Amitriptyline is it as bad as the leaflet in the box makes it sound

Was prescribed very low dose of this today by my gp as its suitable for arthritis and fibro pain.... Was so excited, then read the leaflet, first thing , may cause heart attack or stroke..... Is this just to cover themselves or is it really that dangerous, am now more anxious about taking it, than I am about the pain any advice from anyone who has taken it successfully would be much appreciated


31 Replies

  • Hi VG, this medication is commonly prescribed for FMS. I used to take it and know a few others who do too. None have had a major issues with the medication.The biggest problem for me was that it made me feel really hung over the next day (not had alcohol for well over a year now!). It was really good for helping me sleep though. Hope it works for you! Jane x

  • Phew thank you so much Jane :) .... Now you know why my OH calls me Dot Cotton, I read the instructions to make sure I was going to take them correctly and frightened myself instead.... Shuffles off muttering I am such an idiot


  • You are no idiot VG - well not cos you read the drug info anyway ;-) We should all read the information leaflets so we know how to watch out for if we do suffer from side effects. Of course that information is for the drug companies to cover themselves but it can also make us better informed and can warn us of any incompatabilities that our GP or chemist might have missed (this did happen to me once but luckily I spotted it!). You did the right thing even if it did scare you! x

  • Hi VG i read instructions on everything lol

    you try and see how you are with it takes usually about 2 wks to hve effect so do not give up after a couple of days..

    if you feel worse than what you originally did and have more side effects then just go back !

    I have had this twice in my life once 15 yrs ago and had to have it changed and then again when all this started from my neck last feb but had to be taken off it ..i had severe speach problems could not get a word out really long slurred .. anyways it is used for a number of things so give it a go and relax as not as bad or would not give you it..

    Lyrica can cause heart failure if come off it too quickly and i am near the maximum dose now.

    keep us updated how you are feeling as i helped a lady who took it and knew some things were not rite (i am not a professional) but as you may have spotted i have worked in pharmacy for 8 yrs i have certificates and did Dispensary with medications including CD and Methadones and nomads and much more so if you want to query anything am around :-) xxxxx

  • Your other blog said you have had it before for shingles yes so you will be fine :) It always takes a couple of days to settle into new meds but this is a goodie xgins

  • I was on it recently and was fine. Only issue I had and know a few others that have experienced the same is weight gain.

    They do write it to cover themselves. Have since started Pregabalin and they listed increased appetite; weight gain and then decreased appetite; weight loss as possible side affects. Luckily for once I have the latter. Also listed the bad stuff that amitriptyline does but this one did make me smile.

    Hope they work for you.

  • Thank you :)


  • been on them for 10yrs 100mg now every night bit of weight gain but otherwise fine (well as can be !!!!)...x

  • Thank you :)


  • Amitripyline is an effective medication for Fibromyalgia. I was on it, varying doses for almost four years with no side effects at all. It worked well all the time I was taking it but then my symptoms changed so I stopped using it. I started at 25mg and worked up to 100mg, no problems at all.

    It is ideal for people with Fibromyalgia because it works as an antidepressant as well as having a relaxant effect. I put on one and a half stone on it, but that could be down to inactivity and change in diet too of course.

    The side effects of most medications always sound frightening on the written notes that come in the med packs, if we bore all those in mind we would never take anything. Don't worry VG, it's a really good medication for Fibro. :) xxx

  • Hi Vg, I was 1st diagnosed about 16/17 yrs ago and Amitriptylene was 1 of the 1st medications I was prescribed. Unfortunately for me I collapsed on few occasions (couple quite serious) and hospitalised for up to 10 days at a time. Hospital did lots of tests etc and discovered it was the medication that was causing me to collapse. On the other hand I know loads of people on Amitriptylene all with no side effects whatsoever. Everybody's different and you will only find out what reaction if any when you start taking them. The makers of all meds have to give you the serious consequences of any drug but usually these are very rare and are only put in the notes issued with all medications as its the law and to keep themselves right.

    Good luck with trying them, they r supposed to b great help for fibro so hopefully the good will counteract any bad. Gentle hugs xx

  • When taking something for the first time ~ and let's face it these sorts of meds are NOT smarties (!!) ~ I always read the paperwork carefully, start at a low dose then be watchful. If you are at all concerned VG then don't delay in seeking some deserving reassurance from your GP. If your doctor is worth anything at all I'm sure he/she would rather you went ~ or telephoned (we can always speak to our doctor on the telephone if you ring in to make a phone-call appointment) for a bit of a chat.

