the
body and taking 50 mg or more per day in men can sometimes result in testicular pain such as swelling which
is the side effect I experienced. Dry mouth is #1 side effect with Pamelor. If you take it just be careful with
dose. The Mayo Clinic had me take 150 mg for a very brief time (5 days) to see how it affected me and lets
just say that taking that much was a bad idea.

Edited by pycnogenol, 28 September 2011 - 03:14 PM.

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#13 lourdaud

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:18 PM

Devin: I'm too suffer from ADHD, and I've just stepped off dexamph after several months of usage as I too get many of the negative Adderal effects you mentioned..

Although I'm having some improvements with high doses of piracetam and fish-oil - I find it great at providing motivation, mood boost, and pro-cognitive effects - but it doesn't in any way provide that laser-like focus that true stimulants give me, nor does it have the same kind of alertness..

As you seem to have done quite a lot of research on stimulant-like, ADHD-friendly supplements and nootropics, and also seem to have tried a lot of stuff, I'd be very grateful if you could recommend all the stuff you've found beneficial. Preferably something that could easily fit in to a racetam + fish-oil regime.
I just saw your thread on Hordenine, and I'll definitely try that and DMAA out. Also want to try out Methylene Blue, if only I can get my hands on it..

Right now I'm taking piracetam, oxiracetam, aniracetam, nicotin, vitamin B's, ginkgo biloba and green tea daily, and also cycling Sulbutiamine, DLPA and l-tyrosine, just to soften the dex withdrawal, but nicotin is by far the most important part there and I'll rule that out as soon as I get some nefiracetam, which I fear won't provide as good a cure on the low doses I'll be trying as nicotin does so I'd love to incorporate/cycle some more stuff..

Sooo, I beg you, give me all you got! :-D

#14 devinthayer

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 09:24 PM

Devin: I'm too suffer from ADHD, and I've just stepped off dexamph after several months of usage as I too get many of the negative Adderal effects you mentioned..

Although I'm having some improvements with high doses of piracetam and fish-oil - I find it great at providing motivation, mood boost, and pro-cognitive effects - but it doesn't in any way provide that laser-like focus that true stimulants give me, nor does it have the same kind of alertness..

As you seem to have done quite a lot of research on stimulant-like, ADHD-friendly supplements and nootropics, and also seem to have tried a lot of stuff, I'd be very grateful if you could recommend all the stuff you've found beneficial. Preferably something that could easily fit in to a racetam + fish-oil regime.
I just saw your thread on Hordenine, and I'll definitely try that and DMAA out. Also want to try out Methylene Blue, if only I can get my hands on it..

Right now I'm taking piracetam, oxiracetam, aniracetam, nicotin, vitamin B's, ginkgo biloba and green tea daily, and also cycling Sulbutiamine, DLPA and l-tyrosine, just to soften the dex withdrawal, but nicotin is by far the most important part there and I'll rule that out as soon as I get some nefiracetam, which I fear won't provide as good a cure on the low doses I'll be trying as nicotin does so I'd love to incorporate/cycle some more stuff..

Sooo, I beg you, give me all you got! :-D

I swear I am going to make a side business out of this... but here goes my proposed formula. Take 3-4x per day.

Tropik A - The Procrastination Killer
  • Hordenine 50mg (MAOi-B, reversible)
  • DMAA 50mg (NRI)
  • Huperzine 1% extract 20mg (ACHEi, NMDA Antagonist)
  • Methylene Blue 1mg (inhibits Mitochondrial Complex IV)
  • Oxiracetam 750mg (increases uptake and receptor densities of... a lot)
PM Me for the other two formulas that provide strength and sustenance for the above formula.

#15 Delta Gamma

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 02:25 AM

Tropik A - The Procrastination Killer

  • Hordenine 50mg (MAOi-B, reversible)
  • DMAA 50mg (NRI)
  • Huperzine 1% extract 20mg (ACHEi, NMDA Antagonist)
  • Methylene Blue 1mg (inhibits Mitochondrial Complex IV)
  • Oxiracetam 750mg (increases uptake and receptor densities of... a lot)
PM Me for the other two formulas that provide strength and sustenance for the above formula.


Might want to change that to ug's before someone tries it haha.
Ever had a hormone panel done? Also, it's probably worth spending the $99 (less if you hunt for online coupons) just so you can get some idea on why you have such bizarre reactions to most drugs.

