Generic Name: nortriptyline hydrochloride
Product Name: Allegron
Indication: What Allegron is used for
Allegron is used to treat depression.
Your doctor may have prescribed for another reason.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Allegron has been prescribed for you.
Action: How Allegron works
There are many different types of medicines used to treat depression. Allegron belongs to a group of medicines called tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). TCAs are thought to work by their action on brain chemicals called amines which are involved in controlling mood.
Allegron contains 10mg or 25mg of the active ingredient nortriptyline. It also contains the inactive Ingredients maize starch, magnesium stearate, lactose, calcium phosphate, glycerol, and hypromellose. The 25mg tablet also contains Sunset Yellow FCF CI15985.
Dose advice: How to use Allegron
Before taking Allegron
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions or if you have ever experienced any of these conditions.
When you must not take Allegron
Do not take Allegron
- If you have had an allergic reaction to any medicines containing nortriptyline or to any of the ingredients listed here.
- Signs of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching of the skin, shortness of breath and swelling of the tongue or face;
- If you are taking another medicine for depression called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), or have been taking a MAOI within the last 14 days. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure as to whether or not you are taking a MAOI;
- If you are taking another medicine for sedation or anxiety.
- If you take both medicines together, you may have an allergic reaction;
- If you have an irregular heartbeat or have had a heart attack within the previous eight weeks;
- If the expiry date on the pack has passed.
- If you take this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well;
- If the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
Before you start taking Allegron
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, including other medicines used to treat your current condition, or other substances such as foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.
Allegron is not recommended to be used during pregnancy. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using Allegron if you are pregnant.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
It is not known whether Allegron passes into breast milk.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
- Heart disease;
- Glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye);
- Difficulty in urinating;
- Thyroid problems;
- Epilepsy or seizures;
- Mental illnesses such as mania or schizophrenia.
Tell your doctor if you plan to have surgery.
Tell your doctor about these things before you take Allegron.
There is no specific information available to recommend the use of Allegron in children or adolescents under 18 years of age.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines including any that you have bought from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may affect the way Allegron works. These include:
- Cimetidine, a medicine used to treat ulcers and gastric reflux;
- Fluoxetine, a medicine used to treat depression;
- Quinidine, a medicine used to treat heart disease;
- Chlorpropamide, a medicine used to treat diabetes;
- Carbamazepine, a medicine used to treat epilepsy;
- Medicines used to treat high blood pressure;
- Medicines used to treat thyroid problems.
Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to tell you what to do when taking Allegron with other medicines.
How to take Allegron
How much to take
Your doctor will tell you how much Allegron you need to take each day. The usual adult dose for Allegron is 75 to 100mg daily, in 3 or 4 divided doses. For elderly patients 25 to 50mg daily in divided doses is recommended. Your doctor may increase or decrease your dose depending on your condition.
How to take it
Tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water.
When to take it
Allegron can be taken with or without food.
How long do I take it
For depression, the length of treatment will depend on how quickly your symptoms improve. Most antidepressants take time to work so don’t be discouraged if you do not feel better right away. While some symptoms will be relieved sooner than others, Allegron commonly takes two to four weeks before improvement is really apparent.
Continue taking Allegron for as long as your doctor recommends.
If you do not start to feel better in about four weeks, check with your doctor.
If you forget to take it
Take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking it as you would normally.
Do not take an extra dose.
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to.
Do not try to make up for missed doses by taking more than one dose at a time.
If you take too much
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26) or go to casualty at your nearest hospital, if you think you or anyone else has taken too much Allegron.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
If you have taken too much Allegron you may exhibit the following signs: confusion, blurred vision, dizziness, body temperature changes (low and high), difficulty in breathing and increased heartbeat.
While you are taking Allegron
Things you must do
Tell all doctors and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Allegron.
Before you start any new medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking Allegron .
Watch carefully for signs that your depression or anxiety is getting worse, especially in the first few weeks of treatment.
Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms, especially if they are severe, you have not had these symptoms before or they happen very suddenly:
- Anxiety or agitation;
- Panic attacks;
- Difficulty sleeping;
- Hostility or impulsiveness;
- Overactivity or uninhibited behaviour;
- Thoughts of suicide.
Tell your doctor immediately if you have any thoughts about suicide or doing harm to yourself.
Warning signs of suicide:
- All thoughts or talk about suicide or violence are serious. If you or someone you know is showing the following warning signs, either contact your doctor or a mental health advisor right away or go to the nearest hospital for treatment;
- Thoughts or talk of death or suicide;
- Thoughts or talk about self-harm or doing harm to others;
- Any recent attempts of self-harm;
- An increase in aggressive behaviour, irritability or agitation.
Tell your doctor if you develop a skin rash or hives while taking Allegron.
Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while taking Allegron.
Visit your doctor regularly so your progress can be checked.
Tell your doctor if your mouth feels dry and this lasts for more than 2 weeks.
Allegron causes dry mouth.
Things you must not do
Do not stop taking Allegron or lower the dose without first checking with your doctor.
Suddenly stopping Allegron may cause unwanted side effects.
Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how Allegron affects you.
Do not give Allegron to anyone else.
Your doctor has prescribed it specifically for you and your condition.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Allegron affects you.
Allegron may cause drowsiness in some people.
Make sure you know how you react to Allegron before you drive a car or operate any machinery.
Be careful when drinking alcohol while taking Allegron. Combining Allegron and alcohol can make you more sleepy, dizzy or light-headed.
Your doctor may suggest that you avoid alcohol while you are being treated with Allegron.
Be careful to avoid exposure to sunlight while you are taking Allegron, as symptoms of sunburn may occur more quickly than normal.
Some people may suffer symptoms such as nausea, headache or malaise if Allegron is stopped suddenly. Your doctor may decide to reduce your dose or the interval of your dose over 1 or 2 weeks.
After taking Allegron
Keep your tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them.
If you take your tablets out of the blister pack, they may not keep as well.
Keep your tablets in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25 degrees C.
All medicines should be kept where young children cannot reach them.
There will be an expiry date (month, year) on your Allegron carton. The medicine should not be taken after this date because it may have lost some of its strength.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking Allegron or you find that this medicine has passed its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any remaining tablets.
Schedule of Allegron
Allegron is an S4: Prescription Only Medicine.
Side effects of Allegron
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Allegron.
Like other medicines, Allegron may cause some unwanted side effects. These are likely to vary from patient to patient. Some side effects may be related to the dose of Allegron so it is important that you never exceed the stated dose.
It is important that you tell your doctor as soon as possible about any unwanted effects. Your doctor may then decide to adjust the dose of Allegron you are taking.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects and they worry you.
These are common side effects of tricyclic antidepressants:
- Blurred vision;
- Diarrhoea and stomach pain;
- Dizziness or light-headedness (especially on standing rapidly);
- Difficulty passing urine;
- Dry mouth.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to casualty at your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
- Body temperature changes (low and high);
- Difficulty in breathing;
- Increased heart beat (palpitations).
These side effects are uncommon but may be serious and need urgent medical attention.
There are other rare side effects.
Tell your doctor if you notice any unusual symptoms or if you are concerned about any aspect of your health, even if you think the problems are not connected with this medicine and are not referred here.
For further information talk to your doctor.