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Amitriptyline

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Overview

Amitriptyline belongs to an older class of antidepressants. Under the brand name Elavil, it used to be one of the most frequently prescribed antidepressants. It is now prescribed generically more frequently.

It belongs to a class of compounds called TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants) that includes amoxepine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane), doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil).

The extraordinary popularity of drugs such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft has led to dramatic decline in the TCA class of antidepressants. Yet many people still benefit from such compounds.

Amitriptyline and some of its cousins are also prescribed for anxiety and depression as well as to relieve chronic pain associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, neuropathy or neuralgia (nerve damage), and migraine headache.

Anafranil is prescribed primarily for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Side Effects and Interactions

Side effects associated with amitriptyline and many other TCAs include dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, dry mouth, blurred vision, super sensitivity to sunlight, sexual difficulties, urinary retention difficulties, weight gain, heart palpitations, low blood pressure, confusion, forgetfulness, weakness, disorientation, or hallucinations. Some of these adverse effects may disappear over time.

Less common complications to watch out for are changes in blood sugar, anxiety, irritability, sleep disturbances, twitching, tremors, tingling of arms and legs, skin rash, digestive upset, or breast enlargement in men and women. Changes in heart rhythm, stroke or seizures are rare but potentially serious reactions. Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.

Amitriptyline and most other TCAs interact with quite a few other medications.

Combining different categories of antidepressants (TCAs and Prozac-like drugs) can be quite dangerous as TCA blood levels can rise leading to toxicity (confusion, dizziness, delirium, seizures, etc.).

The antidepressants Nardil or Parnate can also become extremely hazardous when taken together with TCAs.

Tagamet (cimetidine) and Tegretol (carbamazepine) may also produce an overdose effect if combined with amitriptyline or other TCAs.

The blood pressure medicine Catapres (clonidine) may lose its effectiveness if taken with amitriptyline or other TCAs. Blood pressure could soar out of control and lead to hypertensive crisis.

There is a concern that ginkgo biloba could possibly make a person more vulnerable to seizures, so it probably should not be taken together with other drugs known to increase the risk of seizures, such as amitriptyline.

Interactions between the herb St.John's wort and amitriptyline are possible. Switching between antidepressants and herbal treatment calls for medical guidance (physicians can find a suggested protocol for gradual substitution of St. John's wort in Hyla Cass's book, St. John's Wort: Nature's Blues Buster).

Check with your pharmacist and physician to make sure amitriptyline or any TCA is safe in combination with any other drugs and herbs you take.

Taking the Medicine

Taking TCAs with food may reduce stomach upset.

Because amitriptyline and related compounds can be sedating, physicians frequently prescribe them at bedtime.

Special Precautions

People with a history or risk of seizures may be more vulnerable to attacks while on TCAs.

Other conditions that pose special risks include glaucoma, heart disease, irregular heart rhythms, hyperthyroidism, kidney or liver disease, and urination problems.

Amitriptyline and many other TCAs are quite sedating. This means they can make driving or other tasks dangerous.

Older people may be especially susceptible to complications such as drowsiness, dizziness and confusion.

Sudden discontinuation of amitriptyline or similar antidepressants may cause withdrawal symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea, sleeping problems and general feelings of disorientation and discomfort.

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260 Comments

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I was given 25 mg of amitriptyline to help with sleep disturbance during a bout with shingles. Now, 6 months later, I have tried 3 times to stop taking it and have had all of the symptoms you describe--in spades. The worst is chronic, debilitating migraines. Is there any protocol for gradual withdrawal? I am told that I "shouldn't be having problems" with such a small dose. How does one withdraw gradually from such a small dose?

To Laura: Some people are very sensitive to elavil. I have a very severe form of panic disorder and have been on it a couple of times. Though most people require about 150 mg to block panic attacks, I only required 15 mg. Each time I had to step down the dose by 5 mg to ease withdrawal. Try cutting your tablet in half. Also, it comes in 10 mg tablets so see if your doctor will prescribe those to help you ease down. You are paying him; he should listen to you! Fortunately, I have a great psychiatrist who helped me through it.

ive been taking 50 mg of amitriptyline for 3 months for my depression, but have very bad suicidal thoughts and attempted to kill my self

i was admitted to hospital and psychiatric treatment but the doctor still told me to stay on these tablets knowing they are making me worse? i dont understand why? he says they are the best for me as the older anti depressants are more of a sedative to calm my mood but they just make me feel terrible

I've been on Amtriptiline for years. I have chronic insomnia due to a major panic disorder. I also take a low dose of Clonazepam and I've slept great for the past 8 years. (I should probably note I take zoloft low dose each morning too.) I've had to increase the amptritiline and even the clonazepam little by little to sleep better, but lately I feel horrible and the adjustments do not seem to make a difference. I'm going to bed the same time and even increased the clonazepam (which usually works), but for almost a week I feel like I haven't gotten any sleep at all. It's horrible... I have no energy... I can't concentrate at work and the workday seems like it will never end.

Can anyone relate? Every time I explain it to a family member or friend... they dismiss how awful not sleeping makes one feel and pretty much act like it's not a big deal. My husband knows otherwise, he has first-hand knowledge just by watching what I'm going thru. My doctor is away for the next few days and I'm going to try to increase the amptriptiline some tonight. I left work early and I think they think I'm slacking or being irresponsible. Nobody knows the low energy and tiredness I go thru day after day and I'm so over-tired, I can't just take a nap or go to sleep right away... it actually takes longer to fall asleep being so overtired.

(Only people in the same situation understand what I mean by that.) Speaking of same situations, I feel so ALONE with this disorder, can anyone relate?? Thank you for listening and I look forward to any feedback.
Diane

I have taken amitriptyline for irritable bowel syndrome for over 10 years. I started with 25 mg and have experimented with various doses. I have taken 75 mg for the last two years. In the last few years I have noticed a particular type of disorientation. But when I am driving I sometimes have trouble deciding whether I need to turn right or left to get to some destination.

I frequently make the wrong choice. If I park the car I can easily sketch an accurate diagram of the streets needed for a particular route, but I have trouble multitasking and making the correct choices while I am driving. I have lived in the same place for 27 years and I am very familiar with the streets in my town.

I wonder if this problem could be due to the amitriptyline. Before I started taking amitriptyline I rarely had to think about navigating while driving. It just seemed to happen automatically (subconsciously I suppose). Has anyone else had a similar experience?

My DR. put me on Amitriptylin 100mg. I did not start them yet. I'm on lexapro 20 mg have been for two weeks. I have no ENERGY!!!!! I feel so tired and feel like i can't get organized.I also feel I'M in a fog and can't function. If Amitriptylin causes drowsiness how can it help with energy? This is a major problem for me.I have no energy,no mood.

i have been taking 100mg of amiltriptyline for about a year for nerve pain. i have just spent a weekend by the sea (england) and after sitting on the beach for an hour followed by an hour in the garden, i have suffered extreme sunburn on my face, arms and legs.

i am quite dark skinned and have never burnt in the sun before. the side effects on the drug leaflet mention sensitivity to light but not severe sunburn. i have since looked on the net and most info advises sunblock. i wish someone had told me about this as i am feeling very sore and unwell.

My22 yr old daughter was recently put on a graduated dose of 10mg Elavil increasing to 30mg per day over a span of 9 weeks. This is for chronic diarrhea/gastroparesis. She had been diagnosed with epilepsy in January, 2008. She had been seizure free since April, but since her dose of the Elavil increased to 20mg she has had 2 seizures. I asked every doctor BEFORE she started this if it would be ok with the seizures and all of them, Primary, GI, and neurologist said it was such a low dose she would be fine. Well, it seems to me it's increasing seizure activity. Any thoughts? Thanks

Hi everyone,
I was diagnosed with neuropothy 2 years ago, I was put on Elavil, Dr. put me on 50 mg, but it had some side effect, so got 10 mg pills, and adjusted them, 30 mg held the leg pain away. I have other health issues, and after several iron anemia, ( I'm a male) and several scans showing no problems, ( had several infusions) I decided to study myself, the Dr. did not seem to have my best interest at stake, gastrolgist said I would have to have iron infusions rest of my life, I did not like or accept that answer.

I read about gluten allergy (wheat) I had several of the symptoms. I requested a blood test, and VIOLA, i WAS HIGHLY ALLERGIC, ( $120,000 in scans later) in researching gluten allergies, nerve pain (neuropothy) was a symptom).

I started going off Elavil 30 mg, to 20, 10 later, to 5mg, and 3 days ago off. The leg pain has not returned, (off wheat for 3 months) the allergy was causing nerve pain) the Elavil gave me rapid heart beat, and heart Dr. told me to try to go off, normal heart beat has returned.

But have had major stomach pain for 3 days (withdrawal symptom). Elavil has too many side effects and warnings, I believe it should be avoided. The gluten allergy caused much of my discomfort, and that simple diet change, corrected many, have a simple blood test, or google gluten allergy. good luck

I took Elavil in October 2008 and after 6weeks of being on the medicine I was feeling great. I was provided the drug for chronic back pain and depression. And after 6 weeks of taking the medicine, mentally I was fine. I had no pain in my back, but I started having palpitations. I had 17 PVC's in 15 minutes. So I immediately stopped taking the drug. So here now in February 2009 I am still having palpitations and now I am wondering could I have heart problems from this medicine? I have an appointment to go and talk with my Dr. soon.

I've been on the generic Elavil for almost 2 months now for Fibromyalgia sleep problems. I get really drowsy when I take it, so I only take it at night, and as of so far, I'm loving it. It's been working wonders for my sleep disorder and I'm very pleased with it.

I'm on 25mg amitrip at night, I would like to withdraw, but I'm scared I'll get withdraw symptoms. Has anyone else gotten some advice about withdrawing safely?

I took elavil for many yrs for fibromyalgia, migraine headaches & insomnia and it worked excellently. Unfortunately I had to go off of it because of the dryness it was causing my nose. I am very sensitive to meds and I had to cut the 10mg tablets into 4ths and go down 1/4 at a time, giving it a couple weeks at each dose, in order to avoid the withdrawal.

I still have had a very hard time getting used to life without it, migraines are back, fibro pain is back, etc. I have had no appetite since going off it and have lost a lot of weight. Anyway, for weaning off of it, I suggest you be creative with cutting the tablets up. They are hard to cut, I used a razor blade, and only tried to get one good piece out of each tablet. Only cut the dose as fast as your body can deal with it, you are the one who has to live with it.

I wish I had a dollar for every person who said "you shouldn't have any problems stopping such a small dose." Hah.

Hi,

I have been taking 10mg of Amitriptyline for years for a constant,cronic headache and I feel it helped me not wake up with such a bad headache in the morning and reduced my migraine attacks a lot. Due to wanting to start a family with my fiance, soon to be husband I have to go on Amitriptyline. I have talked to my doctor and he said it just a matter of stop taking it because of the low dose.

Well last night was the first time not taking it and I feel sick to my stomache and weird feeling in my head, kind of spacey feeling! Will this go away in time and I just have to ride it out? Anyone else on a 10mg and went off it and felt okay after a bit of being off it?

I think I might have picked bad timing going off it as wedding is coming up in just over a month. Hope I don't feel crappy for too long! Can't go back on it cause we are now not using a condom as of last night and who knows if I could become pregnant and I can't take this medication while trying or if I become pregnant.

Wish I had of seen this website before last night as i had no idea you could get as low as 5mg of this medication or cut my pill in half. That may have helped me go off it instead of cold turkey!!

Since my earlier post about going off Amitriptyline 10mg well it's not good. I feel sick to my stomache and bad headache. Now today I have woken up with diareaha to top it all off. I also can't stop crying cause I feel like crap.

My fiance and I have decided I must go back on medication at least until after the wedding and honeymoon. Now it's just a matter of waiting to see if I am pregnant which will be a good 3-4 weeks and then I can go back on it.

May be by some miracle in this time I feel better and can stay off it or better yet I am pregnant. Being pregnant would be worth this pain! Also of course we have to start having sex with a condom again. Darnit cause we really want children but I guess this wasn't a good time to try and this was a learning lesson!

I have been on this for 2+ months for fibro. and PLMD---I CAN'T SLEEP ANYMORE!!!!!! I have trouble w/ meds--I'm very sensitive to everything. This is having the opposite effect that is is supposed to have. It's torture! Is anyone else having this problem? I'm hoping to try Savella when it becomes available mid-year.

Do not stop taking the amytripyline. I have currently tried to do so and I feel terrible, I was given it for sleep disorder and severe anxiety at night and have been on it for 5 months.

I figured if I got myself a job and was more mentally active I would be fine, but boy was I wrong. If I don't take it my head is in a right mess, I feel like I can't concentrate and don't feel myself, so I would recommend carrying on taking the meds and I'm going to talk to my GP to see what he can do for me!

I have been on 75 mg of elavil for the past years for my fibro and problems sleeping. I have discontinued it with my doctors help by taking 25mg for 2 weeks and the last week of 25 a night. I have not been able to sleep since I started the withdrawal, cramping, bowels problems restless legs. I am trying to get in touch with my Dr to see if theses symptoms will eventually go away. I am sorry I ever started the drug I am 68 yrs old and I feel like heck.

Has anyone experience leg and calves pain from taking the medicine?I take 20mg a night. I was experiencing pain so bad I couldn't walk for very long.

Hi everyone, I've read most of the comments left on this website, I've been on amitriptyline for several months now and have been prescribed it for chronic headaches. Recently I started feeling severe chest pains in the middle of my chest. I went to my doctor about it and he said that it was because I had an inflamed joint connecting my sternum and rib cage, has anyone else had heart or chest problems as a result of being on the drug?

I'm on 20 mg for 4 months. I started noticing urination problems almost immediately as well as an insatiable appetite. Since it helped excruciating pain, I continued. The last week, I have tinnitus. A nightmare. I'm going to wean myself off. The drug is a miracle drug for pain and for sleep but the weight gain, urinating problems and not tinnitus- not worth it!! I will ask my dr. tomorrow but am wondering how any of you weaned off. I know I must be slow, but how slow is slow? Have you ever heard of someone going from 20mg, down to 10mg and then wean from that? Thanks.

I have had a bad back for the past year and am now only taking 20mg of amytripyline. It is great for my sciatic pain however I too am finding hard knowing how and when to stop taking it. I have tried but each time the pain comes back and I have trouble dropping off the sleep. I will try the suggestions made regarding cutting down by a quarter of a 10mg per 2 weeks. How long have some of you out there been on these drugs?

Doctor put me on Elavil in 1986 for nervous condition after having surgery and blood clots. Have taken the lowest dose for all these years. Wanted to quit taking it about 7 years ago. Gradually reduced the pill into halves for weeks, than quarters for a few more weeks and then only a quarter of a pill every other night. After another week, I quit and - - - - - - - - -couldn't sleep for days. I was a zombie. I started taking 1/2 pill nightly and slept like a log.

I have tried to wean myself off of these pills about 6 times since then, but each time I get totally off of them, NO SLEEP!!!! I am now trying again and am in my 2nd week. If I get to the point of NO SLEEP, what do I do, except go back on them. Help!

I've been on ELavil for 6 Months & love it but yesterday my OBGYN switched me to Prozac. It was a huge mistake & I only took one pill. The side effects of the Prozac were terrible & I've never been so afraid in my life. I ended up flushing all the rest of the Prozac pills down the toilet & I'll never, ever take that again. I'd like to know how long I have to wait before going back to taking my 10 mg of Elavil? I'm afraid of there still being prozac in my system??? Can I take the ELavil tonight?

Diane, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I've had chronic, severe insomnia all my life. All I get from well-meaning people, is "stop drinking coffee." All I get from doctors are more and more drugs, which work for a while, then quit. I go a week at a time without sleep, and often spend the nights hallucinating. I am going to try massage therapy next. My brain is so fried...

Started taking amytriplyline for fybromyalgia after suffering 5 years with no help. It seemed like a miracle to me.

Pain was gone in a week and I finally had the first good night sleep in years. However I started on 10mg and had to increase 10mg per year to keep the same effect. I gained 10 pounds with each 10mg. After 50mg I said "no more" and my doctor put me on paxil and neurontin. In time it helped and I have lost the weight and the fibromyalgia is under control.

The only problem I could find with the amytriplyline was: 1. I had to be sure to take it 12 hours before getting up in the morning so I wouldn't be groggy. 2. I never had a fondness for sweets, but that all changed with the amytriplyine. I started craving sweets and still do. I've lost the weight but still have to really fight the cravings that have never gone away.

I was put on amitryptaline 8 years ago for my headaches - I am now 31. They stopped the full on migraines/pass out headaches I got but not the daily headaches that I have been getting for years. I decided 4 weeks ago to come off the drug as the dry mouth it gives me has caused various dental fillings and I also want to start a family. Coming off it has been HELL.

I was on 50mg and for one week did 25mg then after a week came off it altogether. I cannot sleep for love nor money and I am exhausted. I am trying all kinds of herbal sleeping aids but no joy. Interesting my heart rate has already gone down from 90 beats per minute to 64 beats per minute so I am VERY happy about that as I was always worried about that. Also I started having botox in the back of my head 5 weeks ago to see if that worked on my headaches and it has cut them down by 80% so I am also very happy about that.

I just wish I never had taken amitryptaline as it has so many bad things we don't know about in it and as the botox has shown there are alternatives!! Now I am just hoping the insomnia won't last forever........

Hi, About 15 years ago, I had a serious problem with alcohol. (sp) I tried
one on one therapy, AA,and group therapy. I just was not ready for these
kinds of therapies. My Psychitrist, put me on Elavil. I took this for
one year. I have never had the desire to drink again. I had been
drinking for 8 years, starting in high school. For my issue it was
the best medicine which got me through a difficult time.

My 17 y/o daughter has been on amitriptiline for almost a year for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (2, 100 mg pills a night). After gaining 50 pounds and not feeling any better, we have asked the doctor about going off of it and seeing a gastro doctor. The doc said tapering off would really mess with her head. What types of things might we see in the next two weeks while she is slowly coming off the meds?

I have been reading your comments about Amitriptyline. I have been on them for 14 years and I am now on 150mg. They do help me sleep but I feel like a zombie in the morning. I tried getting off them but once I stopped I just couldn't sleep, I recently lost my mum in Jan 2010 and I am finding it hard to cope without her. I have felt suicidal, but then think of my son.

How are you doing these days? I take both drugs and find they help with sleep. I'm actually trying to wean off the clonazepam & we brought in amit to help me with the shooting nerve pain I get as a withdrawal symptom as I wean off the clon. I take only 0.06mg clon and 2.5mg amit. The doctors dismiss it as 'such a small dose' but the withdrawal insomnia continues to be problematic. I hope I can wean off the rest soon, but worry about whether I'm any further ahead with replacing clon with amit.
Thanks,
SU

I started taking elavil last night for the first time. I have severe insomnia due to anxiety and nothing has helped me get to sleep. I finally slept last night but have been feeling kind of funny all day and a little disoriented. I have trouble keeping my train of thought. I am wondering if this feeling will go away soon and if it is because it is only day one. I start a new job Monday and don't want to feel this way then. My Dr is gone for the weekend so can't even ask him if this is normal.

Can anyone give me some ideas? should I continue to take them because they did help me sleep and I don't feel that anxious. Am a little anxious about feeling like this all the time though so hope it goes away!

I have been taking amitriptyline on and off for three or four days then stop for a couple of days then start again, as when I was on it permanently I felt very distant and not myself, flat in my mood. I take between 20 and 30 mg, but have anxiety from time to time. Does anyone else do this and have they noticed any problems with anxiety?

I've been taking amitriptyline for about 30 years but have gained a lot of weight so my doc started me on cymbalta about a month ago. I've been trying to reduce my amitriptyline, because the plan is to get off it completely, and I am down to one half of a 75mg tablet. I'm having a lot of dizziness and such a weird feeling in my head--it feels tight and big and awful--and I'm starting to think I'll never get off the amitriptyline or feel better. I didn't sleep well with the cymbalta at first but now I take it (40mg.) in the morning and I take an anti-nausea drug at night that helps me sleep. Oh what I wouldn't give for a nice clear head.

I started taking amitriptyline about 3 weeks ago for of all things, hypersensitivity to swallowing foods. I had an endoscopy performed and had my esophagus dilated due to severe acid reflux. Gastro doc said that this med has frequently been used to desensitize the nerves in esophagus. Every time I swallowed, I would feel the food tracks as it went down and sometimes it felt like food was stuck in the back of my throat. At first, I was on 10mg and did get sleepy, that went away and now I am at 20mg.

I fall asleep quickly at night, but in the daytime I have not noticed as severe side effects as some of the postings had indicated. I will be a lot more cautious now. I have noticed some palpitations that just come on and then go away. I am concerned about the palps and I guess if they get more severe, I will stop the amitrip. Thanks to all of you for the postings and the heads-up.

Has the amitriptyline helped with the swallowing problem?

I have been on Amitriptyline for 9 months due to having trapped nerves in my groin and thigh, I have had this for 4 years. I have been in terrible pain since 2006, its taken this amount of time to get a diagnoses had two exploratory operations, which they found two trapped nerves each time. I am currently taking Tramadol and paracetamol tablets as well as the Amtriptyline and using the TEMS machine.

I was on 45mg and slowly trying to reduce it 5mg a week as I have gained 2 stone in weight, bad skin, currently on 25mg but are having side effects of nausea, headache, light headiness, tiredness all due to slow reduction, has anyone else had these symptoms? I'm going into hospital again for 5 days for monitoring and rehab, they think I still have another trapped nerve lower down the thigh, probably another op!

I find everyone's comments very helpful. I was put on 30mg for depression and Interstitial cystitis about 2 years ago. I gained a ton of weight because of it. Had I known it was THIS much weight I'd have rather stayed depressed to be honest. Losing the weight has been horrible. I gained 30 lbs from it (and I was skinny before it!!!) It took me 2 years to lose 20 lbs. This last 10 won't budge.
Anyway, I weened off 20 of those mgs. I tried to ween all 30 but I got VERY angry, mean, I had NO filter on what I said, anything. The anger was bad!!!!!

I am now trying to again ween off the last 10 and praying I don't have issues again. My doc said take 10 every 2 days but that is soooo not what to do. So with the combination of acupuncture and herbs, I am weening off with 5 mgs a day for a week, then 5mg every other day, and so on. Will report on how it worked out soon!

Hi all. I was researching elavil as I started it for nerve pain associated with a disk but I have to get off. I wanted to comment for people with FM. I was diagnosed 15 years ago. 3 years ago I changed my diet to vegan. I lost 20 lbs, got off 7, SEVEN chronic meds, and have no more FM symptoms. Start by reading "eat to live" by DR FURMAN. You do have control over this!!! Everyone else on here will benefit greatly as well.