#16 devinthayer

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 02:35 PM


Tropik A - The Procrastination Killer

  • Hordenine 50mg (MAOi-B, reversible)
  • DMAA 50mg (NRI)
  • Huperzine 1% extract 20mg (ACHEi, NMDA Antagonist)
  • Methylene Blue 1mg (inhibits Mitochondrial Complex IV)
  • Oxiracetam 750mg (increases uptake and receptor densities of... a lot)
PM Me for the other two formulas that provide strength and sustenance for the above formula.




Might want to change that to ug's before someone tries it haha.
Ever had a hormone panel done? Also, it's probably worth spending the $99 (less if you hunt for online coupons) just so you can get some idea on why you have such bizarre reactions to most drugs.

Saving up... maybe it will be a nice Christmas present for myself to get my DNA mapped.

1% Huperzine extract is in mg, not ug. If it were 99% at 20mg, you'd be on the toilet in no time with a splitting migraine. 20mg of 1% extract is approximately 200mcg of 99% extract.

Other notes for that formula... Methylene Blue doesn't need to be 1mg, perhaps that is too high. Half that should be fine. Also I forgot to add a dopaminergic... either 200mg of Sulbutiamine or 300mg of Schizandrol A for the more instanteous ADHD symptom relief. Noradrenergic things like DMAA and hordenine might take 5-8 hours of use to get the full effects, and I think this is because norepinephrine has to build in the synapse. Whereas dopamine takes less time to build, in my experience. Dopaminergics seem to be more fast-acting than Noradrenergics against ADHD, anyway.

In fact, it is hypothesized that the brain will try to match levels of norepinephrine with more dopamine, and that is why SNRI's and NRI's take so long to get the full benefits. Also it is recommended that stimulants be taken for a month to reap the full benefits. That is another reason why I think dopaminergics should be used in conjunction for an ADHD nootropic formula... so that you don't have to wait.

Edited by devinthayer, 06 October 2011 - 02:54 PM.


#17 devinthayer

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 02:36 PM

I just realized I spelled Pamelor wrong. Mods, if you find this, please fix it.

[done!]

Edited by chrono, 07 October 2011 - 06:54 AM.


#18 devinthayer

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 02:48 PM

Just an update on my experience...

These week I have been fasting and went off the medication for a day, took 1 pill the next two days, and the past two days have been on one pill twice a day. I also cut out coffee, soda, etc. First night of the fast, all night, and into the morning was a splitting headache in the back of my eyes. I have no idea how I got to sleep that night.

So this fasting experience has re-awakened my eyes to how medication affects me. I never noticed nortriptyline makes me feel warm and slightly stimulated for about an hour after taking it. Now having taken it for a while, I no longer require vast amounts of sleep to function. However, I get very tired quite easily. That is normal for me, though.

I feel a sort of numbness from this medication, and I suppose that is why it is used to treat anxiety and depression. I feel inhibited I suppose. I am a lot calmer, but also still suffering from motivation at times, worse than if I weren't on medication.

I guess this medication is more for hyperactive kids, not ADHD-PI adults.

#19 JackMcCoy

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 02:48 AM

Provigil (Modifinil) worked wonders for me, but the effectiveness gradually subsided and my insurance didn't cover it. I now use a combination of Ashwagandha, Bacopa, Gotu Kola, Ginkgo, and the Paleo diet to control ADHD-PI.
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#20 Rain6363

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:37 PM

Strattera: Didn't help me focus at all, I was still Very hyperactive and scatterbrained, though i loved it because i didn't have any comedown effects aka mood swings, and depression. but then again it didn't do anything.
Ritalin: Worked, but the comedown was leaving me with thoughts of suicide and frustration issues.( i have a learning disability as well as ADHA, their for i would get upset about self worth)
Concerta: I was on the highest possible does did nothing for me.... still ADHD, though i did notice being able to sit in a seat longer than a half hour which was better.
Adderall: Works amazing for me, but the side effects are really not the best and would love to find something else.
Aniracetam: Makes me more motivated and gives me the ability to sit still to complete tasks i still and fairly hyperactive so i just do more exercise, one thing i had to note though is that in order for mr ADHD symptoms to stay away i need to take it twice away with choline!

I am going to try adding Noopete soon





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