I've started taking Amitryptiline (2 days ago) Rheumatologist said for a muscle relaxant and to aid sleep. Has anyone experiences of this?

I've been holding on to my decision for the past two months as to whether to take these or not (10mg) - I'm finding them very strong - I get 10 hours much needed sleep and pain has decreased (a bit) cognitively I'm feeling my fibro fog has increased though I am very chilled - my idea was to give it a try and test it out - then stop taking and see what happens. I'm still in denial and hoping it will all go away.

Thank you.

50 Replies

  • Hi reflections

    I dont know about muscle relaxants as i dont find they help mine at all (spasms) but i have got 25mg and 50mg amitryptilline. The docs want me on 50mg becasue of the pain etc, but like you i find them strong. If i take a 50mg i am so zombified the next day i can sleep all day so i usually just take a 25mg. I have tried not taking them and i have no sleep whatsoever. Even now with the 25 i only get 3-4 hours a night but i think this is prob due to other stresses.

    But whatever you do take please dont just come off tablets the doc prescribes, believe me it is not good as i found out.

    Hope you get the answers you want.

    hugs xx

  • Hello Kailay, thank you for sharing your experiences with this. I'm amazed how strong they are. Zombified is the right word. I may drop down to half. I hope you get more sleep. x

  • Please don't reduce your dose Reflections without consulting your GP first. :)

    Kialaya, I wonder what time of the day do you take your Amitriptyline because this will affect your likelihood of sleep or feeling sleepy. I take 75mg early in the afternoon to ensure that I sleep at night. If I take it in the evening, I am too sleepy during the next day. I was prescribed them as a muscle relaxant to help me sleep and thank goodness they work well for me. Kialaya, if you think your dose isn't right or that Amitriptyline isn't working as well as it should for you, perhaps you should speak to your GP about the correct time to take your meds to ensure you sleep better and more comfortably. :)


  • I've noticed the last couple of nights I've been dreaming. I think I may try for a couple of weeks. Thanks x

  • Some medications work better than others for all of us, each case is different. Any side effects with any medications are always worth discussing with your GP because in some cases these may pass, or alternatively you may be prescribed a different medication which would suit you better. If anyone is worried about side effects, please also discuss this with your GP. :)

  • Coincidentally I had a bad dream last night. x

  • Hello Reflections :)

    It's quite normal to feel in denial with Fibromyalgia and other conditions, I know I was for the first year until I was diagnosed. I have been taking Amitriptyline for two years with no ill effects at all. I started at 25mg, then 50mg, and I now take 75mg, one tablet during the afternoon to ensure I am rested and ready for sleep at night. It has certainly helped me. I was very hesitant to take tablets before, but now I accept that they can help ease our symptoms including pain and fatigue etc. I know my Amitriptyline dose is quite high, I have friends who find 5mg sufficient, others 10mg. Each case is different. If you are finding 10mg too strong, perhaps a lower dose would suit you better. However, please don't decrease this yourself, consult your GP first. It's not wise to alter doses ourselves. It's good that you're getting sleep and your pain has reduced so your meds are obviously having some good effect. See your GP and explain all of this and that you think your dose is too much and see what they say. I hope it all goes well for you! :)

  • Thank you, it's going to take me some time also to get my head around my haywire health, I still think it will go away. I feel alot clearer now on this. x

  • That's good, I am so pleased about this, happy to help any time! :)

  • Hi, yes I am taking amitryptilline 10mg 3 a night. This does help me sleep, but my muscles still go into spasms even though I dont know I am doing this. My husband informs me in the morning lol. I take setraline 50mg 2 tabs in the morning also. As well as pain killers. But the amitryptilline will help you sleep as I think not be able to sleep makes my fibro a lot worse. Hope this helps

  • Hi Not sleeping certainly seems to increase everything. Feel I need pain management too - I've been bearing this pain for 2/half years. Though it is such a relief to be able to have a deep sleep. Thank you.

