Amitriptyline ?

Hi everyone , I asked my doctor for some pain management and for one that I would be able to drive ( had to change to automatic and want to pass my test asap!) This says not to drive! I can't win with my doctors! I've even changed GPs within the surgery. Also found out today I've been discharged from the Rheumatology department!

Is this prescription any good ?

20 Replies

  • Well, I take 10mg (just been upped to 20mg as of today), and am fine driving. I drive quite a lot - to work, whilst at work, home again, and often out to see my boyfriend - so I'm probably a good test!

    You generally need to take it 2 hours or so before bed, as this will ensure that the sleepiest period is overnight. Not sure it'll be much of a painkiller during your waking hours, though. What dosage has the doc given you?

    To be honest, most pain medication and antidepressants (which is what amitriptyline is) will make you drowsy to an extent; the trick is finding out how much of what you can tolerate, and whether you need to avoid it when you're likely to be driving a fair bit. I'll take more co-codamol if I'm in the same place for a few hours than if I'm likely to be driving around a lot.

    Sorry if that's not much help!

    Sara xx

  • Hi, never been on amatryptalin but my two night meds make me sleepy and say don't drive... Must say never knowingly driven while asleep.... But when pain is really bad my med I take for that makes me so spaced out I can't even manage my mobility scooter so just accepted 4 years ago it was time to stop driving I have disabled bus pass and mobility scooter or taxis... If I really have to. as I was the only one in my family who drove it was a pain at first but we have managed somehow.

  • Am 19 so if I can't pass my test thats some of my independence I will have lost to this silly condition ( sorry i said silly ) it frustrates me so much! The pain and the having to adapt everything

  • am on 10mg but my doctors just don't listen to me at all .. its them who are getting me down about it. So frustating .

  • I was on these for a long time (10mg) and drove over 80miles per day. The trick with them is to take them a good couple of hours before you actually want to go to sleep, If you take them too late you could still feel groggy in the morning. To be honest though I thought they were helping but I havent noticed much difference just taking my pain meds at night instead. Good luck x

  • I have recently stopped taking Amitriptyline (75mg+) altogether after being on it for four years or so. I found I had good days and bad days whilst taking it where I wouldn't attempt driving at all, I just didn't feel compos mentis enough. It's not worth taking the risk. Having said that I had days where I was absolutely fine and drove firing on all cylinders and was as normal.

    I found when I was on Amitriptyline until recently that if I took it at 3pm I would be asleep by midnight. This is bearing in mind I am an insomniac and have always had trouble sleeping. If I took my dose in the evening or before bed it would wipe me out until the next afternoon, so with a bit of juggling it worked well for me.

    I decided to come off it after putting on two stone and now I am losing weight again, the strange thing is I actually feel better coming off it, My pain is reduced and also my exhaustion, so it's been a good experience so far. Also I feel more in control of myself if that makes sense, I used to feel a bit spaced out from time to time.

    Please be careful if you are considering stopping taking any medication and seek advice from your GP first. I went cold turkey with little or no side effects at all but I have the constitution of an ox and little affects me. Cold turkey is inadvisable because the side effects can be horrendous, so please please be careful. It is better to reduce slowly with advice and of course with support from your GP.

    If you have any doubts about your capacity to drive or to learn to drive it's probably better that you don't until such times that you feel better and more competent, it's not worth taking chances when you can injure yourself or others. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but cars can be lethal objects, not worth chancing sometimes.

  • It works for me because it helps me get a better deeper sleep so restores my body for the following day. If you sleep better you won't feel so tired and achey throughout the day.

  • I take 10mg of Amitriptyline and I am fine during the day, but I do not drive, my husband takes 20 mg at night and he drives without any problems. The thing is to take them 12 hours before you want to get up in the morning. We have found them great for pain relief. Hope this helps. Joyce x

  • I take 75 to 100 mg a night and i drive fine the next day, but if i had to take it through the day i wouldn't be awake enough to drive lol xxx

  • hello - i have had fibro for years and take 50mg of this each night and can

    still drive!! having said that - i cannot drive if i am having a particularly painful

    day - but at least amytriptoline helps me to get a sleep (some nights!)