I have been taking Amitriptyline since 4 years now. My doc increased the dose to 150 MG initially felt very good because it got rid of my migraine headaches, but now I am facing the extreme side effects: hearing loss, no concentration, trouble sleeping for days now, loss of balance control, my head seems like heavy and stupid dreams.. I don't know what worse gonna happen... I am losing confidence on myself... Does anyone has a remedy? Only people going through this pain can understand. I feel terrible..

Looking for help.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR PROMPTLY TO HAVE HIM OR HER RULE OUT A PROBLEM UNRELATED TO THE MEDICINE THAT MIGHT CAUSE HEARING AND BALANCE PROBLEMS.

I have been on Amitriptyline for almost 15 years for muscles spasms all over my body. I must admit the spasms slowed down but it did very little to improve my sleeping. As time went on I was given an additional drug called tizanidine (4mg) because the Amitriptyline wan`t doing what its suppose to, and the tizanadine was supposed be a "kicker" and help.

Anyway-- I was taking 75 mg at night, two hours before I regularly retire for the night. Some nights I would wake up a minimum of three times due to the spasms that this drug was supposed to eliminate. I would have to kneel beside the bed and stretch the muscles, I found out that if I stayed in the kneeling position I would sleep until my knees were sore and woke me.

This process happened so many times that eventually I would wake up kneeling by the bed or the couch, not remembering going to the living room. As of July 9th of this year I have taken myself off of Amitriptaline, Tizanidine, and Clonazepan ( suppose to also help the amitrip ).

I have never felt so good as I do now, in the last 15 yrs I have been on the meds. I have no problems sleeping the whole night, and I don`t wake up with a hangover. My spasms have virtually stopped. Did I do the right thing stopping my medication. I guess time will tell.

I am on 50mg of Amitrip and have been for 8 months due to violent migraine headaches. I suffered for 10 years. The headaches have gone away but I have noticed my blood pressure is way up 95/150 (it used to be 110/64). I have not been eating any more than I ever have, and I have been exercising a lot. My weight has increased by 15 lbs. My doc wants to put me on high blood pressure medicine now.

Maybe I should go off of amitrip slowly, then go on another drug called zimelidine? The weight gain apparently is much less on that drug. Hopefully zimelidine will be as effective as amitrip was for me in curbing my migraines.

I was on effexor 300mg for 4 years, gained 25kg in that time. When I withdrew I had unbearable uncontrollable withdrawal symptoms. Both mental and neurological. It took me 2 years of reducing dose fortnightly, sometimes having to increase dose again after dropping it 'cos the symptoms got too hard to handle. I dropped exactly 2kg every time I dropped 37.5mg. My doctor has just prescribed Endep 10mg/night to reduce chronic back pain but I am afraid to start it given my terrible experiences withdrawing from Effexor and prior to that Aropax.

If I only take Endep for 10 days or so at 10mg, what are the chances of having to go through all that withdrawal nightmare all over again? I didn't function in society for nearly 2 years last time. I need the pain relief but am so scared about this option.
Can anyone help?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: ENDEP IS AMITRIPTYLINE. ALTHOUGH EFFEXOR IS MUCH MORE WELL-KNOWN FOR CAUSING WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS, NAUSEA, MALAISE AND HEADACHE CAN OCCUR UPON STOPPING ENDEP SUDDENLY.

My daughter is 13. The doctor just put her on amitriptline for migraine headaches. She takes 20 mg at night. Last night was her first night. I am worried after reading all the comments. They knocked her out. Do you think it will get rid of her migraines? She starts school next week. I don't want her head to be screwed up. Please comment if it helped migraines.

I have also started on 10mg of elavil for about 3 weeks now and I felt like it has worked a lot for sleep and chronic pain, but I do feel nervous and hyper sometimes, I think because I'm also a teenager still 19, but I want to stop taking it since I have read a lot about bad side effects with long term use of elavil, but I'm also in 10mg I don't know why the side effects kick in when it's such a low dose.

Hi needsleep
The last 12 months I've had big problems with balance and hearing tending to veer off to the right and feeling vague. I was on Lansoprazole (a proton pump inhibitor) for excess acid and came off it recently thinking this may be the cause. But the moment I went back on paroxitine 10mg after a 3 week break (SSRI) the problems returned big time within 3 days. After just 2 days of 10mg of amitryptaline for functional gut disorder the same thing is happening.

I also have an irregular fast heart beat and am on a beta blocker for this. Today, my head felt heavy as yours does.

I've mentioned this balance /hearing/ drunken feeling many times to the doctor and he took little notice for a year until I mentioned the symptoms went once I missed doses of the antidepressant paroxitine. Naturally he was skeptical, this week. Yet after just 2 doses of 10mg amitryptaline the problem is instantly back and I`m trying 5mg tonight. As the Forum says, please see your doctor because many antidepressants can cause heart problems and strokes and I really felt as if I was about to die on occasion. Will update this if have to stop ami. Due to see doctor in 2 weeks. I'm in England.

I have been on elavil, 50mgs at night, for one month now. NOTHING else has taken the burning pain and heat from my hands and feet like this drug. I have some arthritis problems in the spine, bulging discs., etc., but my worst problem has been fibromyalgia and insomnia and some depression and anxiety over the state of my health. I still have issues, but never thought I would live the day that this burning sensation in my feet and hands would go away. It was so bad I would sometimes sit my feet on frozen ice packs at night to try to get the red and burning to go away. Now it's gone. So, if I gain 10 pounds, I don't even care. I have had my hands restored and no more burning...

I've been on amitriptline for 16years at one point I was up to 75ml but couldn't function. Well always tired so I dropped the amount myself first to 50 then to 25 and I try to stay at that amount. This past week I've been running out before I see my Dr so I'm now on 12 and a half. I just find it hard to sleep but I am a lot more alert. Mine is for pain.

This exact thing has happened to me since I've been on amiltryptalene, could it be the drug I could be taking this drug to reduce the pain it is causing mad!

I was on 50mg of amitriptyline per day for about 5 years for migraines. The negative side effects (especially constipation) began to outweigh the benefits and I decided to wean myself off. I dropped the dose by 10 mg per month and started feeling better each time. I would usually have a couple of difficult days when I first dropped the dose (I didn't sleep as well and felt a bit anxious or irritable), but this passed and I persevered. As of February 1, I am off of the drug completely. My migraines are no worse; if anything they seem to be less frequent. And the drug side effects are gone. I'm feeling much better (more alert, optimistic). I would encourage others to consider this gradual regimen.

As others have suggested in their comments, the body becomes dependent on the drug, and it needs to slowly go back to normal functioning. Expect some bumps in the road, but it is worth persevering. There's a temptation when you start feeling better to just stop, but I think it's better to keep to the gradual regimen.

Hello All,

Has anyone had a problem, or heard of a problem of a very profuse runny nose when stopping Elavil? I have been on it at 100-150 mg for nearly 18 years. I weaned myself off it about 2 months ago, and I still have such a drippy runny nose I have to take anti-cholinergic drugs like Bentyl and Atrovent nasal to deal with it. Sometimes those don't work and I am debilitated to my bedroom. I had to stop the Amitriptyline because of the side effects, especially dry mouth, runny nose and watery eyes.

If I increase the dose, those symptoms ease, so I guess that means I am too tolerant to it now, and withdrawal was my only choice to get rid of the side/withdrawal/tolerance effect once and for all. But it has been 2 months now and I have not had any improvement with the withdrawal symptoms and as such I am thinking of going back on it with the thought that maybe the Amitriptyline is not the cause of these sinus symptoms after all... but I want to be sure before I go back on it. Thanks for any info. RSC

Female. Age 51. I currently take amitriptyline at night 3 ea 25mg = 75mg per night. Several yrs ago I took amitriptyline for the first time for insomnia, depression, severe muscle pain. I only took 25mg per night. Took for a few months that first time. In about 3 wks had tremendous lifting of mood. Very noticeable. Very Very bad constipation caused me to go off.

I have since gone back on and have learned how to manage the constipation very well. Very little problem now - since I EXPECTED it this time and made special efforts to stay ahead of it. Have now been back on ami for close to three yrs dose of 3 small 25mg tabs per night tot 75mg. For the last yr have off and on infrequent but VERY SCARY severe pain in center of chest. Not too often but never know when it will occur. Have felt like I was having a heart attack.

I take a crushed 75mg tab of wellbutrin in the morning. Previously was on 150mg per day wellbutrin (75mg twice a day). I learned that I should be sure to space the wellbutrin doses at least 8 hrs apart. So I became very careful about that and also it seemed to IMPROVE MY CHEST CRUSHING PAIN when I kept the wellbutrin at least 8 hrs before (or more) the amitriptyline.

Now I only take wb only 1x per day in morning due to that concern. I still can get the chest pain periodically. At times I have taken 1 81 mg baby aspirin (non-coated) and very quickly the pain will ease up and go away. It gives me a panic attack when the pain starts. Lots of pressure in CENTER of high up rib cage. Like an elephant. I am able to not only get to sleep routinely within 1 hr of taking the 75mg ami, but I CAN STAY ASLEEP very well all night.

Last night for first time ever I was woken up from a deep good sleep with the chest pain. Got up. Urinated. Went back to bed and pain stopped. No aspirin. I have not asked MD but am searching internet to see if this WONDERFULLY HELPFUL RX has any known reports of causing heart problems, heart attacks etc. I hope there is no problem with long term use. I get bad side effects - several - all terrible when I go off it for 3-4 days. 4th day very bad. I don't want to go off as it works so beautifully but I am getting nervous about the heart issue. This drug has been around for 40-50 yrs I understand. Will appreciate any feedback and others research notes.

Female age 51. Is there any data on long term use of amitriptyline (Elavil) correlated with heart problems or pain? I have been on it for a few yrs now and am experiencing periodic crushing chest pain - middle of my sternum area. I take 75 mg a night (3 x 25mg small pills - easy to swallow and not stick). I began to notice the chest pain after taking wellbutrin 150mg per day for anxiety that I started taking in addition to the amitriptyline which helps my insomnia (extremely well), depression, and fibro like symptoms, as well as migraines. I began to experiment by being sure that I took the final dose of wellbutrin at least 8 OR MORE hours prior to taking the amitriptyline. That seemed to make a difference. Now I only take 1 dose in the morning of wellbutrin 75mg and then at night (12+ hrs later) I take the 75 mg amitriptyline.

Very scary when the chest pain occurs. Hate to go off Ami as it helps pain and insomnia SO much. When I have tried to go off it by 4th day I'm in agony with fibro like pain and headaches, nausea, insomnia - absolute misery. Don't want to EVER go off but am very very worried about the chest pain. The chest pain is periodic - not frequent but it woke me up from a deep comfortable sleep last night. After groggily getting up, urinating, was able to go back to sleep with no pain. Very weird. Maybe it's the drug interaction rather than the ami itsself? Very interested in good feedback!

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: YOU SHOULD DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR DOCTOR. HEART-RELATED REACTIONS ARE UNCOMMON BUT CAN BE SERIOUS.

Hi - I have been taking Amitriptyline 10mg this time for about 8 months for dizzy migraine. Have taken it before but thought I was better so "weaned" myself of it. The benefits are great - sleep well - feel in control (if it's taken at 6pm)... but I think it is making my liver ache - I have now put about 12lbs on and have been told that I have a "fatty liver".... never had this before... but had my gallbladder out 2.5 years ago and don't really know if this is partly to blame?

The drug sedates and therefore makes you less active and more hungry. Having read all your comments and the weight increase some of you have experienced - I am now thinking that the Amitriptyline is responsible. I have stopped taking it for a week and sleep ok but don't have the same enthusiasm and also feel stuffy in my head as if I am spinning... but my liver is not hurting as much!

Had bloods taken again and waiting for the results - going to doctors later in the week. I don't really want to say goodbye to the Amitriptyline because I felt secure with not having to be dizzy - but I also don't want to be overweight with liver problems. Is there anything else like Amitrptyline without the side effects and weight gain?

Hi I have been taking Ami for the last 4 months to help with my insomnia. At first it worked very well then the last month it hardly works at all. I now want to come off because I do not want to up the dose, also I am afraid of the withdrawal effects associated with this drug. Reading all the above I have also gained 5 pounds and I also noticed my hair has started to drop out.

I have read on other websites that leaving salt out your diet helps to eliminate the weight gain problems with this drug. I am taking a small amount only 10mg and sometimes I have only taken 5mg and still I have side effects so I can only imagine it must be a lot worse when you take higher doses of amitriptyline.

HI, I've been on amitriptyline for 4 years now at only 10mg a night to relieve tension headaches and sleep problems. It worked a treat for both of these and allowed me to live a normal life for a while, but now I'm experiencing the side effect of chronic constipation. I don't like this at all so have decided it's time to try stop taking the meds, I'm now on day 4, my bowels are more active than ever but my sleeping has slowly deteriorated to the point where I wake at 3 each morning and can't return back to sleep. I don't know what to do, if it wasn't for the constipation I would continue on the amitrip but is there anything else I can be taking or doing to ensure a full deep nights sleep?

Dr prescribed 75MG amitrip to help with my insomnia. My brain races and I either can't sleep at all or I wake up every 30 minutes to an hour all night. I am going to try this for the first time tonight but according to other posts my 75MG dose seems like a lot. Also the weight gain, constipation and the next day hangover (feeling out of it) seem all to be bad side effects. Should I start on this drug or are the risks not worth it.. I need some real sleep...

I take Elavil (generic for amitriptyline) 3 ea x 25mg = 75mg per night. 2 ea not enough. 4ea too much. I can fall asleep like clockwork now, have very few migraines anymore. Have headaches only very rarely now. I take 75mg wellbutrin (buproprion HCL generic) non-sustained release. Crushable so I float it on a thick drink of OJ w/ lots of pulp or applesauce etc. Wellbutrin gives a little energy lift.

I don't notice it because so subtle, however when I go without it for more than 3 days I start feeling withdrawal effects. I really notice when I don't have it that I have a real energy drain & exhaustion. Re amitriptyline - I have learned to take the full dose only if i know I'm going to have 8-12 hrs of sleep and I keep that kind of separation between ami & wellbutrin.

I noticed heart arrhythmia when I would take 2 doses of wellbutrin SR ea day and it was hard to have at least 8 hrs (discovered this need on my own) between the last wellbutrin dose and the nightly bedtime dose of ami. Now I only take 1 dose of wellbutrin and it is crushable and no longer SR (sustained release). If I am not going to have 8-12 hrs of sleep (went to bed too late) then I cut down the ami to only 2ea (25mg x 2) or even one each. That assures that I won't feel too groggy dragging all the next day.

If I do get any heart pain or pressure after taking the ami I immediately take a chewable baby aspirin (81mg). I hardly ever get the pain since I keep the distance carefully between the ami & the wellbutrin. The ami lets me stay asleep. Without it I'm awake half the night and exhausted and in fibro-lie pain.

Amitriptyline was the worst thing that happened to me in my life, until much later when I had an even worse brush with prozac. 35 years ago, when I was suffering acute (over-work related) depression, I was placed on a high dosage fairly quickly. Within a few hours I developed dryness and a thick brownish yellow coating in my mouth and in particular on my tongue.

This never stopped happening, and I had to physically scrape it off then brush frequently. I consistently greyed out (think bad B&W TV with snow), and if I didn't sit quickly, would faint. After an initial two weeks, I returned to work as a systems programmer, but didn't realize my output was rubbish, and that I was avoiding all social contact.

Basically there was a three month spaced-out hole in my life until I thought "stuff it, and stuff weaning off" and stopped abruptly. It took about 36 hours to go into a marvelous state of euphoria, when the tunnel vision vanished. This tapered, but lasted all of 20 days.

I was put on Amitriptyline for sinus/migraine headaches & insomnia....... which is helped tremendously (25 mg) at night. However, the past couple weeks, I have felt totally horrible, no energy, not caring, reverting inward, totally opposite of my norm. The palps are a little, after reading all of yours, I am going to wean off, I cannot stand not caring about anything.

I will continue with my nedi pot in the mornings, and for severe migraine folks, Botox has been my ticket. Ami does leave me with a dry mouth also. I take alprazolam 2mg at night and have for 10 yrs, so Ihope that will assist with my weaning off of ami. Thank all of you for your comments, I truly thought I was delusional, and the suicidal thoughts have been horrible! God Bless each of you

totally agree about the cutting in 1/2 & I also did 1/4, I bought a pill cutter at walgreens, any drugstore should have them, it did great cutting them in half and fourth. Mine were 25 mg. They helped with my cloggy headaches in the morning & insomnia, but as the weeks went on, I was simply numb about life. Best of luck to all of you!

I took amitriptyline for 8 years, starting with a 100mg dose every day, increasing ultimately to 200mg per day for about 5 years, and then I gradually weaned off, from 200 to 150 to 100, down to 50, then 25, then 12.5mg. After 3 months at 12.5 I thought to myself "this is ridiculous, get a grip on yourself and stop taking this medicine!"

Yes, I did experience withdrawal symptoms. I guess the difference is in how you deal with them. You can sit around wringing your hands about how awful it all is, or you can act like an adult and accept that there will be unpleasantness, but that unpleasantness is not harmful, not dangerous, and very temporary.

The person experiencing chest-pain, however, should go the Emergency Room IMMEDIATELY.

The drowsiness goes away with time.

I took elavil for 5 years for neuropathy caused by diabetes. It did knock me out, and the dosage was increased gradually to 500mg. I had to have emergency surgery at the VA hospital, and at that time they issued a message that the VA would no longer supply the drug. So I didn't get any.

I woke up several times a night, but was on a trip, being somewhere else in my mind while carrying on a conversation with my wife at the same time. It took several days of this for us to determine what the source of the problem was, because of the heavy pain medication. It did some good things for me, but the withdrawal makes me wonder if any of that was worth the price I eventually paid. If you need it, make sure someone is there to insure that you don't come off of it suddenly.

Wow! I talked w/ my doctor about stopping my 50mg and he told me that this was one that I could just stop taking. I am going to watch for odd symptoms but I am going to have to agree w/ Mike G. I was weaned off Lyrica a month ago and amazingly enough I did not have all the dramatic withdraw symptoms that everyone posted so I can't imagine 50mg of this is going to make a big difference. Thanks Mike G.

I can relate to chronic insomnia too, have it for years now and get really upset at people trying to help by saying that I should exercise, reduce caffeine and learn meditation, as if I had not tried these all! Most people I know get very grumpy when they don't sleep properly for one single night, I find it funny coz don't even remember when was the last time I actually slept through the night.

Pills only helped temporarily and my GP refused to prescribe more to avoid addiction. I got as a "desperate rescue" the Amitrip 25mg and hope they will help me sleep, at least for a while. I'll also do some hypnosis session as suggested by my doctor and hopefully they will help.

Amitriptyline really helped me. The side effects were bad in the beginning, but they eased up after close to 2 weeks.

Does anyone know if sandoz 10 mg. amitriptyline is made at the same or different factory from geneva/sandoz?

Thanks.

hi I have been on 50mg amitryptiline for 2 years now for chronic pain plus 20mg fluoxitine, oxynorm 5mg as and when I need it, omeprazole for hietus hernia and chronic gastritus, asthma meds, plus vesicare 5mg (just started on them). I am just so exhausted all day and feel a bit down tbh.

I tried stopping the ami and have been feeling sick with stomach cramps every morning.I didn't realize this could be because of the withdrawals till I read these posts, and have started taking them again. I am concerned about what the combination of ami and prozac is doing to me.

I can cope with feeling a bit drowsy in my head but, the lack of energy (feet and legs ache just climbing the stairs) and the feelings of 'i just cant be bothered' is not helping. I have a toddler, 9 year old and 15 year old on my own, so can't go on like this. I am due to go for a hysterectomy sometime this year, and the thought of putting my body through more torture is killing me.

Hi all, well cut my dose of amitriptyline from 20mg to 10mg last week, as I'm feed up of being a zomby all day. Have been taking for three years for depression, this week hasn't been great, feel dizzy, pale, sick and heart rate, sweaty and panic attacks have returned, but no this is the first stage of getting this tablet out of my system once and for all, going to continue with 10 mg next week, then 1/2 tablet. Has anyone else had the same problems of coming off these pills and how long does these side effects of coming off take?

Hi Karen
Last week came off taking 2x 10mg to 1 x 10mg and this week day 6 I feel drowsy, hot, vomiting, and light headed, and have lack of energy and like you also legs feel like cement.
And that's just the lack of 1 tablet in my system for one week, next week no more tablets, and I really hope its not like this for too long.

Hello I do not understand what you are saying about how wonderful you felt after quitting elavil. I have been on elavil for 30 years if you can believe it for anxiety and depression. I went down to 200mg. a few years ago and now I am trying to go down 50mg. and I have the shakes and feel so anxious?? Did you experience any of this?
Thank you,
SM

SM, 200 is a lot of Amitriptyline. I was on 150 for about 30 years and I started gaining a lot of weight and couldn't lose it so I decided to cut it down. I asked my doctor about and he was agreeable. I started by cutting 75 mg tablets in half and then cut that in half and I started taking one 75 mg tablet and 3/4 of a tablet.

I kept the dose as this for about a month. Then I cut down to a 75mg and 1/2 of a tablet. And stayed there for about a month. At this point I felt a little withdrawal, but not bad. I went down to one tablet and a 1/4 tablet for about a month. And I felt a little withdrawal but really it wasn't bad at all.

So I went down to one 75 mg tablet for about a month. I got down to 50mg. and really didn't feel too bad, my sleeping wasn't the best but I started losing weight and I decided to stay at 50mg. because I have fibromyalgia and I need to be on at least some. But if not for that I have no doubt I could have kept going 1/4 of a tablet at a time and got off completely without a lot of withdrawal.

You were on a larger dose so it would take you some more time to slowly ween yourself off without the withdrawal symptoms (shakes, weakness, nausea, dizziness, headache.) Just go very, very slow and each time you go down wait for any symptoms to go away and for your system to stabilize before you go down again.

It's dangerous to go down too fast, especially if you have been taking it for a long time and at high doses. My doctor was all for going down like 75 mg at a time and I knew better. I tried that and it was awful. Just like what you've been experiencing. Go very slow, be patient, and if you need encouragement post here again.

It was a long time ago, and I had only been on it for 3 months, but felt the side effects to be worse than the depression. Against medical advice, I stopped cold turkey. Within hours, a couple of days at most the clouds lifted, I could see colour again, and felt that I had shed a huge weight and was positively euphoric for 2-3 weeks.

