Mood changes

Hi all,

I thought initially amitriptyline as a prevention medication had been working for my migraines, I only take up to 20mg however been told I could increase this to 30mg if I wanted to. I have also been prescribed Sumatriptan for when an attack occurs. I know dosages can be taken higher over time however I don't really want to be drug dependable.

Has anyone felt any bad side effects, in particular mood changes? I feel since taking amitriptyline I have more mood swings and I can be irritable and irrational. It is starting to cause problems with relationships and brings me down. I am normally a very outgoing young lady. However, now feel I bare the cost of taking medication and would rather have migraines without the added side effects. I am becoming very stressed out over this which I know is only hindering me further.

It would be great to hear about other people's experiences, thanks.

18 Replies

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  • Also, has anyone tried natural remedies and supplements?

  • Ps - yes, I suspect most folk on this site have tried everything! B2 at 400mg seems to get the best results for many, though has hilarious effects in the bathroom. Magnesium is pretty much discredited in tests, although some stick with it. CO-q10 is worth a go. I'm trying 5HTP. Feverfew I find useless.

    Best top tip I have is - try 3x300mg of plain aspirin at the onset of a migraine (not on empty stomach!), repeat four hours later. World's most underrated painkiller, mainly because no one can make any money out of it...

  • This has been helpful to know. I have been looking into natural supplements and the ones you have named I am looking into further. Hopefully I will find a good balance to help reduce my migraines. I am also hoping to rely less on medication and hopefully would be a last result looking longer term.

  • Yes I take asprin 3 tabs every 4 hours I take them to fend off migraine .I f you shook me I would trattle

  • I also did and still do this with exceedrin. Problem is that eventually you will get errosion in your stomach, thus causing bowl problems and other health problems, also not to mention rebound headaches!

  • Not sure if I would give aspirin a try due to being asthmatic, although under control I wouldn't want to cause more problems on top of my migraines.

  • Amitriptalyne did help my headaches for 9 months however the side effects were awful. I felt most of the time I was either tired, out of it, spaced out or was like someone with dementia ..after 9 months the headaches came back. I was put on 25mg straight away

  • That's how I feel most of the time and I am finding it hard to explain to others. When I'm not 100% myself I often become quite quiet and irritable, almost as if I'm no longer in control. I'm not sure what is for the best, stay on the medication which I don't particularly want to do long term or come off it and find alternative treatments. Thanks for your reply, I am hoping by asking fellow migraine suffers I will get a better overview on experiences and possible options to look at.

  • Yes - terrible side effects with amitriptyline similar to yours, and I stopped after a week or so. Great as a sleeping aid, although I could hardly wake - and often did with an incipient migraine. Switched to propanolol as a preventative shortly after, which was far more effective with very few side effects. It doesn't work for everyone or anything like it, but when it works - Lord it works, and it's worth a try. Currently experimenting with 5HTP ...

  • Thanks, I guess it will be trail and error with different drugs. I really don't want to go too high with dosages if the medication is not that effective and also the downsides of coming off from the medication. I am awaiting my MRI results to see if any indication of the causes of the migraines however I know often a cause is not always found or made clear.

  • Yeah amitriptyline made my mood go from one extent too the other. I also found I was 'vombiefied' the next day. My medication has now been changed and I'm just waiting to see what effect that has for me.

  • Hi carm I am taking 75mg of amitriptiline over a long time,they were formerly used as anti depressants. I have no side effects I a, aware of I take 2.5 mg of zolmitriptan not exceeding 2 tab per day good luck

  • Yes, I took Amitripline for awhile. It always made me feel really tired and depressed. It is too bad, as it is helpful in preventing some migraines for some people. So sorry.

  • I've been on 13 different preventatives, and tried a few natural remedies. I've been on Amitriptyline 150mg for a couple of years. 20-30mg is the normal dose for chronic pain, 300-400mg is the typical dose for an anti-depressant, I have Chronic migraines amongst other conditions so I'm in the middle. I don't necessarily find it that effective for migraines but it really helps my insomnia.

    I think generally side effects are supposed to occur in the first 6 weeks of most drugs and also you can't tell if the drug is working if you don't give it a decent period of time, especially with conditions like migraine. However it is important that you have someone about you who knows you well that can monitor your mental state while you are trying a new drug, as people can mentally deteriorate quite fast if they are having a bad reaction. This is true for any drug of course, however, natural remedies included. Amitriptyline is also prescribed for intestinal problems too, it is one of the older drugs about so doctors tend to like it as they know more about it than the newer ones.

    In my mind natural remedies are really no different to prescription drugs, it's still an alien agent in your body and they can have nasty side effects too and are generally very expensive Feverfew being a good case in point. I suspect most improvement from these things are psychosomatic. I also have fibromyalgia and know a lot of people who have tried things like CO-q10, as far as I know while recent research suggests this does have an action in the transmission of pain they absolutely do know it is only one out of many many chemicals that play a part in the process.

    It may be Amitriptyline is just not right for you but if in your heart you just don't want to be on medication I don't think there is much point you going down the natural remedy avenue either. I'm on Amitriptyline, Zolmitripan and Botox and im ok with that, I was having 20 days a Month of migraine now I have half that. But what I cannot recommend highly enough is exercise, as much as possible and as vigorous as possible. It does wonders for chronic pain and depression and has the side effect of making you fitter. That and meditation/mindefullness which I can't do to save my life but if your the type of person who can it be fantastic.

    Sorry for going on so much! Goodluck.

  • I have been on amitriptoline for a number of years and had progressed from 10 mg to 30 over his time. ALso taking sumatriptan for when I have migrain. Thensumatriptan works well and is only used for an attack. I was having suicidal thoughts and bad mood swings and have cut back down to 10 mg of amatriptoline and this seems to have stabilised my mood swings. GOod luck!

  • Thanks for all your replies, I feel amitriptyline has not been overall beneficial as I have now been on it for months and yes at first I thought it was doing good. I also feel for my mental wellbeing it could be better not being on this medication due to the mood changes I experience. The doctor has told me to stick with it and my MRI results are due back this week to see if they can pin point anything, although I know usually often nothing presents from head scans. I will await for my results however I am becoming increasingly in favour of coming off amitriptyline. Thanks again for sharing your experiences.

  • For the past 7 months I've been on Amitriptyline (75mg) and Propranolol (40mg twice daily). The first 3 months were AWFUL! Sleeping every chance I got, terrible dry mouth/throat, no motivation for life, extra irritable, insanely awful acid reflux, no appetite or sex drive. Spoke with my neurologist and he said I needed to choose between living with the side effects or living with the chronic migraine...So I decided to give the meds another chance.

    Well I still have all the side effects as before, PLUS I have gained 15 pounds of very unwanted weight and have headaches almost daily. But as long as I take the Amitriptyline approx.12-15 hrs before I need to wake up the next morning, dragging myself out of bed isn't as bad as it was prior. I am still taking magnesium and vitamin B supplements as well. This has been a gross experience and I'm about to give up on all the drugs and start from scratch with a Naturopath.

  • Thanks for your post. I have come off all medication prescribed for my migraines as I have decided I rather just suffer with the migraines without the added side affects of the drugs. I am now looking at drug alternatives too, keep me posted on how things are working out for you.

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