  • Perhaps you could ask your GP to be referred to a Pain Clinic, this might help with your pain management Reflections :)

  • Yes I feel my pain is not being addressed and the Rheumatologist said for me to stop taking Diclonefac and paracetamol. I spoke to my gp that this would not touch the pain - and she felt the Amitryptilene could be taken for it and would up the dose until it did! Doesn't sound right to me. Thanks for your suggestion. I find it difficult communicating with gp for some reason and it creates extra stress. Thank you.

  • Really Rosehip?

    Do you think the bad dreams can be associated with the amitryptilline.

    I have been having major bad dreams usually about my past and family for a few weeks now and it has now got to the point i have to wake myself up (despite finding it hard to sleep in first place) cos they are so graphic and disturbing and freaking me out.

    I didnt consider the meds so i may need to ask my new doc in 3 weeks about it!


  • Hi Reflections,

    I've been on Amitriptyline for about 18 months I take 50mg at night, some people say to take it 12 hours before you want to wake up in the morning, this helps with the groggy feeling in the morning but I'm used to it now and it doesn't make me groggy anymore, it helps with the pain and restless leg and jaw pain.

    It might be worth you trying it as its helped alot of people.

    Irene x

  • Thank you - I feel in a way I have been forced to take it due to the pain and lack of sleep - I can't bear it anymore after 2/half years - it has been helpful so far. I'm experimenting with it. x

  • This is what I do Irene, I take it in the early afternoon and whereas I used to be a night owl, I find I have to be in bed by midnight and I can fall asleep quite easily on my set dose without the groggy feeling the next day. :)

  • I take all my night time meds at 8.30pm and I'm asleep by 10.30 almost everynight , this has not always been the case though, before amitriptyline I struggled to sleep with the pains and stretchy feelings and recently I've been struggling to sleep before 3am and was going to ask the doc if he could up my amitriptyline dose but since starting gabapentin about 4 weeks ago I've not needed to I'm asleep almost every night by 10.30 the problem is waking up, I sleep about 14-16 hours, I feel like I'm sleeping my life away, I can't blame the drugs for my long sleeping patterns I've been like this for years.

    I wish there was a drug that gave me energy :(

    Irene x

  • Always take the dose prescribed by your Specialist or GP, please don't vary or experiment with the dose yourself. This is in your best interest as "withdrawal symptoms" can make you feel really poorly if the dose is reducted, also please don't increase your dose without consulting either. :)

  • Hello Reflections, gentle hugs,

    Amitriptyline is an Antidepressant that also helps with pain. I was on it for 2 years for pain - but for me it was no help then - and that was 15 years BEFORE my diagnosis with the Fibro. It actually never even gave me any side effects either!

    You should never stop taking them though - I had a stupid GP back then who did not have any record of me being on them - let alone why I was on them! I had a good many of the empty containers they came in and he was very offhand about it all. He just put me on Co-Codamol 30/500mg and sent me away - I went "cold turkey" withdrawing from the Amitriptyline and was ill for a week or so. Not something I'd wish to go through again - or see anyone go through either.

    Best wishes,

    Carol x

  • Thank you Carol. It's a scary place to be in when medications are starting up. Thank you for sharing your experience - this feels like a nightmare sometimes.

  • I took them for over a year, statring at 25mg per night, and they were the first painfree days I had had in over 8 months...They stopped working over this time and I would like to warn you that the side effects from withdrwals were the worst thing ever....Please take them but with care...I was up to 150mg per night but once they stopped having the desired effect I was told I would have to withdraw before taking other meds as they react with EVERYTHING offered...Take care wishing you many pain free days and much sleep :-)

  • I hope you are ok now - what a horrible (to say the least) experience.

    I'll be very careful. Feel like stopping it now, however, it's the first good sleeps I've had for a few years. Will have to carefully consider. x

  • It's very bad for your Liver among other things, afew of my family members taking for back pain & nerve pain.. It's also an anti psychotic drug..

  • Thanks for reminding me what this drug does to the liver - I didn't realize it was also an anti-psychotic drug which is why it must feel so strong at a low dose interfering with the brain chemistry.

  • Amitriptyline isn't an anti-psychotic drug, it's a tricyclic antidepressant.

