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Nortriptyline = Confusion and memory loss?

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It's been a long time since I've been back on the forums but here I am.  I've been taking nortriptyline for over a month now and I'm at 200 mg.  They originally put me on a low dose for headaches but my pdoc didn't think it would work well with the effexor I was taking and bumped up the dose and eased me off the effexor.  I feel like I'm losing my mind in that I forget things pretty much instantly like leaving my purse in the cart at the store and not realizing it until I drove home.  Or like where I put whatever I just had in my hands.  My thoughts are all haywire and I'm not usually like this.  I usually have an almost photographic memory and yesterday I actually turned to go down a one-way the wrong way in a small town I've lived in for years.  I FORGOT TO TELL MY PDOC AT MY APPOINTMENT THAT I FORGET EVERYTHING!  I called before the weekend but now I have to wait to hear back and my appointment isn't for a few weeks.


Anyone else out there struggling like this?   How are you coping?


I should also include that I am unbelievably depressed so this just brings me down lower.  I'm actually getting a little scared that I may have to go IP for the first time in over a year. :(  

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Hi vandeeje --yes, yes, yes. I've been on Nortriptyline since maybe February or March (I can't remember because of the Nortriptyline!) and I've had a general fogginess, for lack of a better description. Like I can't quite zero in on things or concentrate very well, and my memory definitely doesn't seem as sharp. My word recall problems seem to have gotten worse as well. I can't say I have any coping strategies to suggest, as I'm trying to resign myself to possibly another med change to deal with this. Oh, also, I've been on lithium too as I see you've been, so I'm not clear if the problems got worse when I added the lithium to the mix (though I'm on a relatively small dose), and I'm on a trial run of eliminating the lithium to see if that helps. Of course your being very depressed probably isn't helping either. No suggestions from me, just an affirmation that I've experienced something similar. I hope things get better soon.

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  • 4 years later...

I have been on nortriptyline for 8 years. My memory loss is where someone tells me something or I tell them something and don’t ever remember it. It’s like something happened I was there I talked about it and later is brought back up and I have no clue about it. Exampl:  my sone tells me his friend who lived with us when he was a teenager had contacted him. I respond to my son saying I had a text from someone that said he was his friend. My son tells me yes his friend was in jail for 6 years is why we hadn’t heard from him. Then weeks later his friend messaged me.  I responded asking if he is this friend and he tells me yes. Then I say “where have you been?” He tells me and I call my son to tell him he contacted me and my son says “mom I told you he contacted me and we talked about this 2 weeks ago.” I have no memory of this at all. This type of stuff happenes often with me and I am like “no you didn’t I don’t remember it.” This happenes with friends, family members, and in my past relationships. I thought that my relationships were lying to me but then when friends and family members were saying the same I realized something is wrong. Then my most new relationship told me he heard my son and me discussing his friend that I was like what’s wrong with me. He said maybe it’s the nortriptyline. Which makes me feel better because I thought maybe something worse. I take the nortriptyline for head aches but also nerve pain. I don’t want to get off it because I came off it twice and had such horrible neck and upper back pain that I had to go back on it. 

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