Eventually returned to normal with no knock-on problems at all. I know everyone is different, but there is real hope out there after weaning off. I wish you every luck every step of the way. From reading many of the comments, I begin to wonder if reducing frequency might be better than reducing dose in cutting withdrawal symptoms. In your case missing 1 day in 3 or 4 before eventually dropping to 250 every day, then if all well repeat the process

I have experienced the same kind of disorientation...(10mg dose) I blamed it on my medical condition, but thought it would be wise to know. The first day without any was a clear difference. It was a bit shocking to realize that such a small amount could have the negative impact that it did. No more Elavil for me!

Female, 34 years old. I experienced my first anxiety and panic attack 3 weeks ago. Felt extreme heaviness pushing down on my chest, causing me to feel like I couldn't breath. The feeling was like if my lungs had closed up half way and weren't taking in all the air I was breathing. Had to take constant deep breaths every few seconds for 6 hours.

All kinds of tests were done on me at the hospital. All results were good. Nothing wrong with my heart, lungs, blood pressure or sugar. After getting the tests done at the hospital, 6 hours later, I was given a 10mg Xanax to calm down and was prescribed Zoloft. I refused to take Zoloft because I didn't feel I needed it. I knew I wasn't depressed, I simply got pissed off at something that happened and somehow that caused me to have an anxiety and panic attack at the same time.

I've had a pretty stressful life for many years now and I'm sure a break-down was bound to happen at some point if I didn't make some life style changes. This was my wake-up call. Which, perhaps we all need sometimes to slap us back into reality and allow us to have a second chance at life by making healthy changes.

The next day I noticed I had developed a "fear" of "fear." I know, that sounds silly and it's hard to explain to people. Now that I'm better, I think I can explain it by saying that I was afraid of developing "fear" because I knew that if I felt fear, I could possibly have another anxiety and panic attack. For about a week, I feared everything; walking outside, walking back inside, taking a shower, being home alone, getting in the car, driving away from home, etc., etc.

I went to the doctor the day after my trip to the hospital and he told me to take Xanax every 6 to 8 hours until I felt I didn't need them anymore. I stopped taking them 9 days later, but only with a "will to live" mentality because I had read that Xanax is very addictive with tough side affects. So I did my best to cope with my anxiety on my own rather than running to Xanax. Took about a day or two to master this, along with 2 mile walks everyday and changing my diet to a raw/uncooked vegetable and fruit diet. I haven't had to take another Xanax since and I'm so thankful I didn't become addicted.

When they say its "Mind over Matter," it truly is. Our mind is a powerful thing. When something feels wrong, you really have to follow your intuition. Xanax felt wrong to me, I felt my mind was playing tricks on me. I'm glad I'm not taking that anymore.

For the past 3 weeks I have been taking 10mg of amitryptiline. I was under the impression that I was taking a sleeping pill when I began taking it because my doctor said to take it an hour before bedtime. A week and a half later I did some research on it and found out it was an antidepressant. Something I refused to take in the beginning. So, 3 weeks after taking it, I went to my doctor and asked to be weened off of it. He suggested I take it for a total of 90 days and wrote me a new prescription for more. I don't want to take anymore, especially after reading about all the negative side affects of trying to come off of it.

I am a little afraid of stopping cold turkey because of what I've read regarding the withdrawals, but part of me tells me that I should try, that perhaps they won't be as bad since I've only been taking it for 3 weeks at 10mg a day. Another friend of mine stopped taking prozac cold turkey and he says it didn't cause any problems for him. He said that its all a mental thing (obviously), he said he didn't like the way he felt when he was on it, so one day (2 years later) he decided to stop cold turkey and learn to deal with life differently. He didn't let things upset him anymore. He used always be angry at everything, and he just learned to let things go. Negative emotions are controllable and definitely not worth being on meds for the rest of your life.

So, I think I'm just going to go for it. Stop taking the Ami 10mg cold turkey today. Wish me luck.

I have been off and on this drug for over 10 years now. When Maprotilyne was available, it worked much better than amitriptyline! But they discontinued this drug and the other pain med I used daily (codeine/aspirin). So I go back and forth with taking this med. I notice a huge increase in the reduction of pain when I take it, but also find my drive in life (just normal get up and do things drive) has taken a hard hit.

I take usually between 150mg-75mg at night. I feel the sun burns me easier, and I get "blood-sugar" shaky, but I have been on, and still am on many meds for chronic pain from a car hitting me while on bicycle. I have found after many "self" experiments with taking and dosage, and what drugs help with it, and what ones don't. The "best" thing about this drug is the relief of the constant back-pain I had. The "worst" thing about this drug is the way it makes me nap more, and feel like staying at home instead of doing things. But if you have the daily pain like myself, you are willing to handle these side-effects.

All in all I would give this drug a 8.5 for taking pain away. 7.0 for depression, and 7.5 for panic attacks, and daily anxiety. I can still drive an 18-wheeler, work as a CNA in hospitals and all other work I know how to do. But when the shift ends, so do I!.... But I still say it is worth it for "my" particular problems. And I have tried SCORES of the new anti-depressants and pain meds.

So for pain(acute/ chronic/ and body), anxiety dis-order, panic attacks I take this med with 2 mg of Klonopin, 3-4 doses of 7.5 vicoprofen tablets, Soma PRN, and Ativan PRN. This combo has worked for years. Yes, it has some very undesirable side-effects, but being a man of faith I try and pray for the best combo. More of this and that. New of this and that has been pushed on me. But I believe this is the best combination for me, and I would suggest that anyone who is getting a benefit from this drug to just suck up the side-effects and get used to it.

There are NO silver bullets out there, and you have not "lost your faith if you correctly take medicine. Don't let the wolves tell you otherwise! The only "silver bullet" I have found was drinking all day, and that is against my convictions and could cause others to stubble too.

I have reading all these comments on withdrawal from elavil. I have stopped taking evavil. I was taking 10 mg at night for sleep and pain and fibro. Not many are mentioning age. This is very important. Your body cannot handle drugs as well when you are over 60. I have found this out the hard way. I am having a lot of withdrawal symptoms just withdrawing from 10 mg.

It seems the older a person is the more drugs the doctors want them to take and this is not right! Please read up on this - All these drugs are making older people's lives worse. Best of luck to all of you and myself. This taking and with drawing from drugs - even small dosages- is very difficult and we are all to be commended for trying! Article in AARP magazine this past month listed 9 drugs an older person should not take and why. You are your own best researcher.

I have been taking this drug for neuropathy and it works great, but now I am taking it every 12 hours and it is making me feel high and very happy which is always a bad sign) I like it cause I can now sleep 12 hours at a time since my life is depressing I prefer sleeping it away wondering if this is a problem also I have the rapid speech ideal coming so quickly I don't have enough time to get them out things are kinda worst now but I don't seem to care much, this might be bad, so should I tell my Dr or just enjoy the ride? can't decide

I took a related drug, nortriptyline, for depression when I was 21. The drug totally changed my personality in a bad way. At first, I got a miraculous easing of the depression, but after a few weeks, I turned unbearably hostile. I had impulses to physically hurt people, which was a complete change in my way of thinking.

It also gave me severe PMS, which is probably part of the reason for the hostility. I also had milk discharge from my nipples.

Even after decades off the drug, I never quite returned to normal. I am far angrier and I don't think it was the depression, because I had battled depression for six years before taking the drug. Some people have very bad mental side effects from tricyclics and there is research on elavil and hostility.

My personality changed forever because of this drug and I regret taking it more than I can say.

By the way, what helped me with depression was to eat whole grains, cut sugar, dairy and wheat out of my diet. I also got tested for food allergies and have learned to avoid them. These steps helped almost as much as the drug--and without the side effects.

Wow. . . I cannot believe our similarities. I just started cutting my 50 mg. elavil in half and I cannot get it together. I can't sleep and I feel like a dang freak. I took elavil for about 3 years for chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia and depression. I have put on 30 pounds. I will be honest, that is the reason I wanted to go off of elavil. I am in my 6th night of 1/2 of a pill and I am seriously thinking of going back to a full one. I wish you the very best of luck and thank you for sharing your story. I don't feel like I am battling this problem alone!

I have been taking this medication for almost 1 1/2 years for fibromayalgia. I have gained close to 15lbs since taking. I had extreme thirst and excessive urination. I've tried diet & exercise without any results. I told my doctor I wanted to quit taking the medication he said since I was taking a low dose 25mg that I shouldn't have any issues coming off of it. Well I have stopped taking it now for 5 days I have been extremely tired, nausea, my face feels tingly like its feel asleep and is just waking up. I have lost 10 lbs already however. I don't know how long this med takes to get outta of your system I am trying to tough it out and get through this does anyone know how long this med takes to get outta of your system?

How exactly were you able to go off of Tryp and then feel so good? Everyone else seems unable to do this without unbearable side effects?

Hi Peeps,
I wonder if you can help me. I have been taking 50mg amitriptyline for nearly a year as pain relief and to help me sleep. I now think I may be pregnant.... which would be brilliant. I have been reading stuff on the internet saying you should not take amitriptyline in the first 3 months of pregnancy, so last night I didn't take any.

I will not know for sure if I am pregnant or not for a week or so and I am scared if I take the drug I could cause some damage. I would be truly grateful for any thoughts or advice on this matter. By the way, we have been trying to have a baby for 6 years and at 43yrs old this is possibly my last chance.
Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this.
Claire

Currently prescribed 75 mg daily, at bedtime. Depression, trouble sleeping, tired. I am not sure if I am having allergic reaction or, if itchy eyes is a side affect. Eyelids and around eye is very sensitive. Seems like my skin is burnt. I know the dry mouth that I have is from the Amitrip. but, at times, seem like I have very bad taste in my mouth. Any ideas?

Hang in there. I have had very suicidal (idealizing) at times (I am taking 150mg) for multiple problems. #1 Chronic pain- really helps! #2 Anxiety- (between 1-10 scale) 7 if taken regularly and not drinking ANY ALCOHOL! That just intensifies the anxiety and depression! #3 Depression (I have tested all the new SSRI's- Prozac/Effexor/Paxil/Cymbalta-"which I thought would be the magic bullet. But eventually my suicidal thoughts went away.

I am a spiritual man, and when I re-gained even a blip of "Hope" it helped tremendously!.... Try and find what gives you yourself "Hope" (for tomorrow or 2 years away)! That will be key. Your doctor is wise on his consult. Amitriptyline is a proven and "one of the most studied" anti-depressant.

What I do since I have been battling my demons for 30 years now, is supplement my Amitrip;- with a benzodiazepine (Not Diazepam though!) Ativan, Alprazolam, or the best for me Clonazepam!... Life sucks doesn't it when you are in the world of loneliness (even with lots of people around). And also remember your/my/others condition makes us feel sick and fatigued all the time, but when you can step outdoors and just find one of nature's Gems to be thankful for, it will help. Birds/ trees/ grass/ rain/ sun/ plants and flowers/ clouds..etc... Hope my input may help a bit. your brother, in life on earth!

My Dr has just prescribed me 25mg of amitriptyline for not being able to stay asleep /insomnia. I have sleep apnea and fall asleep with CPAP very easy, I just do not stay asleep all night.

I think I will say heck with the Amitriptyline and just get a prescription for MMJ.

Thanks everyone for the info!

I've been taking amitriptyline for aprox. 4 months and have just had a discectomy so no longer need it (was for nerve pain). I have found stopping it all together has been OK for me (was only on 20mg).

Maybe a suggestion to those having difficulty coming off of this drug especially if withdrawing from smaller doses, you could try cutting the tablets into 4 and taking a little bit of the tablet a couple of times a day. I used to do this with one of the 10mg tablets as most of my pain used to be throughout the day.

I would have half a tablet in the morning and half mid afternoon then a full tablet at night time. I think this may be why I coped better with the withdrawal as my body was only getting small amounts regularly.

Just a thought anyways. I'm also still on codeine 30/500mg TDS so this could also be keeping the symptoms away.

Hope those struggling with withdrawal soon manage to find relief from the effects of stopping/tapering off the drug. Will be praying for you all as I'm sure prayer has helped me a huge amount while I've been going through this process. That is probably the biggest reason why I have had an easier time of it. When the pain subsides though a bit more I have to tackle codeine withdrawal which I'm dreading!!

Try renting yoga for dummies. It works. The slow pace stretches you out you increase your strength, by the end there is a relaxing time for a few minutes that I have found myself asleep, drug free and pain free. It is awesome. Good luck.

Hi all - I was recently prescribed Amitrip, 25 mg., for insomnia. When I say "recently" as best I can recall, it was probably a month and a half ago while staying with my elderly mother in another state. I was already taking 1/2 to 1 mg. of Clonazepam for sleep (I can't shut my mind off--it races, right along with my heart) and Gabapentin for the neuropathic pain of Fibro. Also, while with my mother, I fell off a chair I was standing on and fractured my pelvis in two places.

At first it was, "Oh, it's your tailbone. It'll heal itself." Until I couldn't walk, sit or sleep. Anyway... I was also put on a mild dose of Hydrocodone every 4 hours as needed. So, taking the Clonazepam, Gabapentin, Hydrocodone AND Amitrip at bedtime, you better believe I slept - like a baby - from say 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. unless and until my bladder woke me up. Now, I've come back to where I lived before - no doctor here anymore - and forgot to have my Clonazepam refilled before I left. Well, once that doctor realized I had come back here, he wouldn't refill my Clonazepam.

So, not having it, and going thru what I thought were withdrawal symptoms from the Hydrocodone (have gone off it before with not much of a problem) and the Clonazepam at the same time, I now find myself without any sleep for 2 weeks, typing this at about 3:30 a.m. I have had spasms in my legs before from going off Xanax (on my own) and that took me to the ER.

This time, the spasms are worse and seem to intensify after taking more than prescribed Amitrip, which I did right before I read a lot of the posts and the side effects of Amitrip above. I have been having some very weird neuro things going on - for example, today as I was trying to catch a nap - HA! - all at once it felt like a bomb had gone off in my head, my sinuses dried up as did my eyes. My taste was affected, too.

Needless to say, even if I have had no energy from not having had any sleep for so long and haven't felt like finding a doctor, I need to go to the closest "Urgent Care" tomorrow.

I don't think my body likes anti-depressants. I'm sure I've tried most, if not all, of them, and they've been rejected one by one. Of course I thought the Amitrip was wonderful when I started taking it. I was also taking something for two different kinds of pain as well as Clonazepam. Now that I haven't taken Clonazepam or Hydrocodone for a couple of weeks, I have found that I cannot, nor will I, take another Amitrip! It sure isn't helping me GO to sleep so I don't know if it would help me STAY asleep. If I'm going to be awake anyway, I don't want to be experiencing all of these weird side effects. They're just too much!!
Good luck to you all!

P.S. I forgot to mention a couple more fun side effects I've noticed that have to be from taking the Amitrip. One is a really weird metallic or tarrish? taste in my mouth and the other is one eye is kinda bulging out and the other is recessed. I look in the mirror and don't even believe it's me!

Goodbye Amitriptyline, hello no more seizures! What a relief. I felt at times that someone had hit me over the head or I'd gotten tased with a full-body seizure. Very scary! However, now I have a bunch of bees buzzing in my ears and sometimes a timpani orchestra, too, in the left. I just read an article that said Amitriptyline is prescribed for ringing in the ears. Anyone have experience with this from taking and then getting off Amitriptyline?

Barbara, probably a result of elevated blood pressure, in response to amitriptyline's hypotensive effects. Hopefully temporary and will tail off, but just to be sure, get it checked.

Thanks for your response, Rossu but get what checked? My b.p.? I'm already on Atenolol 100 mg./day for b.p. I'd like to get my ears checked and get rid of this constant hissing!

Yes Barbara, b.p. I am on a host of b.p. meds, and found that the calcium channel blocker Felodipine (Plendil, Renedil) had a reduction in tinnitus as an unexpected but pleasant side effect. Worth talking to your GP about it. Whatever, I suspect and hope that your problem will slowly fade. Best of luck.

To Jody: I have been taking amitriptyline for long time for a different reason. I tried also some different drugs in the same class. They are very very powerful. Although I heard helps with headaches I don't think it's worth it. My wife had powerful headaches for ten years, nothing helped... the pain went away after she bought and tried a 50 dollars head massage machine. Something simple that vibrates and massages your head skin. And no side effects. Good luck!

My sitch:

Panic Disorder
Mild Depression
Recovering Alcoholic

Meds: Paxil, Amytriptyline and Clonipin

The Ami's were prescribed for help w/sleep. I've had on-and-off insomnia since graduating high school - 20 years now. Usually it's initial insomnia, but I've had the terminal kind, too.
I wanted to lay off of the benzo's, due to their being highly addictive. I'd been sober for about 4-5 years and was taking Paxil for depression and Amy's for sleep. Then the panic came back - AND NOTHING WOULD WORK. Buspar, grounding/somatic experiencing, GABA gabba yada yada yada...

So finally I surrendered - went to my doc and he gave me some Xanax - FINALLY relief. And sent me on my way w/a scrip for Clonipin. Fortunately I've had no problem w/ Clon, and sometimes even a a quarter mili (generally considered sub-therapeutic) does the job. The 50 mgs of Ellaavil (Amy) stopped helping w/sleep. Doc took it up to 100. Even that doesn't do much sometimes. Sometimes I'll go with a quarter-mili of Clon and 50 milis of the AmY's...which I know are not heavy doses... but you know, sometimes you wish you could crash without pills! And I've read some stuff about Amy that made we wonder if I should stay on it...

I could go off perhaps and increase my clon to sleep - but I don't want my Clon. intake to exceed half a mili per day. Sometimes I figure "hell with it - I won't STAND for any more insomnia, I'll take whatever I have to to get to sleep (short of booze)."
I also had an experience w/going off Lexipro that was pretty lousy...even after my doc's wean, all my symptoms returned - insomnia, panic, depression, rage. And then I thought "gee - they say these drugs aren't addictive, so why the withdrawals?"

After a particularly bad temper tantrum (and right in front of my g-friend), I went back on the Lexapro dose of 20 mg, which is what I had been stable on for 2-3 years. But that didn't seem to be working as well, so doc upped it to 30 mg, which was better. (Later switched to Paxil 40 mg, since there was a generic that I could afford...the switch went smoothly.)

I guess I could get better educated... but I wanna engage in things I enjoy, too, not be reading about the complexities of pharmacological substances every day... and now I'm a grad student, training to become a therapist! :)

I'll admit, I got other nocturnal vices which probably interfere w/normal sleep, one of which is a serious sweet tooth that I feel I must satiate EVERY night.
...man, what a life...still, all in all, not too bad after all...
"nighty-night" 'Berg

I stopped amitriptyline now one month I b4r get 25g 3 year I stop suddenly but now I have cold and neck pain maybe I can start again.

Hi there, I have been taking amitriptyline for about 10yrs. I was originally placed on 75mg dose by my neurologist to try to control migraines and daily headache.

Over a period of about 18mths we worked the dosage down to 10mg (with a bit of trial and error), so for the past 8 yrs that has been enough to keep my migraines under control and the head pain at bay.

Over the past 6 weeks I have been trying to wean myself from the drug altogether. I did this by taking 10mg every other day for about 4 weeks and for the past 2 weeks I have been drug free. I am sorry to say even with being so deliberate and measured in weaning myself off amitrip I have still experienced withdrawal symptoms: Marked fatigue, anxiety and palpitations (I didnt have any anxiety symptoms prior to starting the meds), fogginess and aching neck muscles.

I dont expect the symptoms to last long and they're not incapacitating by any stretch, but they are very much there.... I guess whilst 10mg is a low dosage 10 years is a long time to take that sort of drug. Hope this helps.

Hi Barbara, weaning off amitrp after 10yrs and have the most annoying drum beat in my left ear the past two weeks med free. I'm fairly confident that over the next few weeks it will wane, it doesn't seem as prevalent the last couple of days as it was in the first week. hope this helps.

I am pretty sensitive to medication. But this is what I experienced.

Was prescribed amitriptyline 10mg for insomnia and mild daily migraines.
1.5 hour after taking it, I was feeling chilly and groggy.
Went to bed, put extra blankets on and waited for sleep.
Sleep did not come, I became so cold I was shivering quite badly...
Odd feeling it was like I was cold from the inside.
My husband put more blankets on me and snuggled into me trying to warm me without success.
This went on until the early hours of the morning, finally the shivering ceased but I was still unable to sleep.
I got out of bed at 8am and had the worse migraine I've had in months and was feeling quite groggy and out of it.
I drank a lot of water, trying to flush the amitriptyline out of my system.
Finally I was able to sleep around 11pm for a few hours.

Today is the day following this episode and I feel great. Mind you I did not take amitriptyline last night. :)

Needless to say I will not be taking amitriptyline. I can manage to mild migraines with Excedrine.
Insomnia is the battle. :-/

I have tried 50mg of Elavil for insomnia along with 10mg of Ambien since October. What a nightmare! (literally). Awful dreams, weight gain, sleep eating/walking. Feel drugged the next morning, dry mouth, constipation.

I have stopped taking both and feel better each day, although there is some unpleasant withdrawal. Nausea, stomach cramps, insomnia. But, I will live. I just don't know what to think about psychotropic medications. They really do help others that need them, but for others, like myself, they do not. The side effects sometimes outweigh the benefits like any other drug. Thank everyone for this forum. It truly is a blessing!!

Hi Diane, Its good to find someone with problems getting off amitriptlyn, not good for you though. I was once on this drug in my early 30's and had no problem coming off them. I started on them again soon after my daughter was born 17 yrs ago. During that time I have been up and down on them but never able to come off them completely. I am on 150mg at the moment the most I have ever taken.

When I try to come down on them by the smallest amount 5mg, I get awful chronic headaches. I have managed to stand the headache for 2 weeks then give up because they are so debilitating. I have put on 3 stone, have chronic constipation, sore dry mouth and feel tired most of the time I am at my wits end with it all. I feel trapped and alone and very despondent. Does anyone have any suggestions?
lynne.

I have known I have celiac disease for more than 20 yrs now. Still I end up getting gluten at times.

I have recently had nerve pain (no other symptoms) in front of right leg.

The meds all seem to effect me extremely strong.

Amitriptiline 10mg tabs... were increased over a couple months to 30mg each night to lower the intensity of the pain.

I've had mental confusion or a strange inability to gather my thoughts... then the constipation has been terrible... started using Benefiber and Miralax. Then at some point my gut just started feeling terrible... what I realize now is my pancreas rebelling... It got so bad doctor wanted me hospitalized, at my expense of course. I had no choice but to quit the Amitriptiline cold turkey. It has been HORRIBLE !!!! Even before quitting...

