amitriptyline? (elavil) anyone taken it? please help.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by twjen, Nov 20, 2002.

  1. twjen

    twjen New Member

    HI Everyone,
    My doctor prescribed me amitriptyline to help with sleep and body aches. Im afraid to try it as I am very sensitive to drugs and sometimes get opposite effects from it. I read all these side effects and am scared. Has anyone tried it?
    And is it helpful? Any side effects? Any info you can share would be greatly appriciated. Thanks.
  2. twjen

    twjen New Member

    HI Everyone,
    My doctor prescribed me amitriptyline to help with sleep and body aches. Im afraid to try it as I am very sensitive to drugs and sometimes get opposite effects from it. I read all these side effects and am scared. Has anyone tried it?
    And is it helpful? Any side effects? Any info you can share would be greatly appriciated. Thanks.
  3. karen2002

    karen2002 New Member

    All drugs have side effects---often the benefits outweigh the risks...or the side effects never appear.
    If you are very....sensitive, try starting off on 1/4 dose, and gradually building to 1/2 dose after 3 day interval, etc.
    I tried amitrip---was the best choice for me. I am very resistant to drugs. Each one of us is so different though....It will take a while, before you see any results, I understand .Best wishes,
  4. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    I tried amitriptyline a few years ago, it did not work for me, it turned me into a zombie! By the time I woke up, it was time to go back to bed (I was taking a very low dose), I only took it for a week, so could not tell you if it helped pain or not.

    I also am highly sensitive to drugs, so it could be just me.

    The only med that I take is Xanax, a low dose in the evening to slow down my 'racing' brain, so that my supplements can work for me to sleep.

    I have read that many members here take it with good results. Hopefully they will share with you their experiences.

    Shalom, Shirl
  5. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot New Member

    I tried it, but even at low doses it left me feeling totally "out of it". I would stare into space and be almost zombie-like. I was then given Nortriptyline (which is supposed to have less side effects), but that seems to act like a stimulant to me. It keeps me up most of the night. Both of these drugs work well in most people if you start off slowly, they just don't work for me. I think you would do well do give them a try though.
  6. Sandyz

    Sandyz New Member

    It helped me with the sleep and pain but it made me gain a
    lot of weight. Also, you might want to start off with 10mg
    at first until you get used to it. It will make you very tired the first week or two till your body adjusts to it.
  7. beans

    beans New Member

    Twice I was precribed this over 10 years or so.

    I stayed with it for a long enought time to know it was not helping me first time.

    The second time a PA pressured me to take it and I felt bad on it. I argued with him and then thought well he must know more than I do.

    Then while on it during the day I found my self in the closet forgetting why I was in the closet ready to pee my pants because it was the bathroom I was heading for .

    So I went to see the Doctor over him she was up set that he put me on it and she said that drug will kill you.

    I do not know what she ment.

    But I think if there is a chance it would help you than take it for awhile and see how you feel.

    I know people who love it and it helps them to sleep and helps them with depression.

    If a new drug came out and some one thought it would help me after I research every thing on it I would try it.

  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    These two drugs are in the same family and both can cause rapid weight gain. Elavil is in the tricyclic family of antidepressants. It is probably the one most prescribed because most docs "have heard" it helps people with chronic pain. Of all the tricyclics, Elavil has more side effects and according to, "Worst Pills Best Pills," should not be prescribed.

    Love, Mikie
  9. LisaMay

    LisaMay New Member

    This was one of the 1st of many meds prescribed to me to help with sleep. My dose was 25mg. It did help me to sleep, but I woke up very groggy. It would take me so long to get rid of the "hangover", I decided to ask for something else. I tried Trazadone - no good for me. I tried Ambien - it worked for about 3 weeks, then I was back to restless nights.

    I hope you find what works for you. A good nights rest is important. Lisa
  10. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    was the first drug I was put on. It made me jittery, made my insomnia worse, made me have heart palpitations, and it made me gain 46 lbs. in 2 months. I wish I'd never taken it. Just watch closely for side-effects and stop it if you start having unacceptable ones. I thought I HAD to take it cause the doctor said so. That was in 1986, and boy has my attitude towards Doctors changed since then! Now I tell them what I want to do based on my research, and if they don't like it, I'm outta there. I doubtI would take any anti-depressants Dr. Cheney's article in the library here on what they do to brain cells. If you are severly depressed and suicidal then take it for a short time, but please reconsider taking them long-term. They build up a tolerance and stop working anyway, and then you're stuck. I've been on this board a while now, and Klonopin seems to be the drug that is most liked by members from what I've seen. I cannot take it made me stop breathing, but I have not heard of anyone else having that problem except me.
    I agree you should never start with a full dose...take it easy, and good luck.
  11. JP

    JP New Member

    I have had very good results with Elavil. The first dose was too high. I could not stay awake...slept on and off all weekend. My dose was lowered to 10mgs and I am now up to 25mgs at bedtime. I had pretty serious insomnia from pain. The Elavil can give me up to 6 hours of sleep now. I am grateful for this medication.

