Amitriptyline changed my life! - National Migraine...

National Migraine Centre

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Amitriptyline changed my life!


I have had migraines since I was five years old, back then when I got one it lasted all day and nothing would help ease the pain it was that bad I would ask my mum to kill me!

My mum would take me to the doctor's all the time and I tried so many things in the end as I got older I just learned to manage the pain, the sooner I got to sleep the better.

But after having my children it wasn't always possible to just go to bed all day and try and sleep until the pain had gone and I started to get more and more migraines some times I would get one every day for 5 days and then I would go a month with out one. I stayed away from wine, chocolate and cheese I hadn't had chocolate and cheese for over 13 years! but I could not find anything to help ease them. It got to a point where I would not plan anything to far in advance because I would be scared that I would get a migraine while I was some where and would not be able to go home to bed.

Then by chance I found something that was a game changer for me, I had just changed my doctors and I was on some anti-depressant tablet and had to go to my new doctors for a prescription, as it was the first time I had seen this doctor he went though my medical history with me and I started telling him about my migraines, he said he wasn't happy with the anti-depressant I was on and prescribed me amitriptyline which was the best thing that ever happened to me I hardly ever get a migraine I think last year I got 3 it has truly change my life!!

P.s I can even eat all the things that caused a migraine

16 Replies

Linz78, I suffer with migraine but fortunately can count on one hand the amount of debilitating migraines that last for several days, I can only imagine how impactive these have been on your life. It is really pleasing to hear an account with a positive outcome. I am sure this will give hope to many who, like you, have been severely affected by this debilitating and often understood condition. I really hope that the amitriptyline keeps working for you. Very best of luck for the future.

Penny15 in reply to Ronald1

Great to hear that your migraines are so much better. I too take Amitripyline and went a whole month, last month without a migraine. That was the first time for 9 years that I have gone that long! It really is a life changing drug for lots of people.

I know some people try it and are put off by it's side effects but if you start on a really low dose and increase it very very slowly this can make it more tolerable. I tried taking it 2 years ago and gave up before I got to the recommended dose but later, in desperation I tried again very slowly and it was ok.

Good luck Linz 78 and thank you for sharing your happy ending!

Nicki46 in reply to Penny15

What dose do they recommend? I take 10mg already for back problems but although my GP knows of my chronic 40yr migraine history, and I have also seen a neurologist, nobody has ever suggested amitriptiline could help and I wonder if I need to go back and suggest this?? I already take Topiramate and am in citalopram for depression and I have Triptans to take at onset of an attack.

Penny15 in reply to Nicki46

Hi Nicki46

When my migraines were going through a really bad patch I self refered myself to the National Migraine Centre in London. I was put on Amitripyline by them starting on 10mg daily and increasing it over a few months to 50 mg daily taken 3 hours before I go to bed. If I had side effects I stayed on that dose until my body got use to it before any further increase.

I also take Almogran if I get a migraine.

Good luck!

Nicki46 in reply to Penny15

Thank you Penny ... Do you notice a difference in the frequency/severity of migraines since being in Amitriptiline?


Penny15 in reply to Nicki46

My migraine decreased gradually from 9 or more days a month to, as I said non last month. The length decreased as well from my usual 3 day migraine to often only one day! All good!

Linz78 in reply to Nicki46

I only needed 20mg, but I remember when the doctor first put me on it he told me to increase it I can't remember if it was each night or each week up to 50mg but like I said I only needed 20gm. I would think the dose is different for everyone. The only side effects I get is a dry mouth through the night it wakes me up three or four times a night and of course it makes me sleepy (the tablets) but I take it at night so that is kind of a plus! the dry mouth thing is bad but not painful so I will take that over the pain I got from the migraines ! Also what I have noticed is that on the very rare occasion I get a migraine they are not as painful as before and over in a few hours.

I think with your doctor never suggesting this treatment I have seen different doctors all my life and I think I got lucky because I had just change my doctors and the practice made me a appointment with the first doctor that had a free space and he just happened to be a migraine specialist. I hadn't even gone in to talk about my migraine because by this time I though it was just some thing I had to put up with so I don't know if doctors in general practice know a lot about migraines or if they just pass it off as "head aches" are just part of life!!

