The People's Perspective on Medicine



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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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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Been on this drug to treat fibromalgia since 1997. 10-20mg.HS. It helped. I weaned back to 10 mg, then stopped altogether. Especially when the cost skyrocketed. Dry mouth is the only side effect. However, I decided to go back to 10mg. for muscle relaxation.
Lately been having horrible leg and foot cramps and tried the home remedies with no results. Somewhere, I read that amitriptyline works for treating leg cramps. So i started 20mg at HS and have been much better. In the week since I doubled the dose, no cramps. I am 76.

I started Amitriptyline 5 years ago with Pregabalin for complex regional pain syndrome. 20mgs and 150mgs, respectively. These drugs did help the pain. Eventually 18 months ago I started to reduce the Pregabalin. Not too bad with side effects. I’m now down to 75mgs. At the same time I reduced the Ami to 10mgs, no terrible side effects. My pain consultant told me to stop the Ami altogether. Now I was seeing the practice nurse for a urine problem, no infection but the urge to pee. I decided in case it was the Amitriptyline I would stop the drug. 4 days later I started feeling nausea after eating in the evening. Not too bad. Then headaches, not all the time. Then needing the toilet but having difficulty going. Then no difficulty going. Stomach pains, all over; low down, high up. Feeling tired, weak. Dizzy. After another 5 days I had a bout of horrible nausea when I just wished I could be sick. It went on for 6 hours before easing off. The next day I was wiped out. Completely off food. I had blood tests with the pee thing, and all results came back normal except for the bilirubin (spelling) which has for the last three blood tests over 5 years has been above the parameters suggested but my GP doesn’t seem worried, just me I suppose. And borderline high cholesterol.

Today, four days after the horrible nausea attack, I felt fine. I had taken a fiber product, as the toilet situation has turned difficult again. I went to lunch and had leek and spud soup. Then felt really dizzy. Needed the toilet but didn’t. Came home and now feel nausea, a lump in my throat which may be worry I know. I’ve been to the loo, not ‘normal’ weird yellow/green colour (charming). I feel shaky, hot. Also my blood pressure seems to have gone down. What on earth is going on? Back to the surgery I suppose but I’ll hang on for a couple more days to see if it improves. Could it be coming off the Amitriptyline? I’m fed up.

I’ve been taking 20-30 mg amitriptyline nightly for 8 years now for ME. At first it was great. It helped with the headaches and general aches and pains, as well as giving me some sleep at night. But yes, I too piled on the pounds. Not good for someone with restricted amounts of energy. However, I had a relapse at Christmas and I ended up increasing my dose to 40mg, but I soon found that was not enough and I was having to take more and more strong painkillers to get any relief. The GP suggested going upto 50mg and cutting back on the painkillers. Again no difference. Time for a new drug. Went to the Dr’s answer she suggested going onto duloxetine and that it should be fine to just stop the amitriptyline. How wrong was she! The first day was okay, but day 2 was horrendous. The nausea, headaches, restlessness and the shivering. So I’m back on them, trying to cut down little by little.
Trouble the only other suggestions for pharmaceutical help are duloxetine or gabapentin, both of which are even worse than amitriptyline! I’m not sure what I’m going to do. You can’t get melatonin in the UK easily. So I really don’t know.

I’ve been taking this infernal drug for almost 40 years and it’s time to get it out of my life. Overall, I gained 240lbs and required bariatric surgery, which almost killed me, to compensate. Among other problems, I’ve had two heart attacks from coronary artery vasospasm, diabetes which is resolving as I decrease the dose, and a host of other problems that never need have happened. I’m a retired critical care Registered Nurse and bought into the medical model of treatment for mental illness and it has been my downfall and I believe will also be my premature demise. Modern medicine has had a field day with me and it’s time to stop.

I am 29yr old female with interstitial cystitis. I have been taking 150mgs for over a year. This works wonders for the IC, but I gained 30lbs on my small frame. I have a constant foggy head, have an extremely hard time thinking clearly, and am often forgetful, have an extremely hard time waking up in the morning and am groggy until 3pm each day. A few times I forgot to take it 2 days in a row and I went to the hospital for severe panic attacks. I’ve been trying to slowly ween myself off of it and am having heavy heart beat, high anxiousness, very sensitive, having crying spells, and short temper. I’m wondering if there’s any other drug that can be taken in substitute that’s easier to help get off of the drug?? I’m only 1mth into weening off and I’m having an extremely hard time.

I have never been depressed in my life, but I had Shingles and now have neuropathy. Both are awful, but I take famvir for my shingles when they come back on my head and I take nortriptyline every day and evening and it really helps. I am 87 yrs old and still go bowling and play Duplicate Bridge, am a Bronze life master.