    Take care,
  12. granmama

    granmama New Member

    it gave me restless legs, which I learned later was a side effect of the drug. I do best for sleep & RLS with Klonopin.

    My sister has been on Elavil for 30 years. It is in combination with a tranquilizing drug. Her new primary wanted her to be just on Amitriptyline, but it didn't work. She went into immediate withdrawal. She became sick, depressed and blood pressure elevated. She couldn't even get out of bed. Needless to say, her doc put her back on the drug. He said it was an older drug and doctors rarely prescribe it anymore. But her body was addicted to it and there was no recourse but to continue on it.
    She has reduced her dosage to just one pill a day from the 4 initially prescribed some 30 years ago.

    Good luck with your decision,
  13. marcus1243

    marcus1243 New Member

    But I hated the side effects -- dry eyes, dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, zombie-like state. It was great to come off it and start feeling alive again in the mornings (even if in pain!).
    It's different for everyone. If you're gonna try it, start on 10mg for a couple of weeks and wait for any side effects to subside. It's a fairly safe drug though.
  14. Pat UK

    Pat UK New Member

    I had bad side effects with amitriptyline. Abnormal heart readings and pain in the heart area. If you want to take it I would advise you to take a quarter of a tablet and build up slowly. Good luck.
  15. Newswoman

    Newswoman New Member


    When I was first diagnosed with fibro, my doctor prescribed Elavil. I tried it...and hated it. I too have always been very sensitive to drugs. I felt spaced out and groggy. I already felt that way, I didn't need a drug that was supposed to make me better make me feel worse.

    I was talking to my best friend who is in the medical field, and she told me that Elavil is one of the strongest anti-depressants on the market. Of course, it's widely prescribed in small doses to people with fibromyalgia. What most people don't know is that it's an ant-psychotic drug that is given to people who are suicidal or are schizophrenics. When I went back to that same doctor (who is no longer my GP by the way), he was angry that I refused to take the drug. I went on to explain to him that his job was only to make suggestions. It was my decision whether I decided to take those suggestions.

    If you find that it works for you, that's great. I have friends who feel that Elavil worked wonders for them. It just didn't work out for me. I've opted to take the natural route. I take melatonin and valarian root.
    [This Message was Edited on 11/21/2002]
  16. fibolady

    fibolady New Member

    when i was first diagnoised with fms, i was also depressed. the 20 mg. i was on really helped with the depression,
    then my doctor had me go off it, and i literally wanted to jump off a bridge, called and told him. he thought that was impossible on such a low dose, but got me back on it. yes, i have a doctor that called me back personally!!!

    now, many years later, (not depressed) i am weaning off this drug because it is not helping with the fibo. i am only taking 10 mg. at night and hope to soon stop that.

    please read spedding's post on fms, it has some good information on the amitriptyline. i didn't even know that that the elavil and amitrip. were the same thing until i came to the board.

    the klonopin helps with my sleep and pain now! i slept 9 hours last night and waking with much less pain.

    warm regards, fibolady
  17. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    and so far not having any bad side effects. I am on 10mg. and take it an hour before bedtime to help me sleep. I also take ultracet at the same time for pain. Since taking it I do have more good nights, but unfortunately I still have a lot of nights that the pain either wakes me up or keeps me awake. My mother was on this medication (but at a higher dosage-can't remember the mg.), but she had the bad side effect of seeing things that weren't there like bugs on the walls. When the dosage was cut in half, she was fine.


  18. marilew

    marilew New Member

    Amitriptyline made me like a Zombie with a hangover even at the lowest dose. I am now on Nortriptyline, which is (supposedly) a more pure form of the same drug, and I seem to be doing ok with it. I am finding now...that as of late I am getting very little benefit from it, but I don't want to up the dose due to the hangover effect.
  19. Milo83

    Milo83 New Member

    I took it years ago, before being diagnosed with FM, took it for depression at 75mg at bedtime..No bad side effects for me except, weight gain...
  20. twjen

    twjen New Member

    Dear Karen, you said it 'was' best choice for you, can I ask why you arent still taking it? How long did you use it?
    I will continue trying it, but it doesnt make me feel so great so far. Thanks for your input. Happy Thanksgiving!