Amitriptyline is an antidepressant drug. Learn about its uses, dosage, drug warnings, side effects, precautions, drug interactions, and more.
Amitriptyline is an oral tablet and a prescription drug given for depression. Depression is a very common clinical condition associated with the feeling of sadness, loss of interest, self-neglect, anorexia, sleep disturbances, suicidal feelings in severe cases, etc. Keep this drug away from kids, as it can be fatal even if they consume a few tablets. This tablet can affect your vision by damaging the eyes. So, it is important to take these medications cautiously. It could lead to other side effects if you stopped abruptly.
Amitriptyline belongs to a group of drugs called antidepressants. It is known that patients who are under depression might have a low level of serotonin in their bodies. When the optimum level of serotonin is not seen, then there will be instability in the mood. This will lead to severe conditions of mood disorders. It is known to improve the mental health of the person. However, it will take time for the drug to show its actions. Amitriptyline is also known to enhance the level of noradrenaline.
It helps in improving the mood that has been depressed for a long period of time.
It helps to ease tension and anxiety.
It improves the sleeping pattern of the individual.
It is used for major depression disorder, anxiety disorder, ADHD (attention deficit and hypersensitivity disorder), and bipolar disorder.
It is also known to ease pain by lowering the signals of pain.
Amitriptyline is known to be useful in the treatment of migraine. Migraine refers to a headache on one side. It will be very severe. This type of headache will be aggravated by noises, chocolate, and alcohol.
Amitriptyline has a specific mechanism for its action. These drugs get absorbed well in the gastrointestinal system (stomach). After absorption, they are highly bound to plasma proteins. They are distributed well to all the tissues of the body including the central nervous system. The metabolism of these drugs produces some products called metabolites. The complete metabolism of Amitriptyline happens in the liver. These active metabolites are responsible for the long duration of action Amitriptyline has. After the duration of action is over, the active metabolites are converted into inactive metabolites. The inactive metabolites are excreted in the urine. These medications can drastically increase the chemicals in the brain. The chemicals that are increased by these drugs are serotonin and norepinephrine. The mechanism of action for sleep has not been identified properly. But some of these mechanisms have the potential to block the histamine.
The onset of action totally depends on the individual. But generally, the drug takes around 4 to 8 weeks to prove its power. The therapeutic effect of the drug can be achieved within 1 week to 3 weeks.
Long term usage of these drugs can make it a habit for the person consuming it. The dosage should be strictly followed as instructed by the doctor. Habit formation of these drugs can cause many serious side effects.
The expiry date will be printed on the back of the pack. Avoid taking the medicine Amitriptyline after it expires.
The dosage of Amitriptyline will be decided by your doctor, depending on your age, weight, and other medical conditions. You will be first started on a low dosage.
If your body accepts these drugs, then your doctor will ask you to continue the drug. Follow the correct dosage and stick to the regular timing you take the drug.
Amitriptyline dosage for adults:
Amitriptyline dosage for older adults:
In patients with liver, heart, and kidney diseases, the dosage will be changed by your doctor depending on the pulse rate, creatinine clearance, and liver function test.
Amitriptyline comes as a tablet for oral consumption. It is usually taken one to four times a day. Take Amitriptyline at around the same time every day to avoid side effects. Follow the directions given by your doctor. Consume higher dosages late in the afternoon or in the evening if you want to avoid dizziness during the day time. This might help you to escape from tiredness the next day.
Once you miss a dose, you might probably experience some withdrawal symptoms. If you forget a dose, avoid taking it when you remember. Taking these drugs in an abnormal pattern might be harmful. Use reminders on the phone or use specific apps to help you take your medications regularly.
There are a few things that need to be considered before taking this tablet, and tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
Pregnancy - Taking antidepressants like Amitriptyline is not recommended during the pregnancy period. You should consult your gynecologist before taking these medicines.
Breastfeeding - These drugs should not be consumed by breastfeeding mothers unless it is necessary. However, this drug is known to be a little safe to use if the infant is more than two months old. You should get advice from your doctor before taking it.
Diabetes: This drug can elevate the levels of blood in a diabetic patient. You should ask your doctor before taking these medications.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma’s condition can get worse if you consume these medications. Ask your doctor if it is necessary to take these medications.
Heart problems - Amitriptyline should be taken with caution in patients with heart problems because both these drugs are highly influential ones for the body. You need proper dosage recommendations from your doctor.
Hearing impairment - Severe tinnitus is noticed in some patients by having Amitriptyline.
Driving or operating heavy machinery -If you have dizziness and visual disturbances, do not drive or operate any other heavy machinery. Start your activities after you are completely normal.
Muscle weakness - Numbness and muscle weakness is noticed in some patients. You should consider taking these drugs if you have any skeletal problems.
