Should I go back on amitriptyline for sleep?

Is there anyone out there who has had to reluctantly go back on to amitriptyline simply because they can't sleep? My GP gave me the sleeping pill zopiclone but only to be taken every 2 -3 nights. It usually helps but the inbetween nights are a nightmare because I see every hour on the clock and feel so bad for the lack of sleep. I used to take 50mgs of amitriptyline but weaned myself of with much difficulty because of weight gain and other side effects. I'm wondering if just 10mgs would do the trick for a good nights sleep and maybe the low dose might not give me as many side effects as 50mgs did. I have a more sedentary job now so my work doesn't aggrevate my pain like it did when I was taking 50mgs. Any tips??

35 Replies

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  • I've taken it for many years, I take 75 mgs a night and I never have trouble sleeping. I don't suffer with any side effects either, maybe I'm just lucky. My hubby takes 10 mgs a night for his restless legs and back pain and it has helped him avoid many sleepless nights.

    My doctor called amitriptyline an old fashioned remedy but added 'why change it if it works for you'. If you have a good relationship with your md, go talk to him and see if you can work together and find one that suits you ? We're all different and what works for one may not work for you. Not sleeping can very quickly turn into a nightmare (sorry!) if it goes on for too long, so Good luck and hope I've helped you a little :)

  • Interesting! You are the first person I have heard of who hasn't experienced any side effects on amitriptyline. I had a very dry mouth,sweating,food cravings & weight gain so you are one lucky lady!

  • I suppose I am !

  • Well I take it from time to time,

    I ave sleeping tablets as well they were great for the first few days

    But then I had one of those times when you don't sleep for days

    And I had taken sleepers and they made no difference.

    So I told the doctor that I did not need them anymore and he

    Stopped giving them to me.

    I now have them back but 7mg which works well, I don't take them

    Every night some times I take the amitriptylin, and they do make you

    Want to eat, I stopped taking them before I,go to bed I take them about

    8 o'clock. And go to bed at 10. I only tale 20mg And it seems to work well I take a tramadol

    As well.

    My doctor has also given me a benzo which is only .5ml I only am allowed to take

    Two a week as you get hocked , on them very quickly, but not only does it take the

    Pain away I have a great night ad wake up fairly pain free,

    I think you have to see what helps you

    I

  • Well I take it from time to time,

    I ave sleeping tablets as well they were great for the first few days

    But then I had one of those times when you don't sleep for days

    And I had taken sleepers and they made no difference.

    So I told the doctor that I did not need them anymore and he

    Stopped giving them to me.

    I now have them back but 7mg which works well, I don't take them

    Every night some times I take the amitriptylin, and they do make you

    Want to eat, I stopped taking them before I,go to bed I take them about

    8 o'clock. And go to bed at 10. I only tale 20mg And it seems to work well I take a tramadol

    As well.

    My doctor has also given me a benzo which is only .5ml I only am allowed to take

    Two a week as you get hocked , on them very quickly, but not only does it take the

    Pain away I have a great night ad wake up fairly pain free,

    I think you have to see what helps you

    I

  • This silly thing has gone. On twice

  • Vivien60 they are not being silly just trying to sort out there medication problems and this is the best place to do it!! So please don't be hard on these people!!

  • Please read above, I never said they were silly,

    I said this silly thing has gone on twice

    That means what I have written has gone on here

    Twice.

    I would never say things about the people on here

  • Vivien60 Really Sorry I misread into your message.... X

  • That's okay

  • Hello Newaysgirl, I've been on Amatriptilyn for along time not as an antidepressants but for my Chronic pain I started at 10mg increasing it to 25mg I'm now on 50mg which I take at night it helps me sleep but not sure if it helps my pains or not as I have other medication I use for that!! I'm lucky also as I've never experienced the side effects that everyone else is having! I looked in the leaflet the other day and in my Medicine book and I couldn't find an where that says it has weight gain I think you should take another look at your leaflet I believe maybe its your other Meds you are on that is causing your weight gain! You should ask your Doctor if he would put you on Metformin although its for Diabetic sufferers it also helps you lose weight which I'm on. I hope this has helped you all!!