My heart pounds and flutters, I sweat profusely, it feels as though my whole body is drying out... the pain in abdomen is now far worse than pain in leg... I have been vomiting dry heaves, can't eat, when I do eat it all starts over...

Now I started giving myself warm water enemas.. so old fashioned but it seems to be helping. Dr said I might have stomach flu... wow... I think I know the difference. I haven't had flu of any kind for probably 10 years.... what I used to think was the flu was from eating gluten.

Well your post is much older than mine. Hope you lived through it all. Hope I do.

Interesting reading here. Just to add my 2 cents: I was on 10mg nightly for about a year, to help with sciatic and muscle pain associated with severe arthritis in my left hip (the pain was not caused by the arthritis, but by the horrible way I walked for the 3 years I suffered with the arthritis.) The med helped me sleep through the night; I never noticed any negative symptoms, and when I finally had hip-replacement surgery, I was able to taper off it with no problems. That was five years ago. I am now one year into the same problem with my right hip, and just today asked my doctor to re-prescribe the ami. Reading all the negative comments here is kinda freaking me out; I must not have found this board before, 'cause if I had I probably never would have taken it the first time! But because of my previous positive experience, I am going to try it again. (FYI, before coming here I read reviews at http://www.rxlist.com/script/main/rxlist_view_comments.asp?drug=elavil&questionid=fdb1807_pem and they were almost all positive.)

I'm a 66 year old man who has been on amitrip for about 20 years. I had been on 150mg for insomnia. I have gotten chronic constipation the last couple of years and I know that is a side effect of this drug. I also have dry mouth and am tired most of the time. I have managed to cut back to 100. When I've tried to cut down to 50 I find I'm back to sleeping poorly.

I need my sleep but this constipation is terrible. So I understand how you all feel.

I have been off and on this medication for many years now= 25+.... And when I get a wild hair (usually after a year or two) I quit. I feel lousy, flu-like, and just tired. But now I have come to know this med is a necessity for many. It has been studied more than any other Tricyclic Anti-depressant, and the "MANY" uses it can be used for i.e. Pain/Anxiety/Chronic Pain/Clinical depression/ Genetic Depression/ Mood disorder/ and many more...

I come to the conclusion after taking combo's and every other Anti-depressant. It can be a "Wonderful" help for many (but you will have to learn that it is a maintenance drug, period!) I was hit by a car while on a bicycle in 1999 (Chronic pain) Helps 80% better than not taking! (Depression/Anxiety/Agriphobia/panic attacks/) and, I learned, "yes" I am going to become addicted to certain meds (or become an alcoholic~ Which I tried and learned the lesser of the two is Pharm scripts!)... I caution anyone quitting cold-turkey! Sometimes it is survivable, and other times "Unbearable"!

I currently take (pain meds~maintenance/ Benzodiazapiem's spelled wrong/ and 175mgs of Amitriptyline) MUCH BETTER THAN SELF MEDICATING!... If you have any questions or need any tips this man can give (including being a christian who takes medications with a clear conscience) feel free to comment back.

I have been on this medication for 20+ years also for fibromyalgia and sleep problems. I am trying to get off of it now. As I have aged, I have noticed that it has made me more tired, my vision is worse, and many other problems. I know this is not due to just aging because I can temporarily reduce my dosage from 50mg to 25 and I get much better. I want off this medication now.

I'm trying different methods of reduction, but they all usually leave me feeling really tired and I can't sleep at all. I know this medication is addictive even though doctors say it is not. I urge anyone considering it to research it greatly. You may just change your mind. I have discovered so much about it. I wish I had the internet when I started it. I would have never touched it. I'm also a Christian and I pray that I can get off this drug.

Been on ami for 15 years for fibromyalgia, was wonderful at first, been on 25mg at bedtime, was miraculous cure, slept through night, fibro gone completely in a week...but. Now for the bad news, now realize that long term effects plus age (now 75) are really bad. Heart problems, high blood pressure, can't wake up in morning, memory loss (not just old age). Sex life wiped out (rather quickly after starting ami) Libido went in a week, ED and anorgasmia came quickly. Compensated with Viagra, that gradually failed, moved on to Caverject, that helps ED but inorgasmia gets worse.

Been reading about anticholinergics. Over time they have really bad effects. Most of the postings about ami refer to constipation and all sorts of bad things. Wish now had never started ami. Quit cold turkey a week ago. Am experiencing all of the things mentioned above - dizzy, digestive upset, headaches, awake all night, etc. But I am going to tough it out. I feel almost like an alcoholic, I have to get off this stuff ASAP. No tapering, no back-sliding, I now realize this is bad stuff for me. Anti-Amitrityline folks unite! We can do this! I hope.


I started taking 100mg of amitriptylin at bedtime three weeks ago for severe leg pain and it works wonders. But I have been on zanax for two yrs. 1mg at bedtime. Is it ok to take these two med together?

Hi Linda,

I am trying to go of Ami cold turkey and feeling terrible daily. But I will do it, as I never want to feel this bad ever again. I have a foggy head, headaches, cold sweats, flu like symptoms, but I know the difference. If I eat I feel worse, but I must eat so I just feel like crap the rest of my day. I stopped the drug last Saturday night was the last 25mg tablet. I sure hope I feel better soon, sounds like everyone is different. Oh how I wish there was help for this.

Am now three weeks off of 25mg AMI, still lightheaded and dizzy in morning, mild nausea, pain in back and shoulders, poor sleep, awake at least 2 hours nightly. Some days not bad, others worrisome. Not sure what to do. This does not seem to be getting better quickly. Anyone else done this cold turkey and can predict how long withdrawal lasts? In looking through the posts I don't see anyone specifically saying it was months or longer.

I have been taking amitriptyline for over a year now! I take 2x25mg at night and it has been working great and helping me to sleep! I am due to start night shifts and am curious if I can take amitriptyline in t morning to help me sleep instead of at night?

I was prescribed amitriptyline 25 mg to help me sleep about a year ago. I gained 8 lbs in the 1st month and felt like a zombie. I cut the dose in fourths and have taken it for months with no side effects and have been able to sleep well & lost the 8 lbs. Recently, I have been having issues with severe dry mouth and burning tongue and I believe it is this drug. I am weaning off to see. Will be a bummer for me because sleep has been very good but I cannot stand this feeling in my mouth/tongue!

So, I've been browsing the forums to read on other opinions to Endep - I'm 24 yrs old and work full time as a photographer, previously in hospitality full time.

There was a time on 14 months ago, and more, that was the most motivated, energetic, fit person, full of happiness and confidence, finally. I'd got myself to a place I'd not been.
Months later, after years and years of headaches, decided to see a doctor and try find answers as to why suddenly was having so much back and neck pain, and chronic headaches. I experienced my very first migraine Xrays and injections later, it turned out I'd a very minor bulge in a disc in my neck, nothing too major, though, just enough to cause pains in the nerves, causing the 'cluster' headaches.
I'd been to a few doctors, one whom diagnosed me Neuralgia and injected me with cortisone on my left side of my neck just close to my head. This hurt, and did nothing, so it was time to try my own doctor whom couldn't get into at earlier time.
She wrote down a name of a muscular skeletal physician to go and see further out of town, because she believed there was more to it.

After spending a fortune on this man, began to see light at the end of the tunnel - he studied my structure and found all the spots that had to work on to strengthen, and first prescribed me the amitriptyline 10 mg. He explained it would settle the nerves in my neck and to take it a couple of hours before bed. Being the small person I am, and one to never take any form of drugs or put anything harmful in my body, reacted terribly to it, having being up out of bed several times a night. It cause me to have urinary tracts. I tried to slowly ease myself off it, which is when I began to have horrible withdrawals, and be completely restless at night, leading onto extreme headaches throughout the day. I felt like I was going nowhere, no matter what I chose. I HAD to stop taking it, because of the pain, my doctor also telling me this was my best option.

I then found myself getting another migraine and being locked away at home for days out of the sunlight, also with a skin infection, making multiple trips back to the doctor, depressed more than ever.
Time passed and it was due for me to go back to the physician out of town, where I would tell him of the trouble caused by the amitriptyline. He did some more exercises with me, and we were able to go further into the problems, especially when he learned how sensitive am to even the smallest doses of some drugs.

He then changed my prescription to Endep 10 and told me to half the dose and take it even earlier in the evening, to try avoid being drowsy the next day. I got an injection in my head, further up behind my ear, which numbed the nerves and for the first time in approx 3 years, found myself headache free for a full day! And then he injected a steroid into my shoulders on my back, to ease the neck pain some more (can't believe I managed to drive home safe, had I have known was getting these injections would have asked someone to drive me!)

I started on endep 10 - taking more like 5 mg a night... was seeing positive signs - neck pain eased and no headaches. I was sleeping at night but feeling flat during the day. After about a month started to struggle and thought I'd take the full 10 mg at about 5pm each night. About 2 months on and I've been in such a negative, flat, exhausted way. The headaches have come back and to be so depressed and tired just isn't like me at all! I got straight back into work and think that my job isn't helping. I've been working on my own for the last month, flat out, but with no choice but to do it until my boss/photographer partner is well to come back to work.

I've been so angry and upset, and decided just two nights ago to stop the Endep and see what happened. I still managed to sleep, but I'm stuck with a headache. Last night I was a little more restless, but today, I woke up and went to work with a positive mind, for the first time in a long time - got a rush and felt positive again, although a little tired from a restless sleep, and a headache and sore back/neck, think it's time to stop taking these amitriptylines and see where else I can go.

If any of you have any other ideas for migraines, neck/nerve pain… PLEASE contact me. Although every one is totally different to how they react with meds and finding a way through, it's still nice to hear ways around it. I'm desperate to get the old me back, and get off the medications that drag me down.

Sorry for such a HUGE post, but I really wanted to express my experiences, and see where it could go from here.

KH

I've been on amitryp for 9 years, gone off it and on to Efexor, then off that and on nothing. Found the pain of fibromyalgia associated with lupus was getting the best of me and went back on. But I am SICK of the weight gain. I think a lot of it comes from not being able to exercise because I feel like jello. I went off it last week (continuing with yoga and walking for exercise) cold turkey. I was on 25 mg. I've been sleeping "o.k." only waking up once or twice a night.

I have a 35 minute commute to work on a highway. What happened was I turned left instead of right and drove down the highway about 5 km's before I saw the wrong town name and realized I was going in the wrong direction!!! I have no recollection of turning left on a busy highway. This scared me. I was really disorientated. I find I'm catching a lot of mistakes at work that I've made. I also am having a hard time finding words as well as even remembering the conversation I'm having or just had. I hope this doesn't last long while I still have a job and friends.

I was on 10 mg of Amitriptyline until last night. I was experiencing head rushes which didn't bother me, but last night my heart started racing and I just ignored it until it got bad. I called my doctor and I told him how many bpm I had and it was 130 ish. He said to go the hospital immediately so they could hook me up to a monitor. By the time I got there my heart rate was up to 170 and tons of doctors came in and hooked me up to monitors and did a few EKGs and blood test. They hooked me up to fluids to flush out the medicine from my system.

I'm only 16 and the normal heart rate for my age is 60-100. They said if I waited to come in I most likely would've gone into cardiac arrest. I'm actually upset the medicine did this because it was finally taking my migraines away but migraines are definitely better than being close to death at only 16.

To what are you attributing your confusion? It sounds like a serious episode of fibro fog to me, having experienced similar, but not as severe, problems.

I hear of all these horror stories. But this med out of the 10 other "anti-depressants" I have had trial runs with, is still by far the best for my body. That is the thing. We have to learn to know our body's better! The docs don't seem to care as much anymore. But I usually take 150-175 mgs of Amitriptylyne nightly. I go through periods where I wean myself down to 75mgs when my body tells me, and then return to 150mg... If not for this drug in combination with others, my quality of life would be much decreased because of the pain relief it gives, and whatever else it helps me with unknowingly.... Wishing those with bad experiences to find the right combo's to do you well!.....

This drug works wonderfully for me. However, I noticed from the start I get confused. I have taken a dementia test and scored 100% even though I am in my 60's. My result was - your memory is in excellent condition. This does not stop me forgetting times and being convinced the wrong time for an appointment is the right time. Overall I find this drug so good that I will continue to take it and put up with the confusion.

hey, I am 15 (female) and have been put on 10mg of Amitriptyline for nerve pain as I have a prolapsed disk in my mid back which is trapping my nerves to my legs. I have been taking 1 tablet a night for a week and then upped my dosage to 20mg after a week as prescribed. It is not actually helping with the pain much and is making me feel extremely faint, weak, drowsy and have a lack of energy. I will persist with the medication I was just wondering if anyone had any tips for the side effects :) xxxx thankyou. Emily

To my knowledge and experience, amitrip is prescribed not for pain, but to help with sleep. That's probably why you're feeling like you are.

Hi, I know how you feel, me too I was getting the same thing, discomfort in middle of chest and I was getting bile from tummy,
I also some times get a funny feeling in top of gut and then I feel the blood rush to my face a little, I don't know if I'm scared when I feel the movement in gut or it's connected.

So I asked the doctor and he said its inflammation of the gut and not the tablets. Some times as well we can have a small hernia and that could cause the pain in the chest, Also you could get pain with the acid that your tummy makes when its inflamed.
So please don't worry, your Dr knows best .........

I was sick a lot. I'd have hot sweat fever's, throw up and diarrhea then I'd have freezing cold sweats along with a headache. This would go on for two to three days in a row and once or twice a month. I went to my doctor and told him that I was sick of being sick and I felt like ending my life. That's when my doctor put me on Amitriptylin 10mg. I get tired a lot from it, but it's better then being sick like I was.

I do still get sick, but not as bad or as often. Reading other ppl notes, It doesn't help with my leg pain or my fibromyalgia and I have problems sleeping, weight gain, no energy, memory issues, neck pain and migraines. I was taking 10mg in the morning and 10mg at night. Doc. changed it to take two at night cause I cant sleep. I got my new scrip and noticed the mg went from 10mg to 100mg! I called my doctor up, it was a mistake. Anyone know what would of happened if I would of taken 200mgs of it? With all these issues, I'll take them over being sick as I started out with. Tho I had some of them before I started this pill. life goes on......

Yes. I am 17 (female) and I was prescribed Amitriptyline 25mg for not sleeping well at night so I take a half per night well I have no energy at all and I sleep good though all night but still no energy if I miss a dose I have a terrible head ache that makes me cry because the pain is terrible and I feel like my face is really HOT idk why I am having these symptoms...

PLEASE SOME ONE HELP ANSWER MY HURTFUL PROBLEM'S
BEEN ON MEDS FOR LIKE 3 WEEKS NOW! Appreciate it lot's...

Hey Cookie,
I can respond to you in a way that I've just slowly worked myself off of Endep Amitriptyline 10mg, for my neck/nerve problems and a bad back.

Although it was helping with easing the pain and knocking me out to sleep at night, after several months of taking it, it was taking over my daily routines. I was far too drained and tired, unstable, slurring my words and just making silly mistakes that don't ever occur off the drug. I wanted myself back.

Maybe you're sensitive to such a large dosage, like me. I mean, you're taking 25mg (and having it) so I TOTALLY understand how tired you'd be. Try speaking to your doctor about going onto 10mg. I was halving that and only really taking 5mg and it still knocked me out.. then I found myself cutting the tablet into quarters and really only taking 2.5mg and that was more than enough to put me to sleep.

Everyone's different, obviously, but it's just a suggestion. As for also trying to stop taking it, do it slowly. It is very painful. I've suffered cluster headaches for the last 6 or 7 years, and now I suffer from chronic migraines if I'm not careful with what I eat and I'm sensitive to light quite often.

For my headaches I take aspirin, because it's a blood thinner, and I feel it works a treat it I get onto it early enough.

Try just taking your amitriptyline one every 3 nights - that way you're still getting a dosage but also letting your body have some freedom without feeling tired, and taking aspirin to ease headaches. Also, taking the amitriptyline at earlier at night allows it to work faster and ease off a little more by morning.

I was taking mine by 5pm at night, and only my very small dosage.

The headaches will ease if you ever decide to stop.
I've been working myself off mine for the last month, taking 5mg about once a week now, and it's starting to work and I'm just putting up with my neck/back pain and any headaches until I can find something else I can try, because I'm SICK of feeling so flat and negative and tired.

If you scroll up to a post I made on March 30th (kirsty) you'll find my story and may relate to some of what I had to say.

Hope this is some help, and I understand that all our bodies are different so it may not all work out the same, but it's worth a shot.

Look after yourself.

Kirsty

read healing back pain by sarno (everyone on here actually read it). you'll really benefit.

I had my first dose of amitriptyline 50 mg last night, I have severe anxiety, chronic back pain, insomnia and depression for the past 8 years. I've been taking trazadone for my insomnia for the last ten years, but here recently it has been giving me nightmares, and have been extremely groggy the next day. I noticed the next morning after my fist dose of amitriptyloine a decrease in pain and anxiety. also, I woke up feeling very energetic and happy, unlike before. I pray this drug will solve my problems.

I've been taking Amitriptyline 10mg for 3 months for anxiety, not sleeping and stiff neck. It certainly cured my stiff neck, lifted my mood somewhat and ensured I was sleeping like a baby by 10pm!

However, I started getting strange sensations and pains in my breasts - the right one especially. The pains were linching stabbing pains, or the whole breast would feel hot swollen and heavy, making me feel quite nauseous.

I read that breast pain is a common side effect of Amitriptyline so I stopped taking them yesterday, and noticed a difference almost immediately. Tonight is my second night without them, and like last night, I'm lay in bed wide awake not feeling in the least bit tired though I have to be up in 5 hours :/ I'm wondering how long this not being able to sleep will last.

I have been on amytriptyline 50mg for over 10years, at first it was fine but I started to get a lot of problems with my teeth and gums, on every visit to dentist I was getting a filling this then progressed to extractions, towards end I was literately removing my own teeth (on one occasion I bit into a soft ice cream an one of my front teeth came out).

Over the years I have lost all my teeth due to dry mouth caused by amytriptyline an have dentures (lot of use they are they don't fit, can't eat a full meal or drink as when I do they fall out an I have to stick them in with adhesive, I'm using between 2/3 tubes per day, I have inquired about implants on nhs but told no way!!!!)

Wheres the logic approx £250 per set of dentures over 5 years £1250 implants approx £5000 5 years between cost of dentures an what I pay for adhesive, implants would be viable, save nhs and me money, but hey line the big boys pocket an let the little man suffer an I have had approx 5 sets made in 3yrs) BE WARNED

Yep! I am 38 years old, and I have been on 150mgs nightly of Amitrip for over 20+ years now (apart from the foolish~quit "cold turkey") boughts!..... Luckily I have 9 teeth left, but all are affected with cavities and such. I don't have the money to get them fixed, and I always told myself if "I lost so many teeth that it made me look uninviting to patients (when I work in Hospital), then I would head out to some oil-field job"... but that is not where my heart is. My heart is in progressing from a Certif. Nurses Assistant to Registered Nurse! But that is quite a mountain in my path!... But if it is His Will, it will happen. The main reason I was writing was due to the same oral problems.

"This'l make ya chuckle possibly"... so about ten years ago, I was working in a "sub-acute Unit" and my teeth were rotting and coming out at a fast pace, and I did not have dental insurance. I actually ordered a dentistry kit from the internet that was for "Dentists ONLY"... I got into a bind one night! I drank as much vodka as I could stomach, and became my own dentist (dumb! very DUMB!) by the time I was finished, It looked as if i had been a vampire with steady flow of blood dripping down, and 3 broken teeth, and some to the root, which I then scalpeled, and used an elevator only to lift one root halfway out and damage a good tooth next to it. My family (Mommy~Happy Mother's Day to all You Wonderful Mom's out there!) so mom paid her dentist to fix me up. They were beside themselves when they opened my mouth!....

After getting about 4 more full extractions, and stitches in most... (I could even take a break~get a tooth pulled, and head back to finish my shift)... But in all, I am in a scary place. If I don't get the 9 teeth I have left, fixed~ well..... I have a great deal of empathy and understanding with you "Martin m."! ...... Seems we have to be in a state prison to get our own teeth fixed!.... And the world is getting darker each day!.....

I too am tired of people who have never had insomnia telling me to drink some warm milk, exercise, cut back on the caffeine. They need to suffer like I have for a month or so before they'll understand. I slept through the night for the first time in a year a couple of days ago and felt like a new person! Sleep is such a gift but I'm back to not sleeping again. Just got prescribed amytriptyline so will see how it goes.

Was on Amitriptyline for nine years for insomnia, got up to 150mg daily. Put on more than 60lbs, had dry mouth, felt foggy and away with the fairies much of the time, always hot and sweaty and had terrible short-term memory... but was finally sleeping.

I am starting college this summer so need to be as clear headed and sweat-free as possible so weaned down over a month then stopped altogether nearly three weeks ago. Admit now I should have weaned off much slower. First couple of weeks I was highly emotional, irritable and angry (spent an entire day sobbing over perceived terrible life and husband!) had a few mild panic attacks, disturbing and vivid dreams, debilitating headaches and constant hay fever (didn't realize amitrip. is partly antihistamine).

Third week in, I still have the headaches, dreams and hay fever but much more emotionally stable. Of course hardly sleeping, but who needs it when you can remember what day it is for the first time in years. Sweaty issues appear to be a thing of the past and have lost a couple of pounds without even trying.
Good advice on message boards, going to try aspirin for headaches and will drink more water.

Hoping the worst is over, but don't recommend cold turkey-ish withdrawal.

I had been on 10mg of Ambien for 10 years and slept very well with it. My cardiologist said that as I got older it would cause memory loss. He was right, I got in the car and could not remember how to get to the bank or went to grocery store and could not remember where anything was. I have been off of Ambien for 24 days but no sleep.

Desperate I went to the doctor and he prescribed 25 mg of Elavil. I have taken it for two nights. The first night it worked, slept for 10 hours. Last night it did not. Some of these posts say that it sometimes takes 2 weeks of taking it to work. Should I continue taking it and hope that it will work after a while? I just got through the withdrawals for Ambien, hate to get started on another one but have to have a prescription drug that works. Any suggestions?

Hi All, So glad I've found this site. I've been on these tablets now for under a year now. I have been thinking of weaning myself off of them. They certainly help me sleep. I was on citilapram for around three and a half years, before my doctor changed them to amitrip, basically for severe depression, which in turn was affecting my sleep. My doctor warned me not to just stop taking them as I would go down with a bang!

I am on 2x 10mg tablets every night, I have just started to wean myself off, taking the two tablets but every other day and will do that for a month or so then see about reducing it again. After reading people's comments on here, I really do want to get off them. I suffer with the dry mouth, feeling tired most of the time, blurred vision and bright lights/ sun hurts my eyes.