  • I think the discussion is more whether we should drive even though we can drive if that makes sense. Amitriptyline is a strong medication which increases the activity and levels of certain chemicals in the brain which could affect our performance and reactions.

    Here's some info taken from an NHS site regarding driving whilst taking Amitriptyline, please click on the link and scroll down to read the relevant part of the article -

  • Hi LibertyZ, this makes alot of sense -

    I am also wondering about potential car insurance problems which may arise if there were to be an accident - whether they are able to access confidential medical information on if a person is taking medication or that it remains firmly where it belongs confidential?

  • I take 50mg a night and still drive, I was put on it to help me sleep and recover over night. The only times i had problems driving was when I was on a 0645 shift at work as i would still feel spaced out but these days i have learnt that if I want to be up and driving early I have to adjust my meds timings. Along with the Amitriptyline I take Tramadol and Co-codamol for pain releif but have to be honest that now I am sleeping better my use of pain meds has dropped dramatically. I found physio helped too :)

  • Hi Emjane, I was prescribed 10mg Amitryptline and took them for a few weeks - they really did not suit me and I felt this low dose was so strong - and would last through till early evening I was so groggy - it certainly helped with the sleep - I cut it down to 5mg - same thing and had an intolerance to them so stopped. Seems to affect people in different ways. If you're not happy with these perhaps there could be an alternative on offer where it would not affect drowsiness - which may suit you better......

  • Ok thanks guys ! :) your more help than the docs !! I took the meds 2 hours ago and the pain is awful !!!! Feels like extreme growing pains and numbness from my hips down. I'll comment again on how I feel in morning this is day one of taking them so. X

  • Hi emjane i recently started taking Amitriptoline 10mg at night BUT i make sure i have it around 6pm so by 10pm im ready for bed and it does make me sleep deep but i have no probs what so ever in the mornings with regards to being tired/groggy etc.I think we are all different just start a low dose and see were you go from there it suits me just fine and has also helped with the continuous aches of my hips/back/legs ;-) good luck x

  • Hi guys. Still was in agony this morning and had disturbed sleep ( no change) I'll keep going and see how I feel later on in the week x

  • hi i started the pill two weeks ago, sleep pattern no change pain no change i feel more tired and have to sleep more during the day plus im going for more wees than i want to not sure if that is to do with the tablet or just getting olderlol my fibro fog is worse again this mite be my age lol but im going to carry on for the month then im back at doctors, thankfully my hubby does all the drving but i always have my window open if i have to drive just incase nothing like a face full of fresh air and flys to keep you aake

  • I'm still in pain and so tired I'm normally up and on by 7 at the very very latest but am up at 9 atm going to bed at about 9 having a much worse sleep pattern and can hardly move when I do want to get out of bed. Am 19 and shouldn't be like this. Its like its my birthday tuesday and can't have a drink. Rheumatology have discharged me without telling me and my doctors don't want to see me. Instead they literally have laughed at me. Xx

  • Hi Emjane,

    I know how you feel I'm only 24 and had this for about 8 years. It's hard to live with especially at young age because most people can't see it or understand it and just assume your young and making excuses not to do things.

    I've found that Amitriptyline has no effect on my pain, but does help me sleep. I take 10mg by 4pm to fall asleep by 10pm, if I take it later I feel like I have a hangover the next day!

    My GP is pretty good and told me I need a cycle of meds being Ami, morphine patches for pain and diclofenac for anti-inflammatory. This just takes the edge of slightly but I'm still in a lot of pain all the time.

    If your GP isn't listening could you see another one at the same practice?

    Good luck and big hugs x x

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