PAF and amitriptyline: I have been prescribed... - AF Association

AF Association

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PAF and amitriptyline


I have been prescribed amitriptyline by my GP as I am getting practically no sleep because of restless legs. But I understand it can cause heart rhythm problems. GP says it is choosing between two evils, but when I have an AF attack and my heart is pounding at 250 bpm, I know which seems the greater evil. However, having no sleep night after night is pretty bad too. Has anyone with AF taken this drug?

22 Replies

I take 10mg of Amitriptyline. I was taking it long before i was diagnosed with AF. I haven't noticed if it does. I would try it and see what happens . You need your sleep.

Melleray in reply to benmaise

Hi, thankyou. What sort of AF do you have?

gemsmum in reply to Melleray

Hi Melleray, only yesterday I was prescribed Amitripyline for a chronic cough which I have had for months and I have PAF. Dr said it can be used for pain but they are trying it out for a cough now, he is also arranging a CAT scan. He also said to stop taking it if I went into AF. Last night I took my first tablet and was worried, but so far so good, it also made me sleep better. I will be following your post with interest, kind regards, Heather

Melleray in reply to gemsmum

Best of luck - hopes it works well for you

benmaise in reply to Melleray

I have lone AF Melleray. Very rare i notice the AF since i started taking 1,25 Bisoprolol.

Melleray in reply to benmaise

So glad you have found relief from it.

Hi melleray,

My GP and neurologist have tried to get me on amitriptyline for migraines and joint pains, but I’ve resisted. My EP seems to think preferable not to be on it, but I’ve read on here someone saying quite recently they’d been advised that up to a certain dosage (10mg? I can’t remember) it’s fine, just not to go higher. If you put in a search for amitriptyline you might find some helpful comments :)

Melleray in reply to JaneFinn

Thanks, as you will see from my latest post, my cardiologist said the problem is with the Sotalol drug I take.

My GP has just prescribed Amitriptyline for back/leg pain which is disturbing (understatement) my sleep, and said something about 'if I could tolerate it' which was a bit worrying but she also said it would make me dozy, which can hardly be worse than tired and tearful!

Melleray in reply to Buffafly

I know how you feel, it is so horrible to feel wiped out all the time.

Thankyou all for helpful replies. I was still worried so I contacted my cardiologist today, via the wonderful arrhythmia nurses in Bristol. Cardiologist said he would be nervous of my taking Amitriptyline, as I also take Sotalol, and that they both lengthen the QT interval which is not good. So I have to try something else for my restless legs. I am desperate for some quality sleep, so will see what else the GP comes up with.

JaneFinn in reply to Melleray

Oh thank you for letting us know the answer you got - that’s really helpful to know.

But sorry it’s not a good result... hoping your GP can help and you can somehow get some good sleep x

Buffafly in reply to Melleray

So sorry, I do hope someone can help

Chris147 in reply to Melleray

You may have heard this before and you may not wish to look into it but I have tried mindfulness and it has been so helpful. I would recommend on you tube mindfulness in a frantic world 5 minute meditation body scan. There is also a book that you can buy or get from a library which is useful. It saved my sanity when i was first diagnosed 5 years ago with af. Latterly had some issues so just practised again. It certainly doesn't change anything overnight and like anything practice makes perfect. It may help you one before you retire ir if you wake up with restless legs. My friend had that and it is miserable so I do empathise. Best wishes Chris

Bagrat in reply to Chris147

Prof Mark Williams is amazing .The book that accompanies his YouTube videos " Mindfulness finding Peace in a frantic world" is well worth the read as you say

Chris147 in reply to Bagrat

It is a brilliant read 😊

Melleray in reply to Chris147

Thankyou - I agree that mindfulness can be a great help.

My wife has restless legs syndrome and takes Ropinerole for it.

Two 1mg tablets does the trick. She takes one at about 5pm and the other at about 9pm. This seems to work better for her than taking both together.

If her legs/feet are still bad she can take another tablet later as required.

Hi Melleray.

I don’t know what other medications you are on so my reply may be irrelevant.

I was prescribed Amitriptyline by a Gastroenterologist. However, I am also a long term user of Flecainide and aware of the many interactions with this powerful drug. Consequently, I referred to my Cardiologist who advised that I should not take Amitriptyline under any circumstances alongside Flecainide.

Best wishes

Melleray in reply to mrtee

Thankyou, I take Sotalol and my cardiologist has just said the same, I must not take Amitriptyline with it.

I take Bisoprolol, Dronedarone, Aspirin, and Warfarin. I was told that I shouldn't take Amitriptyline for my nerve pain. I was prescribed Pregabalin 75mg twice per day instead. I had no problems with that. Took it for about 6 months.

I’m on 10 mg of amitriptyline and seem ok also on apixaban and verapamil

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