Amitriptyline anxiety?

Hi All, was wondering if anyone else finds they get anxiety with amitriptyline. I tend not to tolerate antidepressants terribly well. Was started on sertraline and came out in a rather fetching rash so started on amitriptyline. Started on low dose 10mg as working so can't be zombified during the day. Tried increasing to 20mg once I was used to 10mg but after only a couple of days I found my mouth was so dry I had trouble speaking and was really anxious and jittery. Dropped back to 10mg and mouth now manageably dry but, although anxiety levels have decreased, I still feel as if there's underlying anxiety bubbling under even when I've nothing out of the ordinary to be concerned about - just same old same old fibro symptoms and low income worries. I'm wondering if it's worth soldiering on for the minimal sleep and pain benefits it's giving me (not really sure if it's doing anything as fibro is such a movable feast). Reluctant to go back to GP in a hurry as she's lovely and kind but almost impossible to get an appointment with her she's so popular and I can almost visibly see her heart sinking when having to deal with fibro symptoms.

7 Replies

  • Hi Misty,

    I have nothing against amitryptyline, it's useful drug with a proven history, but I am against covering up very real anxieties with medication.

    If you can get to see your GP, maybe you could ask to be referred for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I had a course a few years back and was amazed by how much better I coped afterwards - I was able to deal with the stuff that life chucked at me, I slept better - and that horrible, jittery anxiety packed its bags and left.

    CBT is not a cure-all, by any means, but it DOES give you the tools to deal with unpleasant thoughts and feelings, and to me it was a revelation.

    As you rightly say, GPs are apt to twiddle their thumbs and look a bit awkward when faced with fibro symptoms, but yours might be delighted if you took the positive step of asking for a specific treatment. Just a suggestion, but I don't think you would regret trying it! :)

    Moffy x

  • Just a quick post before I go back to my sick bed..... I had to try 4 anti depressants . Amatriptaline , fluoxetine seroxat all made me feel worse than I was already .. Finally found dosulepin that suits me perfectly....

    As Moffy says you can ask for CBT or try a different anti depressant that likes your body

    Good luck whichever you try

    VG x

  • Been on amitriptyline for 15 years - I literally couldn't manage without - had to stop for a couple if months and did not sleep at all I do get a dry mouth but consider it a small price to pay x

  • I have been on amitryptaline for a good few years now. I take 100mg at night (around 7pm) to at least allow me to sleep. I started off on 10mg but it increased and increased to where i am now. I take Sertraline (150mg) also which is supposed to be kicking the anxiety into touch. My poor fingers have been chewed down to the bone it feels like.

    I also experience the dry mouth. I became very conscious about thinking my breath was smelling also, just adds to the flippin anxiety.

    I have been reading this evening about Reiki, which i have tried in the past, and found it has really helped me. I believe one other treatment that's great, is acupuncture. If you can give them a try, its really worth a go.

    I feel i am on to high a dose of antidepressants already, and mixing them with the pain relief meds, can just make me a horrible zombie :-( Baclofen and naprosyn make me worse.

    Tomorrow, i will give my self a treat and book a consultation and see if it helps!

  • I've been on Amitrip for about 11 yrs now, yes it does give you a dry mouth and makes it hard to speak, but i wouldn't say it causes or increases anxiety. I find it relaxes me enough for my painkillers to then take the edge off pain. i take diazepam for anxiety and couldn't cope without them or amitrip. They do say you shouldn't stay on Diazepam for more than 4 weeks at a time, but i've been given the ok to take them as and when i need it. its been more than a year now... I had to change the dosage of gabapentin as i was getting double vision and through trial and error we got down to the gabapentin, so in stead of the 4 a day that i was taking i now just take 3 and top up if i need to during the day with diazepam. that makes me no more drowsy than not taking any. I think i have ben taking such a cocktail for so long my body has come too accustomed to them.

    My anxiety wasn't bought on by any meds or even pain, but suddenly being diagnosed to extremely severe obstructive sleep apnoea. It was found that I stopped breathing 62 times a minute for for than 10 seconds a time in an average hour, so that was more than once a minute. Theres no cure for that either apart from use CPAP therapy which i wouldn't recommend to my worst enemy!! But if going to sleep looking like 'Daft' vader, and it prolongs my life i have to do it.

    with the dry mouth you can get artificial saliva, just like artificial tears for dry eyes. possibly you can get it at the chemist as it may be cheaper than a prescription. Speak to a pharmacist, they should be able to tell you what the best thing to do is. Even after 11 yrears taking them i have to keep bottles of water everywhere! It's not helped if you sleep with your mouth open, its then so much worse in the morning! Since my CPAP machine has a humidifier attached and i have trained myself to keep my mouth closed whilst i sleep (otherwise i get air leaking out lol), the problem hasn't been quite as bad. I take 40mg of Amitrip, so I know only too well what its like with a gummed up mouth!! tHats why it feel alike, as if someone has stuck it together with superglue.

    some people who use CPAP machines find relief from fibro symptoms as they sleep better but its been 16 months or so since i started using the machine and only found my fatigue worse not better! The trouble is not everyone believes you as just because ether hear other CPAP users saying ho much more alert they feel in the morning, it just upsetting for me as the only benefit i have had is it has stopped or reduced i should say the number of apnoeas down to a 'normal' level. i can just live in hope :)

    I do hope you get something sorted as you need to be able to function

    take care xxx (((hugs)))

  • Hi Misty,

    I take amitriptyline at night (75mg), which doesn't increase my anxiety, but it does leave me with such a dry mouth, so dry that I was having difficulty speaking! My GP prescribed me a mouth spray called glandosane, which is artificial saliva, and I now take it everywhere with me, it's a Godsend to be honest. As well as amitriptyline, I also take an anti-depressant called Trazadone, which does not give me any side-effects & it really does help with my depression. I also take 150mg of Pregabilin at night, along with my pain meds, tramadol & co-codamol. During the day, as well as my pain meds & pregabilin, I take an anti-anxiety medicine called Atarax. I know this helps me without a doubt, as I ran out last month because my doc was on holiday & one of the misogynist male docs wouldn't prescribe it for some reason! I have it back now & the lack of anxious feelings is a great relief!

    I do hope that I have helped you in some small way, I have had lots of great advice & support from the lovely people on this site & I want to help others as much as I can.

    Take Care,

    Love & gentle ((hugs)),

    Tracey xxx

  • Hi, although I am being treated for something completely different it is still chronic pain related.  I have had a lot of experience with amitriptyline. I was started on 10 mg for the first week and then increased by 10mgs for next two weeks to 30 mg a day. I took this dose a considerable time but got to the stage where I couldn't cope with feeling like a zombie, not being able to drive and falling asleep all over the place. What I wasn't told about the drug is that you can't just stop taking the drug you needed to be weened off of it and believe me that wasn't easy it took me months. I can honestly say that although I don't sleep for days now I would rather be like that than we zombiefied!! ( if there is such a word) Jan x

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