Kidney problems - You should get advice from your doctor if you have kidney problems. Sometimes taking these drugs without the advice of the doctor can worsen your condition.
Liver diseases - This drug is not recommended for patients with liver diseases. You should ask your doctor before taking medications because abnormalities are known to occur.
Inform the doctor if you develop suicidal thoughts or depression gets worse, particularly during the first couple of months of therapy. Also, observe for serotonin syndrome.
•Inform any unusual side effects to a doctor.
•Withdrawal symptoms may occur if the medications dropped suddenly. An advisable method is to reduce the dosage slowly over weeks to months.
•It is not advisable to take other medications with Amitriptyline until your doctor or pharmacist approves that these are compatible.
•The risk of sunburn may increase; protect yourself from the sun outdoors.
Get emergency medical help or advice if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Amitriptyline, such as difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of your face, throat, tongue, or lips. Report any new or worsening symptoms to the doctor, such as
Panic attacks or anxiety.
Hyperactive both mentally and physically.
Depression that might be accompanied by suicidal thoughts.
Have thoughts about hurting yourself (self-harm).
Common side effects of Amitriptyline are:
Diarrhea, and constipation.
Weight changes or appetite.
Unusual taste, black tongue, and mouth pain.
Rashes or itching.
Urinating less than usual.
Decreased sex drive, difficulty having an orgasm, or impotence.
Breast swelling in men or women.
The common brand or trade name of Amitriptyline are:
Tablet Elavil 25 mg.
Tablet Amilite 10 mg.
Tablet Amitone 10 mg.
Tablet Amitryn 75 mg.
It works on two chemicals, serotonin, and noradrenaline, that are found in nerves.
When Amitriptyline is consumed to treat nerve pain, it lowers the pain signals to the brain. This helps to decrease the level of pain you experience, enabling you to get back to your routine activities and lead a better quality of life.
Amitriptyline 25 mg is used to treat mood or mental health problems such as depression. It might also improve moods and feelings. It improves the quality of sleep.
Amitriptyline is from a group of antidepressants named tricyclic antidepressants. It is thought to work by enhancing a chemical called serotonin in the brain, which can improve your anxiety, pain, mood, and sleep. It is the one reason why doctors prescribe Amitriptyline medication for sleeping. However, it is not used when a person does not get proper sleep. You should consult your doctor before taking these medications.
Other medications are known to affect Amitriptyline effectiveness. They are known to cause the removal of Amitriptyline from your body. Those drugs are:
- Medicines to treat irregular heart rate (such as Propafenone, Flecainide, Quinidine).
- Antidepressants (such as SSRIs, including Paroxetine, Fluvoxamine, Fluoxetine).
Amitriptyline can make you feel tired and sleepy soon, so it is best to take it in the evening or two to three hours before going to bed. You may notice a difference after a couple of weeks, but it can take six weeks for Amitriptyline to work as a painkiller. Amitriptyline can lead to other side effects if you stop taking it suddenly. So consult your doctor if you are taking these medications.
Antidepressants like Amitriptyline help to gradually enhance your mood, which makes you feel better. You may feel that you sleep better and connect with people more easily because you are less anxious. Some may feel worse during the first few weeks of treatment.
Amitriptyline is a drug that shows its effect in the long run. So it only needs time to act efficiently. If you take the drug occasionally, you might lose the benefits. So you should ask your doctor for a proper schedule.
The most common side effect of Amitriptyline is drowsiness. It is best to take it 1-2 hours before bedtime. However, Amitriptyline can cause insomnia, and if this happens, it is better to take it in the morning.
By raising the serotonin levels, Amitriptyline will change the body's reaction to pain. The low dosage would not treat depression, but it can reduce the pain, improve your sleep, and relax your muscles.
Amitriptyline is from a group of antidepressants named tricyclic antidepressants. It works by enhancing a chemical called serotonin in the brain, which can improve your mood. Serotonin can also modify the way that your nerves receive pain signals, so the pain gets eliminated.
It is common to take Amitriptyline once a day before bedtime because Amitriptyline can make you feel sleepy. Some patients experience drowsiness even the next day.
If you are still feeling drowsy in the morning, try taking the Amitriptyline earlier in the evening. This medication does not usually upset your tummy.
No, consuming Amitriptyline leads to weight gain. Following the diet, adjustments in eating habits, and engaging in regular physical exercises can counter this effect.
Consumption of alcohol with Amitriptyline can lead to drowsiness and affect concentration, putting them at risk for falls and other accidents. It can also cause agitation, forgetfulness, and aggression. If required, drink only small amounts of alcohol and see how you feel, But do not stop taking your medication.
Long term usage can cause increased eye pressure, urinary retention, and constipation. Other long-term effects of Amitriptyline medication include the ability to affect the body's hormonal balance.
Last reviewed at:
22 Dec 2020 - 7 min read
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