I am looking into these tablets as my 75 year old Mother takes them and suffers from terrible hallucinations, is highly active in the night although still asleep and often confused she also has started bed wetting. The symptoms are so bad i am having to stay with her. She has been taken into hospital twice now because of this, The first time she was driving back and forth into her bedroom wall (uses an elec chair) both times she’s been treated for an UTI but doesn’t have the symptoms.
The reason she has been given them is for nerve pain following a leg amputation.

I really believe medical people need to take much more care what they give to people like the older and the young. Sometimes it’s as if they just dish pills out for speed.

I have two things to address that have been great help to me. First I have had a horrible time with severe leg cramps that can’t be walked or stretched out. My Naturepathic Dr. suggested I take Emergen-C dietary supplement which has been a Tremendous help..thankfully… reccomended to start with 2 pkg. each evening at different intervals then after a few days then one each day. Once in a while I will have cramps after like a hike or rigorus exercise, so I keep on hand the Amish Formula called Stops Leg and Foot Cramps in about One Minute that WORKS within a minute or so, it is carried by many Health Food stores or can be ordered on line ( I works like a miracle really!! My Dr said they are using it in the nursing homes for older people that are so plagued with leg and foot cramping.

I had toe fungus that was in over half the nail , very thick. My poditrist suggested I cut the nail short as possible,which he did, then file the top of the nail down (I use and emery board) and then apply the topical medicine, then file each and every time before applying. It seemed no time I had it all cleared up.

I hopeing you will share with others.

I was prescribed the 10mls dose three daily eight years ago for Fibromyalgia. It helped a lot at first then a few years ago my condition worsened I decided the drug was no longer helping me so weaned myself off and took really ill. Couldn’t sleep depression so started taking them again and my symptoms improved immediately.
I have finally got off them but it took two years. Now maybe it’s coincidental but I know I got ill every time I cut down the dose.
I was told the dose I was on was completely non addictive. Add to this my age over 60 I kept forgetting to take them and if I hadn’t linked this to the amitriptyline I would have thought I’d contacted a serious disease.

Marie, what medication did you use on your toenail? I’m glad it worked for you.

You never know. This may be worth following up (From Wikipedia):
Dextromethorphan/quinidine (trade name: Nuedexta) is the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of PBA. Treatment with dextromethorphan/quinidine significantly decreased laughing and crying episodes in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or multiple sclerosis (MS) as compared with placebo in a 12-week, randomized, double-blind study
Regardless, my very best wishes.

I have been working my way up to 150 mg of Elavil due to severe crying outburst due to my Multiple Sclerosis.
It has gotten rid of the PBA (sudden outbursts of crying for ANO reason) but it has made me terribly confused and forgetful. I have become horribly forgetful that its embarrassing. I cant remember from one day to the next big or small things. I have tried lowering my dose to 100mg, but then I’m crying my eyes out, so 150 works the best for me. I just want to know if anyone else has the problem of forgetfulness to a horrible degree. There are no other drugs to stop the PBA but I couldn’t tell you what I did yesterday.
Does anyone else have this problem of severe forgetfulness?? Thanks for any help you can provide.

Hello K.S. I suffer with Spinal Adhesive Arachnoiditis, your symptoms sound very familiar, I have been taking 50Mg twice a day of Tramadol, it has no side effects. I also have peripheral neuropathy muscle spasms are negligible, it has been good for me. Have been taking for several years now no problems with bladder, bowel or kidneys, in fact they are normal.

Hello Tom the best thing for reflux which I had for years and taking tagamet plus something to counteract side effects. I have been using Bi-carbonate of soda (baking soda), a small glass and small tea spoon in water when ever problem occurs and voila reflux and indigestion is gone in about 15 minutes. You can purchase at the supermarket in with all the cake mixers. Its most powerful ingredient is the alkaline which the the body needs and has powerful effect of freeing up the esophagus and swallowing is so much easier.

Hello everyone.
My husband had been suffering with insomnia for awhile but in the last month it has gotten so much worse ever night it happens to him and he recently lost a job because he can’t wake up in the mornings. 2 weeks ago his doctor put him on zoloft which did nothing but make it worse at night. Yesterday we went back and they put him on generic elavil 50mg. He took it last night and only made his insomnia worse and even caused his restless leg syndrome to act up. We have no idea what to do anymore. We are so ready to give up because nothing help. Please any advice would be greatly appreciated. And also he was on zoloft because doctor though he was stresses but did not help any. Thanks

Ive been on amitriptyline 25 ml for 2 yrs my dr has put me on 50 ml I have bad side effects but I’ve only taken 2 . 50 ml tablets I’ve got really bad anxiety. Is this normal to feel like this? thanks

Barb, DP and EG, I too had major problems with my legs, & constipation from being on Amitriptyline. I was on 50mg for 8 years and wish I had never went on it at all. It was a tremendous help to me with my bladder disease, and fibro, but the problems it caused me in the long run were not worth it.
I had severe withdrawals, ended up in the ER 3 times, and to this day the constipation is still a problem, as well as my sleep pattern was so messed up, it has taken almost a year for my body to return to some normalcy, but I don’t think my digestive problems will ever go away.
As for the sleep I am just now finally getting to where I can sleep again, but it took a long time. From now on I will just deal with the pain, and anxiety on my own, no more anti-depressant or anxiety meds for me ever!