I think they are doing more harm than good. I soo want to get off these, but will do it slowly. Will see how I go and if I start struggling I will go and see my doctor. Good luck to all that are trying to come off these tablets !!!

I have a 16 yr old daughter who has been prescribed Amitriptyline by the neurologist for migraines, chronic back pain, insomnia... She is starting at 10 and we just went to 20. She had surgery 8/2010 and has been home bound since. The migraine headaches are new and we are desperate. She wants to get up and move around again, she wants to leave the house, she wants to live. With all her various physical problems, it is not going to be easy to identify side effects because all of those things are part of her daily life now.

We also have big problems due to allergies to the inactive ingredients in most meds. She is allergic to potatoes (don't laugh, leave it to us) and lactose/dairy, eggs etc. so finding meds is next to impossible. Only time will tell if this helps and her psych is recommending lamictal but I can't find one that she is not allergic too. Thanks for listening (uh reading) and good luck to all.

ps if anyone knows of any resources for info or help with meds and allergies, please let me know. You would not believe the "It's not my job" attitude I get from the drs and the pharmacists!

For those with sleep problems while weaning off, I have found that good old paracetamol helps me sleep remarkably well (2 x 500 mg). I wouldn't take them every night though, because you don't want to habituate. Another option is the anti motion-sickness antihistamine phenergan (promethazine) if you don't mind being a bit zombified the following morning.

Just using these occasionally to augment the lower amitrip dose may well help. I reckon 1 good nights sleep undoes the damage of 4 bad ones.

I'm 15 & take this for chronic headaches, depression& to help me sleep.. they doubled my dose because my headaches over ruled the single dose but I don't feel like it really helps me with my depression.. can someone tell me why you cant be in direct sunlight while taking this medicine?

Yes. The sunlight is very much intensified with this med!... I have had near heat-stroke experiences because of working in the heat and sun. When I am in the sun nowadays I usually end up feeling sick the next day, and require much rest to even things out.

I have been taking for over 20 years, and take 150mg. Just be cautious in the sun! Especially if young and (possibly having some beer and such) as you should expect to feel yucky from over-exposure to the sun! Everyone's body reacts different, so just keep a mental or paper journal of how much time in sun your body can handle while on this med. I still take it, and still have struggles with depression, but still~much better than when not taking!...

Again, each person has the "best" for them in the medication world, so possibly try others at your doctor's discretion. I have already done about 10 other meds, and this one is kinda "ole faithful"...Silver bullet "never have I found", just what works best. Do hope this info helps. Josh

I was prescribed amitryptilene 6 months ago for nerve pain and quickly went up from 10mg to 100mg . Combined with morphine it seemed to be working but as my dose increased so did the side effects. A very dry mouth was acceptable but I started experiencing severe mouth ulcers which got worse the higher the dose of amitryptilene. Eating became so painful that I decided that I would gradually give up the drug. Well, all seemed fine as I cut my dose down through 100. 75. 50. 25 but a day or so after going to nil I started to suffer some horrendous side effects.

I became so disorientated and felt sick all the time. I couldn't keep anything down and I quickly realized this was " cold turkey ". I couldn't stand noise, light, smells, anything really and for a week I never ate and just sipped a bit of water. Now after 10 days of being off it I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and thank god I am off this over prescribed and I believe, dangerous drug. Doctors prescribe it all to readily and don't think of the side effects. Although the pain of my leg ulcers persists I will try to stick to morphine and when I finally start to come off this I will decrease the dosages small amounts over a long term and this is my main message... be very careful how you come off some drugs.

I have been taking 30mg amitriptyline at night for 4years to help with back pain. Three weeks ago I decided to stop taking the tablets just to see how effective they were. Since then I have had major problems with sleeping, often still awake 3 hours after going to bed, really strange dreams involving people that I haven't had contact with for years, and others. What is scarey is that they are in such detail, like the close up of my sister in law's wedding ring! Also, horrendous night sweats which occur daytime in the form of severe hot flushes.

I would be interested to know if others have experienced these symptoms, especially the sweats. My back pain is no worse now than when taking it so I will continue to go "cold turkey."

Interestingly, I sometimes used to get severe pain in the sternum area at night and put it down to indigestion so I found it helpful to read others had also had this problem whilst taking the medication

Hi,

I've been on 50mg amitriptyline for the past 6 months for severe tmjd after a hit to the head caused damage to my jaw joint. I'd been in constant pain and a liquid diet for almost a year and was at my wits end with doctors looking at me as though to say 'it's only tmjd it doesn't hurt that much just go away there's nothing we can do it'll take a couple of years to heal'. A maxo facial specialist requested I go on Amitriptyline starting at 10mg at night to help with the pain, I started this and gradually increased up to 50mg.

The drug was a god send for me, I put on the 2 stone I'd lost that'd left me looking emaciated, got my health and strength back and even started my own business, things have been great. Until a couple of weeks ago, my dosage went up to 50mg to help eliminate all pain, I started to get severe numbness and bizarre pains in my left arm and right leg, sometimes it would go across my whole body, my heart would randomly start racing or would feel like it was 'struggling' and beat harder than usual. I found out a few days ago this was because I had a heart block and the doctor told me to stop taking the amitriptyline straight away.

The pains and numbness are starting to subside but I feel absolutely AWFUL. I'm writing this from my bed at 2am. Both nights now I've woken up within a couple of hours of going to bed to an already racing heart, sickness, massive anxiety and a persistent headache. I feel like my whole worlds been pulled from under my feet. I've always had anxiety and depression problems and for the first time in my life the Amitriptyline had made me an all round happier and more confident person as well as treating a massive pain. I am dreading every night from now on, I feel so lonely and unwell right now. Dee, like you I've been having some really wild and horrible dreams in the little sleep I have had. I am also sleeping with the light on from now on as I woke up to what I could have sworn was a face in the mirror in the dark last night and it's terrified me.

I'm going back to the doctors tomorrow to see if there's anything else I can be put on, right now I don't care what it is and if it's safe or not I just want this to end.

Hmmm. I too had chest pain, horrible, same age as you, and it began at the same time I got insomnia and mega-hot flashes... I thought it might be related to Menopause. as it turns out, it certainly was! I got tested and had severe hormonal imbalance. Now after 3 weeks on bio-identicals, all my joint pains, aches, etc. are GONE!

I had previously tried regular HRT and it messed up my thyroid. Now I also take natural dessicated thyroid. At first the doctor wanted me to take anti depressants and sleeping pills (amytriptiline) but I knew it was not emotional! 6 months later, after a ton of tests, I decided to find my own doctor, a hormone specialist, who did extensive bloodwork, and the source of my pains, aches, insomnia, stiff and sore muscles, dry skin and falling out hair was , get this "undetectable" levels of hormones. Now I take a natural thyroid pill in the morning along with a click of hormone cream twice a day. I feel normal again, and can easily run up the stairs and exercise like I used to!

I've been taking amitriptyline for about 2yrs for massive migraines and daily headaches, tried everything else under the moon none of which has helped, this drug however has kept the headaches under control. I still get the migraines once in awhile and end up having to go into the er for them, vomiting and unable to see, studder things along that nature, nothing nice!!

Well I now am 5 months pregnant, at first my o.b. tells me it seems to be "ok" class "c" which means no actual proof of a fetus being hurt but in an animal they show signs of birth deffects.... ok, so my headaches come back with a terrible vengeance (hormones I'm sure) she sends me to a neurologist, he gets hysterical that I'm taking this medication, tells me how horribly dangerous this drug is for my baby!!

Of course now I'm so scared and worried, but everything I look up is so contradicting, some say its the preferred drug during pregnancy others say OH HECK NO!!!! My o.b says it's fine til a few weeks before birth, but the neurologist says not safe at any point!! So PLEASE if anyone has any kind of suggestion or have ever been through this????????????????????????????

thanks to all for their comments.

Three months ago I was prescribed 10mg Amitriptyline for neuralgia which was increased to 20mg after the first month.

Good effects - it works - easing the pain, and had the added bonus of being a sleep aid, stopping me getting migraines and reducing anxiety levels.

Bad effects - Physically felt sluggish and 'poisoned'/heavy with it - including prickly feelings across my chest area. Mentally, it changed my temperament particularly when excited or agitated.

On balance, the bad outweighed the good and I ceased taking it a week ago. It is nice to be clear-headed again after months of fog..

My 17 yr old son has been on amitriptiline for 1 yr for migraine and stomach pain. It helped with both, but in March he suffered what we thought was heat stroke (passed out, disoriented, HR skyrocketed, left arm twitched). Then, on Jul 3rd he suffered a tonic clonic seizure (gran mal). He had never had seizures prior to being on this medication. I asked all of his doctors if the ami could be the cause but they said they didn't think so. (How can they dismiss the possibility when seizure is listed as a possible side effect?)

The neurologist wants to add seizure meds (Depakote). I am going to try taking him off the ami first. I just can't believe adding a medicine (more side effects) to treat seizures that might be caused by another med (ami) is a good idea. Has anyone heard of seizures developing from this medicine? He's a great, smart kid and I've read the side effects from seizure meds can be horrible - lack of concentration, memory loss, psychotic episodes, behavior changes, etc. Please - if anyone has any experience - I'd love any and all information.

Yes, I had adverse side effects when I started taking amitriptyline - from hallucinations (hearing voices) to then seizures. Very scary. I took myself off of it immediately, which, of course, caused a whole new set of problems with withdrawal. Thank God I wasn't on it very long. I can't imagine what that would have been like. The sleep I got when I first started taking it was wonderful, but it worked too well on my brain and caused all kinds of weird side effects. I was not prescribed an anti-seizure med. I don't tolerate meds well in the first place and to "try" something else? No thanks.

Hi th, very possibly unrelated, my three sisters and I all suffered increasingly serious migraine or epilepsy in our mid teens, so maybe just an existing weakness being amplified by physical maturation of the brain. This seemed to plateau fairly quickly, then ease back in later life. I did take ami for depression a few years later, but did not notice any correlation. In this instance, I suggest you go with the neurologist, as coming off ami will possibly be a worse punt than giving Depakote a chance. There is no right answer in these things, but give the experts a chance first.

.... all I can suggest is going slow on the Ami stop!... It has some very hard withdrawal- side-effects when coming off it... With him being 17, you wanna be careful about how his hormones adapt to discontinuing the Amitrip, and Depakote can cause some significant weight gain.... Inform yourself, by doing more web research so you can talk over "legit" concerns with your Neuro and other Docs!...

Wishing you well. At least your being a watchful parent. "Less meds, better!~ And have they done a "Closed circuit TV/Sleep Monitor study?" to even find out if he actually has epilepsy?.... Still, keep searching. There is no silver bulets, but there are meds that work best for particular people.... wishing for the least invasive of his growing body (still happening at 17)!....

Thanks Josh, Ross and Barb. We are down to 1/2 pill - 3rd day. Some mild headaches/nausea and eye pain but hanging in there. He's a trooper. Yes, he had the sleep monitor study, we are seeing his neuro on Tuesday. I'm hoping they will allow us to try diet first - LGIT, MAD or ketogenic to manage seizure activity. Since migraine and seizure might be related maybe it will help with the migraine too? We hope so! Although he's craving french fries and popcorn pretty bad right now : /

Hi, Ive been taking 25mg ami at night for the past 10 days . I also take Indometicin 50mg 3x day these meds are for chronic back pain and muscle spasms. So far so good, spasms are less but pack pain not a great deal better. Twice in the 10 days I have left off the ami at night and both the following mornings have woken with an horrendous headache. The headache usually starts about 5 in the morning and eases round about midday.

Could this be a kind of withdrawal for missing just one tablet ??? OMG if this is what it is like coming off i want to start coming off asap!

I am quite an anxious person so dread the withdrawal procedure. I have to say though that I have had no side effects whatsoever whilst taking the Ami, so consider myself very lucky on that one .

Been on 25mg of ami for chronic stomach pain and IBS for a year now. Works wonders for the stomach pain but I am starting to get strange feelings at night, heart palpitations and insomnia. I seriously thought I was dying the other night I really hate feeling like this. Then on top of these feelings I start having a panic attack. My head is really fuzzy and I feel dizzy all the time. I want to quit the ami but after reading about the side effects I am scared to try.

Brian, I was only on the stuff for about 12 weeks for depression, so a different scenario. However I found the side-effects so horrible that I figured nothing could be worse, and stopped abruptly. About 2 days of being at sixes and sevens, and then it was like stepping out of a dank grey cave into glorious sunlight. It took weeks to ease down from a high to remember, payback for those months of the grief!

Hi All.. I have spent the last hour reading posts going back over a year and not noticed any references to alcohol use if taking a couple of days off from Amytriptiline... I stupidly thought I would be able to have a unit of alcohol and 5 hours later after taking my 10mg dose began vomiting and this continued for 12 hours even after taking an anti sickness drug.

I am a social drinker... the odd g and t at the weekends... Am I going to have to abstain completely while on this drug? I hate nausea and sickness... completely wipes me out. I have only taken 5 tablets but the amy has been prescribed for neuropathy in my right hand and arm associated with neck surgery 6 years ago. My work aggravates my nerve pain... Any thoughts folks?

I told my doctor I was having troubles sleeping I just recently lost my mother to terminal breast cancer she was clearing all up then all of a sudden a couple weeks later her liver failed I was ovb depressed I told my doctor about my depression and how I was having crazy thoughts of killing myself she didn't do anything.

A couple months later my bf was going through court and I was scared he was going to go to jail I hadn't slept in 3 days I went to my doctor and she could tell I wasn't doing well so she said she will put me on this medication that will help me sleep at night never said anything about this helping my depression at all! A couple weeks ago my bf and I were talking about the pill I have been on and he told me it was a depression pill I thank my doctor for putting me on this pill I started at 10mg now I'm up at 25mg but it would have been nice if she told me this pill was a depression pill or told me these pills can make you have withdraws..!

Hi , in follow up to my recent post, I am now taking my Ami at approx 8pm in the evening and sleeping fine and waking up with no problems at around 6 am (my usual time) I am however noticing a huge weight gain ! In just 3 weeks on the drug I have gained around 8lbs and feel constantly bloated. My stomach looks as though I'm heavily pregnant with the bulge starting underneath my breasts. It's awful, I feel uncomfortable and have had to buy several items of new clothing.

Yes the back spasms are improving but surely the weight gain can't be helping the problem ??

I am almost 51 years of age and I am taking Ami since the Spring for migraines and tension headaches. It works a lot better than the Topomax prescription I was on. My biggest complaint is the weight gain. I have gained so much that it has affected my physicality on a major level. I am out of breath so easily that they are now checking my heart due to a little racing. My PCM wants to change my prescription to a Beta Blocker upon clearance from the cardiologist. It is a shame really because after all these years I had such high hopes.

I have taken amit. for about 10 years and am in my late 60s. I notice frequent muscle jerks when my body is falling asleep or even relaxing. I have become concerned because I do not want to experience tremors or involuntary muscle spasms any more frequently than I already have. Have any of you noticed this jerking of legs, arms, hands, and even mouth at times?

When I am fully awake and moving I do not notice it thank goodness. Thanks for sharing with me on this issue. I have never gone above 20mg. a night. This med does help me sleep on a regular basis. When I cut back to 10mg I cannot sleep. I will try 20mg every other night. I just feel that at my age I should get off of the med.

My doc just prescribed 10mg for insomnia and anxiety. I have had a period of considerable stress and could not relax. I took my first tablet last night - I feel distant and drowsy and disorientated. I don't like this feeling. I like to be busy but this has just dulled my drive completely. Will this last. I slept reasonably well

I have being taking 75mg of amitryptiline for three years, the problem I have is pains in my heart with tingling sensation from my hand up to my armpit on my left hand side. I tried explaining this to my doctor but it was taken very lightly. My pulse was always higher than normal pulse for almost the 3years I have taken it. The pain became exersive and I decided to stop taking it, my menses were taking forever to stop but as soon as I stopped the pill my menstrual period stopped. It is now my second week off the pill.

Hi E.M. You didn't say why you were taking ami, but I am wondering if you have something which caused me all sorts of problems: undiagnosed spondylosis of the neck. Because this causes pressure on various nerves from all parts of the body, it can mimic all sorts of conditions, particularly (in my case) abdominal discomfort, tingling and pains down the left arm, and an unpleasant crushing feeling below and inwards from my left shoulder blade.

It also contributed to my depression from non-stop referred pain and muscle spasms in my back and my right arm. Radiology, then simple traction from a good physio may work wonders. As a PS, although my neck is still degenerating, and I keep getting problems, knowing the source means that these can be dealt with quickly and effectively, so forty years down the line I can cope easily.

Thank you so much Kathy for your post. I thought I was going crazy after an unexplained weight gain of almost 30 pounds in less than 6 months and my doctor basically blaming me (or rather as she suspected poor eating habits). I was prescribed amitriptyline for severe migraines (3 times/week) and it was a miracle pill. I'm a P90X junkie with 4 workouts per week and could not understand a weight gain - 2 or 5 pounds is one thing but 30 pounds is extreme. My doctor refused to believe that I was suffering from a side-effect of the medication she highly recommended. After a second and third opinion I've discontinued ami 3 days ago and hopefully have opened the door to reverse the weight gain.

I was on 20mg at night for about 5 years, but became concerned about the possible long-term affects that this drug may have on me. I too have experienced the muscle jerks you have referred to. It took me over a year to reduce my dosage from 20mg to 10mg, and I did this by literally shaving off a fraction of the pill at a time, using a nutmeg grater (or you can use something similar!). I tried cutting the pills in halves and quarters, but could not cope.

I am now trying to cut down from 10mg. I know it will take a long time but I have the patience to do this again, and I am sure you will too!

Best wishes,

Lynne

I was on Elavil in the 1990's for a couple of years but its bad effects are still effecting me to this day. My doctor put me on Elavil for depression because I had insomnia. The drug did help me sleep but it would leave me dopey until about noontime. It did nothing for my depression. My doctor had me go up on the dosage at a time when I really didn't need to up the dosage since it was working fine for me on the lower dosage so I wish I hadn't gone along with it.

Later when I was going through a really stressful time I went up to the highest dosage. That was when I started having problems with dehydration when I'd get a gastrointestinal virus and ended up at the ER. I went through that several times and it was very traumatic. I also was getting heart palpitations and I think that's the biggest reason why my doctor had me get off the Elavil. I tapered off slowly from it but I think the panic attacks(which I'd never had before)I had after I went off it were probably withdrawal.

A few years later I started getting flashbacks from the times I had been dehydrated when I was on the Elavil so I ended up with PTSD which still affects me to this day. Similar bad experiences with SSRIs I took later didn't help either. My advice to anyone who is considering going on antidepressants is don't because they'll cause more problems than they will solve.

I've been on Amitryptaline 10mg for 8 months for migraine caused by pregnancy. I decided to try stopping so haven't taken for 2 days experiencing sweats, chills, dizziness, vomiting and feeling generally unwell. But after reading up on this Drug and talking to medical professionals I'm reassured these side effects should disperse between 2-7 days after stopping the drug and I should feel better soon.

Hi can anyone suggest what I should do… I have been on 50mg of amitriptyline for about 15yrs for knee troubles. Stopped taken it about 11 days ago (my memory has not been great over the years and I think these are causing the problem). WORST mistake of my life!

Constant sickness, headaches and dizziness. My sleep patterns are terrible, have had weird dreams and hallucinations. Went to see gp, not really sympathetic and never even said that I should not have just stopped taking it suddenly (said these are not addictive and should have little side effects) Yeah right,11 days of hell and I am no better. I had to ask for something to take the sickness and dizziness away.

Told me to go back on the amitriptyline and if I am ok then try then go back to gp and try and ween me off them (not addictive then ? why ween off them then). Got some tablets for the sickness. Not sure whether to carry on without them and just take the sickness tablets, already gone through 11 days of cold turkey and really don't fancy going through this again if I go back taken the pills.

Anyone know how long this feeling of unwell-ness will last? Been in and out of bed for 11 days and have no energy for anything. Anyone reading this DO NOT STOP LIKE I HAVE DONE , would never have taken these tablets if I had known I would struggle to come off them.

Hi Shaun
So sorry to hear about the troubles and pain you are experiencing with amitriptiline. I wish you had read my entry in June on this forum. This is a terrible drug to come off and with you being on it all those years I can only imagine the discomfort you have been in. My advice to you would be to stay off the drug now because I definitely feel you've got through the worst of it. Once you have got through the ' cold turkey ' it will feel like a huge weight of your shoulders, so going back on it should not be an option. Cheers.

I've been on elavil for 21years, I guess I'll need triple bypass soon. In addition, I have been on methadone for 10 years, Klonopin for 8years, and recently been prescribed Viibryd for depression and OCD. Anafranil caused me many seizures some time ago. I would rather sleep real good and take my 150mg dose of amitriptyline, than suffer ocd and depression and no sleep without it. Oh, by the way I will be 41 on 12 21 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar, for whatever its worth Later.....

Hi Trish, I've only just seen your post. I used to drink a glass or two of wine most evenings (large glasses, so I guess 2 to 4 alcohol units). The doc didn't mention alcohol so I continued with this after I started taking 10mg amitriptiline at night in an attempt to stop migraines. I had hoped that as I got older (now 65) the migraines would die out, but unfortunately they haven't.

I didn't get the sickness like you, but the migraines got even more frequent and I started wondering if the ami was actually causing them, so I just suddenly stopped taking it. Judging by the problems others on this site have had with stopping even just 10mg, I was lucky to only to feel rather anxious and lethargic in the mornings; mind you I was only on the ami for two months. Went to doc today who said that it was very unlikely that the ami was causing the migraines, and he suggested that, after trying no pills for a while, I actually start taking it again with an increased dose. I also started to suspect that the wine was causing migraines, so I am completely off wine at the moment! What a life.

Would be interested to hear how you are doing; have you had the sickness again?

Has anyone used amitrip for diarrhea(IBS)? I am using it for IBS but do not see great results. I have been on it for 3 mos. I am on 10 mg. and am told to increase to 20 mg but reading all these comments scares me!

I have been taking 20mg Amitriptylin for about two years for sciatica. It was prescibed as interim treatment prior to a spinal operation to trim a partially prolapsed disc. After taking the amitriptylin, the sciatica pain disappeared, so I cancelled the operation. I started on 10mg taken an hour before bedtime. During the first week, as my GP had predicted, I felt drowsy in the afternoon. This stopped after the first week. A few weeks later, as instructed, I increased the dose to 20mg. The subsequent afternoon drowsiness lasted a few days.

