National Migraine Centre
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Trying Amityptyline for the first time

I have been getting migraines since I was 13, I am now 39. They have ranged in severity and frequency during those years, and I have taken Imigran and Synflex (which of which worked for a while and now cause severe nausea and vomiting). I was prescribed Amitriptyline today for the first time and after knowing the possible side effects, feeling quite nervous and scared how it may impair me the next morning. Has anyone had any great or not so great experiences with this drug?



9 Replies

Hi, I took Amitriptyline for 3 years. I was getting 3 or 4 migraines a week before starting on it. For the first 6 months I had no migraines at all, a first for me! The side affects I had were a very dry mouth, feeling slightly out of it and feeling tired in the evenings and first thing in the morning. These symptoms improved over time but never really went away, I just somehow got used to living with them as anything was better than the migraines. After the first 6 months being migraine free they started to creep back very slowly, maybe 1 a month to start with then over the next couple of years I was up to 1 a week. At this point I stopped taking them. The migraines were however less severe than before, whether this was due to the Amitriptyline or just a change in the migraines themselves (as you know they do change over the years) I don't know but at this point the side affects were worse than the migraines.

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Thank you for sharing your experience, I appreciate it!  I keep reading about the dry mouth and people feeling tired and out of reminds me of an antihistamine I took for hayfever 2 years ago, I was a complete zombie.  

After having migraines as severe and frequent as you were having, I can understand feeling tired and out of it was a relief to the constant agony! It's a shame they didn't continue to help you though, did you find anything after that, that has better helped you?




I tried Amitriptyline about two yrs ago. I agree it did help some. But, like you, I felt very tired, out of it, and it can cause weight gain, which doesn't help the state of mind. I wish I had more answers, but I totally get what you are going through.


Hi Natasha

I started Amitriptyline a number of years ago for constant hemiplegic migraine, leading to left sided paralysis, after trying all manner of migraine medication & even anti epileptic drugs, these were my saviour, feeling tired in the morning was nothing in comparison. Can I ask what your starting dose is? Sometimes even a low dose does the trick, yes you can feel tired in the mornings & have a dry mount but this does lessen after a few weeks of taking it, try a low dose to start with, this may be enough, if not you can titrate them up slowly. My consultant gave me a great analogy he said to imagine a pair of scales, on one side the migraine, the other the medication, the trick is to take just enough to make the scales tip slightly, to keep the migraine side lower than the Amitriptyline .

All the best, hope it works for you



Sorry for such a late reply!! My starting dose was 10mg and to be honest, I have only been taking these for three days, it's taken me ages to build up the courage to start taking them. I am finding that I am not terribly tired in the mornings, and I feel happier, more alert and productive, especially at work. Another welcome effect, is not over reacting or getting flustered over little things. I hadn't had a migraine for the 3 weeks before commencing the medication, and wonder if taking it is worthwhile now?


. Hello .... As well as starting on low dose - ( 5 mgs is all Im  currently taking )- be sure to take  amitriptyline   EARLY in evening  to significantly  lessen effect of feeling  so sleepy  next morning ; I find   if I take it about 6.30/7pm  I start to feel sleepy  about 3 hours later and , when  I go to bed   later,   I get to sleep  pretty quickly  compared to  how long it used to take me  before  I  started on this medication. 


Hi I tried this drug. Had no side effects at all but sadly it had no effect on my severe frequent migraines. Hope it works for you x


I took it for 9 months. 25mgs.  It worked well for my migraines but I was like someone with dimentia. Completely loopy. After 9 months it stopped working. Everyone has different experiences with drugs. I hope it works for you. My friend was on 10mgs and she was ok 


Hey so I've been on amitriptyline for 5 weeks now and I can definitely say that the severity of my tension/migraine headaches have reduced significantly since they kicked in

Yeah you get a bit of a dry mouth but hey it encourages you to drink more water which is both great for overall wellbeing and prevents headaches due to dehydration so I guess that's a good thing

Also it does make me a little tired in the mornings and evenings but it beats having headaches all day long that's for sure

And for weight gain I haven't lost or gained any weight at all I think the best thing to do is take the recommend amount that your doctor has told you to take and keep a close eye on how you feel

I was actually scared to take it and now I wonder why I worried so much Because it really did help

All the best


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