Nortriptyline

Nortriptyline is an antidepressant forming part of the class of drugs known as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). TCAs inhibit the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain. They are older, but effective, drugs that are less selective than more modern reuptake inhibitors, such as SSRIs. Nortriptyline is prescribed to treat depression and neuralgia, as well as to aid smoking cessation.

Nortriptyline and the benefit of DNA analysis

The rate at which nortriptyline is processed within your body varies from one individual to another. This means that the efficacy and side effects of nortriptyline can be predicted to some extent on the basis of your genes. Preventive DNA analysis can therefore be an important tool in optimising your medication.

Nortriptyline and the enzyme CYP2D6

Nortriptyline is processed to a large extent by the enzyme CYP2D6. The activity of this enzyme can vary considerably depending on your genetic predisposition, which means the efficacy of nortriptyline can also differ from person to person. Information about your genetic predisposition may therefore provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to a treatment with nortriptyline.

*The enzyme CYP2C19 also plays a (limited) role in the processing of nortriptyline. However, no specific guidelines have been formulated on the basis of this enzyme.

Read more about The enzyme CYP2D6 »