I've swapped Amitriptyline for herbal supplements!

Wondering if anyone has,like me ditched the amitriptyline for herbal supplements, food supplements and a better diet? I've had fibro for at least 14 years though only started on amitriptyline in 2003 once I got diagnosed. I've had muscle pain since I was 15 and bouts of depression on and off since my 20s, I'm now 49. Like many people I was having too many side effects from amitriptyline and latterly was on 75 mgs each night. I slept well but put on 2 stone as I just craved crisps and other rubbish. In January this year I felt dreadful and a friend suggested I visit a nutritionist. She did blood tests and found me to be sensitive to wheat and cows milk so I cut them out. I also started taking various nutritional supplements such as B vitamins,antioxidents,probiotic,Omega 3 EPA and liquid minerals and stopped eating processed foods opting to cook from scratch. By the end of May I had lost a stone and with the support of the nuritionist started to wean myself off the amitriptyline. I have never managed to come off it before but this time because I was being nutritionally supported my brain had started to make its own serotonin again.I planned to drop the dose by 5mgs each week but had a rough time some weeks coming off it as I got depressed and weepy so some weeks I just delayed the 5mg decrease for a week.Once I was off it altogether I did a low calorie diet and lost another stone! My son got married in the summer,things were busy and hectic but I felt ok on no medication until at the start of September I began getting some fibro symptoms back such as anxiety,depression and not sleeping and a lot more widespread pain.(I've never been completely pain free) At this point I thought I needed to go back on the amitriptyline but really didn't want to. One day I just googled herbal supplements for Fibromyalgia and learnt a lot. I've now been on the recommended herbs and a month in feel so much better! I guess it's still early days but I just wanted to let you all know that this approach is worth trying if like me you want to get off amitriptyline. Hope this is helpful for someone!

22 Replies

  • Hi there! I was put on amitriptyline about 4 mths ago, I was put upto 20mg and my liver function test came back sky high so my dr took me off them emediatly. I have been in so much pain ever since, I like you researched supplements which help FM sufferers, and I have started taking ACTIVE CHERRY. I have been on them for about 3 wks now, they are supposed to help with the pain! I work full time and have the worst possible job for my condition, but I am looking to change very soon! I am also going to buy a magnesium oil spray which as been recommended to me, please research that yourself as the write ups are very positive, you just spray it on the points that hurt, so sometimes most of the body! Lol and it's ment to relieve the pain and burning! So glad the supplements are helping you, keep up the good work, anything I feel is worth trying isn't it! Take care, Annie x

  • Interesting! I've never heard about active cherry or the spray will def do some research as I could often do with something to spray on my lower back as all my pain starts from there. Thanks.

  • I was diagnosed about 8 years ago i was put on amitriptyline and still on it. my weight has ballooned. i was always a size 12 now 16/18 i have put on that much weight and it really gets me down :(

  • Hi, I really do sympathise I too was a size 18 10 months ago and thought there was no way I'd ever slim but I found a way. Maybe you should try cutting out wheat and cows milk too and cooking from scratch along with some vitamin supplements. Like I said I lost my first stone by doing this, I wasn't dieting.

  • Hi NWG its always really interesting to read about alternative medicine that works. I guess the only issue would be the cost to buy some of these herbal alternatives :-) I have a weak immune system due to having no spleen, im supposed to take penicilin every day but - yuk! so I take vit c (the chewy one for kids lol) zinc, and echanasia

    I try to ease my pain with reiki with positive results - often when painkillers have failed. I don't like to eat too much processed food and buy fresh where I can. I am going to try adding a magnesium supplement. I think the best idea is to look out for 3 for 2 offers in supermarkets and H & B etc. Ami's are harsh sometimes - so glad you found the alternative

    Here's to less pain and increased health

    Storm x

  • Hi, I know cost is a real issue, I am spending more than I'd like on supplements but have to say its been worth it even though it grates on me! Perhaps you too should speak to a nutritionist as the one I saw really knew her stuff, without her I'd still be as I was.I'm sure a nutritionist would be able to counter your need for long term antibiotics with something else and build up your immune system with probiotics and antioxidents for instance. I have been having remedial massage for the last 8 years on a very regular basis which does help to a certain extent. I have developed tendonopathy which means the tendons and ligaments in my legs have shrunk so I get a lot of pain from walking and standing. I really should do a series of stretching exercises every day and swim at least three times a week but I'm hopeless at being motivated to exercise. I agree the 3 for 2 offers are very good. Try taking liquid minerals which include magnesium they are supposed to be better than tablets in that they are absorbed better. Hope you feel better.