    It's impossible to say if YOU will be ok on anything because someone else is/was... ... ... but my mother took Amitriptyline for years and years, quite high doses too to help her overcome her pain (she had fibro too). As has been already said she did feel hung over the next day, but this medication did help her to cope with her pain & give her a better quality of life. She lived to a good old age ~ and it certainly was NOT the meds that killed her!!! ;-/

    Whatever you decide to do I hope you find some peace with your decision ~ and hopefully from your symptoms too!! :-)


  • Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply I have decided to take it and have just done so... It's so stupid I,m only taking 10mg a day for two weeks then up it gradually.... I think I,m just a worrier as so many meds haven't suited me fingers crossed for this, when I read an arthritis site recommended it I was so pleased .


  • ps my sister takes it as she had issues with her neck and nerves and she been on it about 2 yrs she is happy larry and fine with it ..we all are different on them and she can drink too and enjoy herself .. everyone assumes its for 'depression' its is for few things. xxxx take care mis VG xx

  • Hi, I have been taking Amit for a couple of years now and have found no side effects but it's been interesting to read about people mentioning weight gain as I too have put on about one and a half stone in that time - wondered if it was the medication xx

  • I take it along with other pain killers and antidepressants and have no problems x

  • My dearest VG

    If only more people would read the leaflets. That is why they are there but so many people just press ahead without checking what possible side effects there coulld be. Not all people will have said side effects but not evryone is the same, waht may be bad for one patient may prove to be fine for 1000 patients. In our house we have to read all leaflets, expecially for our daughter as she reacts badly to a lot of meds. But I am on my second go at these. I was on them some time ago, for about a year, maybe less, and they just suddenly stopped working. So I had a good break off them and then weaned back onto to them and I am upping the dose again with each repeat script. I have never had any bad effects from them so try not to worry hun. I hope they work you as they are very popular for treating Fibro xxxx

  • Amitryptyline and similar drugs are often associated with weight gain. They don't MAKE you put on weight, but they may increase your appetite, and have a sedative effect which could discourage you from taking your usual exercise.

    This can be beneficial in some ways, as you need rest and a good intake of nourishing food when you are ill, but I think that anyone commencing this medication should take a good look at their dietary habits, and resolve to eat sensibly, cutting down on fat, sugar, salt and refined foods, and increasing fruit, vegetables and whole grains.

    This is good practice for anyone of course, but particularly if you are on medication, or have mobility problems.

    Hugs with a dozen cream cakes (!) Moffy xxx

  • Have been taking this since August. Initially it sat on my desk for two weeks, as having read the leaflet I didn't want to take it. Doc finally persuaded me to give it a try. Couldn't increase dosage past 25mg as it made my mouth so dry I couldn't speak. Have gained a little weight as I am always hungry since taking it. It has also made my night sweats very much worse, but other than that no major issues or problems with it. I still don't sleep very well, but better with it than without.

    Hope it works for you

    Hugs Em xx

  • Thanks everyone again... Took it at 8pm took my other meds at 10pm and was dead to the world , woken up very stiff. I think I may try taking it first thing in the morning as the last thing I need is extra sleep at night

    Hugs to all VG x

  • I was prescribed quinine as every time I try to cut back on salt in my diet I get the most awful cramps in my legs, but after reading the leaflet I decided to wait until there's someone around for a few days before I try taking it. Though I have to admit reading the leaflet made me giggle, I'm guessing/hoping it was badly translated from another language rather than written that way on purpose as apparently you need to contact your doctor if you suffer from loss of consciousness, coma or death...?!?!?!?

    I've had bad reactions to almost every medication I've every tried so I'd prefer not to be on my own when I try this one. For now I control my cramps by keeping up my salt intake.

  • Bananas, no not you for the cramps in your legs, I have a banana every day I hate them so much ...., but they do help with leg cramps for me anyway

    Hope the quinine helps

    VG x

  • Hi VG.I started on Amit about 3 weeks ago only 10mg but doc said I can increase to 2 if I want,think it is helping a little,but I still don't feel I could cope going back to work,which is stressing me because people can not see our pain etc..I get very fatigued :-(..xx

  • I've been taking them for over 10 years, gradually stepped up to 30mg per night the over the past couple of years it has been increased to 40mg. I find it relaxing and was told in lower do else's t was good for night I me pain. the sedative effect helps you sleep through too. I still wake up a lot but am more relaxed than I used to be.

    the main side effect fir me was extremely dry mouth. I'm also wondering if they have caused me to have dry eyes too.

    the main thing though, once you have been taking them for any length of time, never come straight off them, do it gradually.

    also you may find you wake up with the effect of a hangover, the cure for that is take them around 12 hours before you want to be awake.

    The only thing i dislike with them is the the bright blue colour. I used to get them as pale blue, but the thought adding mini bright blue pills into my stomach does put me off, but the benefits do outweigh that.

    apparently I was told by a doctor the other week that they are an effective cheaper option for pain relief than many other dugs in the market, so if they work , the money can be spent...... or wasted...which ever way you wish to look at it, somewhere else in the NHS!