YES! I’m seeing the neurologist in two days. I have to keep increasing xanax to be able to function and have finally realized the amitriptyline is causing all these issues. Unable to make decisions, ruq pain, panic attacks, tremors, insomnia, etc. this is horrible.

After getting my life together with the help of Elavil, I was finally able to get a girlfriend. I had been taking the drug for about a month, and the first time I tried to have sex with my girlfriend, I couldn’t maintain an erection and she was very hurt. I don’t know where our relationship stands now as a result (this occurred last night) I am going to stop immediately.
But if you say it will take a week for it to pass, before sexual function can resume as normal I think I’ll wait before asking to get “intimate.” I noticed that masturbation was becoming increasingly difficult but didn’t attribute it to the Elavil. In fact I stopped doing it all together because it was in vain, but my thoughts were, OK so I don’t have to masturbate anymore I got better things to do.
Anyways, I’m glad I found your comment Joe. Thanks, I’ll talk to my doc and see if I can change my meds, but I’m stopping immediately Elavil, I felt so humiliated and hurt….oh.. I feel terrible, I don’t care if there are any averse side effects of quitting cold turkey it can’t possibly worse than what I felt last night.

Took elavil for many years..5 or 10 mg. for fibromyalgia……had problems lifting legs, hair growth on legs and underarms pretty
Much ceased (thought it was just aging).
Unrelated EKG showed long QT syndrome related to the medication. After cessation of medication these all reversed…..however in all the ensuing years I have not had a solid nights sleep since I went off elavil. I think it might have messed with my ability to produce seratonin.
I now take nothing for the fibromyalgia for fear of the effects of the medications. I just deal with the pain. I know some people have more serious symptoms than I, but for me the discomfort is worth not taking drugs that actually could cause severe problems and with a heart arrythmia even death. The long QT is a recognized side effect of elavil, but is relatively rare, but knowing that I am prone to this, has implications for many medications that potentially could produce the same side effect.

Started taking 10 mg of Elavil. Also take trazadone 100 mg. Dry mouth& dizzy. Went away. Began 20 mg. Helped for pain. Slept good at first. But now only for 6 hours then toss& turn. Starting to gain weight! Appetite increasing. Also I had a bit of high pressure in my eyes before taking this. But eyes are really hurting now. Didn’t realized should take this medication with that. Have breast swelling. Also feel very bloated! Constipation now. Digestive issues more now. Also feel so fatigued in day time now. Weaning myself off it. Going back to 150mg trazodone. Elavil is just as bad as co-quetiapine to me!

Is anybody experiencing chronic constipation from taking elavil? I’ve been on it for over 20 years, 50mg at night. 2 weeks ago I had emergency surgery. My bowel (large intenstine) was twisted. When surgery was performed they found that I was severely impacted and might have to consider a colostomy. Thankfully after a week in the hospital with an NG tube to clear up my stomach and enemas and stool softeners, I avoided the colostomy. The surgeon took me off all my antidepressants, cold turkey, after operation while in the hospital. When I was discharged I went back on them but am constipated again. I take remeron and trazadone with the elavil. The first two are for sleep and the other for depression. I’m hoping if I cut out the elavil the constipation will go away. Anyone else have this problem? Thank-you.

It was interesting to read the conditions for which Amitrip is prescribed – namely for neuropathy. I have been wondering if taking 75 mg. per night for sleep (in combination with an over-the-counter sleep aid it works) is CAUSING my neuropathy. It’s really bad in my feet and legs. Probably should go to a doctor, but I’ve found they don’t know any more than I do – sometimes less!

I started on Amitrip only 6 weeks ago, 20mg for back pain. Best pain free sleeps I have had in years. I have never ever slept well so it has been a revelation for me to sleep through the night. However I have had severe ringing in my ears, constipation and zero libido and have also had the most terrible headaches that I have decided to go off them. Withdrawal can’t be any worse than I’m experiencing now. I have 3 10mg pills left which I plan to cut in half. I hope I can find something else for my pain that doesn’t have so many side effects.

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

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

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….

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.

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?

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 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

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 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.

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.

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

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 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.

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.

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…

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”?

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?

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.

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

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 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 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.

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

*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

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

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 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.

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

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?

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

AGE: 42
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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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 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?

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.

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.

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 -__-

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.

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.

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.

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?

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, 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

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.

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.

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).

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

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.

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, 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.

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: 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….

I have been on 10mg for 3 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 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, 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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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!

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…

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