  • I didn't know you could get liquid minerals. I'll certainly look into it. I had tinctures before and they tasted foul. I end up with them all just sitting in the fridge or cupboard lol. I know quite a bit about nutrition as I've been vegetarian for years and have IBS with wheat intolerance. I thought about studying it myself to compliment my other alternative therapies. I'm also not very motivated about exercise apart from balance games on WII fit and horse riding. I would like to start doing Thai Chi again though.

    Good look with your swimming.

    Storm x

  • Ho I'm off all meds now. They seem to me to be more toxins that build up on the system. I have monthly acupuncture and bio resonance. I too have a diet sheet from a clinic I use in Reading Berkshire (google Rosedale clinic ) and seem to react to most lectins. (read the Lectin story....it does google). I'm still slightly overweight but have lost 2 stone since the diet change. The hummingbird ME site has a really good diet page.

    I take co enzyme Q10 which supports the mitochondrial function. Magnesium which helps with pain and regularity. I also have baths (or foot baths ) with Epson salts which is also magnesium. I take vit b ...d3..... and a good multi vit and min. Plus cod liver oil. I now have a cocoon which give far infra red thermal therapy, which detoxes. (look up FOR therapy on Dr myhills site )

    I use a Wii fit for exercise. There's some useful yoga and balance exercise on there and good breathing techniques plus I do a little qi gong . I found a web page called taichi18.com which give a free demonstration video of the 18 movements of shibashi. Very useful.

    Fibro for me is about toxins. Stress is also a big toxin so my faith and meditation is just as important as the supplements. Life can be tough, nut we have a lot to be grateful for. When stressed my sleep is the first thing to go. I follow a 12 step program through the nooks of melody beattie. Many of is are co dependant putting the needs of others before our own needs. It's exhausting...

    There's no much we can do for ourselves without the harmful meds. Good luck with your search x stepper x

  • That's FIR therapy sorry on Dr myhills site. My predictive changed it and I don't know how to edit posts lol FIR stands for far infra red

  • Really interested to read your blog, my daughter was diagnosed with fibro about a year ago and put on ami, to which she seems very sensitive and can only take lowest does, shes in a mess at the moment mainly due to depression and lack of sleep. Gp put her on another medication which apparently can be used as an appetite stimulant but also makes you sleep an is apparently an anti depressant.She is piling on the weight, is bloated all the time and her skin is a mess, and the spots are more like sores and wont heal.!! She is taking Vitamin D as they found her levels were very low. This of course is adding to her low self esteem and depression as not not only does she feel terrible but she feels she looks terrible

    Im so worried about her. GP is totally focused on the depression and although very nice my daughter says she is not really intereseted in the Fibro just says the consultant is dealing with that.

    However She had to go private to get diagnosed and now cannot afford to see consultant any more as too costly and she has had to cut her hours at work.

    Where did you find a good nutritionist? I am desperate to look at alternatives as she seems to be getting worse not better on all the meds they are giving her. I live an hour from her and am looking at changing my working days to spend 1 day a week with her to support her more and see if we can look at a dietry option.

  • Hi, what you need to do is find a Naturopathic Nutritionist. I was given a health questionaire to fill in and take to my first appointment. We spent 2 hours talking through it and she prescribed a variety of nutritional food supplements to build me up. She then did a blood test and two weeks later told me I was sensitive to cows milk and wheat. You should get a blood test BEFORE cutting these out otherwise the results won't be correct. She told me to continue on the amitriptyline unti l was feeling much better which took until about April. Once I was feeling better I started to wean myself off the amitriptyline. I've never managed to come off before cos when I've tried I've felt awful and ended up on an even higher dose than I was on. My fibro stems from posture problems but toxins contribute to the pain as well. Some say we should eliminate all the chemical laiden toiletries we buy from our lives but it's too expensive, I've tried it. Instead I opt for antioxidents in the hope they will counter any damage done by free radicals anyway. Anyway google some naturopathic nutritionists in your area and see how you get on but don't let your daughter come off her meds yet as this could just make matters worse. Good luck , I'd be interested to know how it goes. G x

  • Thanks for the reply I will pass it on to her, shes reluctant at the moment to use the site as she finds some of the worrying stuff too much to cope with.