  • Check out wiki....Adverse effects

    The main two side effects that occur from taking amitriptyline are drowsiness and a dry mouth. Other common side effects of using amitriptyline are mostly due to its anticholinergic activity, including: weight gain, changes in appetite, muscle stiffness, nausea, constipation etc etc.......

  • I was on amitriptyline but when dosage increased to 100mg doc took me off. It really helped me to sleep, and regulate my body temperate at night. The hot sweats completely disappeared and I was able to sleep. Actually I called it my wonder drug because it just used to know me out and most nights I would get a good 5-6 hours undisturbed sleep. After 6 months being I asked my doctor to put me back on as Duloxetine which I was switched too was a nightmare for me. However amitriptyline does give me the dry mouth, and I am also taking medication for bladder spasm, which also has a side effect of dry mouth.

  • I found the side effects of Amitriptyline too much, especially the night sweats. These had always been a problem for me, and the doc said Amitriptyline would help me sleep and regulate my body temperature. Well, they did help me sleep, eve when I cut right down to just 10mg. Alas the sweet cravings, dry mouth, headaches, and especially the night sweats were as bad as ever, so eventually I gave them up. Initially I was back to lying awake every night.

    Doc also gave me Pregabalin (Lyrica) I was supposed to take it three times a day. but could only take the night dose, as if I took it by day I was too spaced out, and my body never did get used to it. I was recently given a Medication Review as a part of my Pain Management Course. I was advised to take one Pregabalin at 6pm, and the other an hour before bed. It isn't doing a great deal for the pain, but most nights I do manage to sleep now.

    It might be worth discussing with your doctor to see if there are any alternatives. I do know of some people who cannot get along with Amitriptyline have been switched instead to Nortriptyline, though I haven't tried this

    Em xx

  • I take amytryptiline and have for years. We recently went abroad for two weeks and I forgot them. The first few nights I was climbing up the wall for sleep, it also caused me severe stomach cramps. I went to the pharmacy to see if I could get some, but they don't do them in Portugal. I ended up buying some herbal tablets which helped a little, but was still suffering from stomach cramps. I had free wifi so I googled it and apparently you should never just stop taking them and should wean yourself off them. When I got home i started taking them again but cut them in half (was on 50 mg) and so far I am okay.No one tells you they are addictive, otherwise I wouldn't have taken them. Other than that I do okay on them, I do get a dry mouth and have bought a spray from Boots for this, which is effective. Hope you get sorted soon. x

  • Hi Newaysgirl, it sounds like we seem to have the same sensitive body chemistry, i cannot take pregabalin (lyrica) or gabapentin. I had to stop the amitryptaline & then slowly work back to 20mg to help me sleep tried 10mg and did not make any diffrence, anymore than that 20mg i get bad side effects.

    It will be interesting to see what happens at next visit to Drs.

    I have been told at the pain clinic that i have to see a physiotherapist, wich i cannot get my head round as i have visions of getting pulled about etc..the thought of someone touching me when in myofascial..fibro pain fills me with dread,.but was told it was to help pace myself.

    Hope you find a happy medium, take care...mary.

  • 10mg did nothing for me. I take 20 mg and finally sleep brilliant!! No side effects. Good luck x

  • I used to take amitriptyline, but they not only gradually stopped working but made me hungry too. I now take promethazine which I can get over the counter. Might be worth a try. Hope you find something that works for you.

  • I too take amitriptyline and going along with my dr's advice have gradually increased them. I am not at all happy with the weight gain and dry mouth, I don't get night sweats so that's not a problem for me. But I'm going to try reducing the dosage, I know what my dr will say, he will want me to keep as I am, but although they are effective at getting me off to sleep, it's an ongoing, upping and upping that I'm not happy with, the more you take, the more you need, at least in my case, so please don't apply this to yourselves as medication is a very individual science. I can only say what has or has not worked for me, but overall in answer to the original question, I would think, with your dr's consent, you could find that 10mgs will help for a time.