As well as helping enormously with the leg pain, I found my sleep dramatically improved. I usually need a pee around 3am and often could not get back to sleep afterwards. Amitriptylin cured that and I fall back to sleep really easily, waking refreshed. Only a major anxiety now interrupts this virtuous circle.

So I am delighted with amitriptylin - it got rid sciatica pain and a gave me good night's sleep, and no adverse side effects that I am aware of.

I strongly suspect that amitriptylene is the new Valium. Yes it does have useful properties, but mostly it keeps awkward cases out of the surgery.

Found the People's Pharmacy site while searching for information about the side effects of Amitriptylin. I was given a prescription for 25 MG by my pain doctor to help me sleep better following 6 months of constant muscle pain and burning following a spinal fusion in my neck. It has helped me sleep better but I am gaining weight rapidly! I have always struggled with my weight but this time I am alarmed by the amount of belly fat I put on. This is not good. I am going to wean myself off starting tonight by halving my dose for two weeks and then halving it again and so on until it is gone.

I haven't read all the comments on this site so pardon me if I ask an already answered question. I have been taking amitriptylin for about 4 months and about 3 weeks ago I lost much of my hearing in my right ear and today, my left ear. Anybody ever hear about this?

I've been on amitriptyline for 1 year 7 months. At the time I was on Hydrocodone 7.5 for a bad back (to say the least) and my Doctor added 10mg of amitriptyline for nerve pain and sleep support. I can't tell you if it helped the pain, but did seem to help my sleeping a bit. I looked up the possible side effects but didn't think to google symptoms of withdrawal. On 10mg I didn't get too many side effects. Just weight gain and a feeling of being muddle headed every now and then.

Now that I'm completely clean of all pain pills I want to also be completely clean of amitriptyline. THAT"S when I discovered how hard it is to get off of it! 10mg amitriptyline isn't much, unless you stop it completely all at once. I got a small preview of that and want no part of it, especially around the holidays.

So, I'm adopting a very slow taper that was originally published for tapering from 10mg Ambien. A 10mg tab of amitriptyline is difficult to chop up, even with a good pill cutter, but so far all is working well. Right now, at week 3, I'm well stabilized at 3/4 of a tab (7.5mg). I had some minor withdrawal symptoms. Next stop is to stabilize on 7.5 to 5mg alternating every other day. Next, down to 1/2 tab (5mg)... you get the idea.

The trick is to stabilize each cut. It's rough the first couple of days of a new cut, then it gets real easy fast. It's my hope to be done with the taper, including sleeping well while drug free, by the end of January.

I've read all these comments and see many are having same symptoms as myself, both on and trying to quit Amit. Is there any hope? I quit cold turkey and feel like I'm gonna die. Have been on 25 mg for 25 yrs. have very dry mouth, dry eyes, gained about 60 lbs. finally got mad and quit. My question is this. Will I begin to feel better in time. Or, has it, in fact been masking these ailments and the truth is that I'm just going to feel crappy for the rest of my life? I'm 68.

Went to an ENT last Saturday. I told him the connection between anxiety and vestibular disorders. The first thing he did was to prescribe AMItryptiline. The first dose of 10 mg knocked me flat and was sleeping till noon. I am BTW an avid athlete and an active professional at work requiring a lot of concentration. The drug had flattened out my faculties of thinking. I decided that was the last. Not only that it slows your HR, BP etc. Being a medical person I could clearly sense that it is dangerous. The action of AMI is strictly stated as HYPNOTIC and sedative. May be postoperative pain killer function is what it is meant for.

The stupid ENT told me I could wake up at 5 in the morning and go to the gym etc, I will be pretty active and so on and that the drug has no side effects. So much for the ethics of the medical profession. First is the medical profession has no regard for the internet which gives out end user opinion and secondly they are not up to date on their reading. They get their drug info from medical detail men who promote the best qualities of the drug. The entire team of docs just go on denial about the side effects of any drug and are mutual criminals in cahoots supporting each other.

Sorry for the long post, could someone tell me if there are any side effects of just taking a single dose and then quitting it.

The sleepiness should convince anyone to avoid it. There are umpteen natural methods of sleep and anxiety redressals.

Was on Amitrityline 100mg for six months for nerve pain, whilst it did provide relief from nerve pain, I felt incredibly tired all the time I was on it, had bad short term memory loss, dry mouth and weight gain.

My doctor changed my meds last week as nerve pain started up again and I was also getting pain in my chest. Have stopped taking completely at once as was told by my doctor that this drug is non-addictive, now suffering really bad insomnia (never suffered before). When I do get to sleep have terrible weird dreams and have been getting up to go to toilet several times in the night also have a rash appear and skin itches like crazy.

So having read the posts on this site really regret ever taking this and would recommend AGAINST anyone considering it, hope the withdrawal symptoms subside quickly but on a brighter note it's great to have a clear head each day which was pretty immediate!

In two minds about whether slowly reducing this medication down actually works as I am concerned that with such a strong drug you may just be extending the whole withdrawal over a much longer period, I guess time will tell!

7 days in off meds, insomnia worse, dreams awful where when you wake up in the night actually hallucinating, now passing urine about 10 times during night, which really doesn't help the insomnia. Spots from the rash appear to be going and have scabbed over with less itching.

I will advise of withdrawal progress in a further week.

Hello, Everyone: I was put on Elavil more than 15 years ago to help relax muscles at night due to a hiatal hernia. Since I had taken Elavil years ago during a difficult job switch and went off it with no problems, I thought I could do it again. Wrong. Here's what the doctor who put me on it said: She said when you lower a dose of any drug of this type, it takes 3 weeks for the body to fully really recognize the difference. I tried going off Elavil cold turkey twice and three weeks later I was at the Fire Station for dizziness and panic (I also take an extremely low dose of Xanax -- another long story).

I am at 5 mg a night of Elavil. You would think you could just go off, but you can't. I'm going to cut it to 2.5 (or so) a night one night then 5 mg the next for four weeks then go to 2.5 a night for four weeks then get a magnifying glass (HA!) and cut it down and rotate the dosages. I expect this to take months but it beats going cold turkey as I have grandchildren to transport. I have a lot of the side effects (ringing of the ears, short term memory problems, PVCs, etc.) After finding a way off the Elavil, I will tackle the Xanax.

Here's what I would tell you all: Do NOT go off cold turkey. Do it gradually. I'm talking about MONTHS, not weeks. And I would give a full or partial Vegan diet a try. Cut the sugar and caffeine. I'm switching my way of eating for my cholesterol and sugar numbers...and, hopefully, to help me get off these two medications. \

(I was put on Xanax after a horrifying panic attack in 1988. Instead, the doctor should have taken me off the too-high dose of thyroid immediately and lowered my estrogen dose and added progesterone. My first panic attack was caused by the hormone imbalance. I finally figured that out just last year on Dr. Oz, of all places. I don't watch him anymore because he's pushing product but I recorded this episode because it was about anxiety.)

Comments, anyone?

Had six 10 mg amitrip for fibro which has only JUST been diagnosed after suffering with it for decades since childhood. The effects are the same as fibro. Confusion is worse etc etc. So I stopped over the last two nights and wont be taking any more.

Frankly, I can sleep better on two or three cans of good quality 5% lager, AND feel better next day, despite chronic fibro.

Hello, KD -- I would try chiropractic care for fibro. My chiropractor practices applied kinesiology and has a "wave machine" for want of a better word. I used this machine after a head injury and was better immediately. Also, keep in mind that fibro is one of the most commonly diagnosed ailments -- often used when the doctor is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I personally believe it often is misdiagnosed, especially among people taking statins. Hope this helps.

I posted on Dec. 21, 2012 about cutting down Amitrip 10mg on a slow taper. I had been on 10mg per night for almost 2 years.

I'm still tapering away. Now I'm on the smallest pieces that are left over from my attempts at making 1/4 cuts. Amitrip is a mushy pill and hard to cut, even with a good pill cutter. I don't think I've EVER cut one in half perfectly. But I saved the small pieces and these make for a good final amount to stabilize on.

With each reduction I've been getting a case of the the dizzys, nausea, inability to remember or find words that once came easily, and now I get headaches on and off. These symptoms go away as I stabilize on the new reduction amount. For my next reduction I plan to start skipping a day completely every two days and then slowly increase the days I skip until I stop, in about two or three weeks or so.

I'm 66 years old but in fairly good shape from windsurfing for 25 years. This withdrawal has been butt-kicking for me, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel (and it's not a freight train).

I now have a bottle sprinkled with 1/4 5 mg. tablets of Amitrip and will move to two days on 1//4 a tablet then one day on 1/2 a tablet at the end of next week. I'm giving it at least four weeks between lower doses as my body gets upset at three weeks on lower doses. Slowness is the key here as this drug is horrific and wicked. My already short-term memory problems are getting worse as I taper off but I hope they will get better once I'm completely off. I took one of my granddaughters to an open house at the nearby fire station and they were giving rides on the fire trucks. We were all buckled in and I asked her if she was excited about riding in a uh, uh, uh......."FIRE TRUCK, GRANDMA!" she said. Pretty humiliating.

Hi Vamp, I'm glad I'm not alone with my memory problem from tapering off of this stuff. That tells the both of us that this will indeed go away once this drug is out of our systems. I was having a conversation with a friend tonight about a Guitar I have, and I couldn't remember the MFG name of it!! He must have thought I'm just getting old and confused. I hear you on going slowly. For a minute i wasn't going to take my little crumb of Amitrip tonight but thought better of it. Had I only known what this stuff was really like...

After a very slow taper starting in December from 10MG I'm down to a 1/8th crumb every other day I'm feeling fairly good. I'm going to be completely free from Amitrip in a few days. Every night the last week I seem to have a wake-up period of 2 hours during the night, but eventually get back to sleep. I feel my thinking and memory is much sharper now.

On the drug's positive side, as it leaves my system a few pains have been unearthed, like the neck pain I've noticed the last few nights during bedtime. The drug is in the same family as Flexeril muscle relaxer and has it's uses. I'll put up with some discomfort rather than the side effects related to Amitrip thank u!

Hello, RM -- Not one thing about this is fun. Baby steps are needed here. I'm waking a bit earlier than usual and I'm hoping I don't start in with the 4 a.m. crap again. That was horrible. I'll probably start taking a magnesium supplement at night and give up any form of caffeine so as not to stress my body. A small price to pay. I'm going to hold at the every other night thing at least one more week and if the symptoms aren't worse, I'll go down to 2 nights of 1/4 of a 5 mg tablet and one night of a 1/2 and back and forth on those doses for four more weeks. I expect this to take several months but I don't care. Most of the posts I'm reading concern me because people are going off too fast and most were on a much-higher dose. You have to consider your psyche as well as your body. Our minds don't like having their mellowness taken away. They tell our bodies to revolt. Traitors.

Have you had any success yet in stopping Amitryptaline? I have taken it for YEARS (for my constant migraines, which has really helped--and at one time tried to get off it but like you, I couldn't sleep at all. Just got a blurb from my health insurance that says I should not take it for so long. WHAT helped you get off it?

I have a bad cold. And I'm having 3 hour wake ups from Amitrip WDs. So, instead of jumping off this week, I'm holding for another full week. 1 crumb every other day. I think the worst of the other symptoms are almost gone. Hard to tell because my cold is a rough one. Next Friday is a good target to make the final jump.

My cold turned out to be the Flu. I'm still sick from it after 15 days. The Amitrip WD along with the fact that I have Asthma is causing complications from it. I'm still holding to something less than 2.5mg every other night, but I feel the WD symptoms along with the weakness from the Flu. Bad scene here. But I HATE the thought of even going back a notch and taking my Amaitrip crumb every night instead of every other. We'll see how it goes the next few days.

Hello, RM -- My unsolicited advice is to hold at your current dose every night just until your flu symptoms subside. You certainly don't need the added anxiety of wondering how your withdrawal is coming along when you feel lousy overall. If you could get a script for 10mg, you could easily take 1/4th of that tablet which would equal the crumbs you are taking right now. My withdrawal is going to take months and the only real problem I'm having is a bit of trouble falling asleep. I went off too fast before and paid for it, so this time it's going much better. Hope you feel better soon. And remember....worry compounds everything physical.

I have been on 10mg for 3 months..my Dr says I will need to stay on it for a year but I really want to wean myself off..I had to be on prednisone for 6 1/2 years several years ago..then had to be on it for 2 years, ending last [2012] June. [Had Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Giant Cell Arteritis twice and I did manage to wean myself off the Pred [tough!!!] so I know I can do this as well.

It makes me sleep too long unless I take it at least 12 hours before I need to get up..and even then I have no energy. Took 5 mgs the past 3 nights..today I am achey and sicky feeling but will stay with 5 until I feel better, then 2 1/2 Mgs for awhile and then every other night until I can finally drop it. I am 82, take no other meds except 1 baby aspirin daily plus a lot of Vitamins and minerals plus Turmeric for inflammation and Hawthorne [strengthens hear muscle [herbs] Any other suggestions?

Hello: You're lucky you were only on the drug for three months. You also are lucky that feeling achy and sickly are your only symptoms...although it does take about 3 weeks for worse symptoms to show up (lightheadedness, etc.) I would stay at 5 mg until your symptoms subside then take it to 2.5 mg like you plan to do. If you had taken it longer, then your weaning off period would need to be longer just to make sure you didn't have worse withdrawal symptoms. Good luck...and read the rest of these posts for some other ideas....

Hello VAMP, My flu morphed into a sinus infection which interacted with my asthma. I'm just now getting over everything with help from a script of Amoxi. I'm just now feeling my last Amitrip reduction a couple of weeks ago with a headache and the dizzys. Also, hissing in my ears along with face tingling. Starting in December I began tapering down from a 10mg script which i had been on for nearly 2 years. Just last week I started doing a crumb (1/2 of a quarter of 10mg) every two days. So I guess I asked for these WD problems. I plan to tough it out. I'll see how it goes.

Hello, RM. Glad you're feeling better. You're tougher than I am. I woke up one morning this week just slightly dizzy and of course panicked right away. I ate a good protein breakfast and forced myself to get on with my day and the dizziness subsided. So I'm continuing 2 days at 2.5 mg then 1 day at 5 mg until one week from today when I go on 3 days of 2.5 and 1 day of 5 mg for four weeks. This is going to take awhile but I'm OK with that.

I'm still having trouble getting to sleep so I'm going to try the peanut butter/banana milkshake before bed. I will call it the Elvis milkshake. I share the bananas with my English Mastiff, Wilson. He never has trouble sleeping.

I'm tapering off Amy from 30mgs to10mgs. Having lots of the symptoms mentioned on here. I have 2questions. Has any one had temper tantrums? and has anyone found an effective alternative for fibromyalgia pain?


Hello, Anonymous: If you've read the other posts, you might notice that the people with the fewest symptoms are tapering off slowly. I would advise 5 mg lower every four weeks until you get below 10 mg then take it 1/4 a 10mg tablet lower at a time. I'm lowering my dose every four weeks to hopefully avoid withdrawal symptoms or side effects.

I've had one day of bad depression, one hour of slight dizziness and a few days of early waking. Other than that just trouble getting to sleep. I would look into alternative methods of treating fibromyalgia but try only the most gentle ones while tapering off. I don't know about the temper tantrums. I always found those to be hormone-based but maybe the re-emerging pain is triggering them in your case. Hope this helps. I go to a kinesiologist/chiropractor for all my aches and pains.

Yes I am having the same experience driving. I know you posted back in 08. What did you do about it.? Thank You

VAMP, I'm now on my 8th day without Amitrip.(as of 3/21) Had tapered to a crumb every other day, holding for 3 weeks at that level. Then went 3 days W/O, then I took my last crumb, and that was the last time for me. I'm completely stopped. So far mild anxiety attacks here and there, dizzys, but not bad. Sleep is at a premium. I'll wake up after 4 hours or so and can't get back to sleep, although Calms Forte' works somewhat. Sleep is getting better every night so it seems. I know you're right about the 3 weeks it takes for your body to know when something's up with one's Amitrip level. Maybe in 2 weeks the other foot will fall. Who knows? But I'll be sure make a final report to you when I'm back to normal (if I can remember normal).

The rule: If you take a drug that helps you sleep, and then stop using that drug, you'll find yourself paying back all that sleep you've borrowed from your future. I've been completely off Amitrip for 3 weeks now. After slowly tapering 10mg down to crumbs, and giving myself plenty of time to stabilize each reduction, sleep is still at a premium. I'm into a "sleep deficit". I've been using Alteril and valerian root to get to sleep at 11:30pm. I'll awake at 4am to use the bathroom and not be able to get back to sleep again. By 4pm I'm so tired I'll sleep on my recliner for 45 minutes, which isn't helping matters at 4am. I'm hoping this goes away soon. I know Amitrip has a long half-life, so I expected this to go on for awhile.

On the plus side; my slow taper virtually eliminated all other withdrawal symptoms that I've read about from above posters. Very smooth.

I've been on Amitrip for about 15 years. I take 25mg at night for insomnia but I'm 67 now and want to go off it as recently I'm very lightheaded when I get up in the morning and because this is the only drug I'm on I'm blaming it. When I was put on it my doctor said it wasn't addictive but reading all the comments it looks like it is and the withdrawal symptoms scare me especially at my age.

Reading the comments I plan to taper off the drug gradually to minimize the withdrawal symptoms. I'm also wondering if the drug is the reason for my 30lb weight gain as I was slim my whole life and I had put the weight gain down to menopause.

Hello, BG -- You're right to taper off slowly. I've also been on Amitrip for about 15 years and am 65. I should never have been put on it as it was only to relax my diaphragm during sleep to ease pressure on a hiatal hernia. This was no reason to put a person on an addictive drug. 25 mg is a fairly common dose, although I was only taking 1/2 of a 10 mg tablet -- still, going off cold turkey caused me to end up at the fire station all dizzy and nauseated -- three weeks into not having any -- so I went back on it because I had to be able to work. So please go very slowly.

I am not sleeping well and expect that to last for a long time as I am on an extremely slow taper. I don't think you can blame the weight gain on the drug as the weight gain probably would have occurred when you first started taking it. Are you tapering off now? That could explain the lightheadedness if you're going off too fast. Good luck and keep reading the posts....VAMP

Hello, I've been on amitriptylene for 19 yrs. and have tried several times to get off of it with no luck.

I was also told at the time it was prescribed that it was not an addictive drug. I was originally prescribed the med for stress and severe migraines. It worked very well with little to no side effects for years. My problem now is I have lost my sex drive almost completely, my gf of 30 yrs isn't buying the fact that it could be related to this drug and when I asked my doctor about it he seemed to not know the correct answer but then agreed it could be the culprit.

I am 47 and way to young to lose interest in sex. I was also diagnosed with TN (not to be confused with TMJ) about a year ago and I wonder if my long term use of this drug led to this nerve disorder. The question I have is this: Why isn't there a detox plan in place for all of us using this highly "addictive" drug?

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this isn't the "safe" drug that it is touted as being. Anyone can research it on the internet and learn that it is not good for long term use. I guess this is more of a rant than anything else but I feel we need to start demanding the medical community listen to us and take the necessary steps to offer a real solution to this problem and quit feeding us the line of " taking this outweighs the alternative".

Hello, Danny -- You have friends on this website who also hate this drug. I also just read it actually is prescribed for TN, which is a very complicated problem. I have no idea if the two are related. If you will read back thru our posts, you will see that the most successful of us are using a very slow taper. I was only on 1/2 of a 10mg tablet and have tapered off to 1/4 of a 10mg tablet and there are withdrawal problems -- mainly insomnia and some mild transitory nighttime anxiety here and there. Those of us in this "help group" need to know your dosage so we can compare your situation to ours. Doctors, as you know, are of little to no help.

I've been tapering off since January and my body is just now getting used to the lower dose -- even though most doctors would have tapered me off after only two/three weeks. My elderly mother was on 150mg and was brought down to about 25 mg in one week at a mental health evaluation clinic and the results were disastrous. She spent her last days being even more confused and anxiety-ridden (requiring tranquilizers) than she had been before. Whatever you do, DO NOT go on a fast taper. Let us give you some advice....what is your dose?

April 26. It's been 6 weeks since I stopped Amitrip (on March 13 ) after a slow 3 month taper from 10mg. starting in late December. I'm still not sleeping well. I take natural sleep supplements to help with what sleep I can get. I'll have a good night here and there, but never more than 6 hours, usually an average of 4 1/2 hours of sleep if I'm lucky. I always wake up to use the bathroom at 4AM or so, and that's it. No more sleep. I must take a 1/2 hour day nap just to function, although I try to fight it. I have no energy or desire to do much of anything around the house or my hobbies. That's from the prolonged insomnia I've been having. (If i felt better I'd go to the Gym and exercise to tire me out.) Going back on Amitrip is completely out of the question. I'll just keep toughing it out. If and when I can sleep longer on my supplements, I'll then start to work on getting off of them.

Has anyone tried using a light box when coming off? It may well help. When I stopped (cold turkey) it was in the middle of a long clear summer, and I spent as much time outdoors as I could, and had very few after-effects. Oddly, I had to force myself to go out as ami had left me antisocial and agoraphobic. Yes, my sleep was disrupted, but that quickly passed, and the sleep that I did get was of good quality. No more "chemical cosh" hangover.

I have never thought of amitrip has being connected with being agoraphobic and antisocial but I guess it's possible. Sunlight helps all mood disorders, I think, yet we're told to stay out of the sun...go figure. I light box might help....especially in the north. I live in Florida. Lack of sunlight is not a problem. RM....hang in there with the sleep thing. Mine is better now if I have no chocolate or pop w/caffeine.

Hello all! I've just recently put on this drug for insomnia and migraines. I've noticed a lot of y'all are on a low dose of this and having issues, my gp started me on 50mg I've just recently changed states and so drs as well, I was worried when I started and now I'm straight paranoid after reading this!!!

I've always had sleep problems and have no problem taking over the counter sleep meds, has anyone tried that when coming off this medication? I've done some things I'm not proud of but this drug has similar effects of heroin! Has anyone tried dairy products? I know it can help for certain side effects. I apologize if I make no sense it's one of the worst side effects so far! I've also noticed I've become seriously paranoid, and easily distracted! ( anyone else) so since I can't focus I'm gonna leave it there, but if anyone recognizes this as I do feel like it's legal heroin let me know so I can detox ASAP !!! TIA ( I may just be paranoid -__-

Hello, KC -- You're right to be concerned!! 50 is a whopping dose of this medication. Read the posts. This medicine is hard to come down from. I was only on 5 milligrams (half of a 10mg tablet) and had trouble. I was put on for relief from Hiatal Hernia problem. I've been going off slowly for months and am now taking a crumb each night -- about 2.5 mg. When I get back from vacation, I'm slicing the pill again....down to a little over 1 mg.