    I was very sceptical at first, but I did find they helped with night time pain.

    it's always best to find out as much as you can about meds before you start taking them xx

  • I've been on it for a few months, and not had any ill effects apart from postural hypotension, but I'm not sure if that was the amitriptyline starting, or the sudden stoppage of citalopram. I generally read the leaflets, too, but I'm mainly interested in the 'common' and 'very common' side effects - the rarer ones are pretty unlikely to happen, so it's usually best to just have a rough idea of them, so you know if a symptom you have may be linked.

    But I wouldn't stress over it - as gins said, you've had them before, so all should be well!


  • As I've said before, I was prescribed Amitripyline 10mg but I couldn't lift my head off the pillow the next morning!! Even when I finally came downstairs I immediately fell asleep!! Yet it works well for my aunty!! Strange how we're all different innit!! XX

  • Another Amitriptyline thread we have running at the moment - Amitriptyline and Weight Gain - please click on the link to take you to the discussion -


  • Hi VG

    It's good to be cautious and read those leaflets!

    Ami does have a wide range of possible side effects. Luckily the more serious ones are rare.

    It is commonly prescribed for Fibro in England and there have been a lot of positive mentions in research about it being used for Fibro. Research does not actually really support its use long-term or at high doses (above 50mg) for Fibro, but it does work long-term for a few people.

    It is common though that side effects increase with long-term use and higher doses, so the benefit-risk ratio becomes poor. But as it's a cheap, old drug, it's worth trying because if it does work for you, then great. And even if it isn't for you long-term, it can help in the interim. Some doctors have had patients rotate on and off it with another drug to avoid the issues of long-term use, but I would suggest that if it stops working well for you, that's time to consider moving on to something else that might work better long-term.

    One thing I would note about Ami is to watch your sleep quality. Ami can knock you out at night without actually improving your sleep quality. If you wake up unrefreshed and/or wake up remembering many dreams, that is a sign that it isn't helping your sleep quality, even if it's knocking you out at night. With Fibro, it is crucial to learn to distinguish between sleep quantity and sleep quality.

  • Hi VG

    I always read the leaflets. I was prescribed Ami and never took it! But then I'm on Paroxetine (Seroxat). I was prescribed that for bad anxiety in 2006 and it wasn't for another two years before I took it after speaking to a pharmacist. I was prescribed 10 mg so pretty low but I started off with 5 mg to build up. I'm now still on 10 mg. I would say the weight gain is definitely attributable to anti-depressants. I've put on one and a half to two stone and I was always very skinny!!

    Good luck.

  • Amitriptyline is ok as long as you don't mind being even slower & more tired! Well that's been my experience. Bad weight gain too! It does help though

    Cobweb xxx

  • Hi VG

    I read the leaflets that come with every med except for 1 time I was so ill with a flare up of fibro and a chest/lung infection and had beenon steroids and antibiotics for a few months, I went to see doc gave me the usual steroids and antibiotics, went to chemist got med, took them as described on box, only thing was my steroids were pink instead of my usual white and they said take 2 every 4 hours,I've had pink steroids before and so have the kids but they usually get dissolved in water anyway went to bed took another dose later on, fell asleep got up in the morning put my son out to school then at about 2pm I felt strange and at 3pm when my daughter came in from work with her partner and kids all I could speak was help me, doctors now, doctor is just around the corner I walked in receptionist knew right away something was wrong I gave her my box of medicine which said prednisolone on the printed label from chemist but the box was Propranolol because I was so ill I never saw it however the outcome was our giant doctor running up the corridor receptionist at this back he was shouting "how many have you taken" to me and to the receptionist "phone an ambulance now, rapid response, needed now urgent" then they moved me to a side room where I waited on ambulance, he took my BP and turned to the nurse and said "can you see what's keeping that ambulance", I do know at that point my heart rate was 30 and lowering, ambulance came BP kept dropping as did heart rate after that I'm unable to say what happened as I was surrounded by doctors and attached to a heart machine a blood pressure machine, then admitted to a ward for observation, took just over 24 hours for heartrate to return to near normal and I was discharged with the proper steroids. As the nurses and doctors in the hospital and my own doctors and nurses have told me 'You are very lucky to be alive, if you had continued to take them your heartrate would have got so low it would have stopped'. I put in a claim from a certain high street chemist and was awarded £1.750.00 without any qualms. So from that day no matter how sore or ill I am OI wait for someone to read out the medicine's name on the box (printed by chemist) on the box (printed by manufacturer) on the leaflet and on the actual tablet. I'LL NEVER MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN. If only I'd read that box that day.


    (Softest & Gentlest Hugs to all)

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