    Hoping you get some sleep. Foggy x

  • Yes this is the problem with amitriptyline not only do you get the dry mouth ,food cravings and weight gain but gradually your body gets used to the dose and you have to up it which only increases the side effects. The doctor says I may become dependent on sleeping pills if I take them regularly but surley if I need amitriptyline for sleep and eventually have to up the dose of it I've obviously become dependent on it so which is worse being dependent on amitriptyline or sleeping pills? I think perhaps I'd rather opt for sleeping pills cos I don't think you get the weight gain with them?

  • Eeeek I must admit to being on sleeping pills as well , and they are definately addictive, and no you don't get weight gain with them, but they being far far more addictive, I think I would rather have amitriptyline , then loose the weight gradually when the time is right

    Foggy x

  • Flip I have a lot to consider wish there was some golden bullet drug to address this. I've tried herbal sleeping pills like valerian but they aren't effective for very long.

  • Hi

    Have you tried melatonin? It's the natural chemical your body makes to help make you sleepy. You can get them on a well known auction site in several different doses.

    Gentle huggles

    Chilli xxx

  • Well I've read about it but being sleepy isn't the problem its staying asleep! Thanks though x

  • I take 10mg of Amitriptyline, at about 10.30 pm or slightly earlier, and it works well for my restless legs and sleep, most times, as if I forget to take it until a half or so an hour later, I'm climbing the wall and everyone her knows what that feels like. My doc was letting em increase it, but I found any stronger made me a bit sleepy for an hour or two after I got up esp if I got up early, or it let me sleep in a bit. If I've had a particular painful day and bad sleep for one or two nights I of course take a couple of them. But I heard they put on weight, and I've lost well over a stone since becoming ill and I'm trying to lost more gradually so I'm afraid it will put weight on if I take any more of it. I wouldnt mind getting my meds reviewed but my doctor said I dont need a pain clinic when he gives me my medication. xx

  • as I dont know also how my thyroid is affecting my weight as I've a multinodular thyroid,

  • I recently started with 10mg which did nothing, am now on 25mg which really helps. I sleep much better now but really struggle to open my eyes in the morning. Spoke to GP - he said I should take it 12hrs before I want to wake up ie. if you have to be up at 6:30am, take it at 6:30pm. I now do this (if I remember!) and it is a bit easier to get up.

    Having tried sleeping tablets and herbal sleep remedies, I've found amitriptyline the best so far.

    Good luck x

  • All these replies are very helpful and interesting, thanks everyone, so glad to be part of this community! x

  • I used to take 75mg but now 25mg to help me sleep.However I as diagnosed with severe Sleep apnea which I feel caused Fibromyalgia as had not had deep sleep for about 20 years!!!! Apparently my breathing would stop for approx 1min 40 secs with approx 20-25 incidences each night. I now sleep with the aid of lung machine which gives me an average 5-6 hours of deep sleep.

    I still have Fibro but nowhere near as before. 8 coadamol tablets a day is now usually 4 pareceatamol more if it's cold and damp. Check with your partner whther you may have Sleepapnea.

  • Hi, I take 100mg of amitriptyline at night and I sleep really well, my gp said I could try duloxitine by I would have to stop taking the amitriptyline, so I stayed with the amitriptyline because I believe if its working why change it :)

  • Do u get side effect when u miss a few doses I dnt want to take everyday

  • Amytryptiline is used for it;s side affects for pain ..it does not apparently aid sleep..which is what i was under the impression it was for!! it was suggested i take it earlier than bedtime ie:-T time 5-6 ish just so i don't get heavy legs.

    I however have Clonazepam for restless legs and arms that knocks me out for sleep! :-)

    Tracy

  • My understanding is that it aids sleep and the knock on effect of that is that it decreases pain because if we fibromites cant sleep we end up with more pain. I know that I ache a whole lot more when I've had a dreadful nights sleep.

  • I have just been given that tablet to help with sleep I have lupus can u take the tab whenever or do u have to take everyday

  • Yes I have just been given for sleep

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