I've always had trouble actually getting to sleep. I've been taking a calcium/magnesium tablet each night, avoiding caffeine and chocolate and now it takes me less than an hour to fall asleep. Before I started this, it was taking me 2-3 hours since I've reduced this dose. If you quit this medication now, it it won't take long to go off. Just taper off slowly, depending on how long you've been on. There are other ways to treat migraines and insomnia. Good luck. Read the posts.

So glad to be reading these comments. Having suffered from depression for many years and been on numerous SSRI's, my doctor prescribed amitriptyline, as my current meds were no longer working. Started on 10mg and increased by 10mg weekly and am currently on 50mg. I thought I was imagining the sugar cravings at first, but I see this is common. I am normally a savoury person but I am craving toast and jam like a mad woman. I NEVER normally even eat toast or jam.

I feel dizzy and weak when I stand up quick or have been lying down. It did help with my chronic insomnia at first but now has no effect as I am typing this at 5am having not slept a wink. I have no energy and feel weak all the time. I also have put on a lot of weight and just can't seem to stop eating! I am about at end of my tether having tried about 5 different medications since January.

I was on sertraline for a year but it seemed to stop working, so then tried cymbalta, prozac then trazadone. Sat crying at the doctor, desperate to find something to lift my black mood, fed up of changing meds and the anxiety it causes while you wait for them to work, knowing they all take a few weeks. Did seem to like amitriptyline at first, as did help me sleep, but mood is not lifting and I am now very down about the weight gain. The thought of stopping this and starting yet another drug really makes me feel stressed.

All these chopping and changing makes working full time difficult and no-one around me seems to understand. Not sleeping and having no energy really takes its toll, I need something to help me sleep and something in the morning to give me energy and motivation. I am tired feeling like this, people who have never suffered depression have no idea how debilitating it is.

Maybe I am looking for a miracle. I wish my GP would actually refer me to a consultant, I did ask, but he said to let him try and help me first. Just to feel normal for once would be so good.

I have been on 50 mil of amitriptyline for about a year now. A couple of days ago I have something happen that scared the heck out of me. I got dizzy, lost my balance and felt a little confused. This lasted less than a minute and I was absolutely fine after. I am healthy and 44. I am wondering if this may be a side effect of long term use. Another thing I was wondering is it possible because I took my medication later than usual the night before, I as feeling some effects in the morning?

I've had this happen over the years. It runs in spurts, although mine starts with eyes feeling like they're jerking to one side. I never attributed it to the amitrip. This mostly happens while I'm on the computer and doesn't happen with any regularity. I've asked my cardiologist, my GP and my chiropractor about it and all three blew me off. 50 mg of amitrip is a lot. My dosage was much lower, only 2.5 mg a night (a half-tablet). I'm weaning myself off and am now down to a little over 1 mg a night, not wanting to have any side effects from going off this addictive drug. I was not put on it for depression but am having some depression going off of it. I hope this levels out as I'm having some trouble getting asleep and waking a bit early. When you've taken a drug for a long time, your body gets used to it and then has to get used to not having it. I would ask your doctor if you can get by with a lower dose. Hope this helps.

I have been on Elavil 25mg for about 6 years. I want off badly due to side affects and weight gain and would like to know what is an appropriate weaning, is it ok to go from 25 to 12.5 for one week or does it need to be for longer to help with side affects. I went off cold turkey for about a week and couldn't take it!

Hello: Go thru the comments by me, VAMP, and see that I was on Elavil (amitrip) for about 15 years -- half of a 10mg tablet. You MUST go off this slowly. I would call your doctor and ask for a 10mg dosage. Go back on it at the 10mg dose and stay at that dose for at least four weeks. Then cut the tablet in half and take half one day and a full tablet the next day for at least four weeks. Then cut the half tablet in half (1/4 tablet) and take the 1/4 tablet one day and 1/2 tablet the next day for at least four weeks. Then go on 1/4 tablet every day for four weeks then do just a crumb for four weeks then a crumb every other day for four weeks. I know that's a lot of weeks but I've had only a few episodes. Most people have insomnia, which I had. Take calcium/magnesium at night for that. I went off cold turkey twice and ended up at the fire station with dizziness and anxiety three weeks later. If you were on it for depression, you might feel like you've been shoved off a cliff some days. I'm at the crumb stage and have three more weeks to go and then I'm going go a crumb every other night for four weeks and then quit. I know this is a long time, but I'm chicken when it comes to withdrawal. Good luck to you.

Amitryptiline gets used on a lot of people because of it's non-addictive qualities. But as a long-term user who recently quit I can attest to the following very real side effects "while" you are on it. Extreme weight gain and general lethargy. Horribly dry mouth that can't be quenched no matter how much water you drink. Inability to obtain an erection or achieve an orgasm.

A week after quitting this useless drug I was starting to feel sexually aroused and achieved 3 days in a row of great orgasms. I had been on this drug for years.

Can't warn you enough to get off this drug if you experience weight gain, sexual dysfunction, severe cottonmouth and lethargy.

I now take Ambien, (Zolpidem). Will never go back to Amitryptiline. The side effects are enormous but you will feel freed after getting off this awful medication. You will not notice any unpleasantness if your Dr. has prescribed a newer drug which is more effective to replace your insomnia.

I would NEVER recommend Elavil (amitriptyline) to anyone.

Im 24 y/o male. I've been on Elavil 10mg for 1 month, for chronic upper abdominal pain, it hasn't helped much with the pain but I've noticed it's calm me down a little, I get dry mouth in the morning and feel very tired throughout the daylight get a few hours of energy if lucky. I get irritable at times and feel like I need to explode with an action.

The one bad side effect is constipation and it's bad, normally went once a day now I'm going once every 2 to 3 days and always incomplete, I now have haemorrhoids because I'm straining, It has screwed up my sleep schedule and days I need to wake up early its hard as hell, but I sleep ok, I now also take Entocort 9mg to reduce stomach inflammation and both drugs I'm worried they'll interact badly I'm getting chest pain now and really bad heartburn I'm seeing my doc soon, does anyone have experience of using both of these drugs? !please let me know!!!!

Also I don't rec. this pill or meds at all work hard within yourself to find and solve what problem you have 1 month and I'm already going to quit it, it's just going to make matters worse in the long run. If you don't trust the meds don't take them regardless of what your doc says, if you don't trust yourself listen to your doctor and constantly explore other options to find the best path you can take, cuz there is always more ways.

Hello, Costa -- I'm not sure 10mg of Amitrip would cause all these problems, so look for interaction side effects. At any rate, diet and nutritional intervention might be better for upper abcominal pain. I was put on amitrip for a hiatal hernia and it did help. I started coming off the .5 mg of Amitrip (half a 10mg tablet) in January and am now down to a "crumb" every night. I'm now rubbing the crumb down a bit each night. I make a change every four weeks. It is a serious mistake to come off this drug all at once, but since you've only been on for a month, try cutting your 10 mg tablet in half and see if your symptoms subside. After four weeks, cut it in half again and then do crumbs after four weeks. The doctor who put me on this awful drug told me it takes 3 weeks for the body to realize it is without some medications, Amitrip and some other antidepressants being among them. Have you tried Probiotics and digestive enzymes (taken at the beginning of each meal)? They help. The only major thing I have noticed with going off Amitrip is that everything hurts more now. Everything. Amitrip is a numbing med, so that makes sense. It also makes sense to get off of it and "feel the pain" so you will know if something is really wrong.

This was not a good drug choice for me. In addition to weight gain and sensitivity to sun I experienced severe tooth decay and broken teeth probably due to severe dry mouth. Was on 50 mg for two years.

I have been having some strange health problems in the past two weeks. I believe they are related to withdrawal of Amitriptyline and found the comments from others about the drug very helpful.

Let me start at the beginning.

I started getting migraines at about 20 years old and they got worse very quickly. Within a few short years I was having headaches and migraines all of the time. I didn't understand it and doctors couldn't seem to help me. I was put on doses of Valium which kept increasing.

This wasn't helping and over the next 25 years I sought every possible way to relieve myself of the pain. I tried natural methods, bio-feedback, so many tests and trials and pain clinics. I even tried psychiatrists, hypnotism and acupuncture.


Finally at age 45 I was given Amitriptyline. It was prescribed by a Doctor at a well-known pain clinic. This doctor leads research on Migraines. Within a few days I felt relief. While my headaches didn't go away completely, I finally realized what it was like to be without pain for a few hours and even a few days.

My dose was increased to 200 mg within about 6 months and I have been taking that for 21 years. The doctor I see now wants me to reduce my amount but after being on it for so long I am afraid. I still get migraines so I know the pain and do not want to go back to that all of the time.

Two weeks ago the pharmacist accidentally filled my prescription with only 10mg. pills. I was taking two a night. I thought the brand was just changed, explaining the new size and color.

I was wondering what was wrong with me these past two weeks. I can't sleep and when I do I get really freaky dreams that don't go away when I wake up. These are scaring me so much I hate to go to sleep.

My sciatic back pain has also been tremendous. I didn't know this drug helps with that. I have been trying to increase my daily physical therapy which usually helps my back. The exercises are now too painful to continue.

I have a vacation with my 3 children and their new families coming up in a few days. I haven't seen them all together in over five years. I was wondering how I would cope with these new problems.

I am glad the pharmacist called today and told me of the mistake. He rushed the revised prescription to me right away. I will need to wait until this evening to start taking it in the correct dose again.

I have some wonderful hope that I will be able to do things with my family soon.

What brought me to this site was a search to see if some of the things I have been experiencing could be due to this sudden withdrawal of the Amitriptyline. I now believe this is very possible.

I would appreciate any input anyone has.

Dee

Here is my contribution about Amytriptyline. I initially began taking this medication about 4 years ago for treatment of my IC (intercystial cystitis)a chronic bladder condition. And also as treatment for my insomnia issues. I began at 25 mgs but had the choice to increase up to 50 mgs which I decided not to do over the years. For me there was not a significant improvement of my IC or insomnia. Therefore I began taking a sleep med which is generic Zolpidem. It helped a great deal! BUT after 4 years on this sleep medication, I realized I had to go towards the goal of tapering off of it:( Yes I knew I would miss it and the good sleep it provided me).

So the journey began about 4 months ago of tapering carefully down under supervision of my doctor. I had lots of withdrawal (in my opinion) and of course I expected it. Awful. Mid way through my taper my doctor encouraged me to consider increasing my Amytriptyline from 25mgs to 50mgs, SO I did so. Well the good news is as follows> by God I am off the Zolpidem one full month now AND a great deal of my nausea, abdominal pain, and even chest pain has subsided. Not gone but decreased some. SO it was the increase from 25 to 50 mgs that made a huge difference. AND YES of course there has been immediate weight gain and my prior poor appetite has done a fabulous turn around and I am always hungry on the 50 mgs of Amytriptyline!

Well when weighing out the pros and cons of my specific situation and I feel that the Amytriptyline basically saved me! Yep saved because I had been so sick with a few specific difficult symptoms for the past 6 months. Ok I never thought I could come off of the Zolpidem and I mean NEVER! I was absolutely panic stricken at the thought of no sleep again that was reliable on any level. Ok I sleep now about 4 hours a night verses 8 hrs I was having while on the Zolpidem. And my chronic bladder issues remain at this time. So onward I am going>. And well I am hungry as a horse right now...yep increased appetite for sure...and weight gain for sure. I did not have the weight gain at 25mgs but at 50mgs here come the pounds so it is seeming. Ok that is my little story. More later and I will be back. I have enjoyed reading the many comments from others.

Hello Ozarks Dee! I have just read your story and am glad you posted what you did. Although only a hunch, I am leaning in the direction that the quick decreased dose of your Amytriptyline is a contributor with the symptoms you shared. By the way what is an honest pharmacist to have caught the incorrectly filled dose being the 10 mgs tabs instead of the higher dose you'd been on for so long! I am very interested in hearing about your vacations and how it went for you? Have your symptoms now improved some? Please come back and post an update ok! Thanks J,K.

Hello, Ozarks Dee....I'm almost certain your symptoms were from coming from 200 mg down to 10 mg. I had those symptoms while coming down from only a 5 mg dose, so they do exist. Unfortunately for me, I became more and more depressed as I took less and less Amitrip even though it was such a small dose. Also, every single pain in my body was worse, along with worsening problems with my hiatal hernia and neck/shoulder/headaches. Two people who know me well convinced me to go back on my very, very low dose of 5 mg a night and I am a lot better although it will take awhile. It bothered me to go back on this drug since I've been helping people on this website get off of it, but sometimes a little bit goes along way and that's the way drugs affect me. I take very low doses. feel half-way decent now and was feeling worse and worse taking almost none. You might go ahead and take yourself slowly down to a lower dose but it sounds like you would need to be monitored.

Good luck to you and keep watching the website......VAMP

HELLO EVERYONE! I HAVE SPENT THE PAST 2 DAYS READING ALL THE POSTS. THANK YOU FOR SHARING! IT'S NICE TO KNOW I'M NOT GOING THRU THIS ALONE!

AGE: 42
PROBLEMS: SCIATICA, ARTHRITIS, BULGING DISKS & DDD (DEGENERATIVE DISK DISEASE), CHRONIC PAIN & MIGRAINES
MEDS TAKING: WELLBUTRIN XL300, ELAVIL 50MG, NEURONTIN 100MG, PERCOCET 10MG, MAXALT 10MG & BUTRANS PATCH 10MCG

First of all I never read side effects of drugs when I start taking them for fear of mentally convincing myself I have them. I have been on 50mg of Elavil for a year and 7 months. I recently saw my neurologist who wanted to up my dose to 75mg until I told him the dry mouth was just intolerable! (the positive outcome I am drinking at least 75 ounces of water a day!). I didn't know about the weight gain, but have gained 15 lbs! It seems to be all in my stomach and nowhere else. I swear I look pregnant. I told him I wanted to get off the Elavil, so I started taking 25mg 2 weeks ago and this week alternated every other night. It concerns me a little that he didn't start me on a more gradual decline. I have had a headache every day, I feel like I have an appetite, but when I eat, it doesn't take long and then I feel sick to my stomach. I'm not nauseous, so I don't throw up, but have had borderline diarrhea.

The first couple of days were pure hell for me bc of constant back pain (worse than my normal). Elavil did help with my back pain and also for migraine prevention, but now I feel like I want to get off of everything. I had the short term memory issue and during conversation, I couldn't think of words I wanted to say. I really felt stupid. I have also had heart palpitations and elevated heart rate. It concerns me that some of you aren't giving meds a try. Taking something for a few days or weeks isn't long enough to determine if it will help. Just like coming off a drug, you will have some unpleasant side effects starting new meds. Please just keep an open mind reading everyone's comments and educate yourself. Give your body time to adjust and keep a diary of side effects. Good luck to everyone & God bless you!

P.S. If anyone is or is thinking about taking the Fentanyl (Duragesic) patch for chronic pain, I was on it for 4 years. I will definitely be writing a comment on it. Bad news drug.

As a long time user of Elavil following severe depression and panic attacks at the age of 40 it saved my life I am now 68 years old healthy and down to 10mgs a night as I am going off it for the last time and have found that the B vitamins and Melatonin really help me get to sleep and to stay as sleep.

Melatonin is highly recommended and safe I will be off Elavil soon. Check compatibility with your meds. For anyone interested in keeping the pineal gland healthy the very thing that controls our sleep as the pineal gland declines in production of Melatonin as early as age 40, here are some things that really work for me to keep it healthy Vit D3 and Vit K2 found together in supplements also Vit A and funnily enough a Melatonin supplement that detoxes the pineal gland and helps with sleep.

Most of us know that the sunshine Vitamin which is Vit D is good for moods and in fact I have just learnt that the eyes need 30 minutes of direct sunlight everyday so now I leave my sunglasses off for as long as needed.As I am on low dose now I can take the Vitamin K but it is not comparable with Elavil so I have chosen to replace Elavil with a healthier option.

I hope this helps anyone with sleep and moods which lead to depression if ignored. The direct sunlight certainly seems to make sense as the SAD lights for use in winter need you to sit in front of them for recommended time each day. Good Luck.

Hello!

I have been on amitriptyline (10mg, 1x at night) for migraines and tension headaches. I have been on it for 3 months. While the headaches are better, the amitriptyline seems to affect my blood sugar. I have worked very hard to have my levels be in a good range while on Metformin (I'm pre-diabetic), so I don't want to mess that up.

I asked my neurologist about the possibility that the amitriptyline might have cleared my migraines, which may have been due to overuse of OTC meds for migraines. She said I could stop the amitriptyline. If the migraines increase I have no problem going on something else, but want to give this a shot.

My question to everyone...I asked my doc about weaning off the amitriptyline. She said no need since I am on such a low dose. This makes me nervous since I'm sensitive to meds and quite frankly the amitriptyline literature says do not just discontinue abruptly. Can anyone suggest a tapering schedule on how to wean off? Thanks so much.

Hello, JM -- If you'll go back over my comments (VAMP), you will see that I took myself down very slowly. My only problem was my increasing depression. I didn't know such a low dose (.5 mg) could prevent depression so I was shocked when depression became a factor. Other than that and body pain, I had no side effects from a very slow let-down. You've only been on for three months, so I would alternate between a half-tablet and full tablet of your dose for four weeks then take it down to a half-tablet a day, then cut the half-tablet in half and alternate that for four weeks then go to a quarter tablet and alternate that with taking a quarter tablet every other day. Sounds complicated but it isn't if you make up a schedule. AT the end, I would stretch it out to taking a quarter tablet every three days, then every four for about two weeks at a time then down to none. I put myself on a long takedown because I had been on the drug for 20 years. I was sorry to have to go back on it, but at .5 mg a day I don't have the terrible side effects so I've decided to take it and function. Your case is different. Good luck to you...VAMP

Hi. I know your comment is quite old but I just started looking at these comments. I have been taking Elavil[Amitriptyline] for about 2 years. I have similar problems with anxiety and sleeping problems. I started taking these to help me sleep as I get a sore hip and back towards morning. The doctor says these pills will help with pain and also help me sleep. They work somewhat and I just thought I would try to get off them as I get quite depressed at times. Well the first 2 nights were long; not much sleep. I felt dizzy and my body seemed out of whack the next day.

I don't know about these doctors as he says they are not addictive but you can't just up and quit using them. I was on Serax [Oxacepam-15mg] and they helped me quite a bit to sleep and also to get me through my anxiety attacks. The doctor more or less says the body will rely on them and would eventually demand a higher dosage if taken all of the time. But in a short note I am a male and yes I can relate to your situation. I know a man is supposed to be mucho, but I am not.

I wish I could feel happy and be able to enjoy life a bit more. I feel ashamed when I see people out there who have no limbs or can't walk and they seem to carry on and have the will to live. Just wanted to let you know,you are not alone. Best wishes for a happier life.

I am only a 2.5 weeks in on my first time taking it for IBS and I also have severe falling asleep problems. I take it at 7 or 7:30 PM and I can't stay awake past 9:45. So far I am LOVING it. I hope it only gets better from here.

Thanks to all for the precious information regarding benefits or side effects when taking amitriptyline, I only wish I had found this site and info back in July 2013 when my doctor put me on 75mg for chronic insomnia and depression found from the beginning no benefit whatsoever, sleep insomnia continues and depression continues, after reading comments on this 6 weeks ago I have weaned myself from 75mg to 2.5mg has been tough however really focused on getting off this drug.

Have been on 2.5mg for 3 days I intend to go off the drug in 4 days (wish me luck). I`m apprehensive and fearful as along with the insomnia, Depression I suffer at times with anxiety that just makes my life and mind to crumble I feel defenseless and childlike hoping for someone to take care of me. It's horrendous ,I have suffered greatly with the insomnia for 8 yrs regularly went 6 to 10 days without sleep hospitalized at times, So many different medications tried no help and no specialist has been able to give me an answer to my out of this world chronic insomnia, hopefully next week I will get off this amitriptyline and update this story to include what I have been taking to make the withdrawal a little easier a life for JMJ.

Hey friend... Can surly relate to the insomnia... And as there is no silver bullet (without side-effects of some sort)..
But I take 150mg nightly of Elavil... But my reason for replying is curious if through all the meds you have tried for insomnia "Was Klonopin/Clonazepam ever tried?"... I have Chronic-acute anxiety/agrophobia.. The Xanax and Ativan help, but the Clonazepam has been the most useful of all. In fact if you have not, I would suggest you talk to your doctor, that you "know a friend who takes clonazepam" for sleep... if you have already tried, disregard... If you have not tried request to start at at least 1mg!... I take 2-5mg daily depending on the intensity of that days anxiety... Because not only being disabled from working, living with uncontrolled anxiety is torture!.... Best wishes

I took amatriptaline several years ago to help me sleep, it was used as a muscle relaxer. I was diagnosed with glaucoma five years ago and have been told it may have been caused by the amatriptaline. There is not a history of glaucoma in my family.

Hi I'm currently 24 and 3 years ago had a heavy overdose of endep. I was in a coma for 3days they expected the worst, when I had woke up I was ok but the next day I couldn't talk, lost movement to my left side. Doctors thought it could have been a minor stroke?? Since then I've learnt to talk, read and right again and have full movement to my left side it took about 6weeks but I had a heavy stutter when talking, it has now gone. I'm very lucky. But ever since I get this pain behind my left eye its so painful I want to tear my eye out then a bloody nose is followed this sometimes lasts hours. My doctors keeps telling me its nothing to worry about???? But I know my own body and it isn't right????? Can anyone help me or give advice?

Hi Jkelly, I have tried the Clonazepam unfortunately was of no assistance, updating now on condition I went off the Amitriptyline 3 nights ago was not my intention to do this until 4 days later, reason was because I was feeling sick and not sleeping so decided to bite the bullet, unfortunately managed just about for 2 nights half hrs sleep each night, next night not slept a wink terrible frightening anxiety, so yesterday very fearful and really not wanting to be around anymore, thank god for my parents and other family, brought back to psychiatrist, wasn't off much help just that I was prescribed to go on to ativan the dreaded benzos that have caused nightmares for me previously, I'm not happy, managed about 4 hrs on ativan last night, thankfully I got sleep but today I have been feeling very tired and anxious and for past 2 weeks I have been suffering with nausea, I just really want to be off all medication, feel free, I feel like I'm in jail and a few days a week I feel like I'm drowning, I'm horrified on how my life is, torturous and cruel, I'm at a stage now where I'm so exhausted I'm finding it difficult to fight back and be hopeful, fortunately I have faith and believe in god so I'll try to continue on, regards michael

I was on 50 mg of Amitriptyline for 8 years due to my bladder disease, Interstitial Cystitis & insomnia. It worked wonders for me even though I had a few side effects such as constipation and dry mouth. My doctor told me to take it every night between 6 and 7 p.m. to allow me enough time to get sleepy and get 8 hours of sleep. I felt great, and now in the last 3 months I started having severe leg pain and restless legs. My doctor started me on withdrawing from Amitriptyline by going from 50mg to 25 mg. I did fine, and leg pain went away, but insomnia started coming back. Soon after my body got adjusted to 25mg the let pain and restless legs come back. So I went from 25 mg to cutting that pill in half and leg pain stopped again, but insomnia is out of control.