    I have used Neways in the past myself, just found it a bit expensive but it was good, just got to find a supplier local to one of us.

    Ive done some reading about herbs this afternoon following your advice and to be honest Im completly lost my heads spinning a bit. There are so many potentially helpful, and some which clearly need to be taken with care. How did you manage to decide where to start and what did you start with?

  • I know it's a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack! Basically the main symptoms are depression,anxiety, poor sleep,pain and stress. I googled Herbal treatments for Fibromyalgia and got the following info. VALERIAN was suggested for a good nights sleep,ST JOHN'S WORT 300mgs for depression,SIBERIAN GINSENG for stress and 5HTP for serotonin production and relaxation. I've been taking these for 4 weeks and had my first good nights sleep after just 4 nights. I was in a lot of pain before deciding to take these,if I'd had some amitriptyline in my cupboard I would not have been able to resist the temptation to take it because my sleep was awful. Im SO glad now that I didn't have any because that would have been me back on it which would have been a bad move! It's the lack of sleep that causes the pain so once you get that sorted things should improve. I bought all the above from Holland & Barrett and they have good offers! The other nutritionals I buy from Neways including liquid minerals. Yes its all very pricy and It annoys me but our health is so important! Hope this helps.They usually give good advice in Holland & B. By the way some of the herbs you only take for 8 weeks then have a break then repeat and the st Johns wort for 3 months. Good luck!

  • Thank you so much I will see if I can get her onto the vitamins etc see how that goes and progress onward

    Take carexx

  • ** WARNING! - Please do not take any herbal supplements or supplements of any kind at all without speaking to your GP first. They may sound harmless but in actual fact can cause quite adverse and sometimes serious, potentially fatal reactions especially when mixed with some medications.

  • You can easily look up this thing in many books and online as well. As herbs are the basis for almost 50% of our regular medication it's no different than cross checking meds themselves. I've had many a GP screw this up and put me on bad combinations so I always double check the ways things might interact herbal or not! 😀

  • Hi...what dosages are you taking of everything? I see you only mentioned the SJW. I'm very interested. In currently on amitriptyline & I want to be off of it. I spoke with my doctor & she supports me either way but was did not have any suggestions for a natural alternative for the amitriptyline.


  • Hi all .. I am glad some of you have found other ways to get relief from your FMS but please remember to check with your Gp as they have full medical knolage of your condition many herbal medicens and vitimins should not be combined with others .. and its important to remember this ..ST JOHN'S WORT is one of the worst culprits .. please remember we do not advertice any service here and would apreate you removing names of other comapanys

  • It is actually ok to mention Holland & Barratt, also the herbal supplements. **

    However, we do have to make it clear that with St. John's Wort, this cannot be taken alongside many medications particularly antidepressants. This can cause a serotonergic crisis. It can also cause toxic reactions and plasma concentrations etc.

    ** WARNING! - Please do not take any herbal supplements or supplements of any kind at all without speaking to your GP first. They may sound harmless but in actual fact can cause quite adverse and sometimes serious, potentially fatal reactions especially when mixed with some medications.

  • Yes I'd like to endorse this WARNING and clarify that I was totally off Amitriptyline before turning to herbal supplements which are different and more potant than food or nutritional supplements. If you read my original post you will see that I was recommending nutritional supplements to aid coming off amitriptyline but only tried herbal supplements to address the return of fibro symptoms once I had been off amitriptyline for 3 months or so. x

  • That's fine Newaysgirl, we just wanted to make it clear that it just wasn't about Amitriptyline but any other of our meds that we take daily.

    We basically shouldn't mix herbal supplements or any other supplements with our daily meds without speaking to our GP's first as the effects can be horrendous and potentially toxic or even fatal.

  • Here is some info on St. John's Wort which shows the possible effects this supplement can have on you when taken with medications like Duloxetine etc -


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