  • My cousin is a mental health nurse & she told me it's used on her ward, her mum is taking it for nerve pain so i don't think she is wrong..

  • Sorry - there must be a misunderstanding - I have had experience of both types medications - for over 30 years. I have friends who are doctors, in fact 2 are consultant psychiatrists. I have a copy of the BMF book, given to me by one of my best buddies who is a pharmacy technician.

    And I don't think FiboAction is wrong either:


    Anti-psychotics include meds such as olanzapine, risperidone and chlorpromazine. I'll try to find a link.

    I wonder if the word you are thinking of is PSYCHOTROPIC. Psychotropic drugs are drugs used to treat mental health so will include all types of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics.


  • I must have got it wrong then Gracie, thanks for the information.

  • Oh bless you, you're very welcome.God knows I make enough mistakes in my fibro-life.

    The book is called the BNF (not the BMF). The British National Formulary. All the docs, pharmacists etc refer to it.

    So that's my fibro-moment for the day - no doubt there will be more before bedtime.

    Take care x

  • I have tried them in the past, only for a month's trial my GP gave me, didn't really notice any help from them, just dry mouth in the morning, which I also get from 30/500 co-codamol. Don't take these regularly either as I find if I do I get very anxious, seems that is a common side effect that I can well do without.

    Other people have told me I was on too low a dose & too short a time of amytriptalyne to do any good. I have tried several other painkilling drugs with hurrendous reactions, Dr says Fibro can make you intolerant of many drugs! Good luck.....take care....hope you sleep better. xx

  • This is a real dilemma when it seems there is a really struggle with having the right medication and the horrible side effects, Fibro is nasty. Getting the right combinations is trial and error. Seeing a specialist in this would be a good thing - no sleep - bad pain - flare ups - fibro fog etc., etc., what a combination.

  • They suit some people but not others, everyone's different, if you don't try them you'll not know if they help you, stay on the 10mg as long as you can, I started on 50mg and never had to up the dose till recently, only up it if you feel you really need to, I wish I'd have started on the lower dose looking back now but that's what the doc started me on and I didn't know people had lower doses.

    Irene x

  • hi i have been up to 3 x amitriptiline at night i never slept with them so gp dropped them down to 1 a night still no sleep so am going in week or so time to see about other form of sleeping tablet as only getting 2/3 hours a night

    it funny how we all react differently to the same meds isnt it the amount of stuff i am on and i am only 5' 4" tall and weigh 7 hal stone max you would think i would not be able to function i may be small but i must be so resiliant inside lol

    good luck with it all diddle x

  • Getting the right medication seems to take time. It's a whole new world understanding about the different meds available and how people react so differently. Thanks.

  • Hi, yes I have taken it.I started with 10mg at first and then my doctor prescribed 25mg a night.I didn't like it.It made me sleep ok but the next day I used to feel like I'd been drunk! I used it on and off for 3 years and was prescribed Nortrypyline a few weeks ago.They didn't touch me.

    Just started taking Cymbalta again 2 days ago and feel really ill.

    If you don't like Amytriptyline, I would ask for Nortriptyline instead, they might be better for you:))

  • I hope you get the right medication. I will make a note of Nortriptyline. Thanks.

  • i was on these for 6 months taking 50g and they did nothing for me have since changed to something else

  • Please remember each case is different and we all react differently to each medication. Most medications are a bit of a juggle at first to find the right dose which doesn't zap us completely whilst relieving pain and relaxing muscles etc. Most medications also when reading the information sheet that comes with them, can sound very scary regarding side effects and warnings etc. Having said all that, stick to the dose prescribed, don't alter it yourself or stop taking your meds without talking to your GP first. You would have to slowly reduce with a view to stopping but only under supervision from your doctor. I know this keeps being mentioned but it's vitally important for all of us. :)

  • I take Amytriptyline, 50mg at night. It does help me get some sleep and I have started dreaming again. But I also have to take 60 mg of codeine aswell to dull my pain or I do not sleep at all. I do feel zombified the next day but If I do n't take amytriptyline I do not sleep at all so it is a lesser of two evils. I also take Citalopran which is an anti depressant. I don't really like taking that but it helps me get through the day. I can't believe that until I got Fibro I never took any meds and then all of a sudden you are being pumped full of allsorts. I do not find that anything helps with the muscle spasms though. Does anybody know of anything that does help with them?