I am now on 5 mg of Amitriptyline and so far no more leg pain, but I just feel awful, no sleep, no energy, and everyone keeps telling me it takes a while for your body to get back to normal after using Amitriptyline. Thankfully my bladder disease is still under control, or I would have already lost my mind. None of the over the counter sleep aids work for me, they just make it worse. Really wish they could come up with a medicine that would help all of us with no side effects, and no withdrawal problems.

I've been taken off 10 mg of amitrypyaline due to postural hypertension and other sides effects have had to stop them instantly no weaning myself off as anyone else had to do this. After reading other comments quite worried about withdrawal symptoms now didn't think a low dose would cause these many problems xxx

I've been taken off 10 mg of amitrypyaline due to postural hypertension and other sides effects have had to stop them instantly no weaning myself off as anyone else had to do this. After reading other comments quite worried about withdrawal symptoms now didn't think a low dose would cause these many problems xxx

I've been on amitriptylene 10 mg for 2 years due to coccyx pain must stop them immediately due to postural hypertension and other side effects doctors orders day three feel rotten. Is this withdrawal on such a small dose or flu any suggestions gratefully received thank you

*Joanne.... Every persons body reacts different to different meds. This is also true for the withdrawls... Some (even on a low-dose) have flu-like symtems when cut off 100%... I have been taking this drug for many years, and now the withdrawls (when I get some wild hair to quit all meds) are not as bad, but I thought I was dying a slow death when coming off this drug as a younger man... So, being this time of year, and not being able to tell 100% sure, I would place my money still on it being withdrawal or even it has made your body more open to get the flu-virus making it a double-dose of yuck'.... Hope it passes soon. Start doing some internet searching on what supplements help with this withdrawal, and other home-remidies.... because what you are experiancing is not uncommon. Hope that helps a bit friend... Josh

Wow. Have to say I am really freaked out by all the comments I have read. This has been really helpful. I have suffered with my balance on and off for the past 10 years. It have generally coped ok, however this last attack I am having has thrown me for 6 and have now had sever balance problems for 2 months, I. Believe the cause for it to start up again was due to me packing in smoking. Anyway, I saw a specialist 5days ago and he informed me that he believes it is the blood flow to my ears being restricted that is causing it and that he was putting me on two lots of tabs and I have to see him in 6weeks time. He has put me on 10mg of amitriptyline 3 times a day and SErc16 3 times a day. Took 1 of each first day and slept for over a day and didn't take them again until yesterday as I had some really heavy meetings to go into. Took 1 last night and taken 2 today but after reading all these comments I am thinking I shouldn't take any more of the Amit . I just don't understand why doc thinks I should be on these. Many thanks for everyone' s post

I have been taking amitriptyline 10mg for around 2 yrs for Fibromyalgia I find it is wonderful I take it each night and seem not to have any side effects at all.

I was prescribed amitriptyline for muscle pain. After 3-1/2 weeks I've come off it because it caused stomach problems (and wasn't helping me anyway). I have had acid reflex in the past. I've now been off it about 3 weeks, but the stomach problem is getting worse.

Does anyone know how long it takes for the amitriptyline to leave your system? Has anyone had stomach problems as a result of the drug?

I just read Jane C's comments above. What sort of stomach problems do you have? I don't have any stomach ache, but I feel really sick after taking amitriptyline and for the next 12 hours. Is this the sort of problem you had?

I was prescribed 10mg initially to increase gradually to 20mg. I have been in terrible pain for trigiminal neuralgia and I also have migraines so it would be great if I could cope with the side effects of amitriptyline because it might work for both things. However I couldn't keep the 10 mg down, just vomited it up and felt really zonked out. Then I cut the tablets down to 5 mg which I managed to keep down for a week but last night since I took the tablet, I have felt sick for 12 hours. I took anti-nausea medication which meant I did keep it down but have felt too sick to eat and drink or sleep.

I have searched the internet but I can't find people who suffer from nausea on this medication. I was wondering if it would pass or if it means that i am allergic and should stop.

The annoying thing is that the pain stops for the 12 hours after I take it, during which time I feel terrible so can't enjoy the relief from pain, then just as the nausea eases off, the pain comes back!

Doctors have suggested changing to nortriptyline but this metabolises to amitriptyline so I don't know if it will help. Has anyone tried this? I would be grateful for any advice.

I have been taking this medicine for a week now, and am noticing some of the side effects that are listed.
- dry mouth- No amount of water is quenching my thirst.
- drowsiness- I can barely stay awake during the day & at night, I don't even remember getting into my bed.

As of yesterday, I have noticed that my left leg is starting to cramp up in my thigh.

I was prescribed this by my gastroenterologist, to help the aid of a pain that we do not know why or where it is coming from.

Initial diagnosis was Celiac but it turned out that wasn't it. Then Pancreatitis - nope, Gall stones- nope, Stomach Ulcer - nope. Now we just don't know what it is, but reading all the withdrawal symptoms that people are having, it sounds like I should stop taking this now!!

It seems like the pain is coming in the exact spot of my diaphragm.
But I was told that I was wrong and was then given this.
I don't like taking medication, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks - Addi

Hi kykakh3.
It seems it would obviously have been one of the first things checked for, but here goes: Hiatus hernia? (Feels like you have to swallowed a smallish sharp-cornered brick, and it has got stuck just under the breastbone. Anything but funny.) Yes ami will dull the pain and everything else. More importantly (for him/her) it will mean that you simply cannot be bothered going to your doctor's surgery any more. Anyway, best of luck.

Amen I have taken Elavil for 16 yrs and have been recently being weened off to take remeron. I am also on 7 mls of methadone ? will I feel withdrawal?

I have been on 250mg of Elavil for over 13 years now. I was prescribed for me for my migraines.

I want to get off the Elavil because I continue to have frequent migraines. I wish I had known what the side effects were years ago, I never would have started it. I believe most of us trust that our doctors know what they are prescribing.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid and was quite ill for over a year and a half. After reading about Elavil, I wonder if that contributed to my thyroid problem.

I have decreased my dosage from 250mg at bedtime to 200mg for 6 days now. The worst symptom I am having right now is the stomach pain, back pain and nausea. I want to decrease the dosage another 50 mg, but wonder if I will feel even worse.

I wish I would have taken the initiative to look after my own health by looking to see what the side effects as well as health risks are when prescribed medication.

I've read where some people take low dosage of the Elavil and have severe symptoms when decreasing it. How long does or will it take before I start feeling "normal"?

DH, I was on 50mg of Amitriptyline for 8 years due to a bladder disease. In Sept 2013 I started having severe leg pain and was told that it was causing me muscle damage and I was taken off of it. I went from 50mg to 25mg. I stayed on 25mg for 3 weeks and went to 12.5mg, and then on down. I had severe nausea, head pressure, chronic insomnia, and then found out my thyroid was going haywire. I am hypothyroid, and having still lots of problems. I have been to the emergency room twice in less than 2 weeks due to dehydration, and now I am having to take 50mcg of Levothyroxine for my thyroid. I had a partial thyroidectomy in 1989, but had not had any problems with it in all these years, and then upon researching the Amitriptyline found out that you are not suppose to take it if you have any thyroid issues.

I wished I had researched this drug more thoroughly before I considered taking it. I could have dealt with my bladder disease without it. Yes it gave me 8 years of being pain free, but now I am so messed up. I can't sleep, don't know when the nausea or dizziness is going to hit. I have been a basket case now for 3 months. I am going to do my best in the future not to take anymore anti-depressant or anxiety medicine. This has been way to rough on my body, and I am sure it has done some irreversible damage. I really hope you have better luck than me when getting off this awful medicine...

Hi there. I didn't have stomach ache or nausea, but acid reflex - it's a very unpleasant problem where acid from your stomach comes into your esophagus.

I wish I'd researched amitriptyline before I started taking it - sounds like a lot of people have problems with it.
It's over 2 months since I stopped taking it and my stomach still hasn't recovered.

Hi TM. I'm sorry to hear about the problems you have with getting off the Elavil. I wish I would have researched this medication years ago as well. Physicians seem to forget to tell their patients what the long term effects can be. When I read that it's been 3 months for you and still no sleep, it makes me wonder if I will ever get a good night's sleep.

The main problem with my insomnia is the fact my legs and feet cramp up so bad. For the past 2-3 years, I've had problems with restless leg syndrome. It's far worse now. When you were told you were having sever muscle damage, what muscles were being damaged?

I hope that you will recover from the medical issues you're dealing with. I've learned to start taking control over my health. I wish you well.

I surely can relate to what you are going through....I have had sleep problems for a long time.....I don't know what has caused it, but I have been on Amitryptyline and Klonopin ......I am 53 years old and in menopause....I seem to have my worst sleep problems during the Winter months....during the Summer, I sleep pretty well...I am a runner and work out daily....even the exercise doesn't work....I wonder if it is a seasonal thing ...but I know what it is like not to get sleep... you feel like HELL the next day....and no one knows how you feel, but yourself....it feels like you are hungover and overtired....It is horrible...my husband feels so bad, because he does see what I go through...I have been taking Melatonin and it has worked for a couple of night....but I hate taking pills...I know hormones play a factor in all of this too..I just tell myself I just have to get through this....Usually December thru March and the worst months.....

Hi All,

I started on ami last December for fibro. I have tried it on and off before (before official diagnosis) never found it helped the pain so came off it again. This time though I was having big problems with sleep and once official diagnosis was made I stuck to it and it did help me sleep although I'm never too sure how much it helps the pain (but fibro is one of those things I guess it may be break through pain and the ami is helping).

Anyway this last year I've gradually gained weight. Now I am fairly active although tired. I may not always eat like a saint but generally I shouldn't be gaining weight. But I have noticed a craving for foods and tend to buy a bag of sweets to pick me up when I'm feeling very drowsy. I cook all our meals from scratch I sometimes calorie count to make sure. But I am now a stone heavier and trying to lose weight and it's just not working.

I started wondering about the ami and reading all these comments it's quite incredible! I'm only on 30mg as I used to start work so early 50mg was making me too drowsy for work that early. And I've stuck to it. I think I'm going to stop and manage the fibro as best I can and read up about foods and other ways of coping. I've changed my job to a more stable profession with decent hours.

I prioritise my health needs more and I so so so hope if I stop the ami I will get my body back! It just doesn't make sense how the weight is going on so easily. I am getting married in August. Let's hope I can be at my best for then!

I so did not realise so many people have gained weight on it. Plus I've never had blood tests to test my liver function!! or anything!! So at the age of 27 I think I'll do all I can to minimise the use of these drugs for as long as I can. Saying that I guess analgesia is going to be used a lot! Especially while coming off the ami. Wish you all luck, these conditions thoroughly suck. Gentle hugs x x

Hello to all.
I've enjoyed reading all the information here and thought I might add some of my experiences with ami. I was started on the drug in 1997 for migraines and restless leg syndrome. I started with 10mg and was told to increase 10mg every night until I slept through the night without any symptoms. That got me to 300mg a night which I took until June 2013 when I had a seizure in London.

I had brain surgery in May 2011 and had never had a seizure before (or since). The doctor there did not like the fact I had been taking such a high dose for such a long time as he noticed a QT prolongation on my ECG; he switched me to Requip for my RLS. I went from 300mg of ami to 1mg of Requip in a period of 10 days.

Requip has done absolutely nothing for RLS. After reading people's experiences on this site I am wondering if coming off ami so quickly with such a large dose might be contributing to my RLS and sleepless nights. The only side effect I had with ami was a dry mouth. I never felt tired or drugged, confused or gained weight. I have done another medication switch and am waiting to see what the results are. But I am wondering if going back to ami wouldn't be best, despite the QT issue.

I have been having trouble with my mood for a number of years, in fact I can go back at least 25 years. I also have a headache 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I thought that the headache was due to cigarettes so I gave them away 17 years ago and the headache remains.

My GP (GP's) have tried many things such as MRI's, CT's, dentist checks, sleep study, sinus operations (2), etc. etc. I've been to physio's, chiro's, a headache clinic, all which have not relieved the headache. I have seen a kinesiologist, a naturopath, acupuncturist and Chinese medicine clinic. Nothing has stopped or alleviated the dull ache.

After exhausting all avenues, I thought that I would try my GP for some medication, even though I hate going down that path. Endep [Amitriptyline] was the first drug. Others followed with no positive effect.

The Doctor ran out of drug suggestions for me to try. So, I am living with the pain, but due to Endep 50mg which I have been taking for about 1 year, after going up from 25mg, I am at least sleeping a lot better. That is a tick for Endep, but I hope to get off it at some stage.

I had originally replied on December 6, 2013 with problems about taking Amitriptyline. I had been on Amitriptyline for 8 years when I started having problems with this medication. I had severe withdrawals even coming off very slowly and under doctors supervision. I ended up in emergency room twice due to dehydration.

On December 12th due to still having severe nausea which started as I was coming off the amitriptyline, my doctor ordered a ultrasound on my pancreas, gallbladder, spleen, and liver. My gallbladder showed it was chronically diseased so it was removed on December 26, 2013. 1 day after surgery nausea came back and I started vomiting. Was admitted to the hospital where I spent 5 days and underwent a endoscopy which showed severe gastritis, esophagusitis, and ulcers.

I might be wrong but due to the amitriptyline giving me a huge appetite, and it also helps with pain, I believe due to my unhealthy diet (my fault of course not to blame the medicine on this) I feel as those I caused a lot of these health problems for my body. With a combination of coming off this medicine and what I had done to my body while I was on it, I think it got my body way out of whack! Anyway my sleep has improved some since I came off of the Amitriptyline, but not much.

I DO BLAME the Amitriptyline for messing with my sleep pattern. I only had insomnia occasionally before I started taking it, and now I have it so bad. Others I have talked with about this med have had similar experience with their sleep habits. One lady told me it took her a year to get back to normal after being on Amitriptyline for 10 years. I was on it for 8 years, and came off of it in September 2013, so I guess I still have quite a ways to go before HOPEFULLY my body ever gets back to normal. I know a lot of people find relief with this particular drug, and I did as well, but I strongly suggest trying something different.....

I recently came off the amitriptylin (self management not with advice first!) I posted above, It's been 2 weeks now and I have lost a kilo and feel much brighter in the day. I was back to very minimal sleep though. But I had planned for that. I gradually reduced the ami and was then fully off it I started taking Forza 200mg of 5 HTP an hour before bed. And I sleep!! Oh my goodness what a relief! It's also a mood stabiliser.

I also have a book called The Fibromyalgia healing diet by Christine Craggs-Hinton which has lots of info on foods, drinks and vitamins and minerals to help manage things in a less drug fuelled way. I do not know yet if I will manage but so far I am.

But do not take 5 HTP while on amitriptylin. I think that's contraindicated. But just an idea, you may like to try discussing with a good dr and see what works best for you. I had a head ache like that for years, It's got a bit better now, managing analgesia is also important but can also cause headaches so it's a tricky balancing act. But I thought I'd mention what I've done and honestly I have real sleep problems and the 5 HTP has really helped since coming off the ami. :-) Good luck. x

CP How much 5 HTP did you start out with? I am so worried about taking anything that is going to cause me side effects, but the insomnia is about to do me in. I have been off the amitriptyline since September 2013 so I guess I have been off long enough to try the 5 HTP. Also I have read that you aren't suppose to take 5 HTP for more than 2 weeks, is this true? How long have you been taking it? I just wish my body would go back to being normal and I could go to bed at a decent time and just go to sleep. I can live on 6 hour or more hours of sleep, if I can just go to sleep to begin with...Thanks for your help...

I have been taking amitriptyline for the past 14 mths, due to having to have a urgent surgery and resulting me in having a ileostomy fitted.

I have been very depressed and have had problems with sleep and nerve pain. My dr started me on this drug at 25mg at night along with zopiclone. Over the last few months I have had my medication increased to 50mg twice a night. This has helped me for a short while but now I'm more depressed and getting emotional, finding it hard to have a normal day and lately finding going out of the house scary, I want to go out but when I do I want to go home.

I would like to stop taking this drug but I am scared of the side effects. Can anyone advise me?

My experience of Amitriptyline, particularly about withdrawal and gradual reduction, or phased reduction.

I was prescribed Amitriptyline to help cope with chronic back pain that was not being managed by opiates, paracetamol and anti-inflammatory medication. I started at 10mg, and increased every 7 days by another 10mg, until a final dosage of 75mg a day, taken in the evening. It was very effective from about 50mg at reducing the intense pain I was having, and I probably could have stayed at 50mg rather than 75mg.

The Amitriptyline had side-effects in addition to the very positive affect on the pain, but those side-effects were worth enduring. It made me quite spaced out, and I chose not to drive, or use machinery and the like. The effect it had on me mentally I perceived as a positive thing - everything being sort of dulled meant that I did not get frustrated by being housebound (due to the pain). It is how you perceive some of the side-effects that determines whether they are good or bad.

Note. I am also taking Omeprazole to control nausea. So my not experiencing any nausea is likely due to this medication.

Following hospital treatment my back is much improved, so I started reducing the Amitriptyline (and other pain relieving medication) 6 weeks ago. I searched and could not find any recommendation for reducing the dosage, so had to make it up myself. I have reduced the medication by about 15% to 20% each week - please note that is a percentage, not mg.

Week 1: 20% drop of 15mg from 75 to 60mg. Effect: Didn't notice anything.
Week 2: 16% drop of 10mg from 60 to 50mg. Effect: Didn't notice anything.
Week 3: Initially 30% drop of 15mg from 50 to 35mg. This was unpleasant, so increased back to 42.5mg on the 3rd day (and felt fine again). Note. 42.5mg would have been a 15% drop.
Week 4: 18% drop of 7.5mg back down to 35mg again. Effects: Fairly bad headache (paracetamol and lots of water really helped), low energy levels, very short tempered, reduced appetite, visual disturbances at night time.

Circumstances then meant I was going to need to drive and go back to work, so I then followed a faster withdrawal as follows:
Week 4 +2 days: 15% drop of 5mg from 35 to 30mg.
Week 4 +4 days: 16% drop of 5mg from 30 to 25mg.
Week 4 +6 days: 20% drop of 5mg from 25 to 20mg.

Throughout these 3 drops in medication I had a moderate headache (again really helped by paracetamol and lots of water), low energy levels, short tempered, and visual disturbance at night. It felt a bit like having the flu or heavy cold, but without the sore throat and blocked nose.

For the first time I felt more like myself, the constant dull mental affect was greatly reduced. I did now notice the affect of the medication each day, kind of being dulled and then back to normal again each day.

I then resumed weekly reduction again, as follows:
Week 6: 12.5% drop of 2.5mg from 20 to 17.5mg. Effects: Visual disturbance at night for a few days. Day1: Headache. Day2: Very short tempered & reduced appetite. Day3: Felt very low emotionally & reduced appetite. Day4: Extremely low energy levels. Day5: Felt fine.
Week 7: 15% drop of 2.5mg from 17.5 to 15mg. Effects, similar but not as strong as week 6.

This finally is where I am today, taking 15mg each night. Each drop in medication is not easy, but it isn't that bad. The worst bit for me was the headaches, but I have found I am managing them well with paracetamol and drinking lots of water.

The worst bit for other people is when I am really short tempered - I am unpleasant & difficult to be around for about 1 day. I really don't like it but cannot help it. I asked my wife to read up about Amitriptyline withdrawal to help her understand and have better insight.

At about week 3 I developed some muscle tightness, it is uncomfortable, but not particularly painful. I have checked this with my Doctor, and I am quite relaxed about it, I am sure it will lessen in time as my body gets back to normal drug free.

I am really well motivated to get off the medication, and have been careful to not read too much about the problems other people have been having with withdrawal, as I do not want to "search for" possible problems. I just want to deal with what actually happens, rather than with what may happen.

My plan is to continue to reduce at 2.5mg each week, although it is frustrating how long it is taking. I may try a 5mg drop, as the withdrawal effects were not as strong last weekend which may be because the overall dosage is now much lower. I am prepared however that it still could be another 6 weeks of difficult, but manageable weekends.


I personally think that the most important element is to be very motivated to get off the medication. Then you will be far more able to cope with any issues you may have. Also, try not to spend too much time searching and reading about other peoples withdrawal symptoms, deal with anything that actually happens, not what may happen.

Regards, Andy.

Dear Andy...... After reading all your experience, as I am a *Pro-defender of Amitriptyline!
But You hit the nail on the head. More people run around in fear from withdrawal or staying on, while not realizing everybody's response to this medication is different.

I have for 25 years or more taken this. Usually 75mg at night or 150mg at night.. (Even had my times of quitting altogether) but the pro's for me beat the con's....

Thank you for the spot on reply of doing personal research through other means than message threads (although I don't say they are bad) but to learn that each person handles and is affected by this med is correct.

I drove all 48 states taking 150mg daily, and it never affected my cognitive abilities, or made me feel foggy at all. I am not going into much further as the goal of this reply was "Each person responds differently..."! Great observation!...

I still am at 150mg daily/nightly and just fine. The sun affects me more harsh, but I weigh the benefits. Thank you sir, and wishing you reach a place of functionality and wellness as much as possible....

Diane, I know what you are going through, I have been on 25mg of Elavil for 6 months and its true it gives me a better sleep from 4 hrs. per night to 8-9 hours, I felt great that way BUT I gained 10 pounds, grew a huge beer belly (and I don't drink the stuff) the muscles in my whole body this past 4 weeks feel like it weighs 800 pounds and leg muscles are all sore and weak to the point were I couldn't go for my daily walk, just too exhausting! So, I went cold turkey and stopped a week ago, I'm down 5 pounds and losing, my body doesn't ache any more, and I am walking again. I had a few headaches that went away with a couple of Tylenols. So my body is now back to normal but also back to less sleep, but I would rather have less sleep and feel better as a trade-off. Hope this helps you. Elgin

My psychiatrist put me on Elavil in 2003,and I'm now prescribed 300 mgs to take every night, and even though it helps me sleep it's damaged my libido dramatically, and I'm only 33 years old, and I plan on turning 34 on 4-20-2014, and it's only a month from now so I believe that I will definitely make it

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