Hidden in reply to Nicki46

Nicki I'm on the topamax and the sibelium together and it works as a charm...only starting the treatment... I'm trying to get long term reports but can't find one soul that has done the 2 combined... Did you ever try the sibelium?

Hidden in reply to Penny15

I'm not familiar with the drug, Im always open for everything... I googled it and it comes up as an antidepressant? How does it work with the migraines? Are your migraines caused by stress?

Linz78 in reply to Hidden

I have no idea how they work with migraines just that they worked very well for me! they are a antidepressant but my doctor said that it is an old medication for antidepressants and they don't really give it out for that anymore, at least thats what my doctor said. I was lucky with this doctor because I have just changed my doctors and went to see him for my depression and I just happened to mention about how bad my migraines were and he told me he was a specialists in migraines and told me he wanted to change the antidepressant I was on to amitriptyline. It worked very well for me and it has been over two or three years now and I only have two or three migraines a year.

Alot of things set my migraines off I used to get a lot when it was that time of month and also taking the pill just killed me with the amount of migraines I got so I couldn't take them anymore.

If I didn't get enough sleep, if I had a lot on my mind, I couldn't eat chocolate, cheese, wine all sorts of other foods but I didn't eat chocolate or cheese at all for many years now I can eat any thing and it does not set one off. Also this is a bit of a strange one but if I was out in the snow and it was snowing fast that would cause me to have a migraine I would be interested in knowing if anyone else has found that snow causes migraines for them!

If you haven't tried amitriptyline I would defiantly talk to your doctor about it I know from reading responses from my post that it does not work for everyone but it defiantly worked for me.

As an after thought my migraines are what you would call the traditional migraines I get flashing lights in my eyes and then the head aches I also was sick several times and went numb in places. So I don't know if that has any impact on what medication works or not!

Hidden in reply to Linz78

interesting....i can see how it would work...

Migraines dont stop amazing me...I'm just glad that mine are asleep now....I nearlt collapsed when the neurologist told me to take medicin for epilepsy?! ...then works!...happy that it is working, I will certainly keep it in mind, when mine stops working ill give yours a

So glad you have found what works for you. I was prescribed amitriptilyne a couple of years ago 25mg and although they made me completely loopy ( seriously I was like someone with dementia ) they Di stop the migraines, unfortunately only for 9 months. I hope they keep working for you


Great! It worked for me for about a month, then it stopped working. Happy for you.

I have migraine for the last 20 years ! I do take Amitriptylene every evening (25mg) and it has not worked ! I still take it as it helps my IBS in control. I have tried beta blocker, Topamax (topiramate), Nortriptyline and a few others - nothing works ! I still get severe headache 2/3 times a week - paracetamol / ibuprofen usually works - but sometimes don't ! At onset, taking Rizatriptan or Sumatriptan can stop it but it will come back again after a day or two ! So I am almost convinced nothing will work for me ! Right now, I am trying two things:

1) Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 400mg daily - This works for some people as per my GP. Remember, Riboflavin (vitamin B2) cannot be found in pharmacy over the counter, they will suggest multivitamin not listening the dose is 400mg - even if you tell, they still don't understand! 2mg B2 will do nothing - it has to be 400mg per day. If GP does not write prescription, it can be obtained from HollandandBarrett, they have 100mg tablets, so I take 4 of them at a time. I can only assess after a few months whether it is any good.

2) I have just started homeopathic remedy. I have been told to be patient and report back after 2 months - so again I shall know after a couple of months.

This is such a horrible illness - for those who has found Botox has worked - you can have a surgery (removing corrugator muscle) - it is about £3k in London. Initial test is about £300 and if yo are found suitable for surgery - then you pay the rest of the amont.

You can read it here:

Glad it works for you. I’m thinking of re visiting it. How much do you take? Do you have side effects? Thank you

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