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Is it ok to take nortriptyline while trying to conceive?

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Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 11407 Questions
My husband is taking nortriptyline (50mg once a day) for some stomach spasms (supposedly a form of IBS). He's always been in good health (he's 35) and this is the first health issue he's ever really had. My question is: we are trying to get pregnant and I need to know if it is safe for him to be taking nortriptyline while we're trying to conceive. Is there an alternative drug for his stomach issues? He's also taking Prilosec for it too. And if he stops taking nortriptyline, how long does it take to get out of his system?
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Men Sexual Problems
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 45 minutes later
Thanks for writing to us.

Nortriptyline is given in very low doses in IBS to combat the pain sensation.

Both nortriptyline and prilosec are safe drugs and do not affect the sperm production or its quality.

He can safely continue taking these while you are trying to conceive.

If he wants to stop the medicine, this drug will take at least 2-3 weeks to get completely washed out from the body.

Some suggestions for optimum sperm health:
1) Have a healthy nutritious diet comprising fruits, veggies, salads etc. Include bananas, avocados, nuts, tomatoes, oysters as they help in increasing sperm count.
2) Take a Zinc, selenium, l-carnitine, vitamins C and E supplementation once daily for few months.
3) Abstain from smoking and alcohol.
4) Do some form of exercise daily.
5) Avoid stress and practice meditation.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is it ok to take nortriptyline while trying to conceive? 10 hours later
Thank you for your response. I trust your answer, but I found this short article on a website before I asked the question last night and it got me a little worried. WWW.WWWW.WW But you're saying that he is taking a low dose of the medication (because I realize the article was talking about patients with depression)? And if he eats healthy and takes a vitamin supplement with zinc, l-carnitine, vit. E & C in it, then we should be fine? Did I get that right?
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 13 minutes later

Thanks for writing again.

The article you have read is for higher doses of amitryptyline. Lower doses are not likely to affect the sperm motility.

Taking a healthy diet will help you.

You can give a trial by stopping the treatment with amitriptyline / nortriptyline and take some digestive enzymes or anti spasmodics as and when required.

Hope I have answered your query adequately.

Wishing you an early recovery.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is it ok to take nortriptyline while trying to conceive? 51 minutes later
If my husband stops taking the nortiptyline, could you suggest a digestive enzyme or antispasmodic? I googled it and there are a million. I did read that peppermint oil could be a good antispasmodic alternative for IBS. Should he take both a digestive enzyme and antispasmodic...or just one or the other?
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 23 minutes later
He can start with peppermint oil or ginger juice and if not relieved then add an anti spasmodic based on the severity of the symptoms.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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