Urgent- Anyone taken Nortriptyine/Amy... - National Migraine...

National Migraine Centre
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Urgent- Anyone taken Nortriptyine/Amytriptyline during pregnancy?


I have been diagnosed with chronic everyday migraine 4 yrs back...since then I have been taking 20mg nortriptyline/amytriptyline. I already have 5 and half yr old son. Now i want to conceive another baby. But I am scared to take Nortriptyline during pregnancy...because my OB told me that it can cause some problems in the baby....like heart or nervous system development etc. I have tried to leave Nortriptyline...but after one month the pain is coming back again. I can't think of staying without Nortriptyline for next 9-10 months. Have you gone through the same phase? Have you taken Nortriptyline throughout your pregnancy and have normal healthy baby? Have you got any complications due to Nortriptyline ? Please help.

6 Replies

Debmom- I did not take anything preventive while pregnant. I was given injections in my neck and oxygen.

Are you taking magnesium? I would recommend 250mg am and pm studies show that people with migraines are low in magnesium.

Good luck, the triptains don't work for me.

Hi there. When I got pregnant last year, my GP told me to stop taking amitriptyline. As my chronic migraines are mostly hormonal, they got really bad and towards the end of my second trimester I went to see a different GP at the practice and he was happy for me to start taking it again. And it made a huge difference to the attacks. I only take 20mg a day -apparently when amitriptyline was used as an antidepressant it was the only one prescribed during pregnancy as it’s deemed the safest.


I have been on amitriptyline for both my pregnancies. I have a 4 year old and a 4 month old. I was on 175 mg and went down to 20mg bc of the pregnancies but both times they ended up putting back up to 50mg bc I got so bad. Gp was happy for me to be on it but my neurologist did not want me above 50. Both children are healthy so far! My first had horrendous colic but was fine when it passed. If you survive in 20 you'd be doing better than me. I am getting migraines 20 days a month at the moment and can't have Botox bc I'm breastfeeding and triptans mean I have throw all my milk away so it's very hard but I'm so very glad we managed to have another.


I think there is insufficient evidence to say either way but clinicians do not want to take risks - which is fair enough.

The safest way in my opinion is to try doing exercise everyday. If you can - please talk to a qualified advisor (what exercise can be done during pregnancy) and perhaps join a gym. If not, you can just do some jogging for 20/30 min everyday. You will surely see intensity and frequency of headaches are decreasing after a couple of weeks - but you have to keep doing it. If everyday exercise is not possible - please try alternate day - this will do good. Please remember, in order to make it beneficial for headaches you need to do cardio exercise i.e. running, jogging, perhaps cycling etc.

/ Troy

I was on nortriptyline for chronic migraines when I became pregnant with my first child and I was immediately taken off it. However, I was hospitalized 11 times during the first four months and became a human pin cushion for abortive treatment so after consulting with six different neurologists I was put back on nortriptyline for the last five months of my pregnancy. For my next two pregnancies I remained on nortriptyline the entire time. I should tell you that all three of my sons were born healthy and normal and with perfect apgar scores. It’s a really hard decision to make, but this medication is not considered a high-risk but rather one where you have to determine whether or not the benefit exceeds the risk. Hugs!


My daughter is a month old and I took 55mg of nortriptyline the whole way through pregnancy for aura migraines and migrain variant.

My baby is in absolutely healthy condition with no problems at all. It is a safe drug for pregnancy and my baby didn’t even need monitoring after she was born. I had a smooth pregnancy, a brilliant labour and Alice is has had no effects from the nort. I did have to see a consultant in pregnancy who said it was fine for me to be on it as my migraines are unbearable.

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