  • I think we can all identify with having to take meds now and not taking anything before. Sometimes needs must as they say! I have intense muscle spasms and I was prescribed Methocarbamol for this. It is also called Robaxin. It's also good for restless legs which I tend to get too. I take two 750mg tablets and within one hour it eases. I only ever take these tablets when I really can't manage the symptoms, so probably a couple of times a week. I am not sure if these tablets will be suitable for you with your other meds, so check with your GP of course and see what he/she says. I hope you manage to get some comfort soon, it can drive you up the wall can't it. I do sympathise, best of luck with your GP. :) :)

  • I was on 50mg Amitriptyline for about 5 years and it I still didn't get a good nights sleep. I would wake early in the morning but it would take hours to get going enough even to get out of bed!

    I saw a pain consultant about a year ago and he suggested I change to NORTRIPTILINE instead. I Take just 25mg and I do sleep better with it and I don't have the 'Hang-over' you get with amitriptyline.

    It has allowed me to start getting up earlier and getting more done during the day, which in turn helps me to sleep better!

    Maybe worth chatting with your GP about changing to nortriptiline if the other isn't doing you any good.

    Good luck x

  • That's good to hear, thanks for mentioning that alternative medication Jane! :) :)

  • Hi im on 100mg Amitriptyline, have been on it 4 yrs for cronic megraine. 40mg citalapram for depression. 1200mg gabapentin, 30mg codiene when needed. For fibro. Methotrexate for my skin condition plus hymeria inj. But i have horrible dreams. Since gabaentin i get the shakes. After reading this, im going to take my Amitriptyline in the afternoon. Good luck hun xx

  • I've found it certainly does what they say it should, but once started impossible to stop.

  • I had a really bad reaction to codeine, shakes, sleep and felt like a space-man. Had to stop taking them as I couldn't function. Gabapentin, Citalopram, Amitriptyline co-codamol and naproxyn seem to be doing the trick at the moment. Pain's not gone but more bearable and still burning sensation in both feet...... Guess you can't have it all!!

  • Hi, I have just found this site. I have been on Amytriptilyne (30mg) per night for the last 15 months. I was started on 10, then increased to 20 and now on 30. I don't think I would like to take more, but I have found I am now able to wake up and function relatively normally now. I think its a case of letting your body get used to it. The change it made to me has been incredible. I have tried hard to remove stress, as this was the main trigger for me. I also have a young dog (got him before being diagnosed and was terrified I would not be able to walk him), I now walk twice a day for a total of an hour. Sometimes even longer. Amytriptilyne is the only meds I take from the doctor. I may sometimes use painkiller (paracetamol) but very rarely, and mostly for headache tbh. I do take Glucosomine and Chondroitin as a supplement. I don't know if it helps, but am loathe to stop as i feel pretty good most of the time.

    Hope you feel better soon. My best advice is to mentally not let it get you down, and keep moving. ( I know its sometimes easier said than done, and when the doctors told me that I thought they were off their rocker, but its true, if I don't walk every day I stiffen up).


  • Hi all

    it's interesting reading how others get on with medication, I also take amytriptilyne 50mg per night and have done for over a year now.

    I take mine between 6.30 and 7 pm and can generally turn the light and e-reader off for between 11 -12 pm to get some sleep.

    without this I would not be able to sleep I regularly walked the house all night it really was a waste of time going to bed at all.

    At least now I stay in bed and generally get some sleep NO sleep is worse for all of us, thank heavens for medication the pain is horrid but at least doped up to the max its bearable.

    Hugs to everyone x

  • i take 25mg of amatryptoline which works great for me but i did find if i took it too late i would feel hungover the next day so i take mine at least 2hrs before i go to bed.

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