Amitriptyline : Has anyone been prescribed... - Pain Concern

Pain Concern

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Purple001 profile image

Has anyone been prescribed Amitriptyline for pain/ stomach problems. I just started on 30mg, last night was my second night but both days I’ve been unable to function at all, I’ve spent all day and night in bed barely able to move. Is this just something I have to put up with for a few days or does it mean I’m not suited to the drug and should stop it? Any replies would be greatly appreciated!

31 Replies

Hi, my doctor put me on amitriptyline for pain like yourself but told me to start at 10 mg and build up over a couple of weeks to 30 mg. I found that I felt very sleepy and disorientated for a few weeks until my body adjusted to it. Hopefully you will be the same. Hzhr xx

Purple001 profile image
Purple001 in reply to Hzhr7

Hi, thanks for the reply! I had started on 10mg a while ago but I was wide awake all night and hallucinating/confused so that's why I was put on a higher dose to try prevent that. How long did it take for you to adjust to it? And did it gradually improve? I read online the first day is always the worst but I'm worse today can barely watch tv. When you adjusted to it did you go back to normal in terms of fatigue and awareness?

Hello there, yes I have in 2009 had a nasty accident Amitiptyline 10mg was one of the first drugs they gave me along with painkillers. They are more of a muscle relaxant than anything elserious and was told to take 2 2 times a day and 3 at night. Yep they wiped me out and also made me feel on another planet. Go back and speak to your GP and ask for 10mgs and just take one and see what that does? . Three months ago I was lucky to get my request for a female doctor who actually heard me!! It's now 2018!! Anyway in short I told her I'd stopped taking them and the pain was as bad as ever if not worse and that I'd heard that these pills were antidepressants? ?? She said they were but not anymore but just take 2 12 hours before you want to wake up? Huh? She repeated this and so I did. Slept 4 hrs no pain but owww when I woke up. Sorry but they do sort of dull your brain so only when desperate I take 2 on a Friday or Saturday but that's only 2x 10mgs? Hope this helps 😴

Hi, thanks for the reply!

I took 10mg before and was wide awake confused and had bad hallucinations it was horrible! That’s why I was given a higher dose so that it wouldn’t happen again. My doctor is very understanding and would let me change the dose but unfortunately 10mg gives me a bad reaction. I’ve heard it can take a week or two for the fatigue to improve and if it was going to work long term I’d be more than willing to put up feeling awful for two weeks! I’ll give 30mg a few more days and if it’s still very bad I’ll change to 20mg and see what happens. I hope you have found something to help your pain and you’re doing better now xx

Hi purple 00. That seems a very high dose to start on. Usually one starts small and builds up.

Perhaps you should reduce the dose to 10 mg tonight and call your GP in the morning.


Purple001 profile image
Purple001 in reply to deejames

Hi deejames,

I’ve taken 10mg before and I was wide awake confused and had really bad hallucinations it was horrible! So I was given I higher dose so that I wouldn’t experience that. I’ll give 30mg a few more days and if I still feel as bad I’ll try 20mg but I’ve heard it’s normal to be completely wiped out while adapting to it. How long did it take for the extreme fatigue to improve for you?

Hi, it is quite commonly used for pain these days but usually only in small doses. I was given it to try and it does ease arthritic pain not sure about other pains though. Worthj a try see if it suits you.

Purple001 profile image
Purple001 in reply to katieoxo60

Hi Katie,

I’ve taken 10mg before and I was wide awake confused and had really bad hallucinations it was horrible! So I was given I higher dose so that I wouldn’t experience that. I’ll give 30mg a few more days and if I still feel as bad I’ll try 20mg but I’ve heard it’s normal to be completely wiped out while adapting to it. How long did it take for the extreme fatigue to improve for you?

Afraid I had to stop them, but they normally suggest it can take as much as three months to get the dose right, I have fatigue problems from the tramadol anyway don't need to add to it. I think you are doing the right thing testing different doses it may be you might not be able to take this drug. We are all different take care and hope it works out for you soon

Purple001 profile image
Purple001 in reply to katieoxo60

Sorry to hear you had to stop it, hope you found something else that works! I think I’ll give it a bit longer and see, I think 3 days isn’t giving it much of a chance. Thanks for your help!

katieoxo60 profile image
katieoxo60 in reply to Purple001

Think you ought to give it a bit longer, I use tramadol and can have something else if needs be from the doctor. Every best wish to you hope it works out for you.

Hi, It does sound like a high dose you have been started on. I was prescribed 10 mg, at bedtime only, to take one or two. I was told it would take around two weeks before I'd feel the full effects, ie. that I would sleep better due to the muscle relaxant qualities in the drug. I actually slept quite well for the first time since I developed sciatica. It doesn't help with pain, but relaxes you so that you drop off and get some much-needed sleep. The constant pain of sciatica, as sufferers will know, is there all the time even when lying down. I was also told that I could increase the dosage from 1 to up to 3 tablets at night, if I found it didn't help me sleep better. Its a drug that builds up in the system so takes a little time to be fully effective. However I found it gave me a very dry mouth, so much that I had to stop taking it. I could have drunk more, but didn't relish the prospect of having to get up in the night and so disturb my sleep again. I was also told it wasn't an addictive drug, so could take it as long as I felt it was necessary.

Purple001 profile image
Purple001 in reply to Bunny4jeff

I was given a high dose because when I took the 10mg I was wide awake and have bad hallucinations, so the higher dose means this doesn’t happen. Everyone’s different so different doses suit different people but I guess it takes a while to find the right dose. I haven’t had any problems sleeping in fact the three nights I took them I’ve slept 12 hours so they definitely help in that way. It’s the weakness and fatigue the next day that’s the problem but I guess I need to give my body time to adapt to it. I didn’t know anything about the drug so just wanted to see other peoples experiences and how long it took for the exhaustion to wear off. Thanks for the information, I’ll see how I go with it and then decide what to do. I hope you’ve found something else that works!


Just see how you go with it, if you still feel exhausted after a couple of weeks, it would be worth going back and trying a lower dose. Aas the doc said to me, if you start at 10 (as you did), you can always take to or even 3 tabs, its not an addictive drug, but good luck with it. I've kept my left-over supply in case I need a good sleep in future (on the advice of the doctor, as its safe). and I am fortunate that my sciatica gradually got better over 7 months so I don't need it now. I just took co-codamol as painkillers during that time.

Purple001 profile image
Purple001 in reply to Bunny4jeff

Yeah I think I'll try 30mg for another night or two and if I'm still exhausted I'll try the 20mg and see how it goes. That's great that it has improved! Thanks for your help, hope the pain continues to improve

hi, I have been on amitriptyline 50mg for about 3 years. I started at 10mg then gradually increased to 50mg. I take it for trapped nerve pain in my neck. yes it does take time for your body to get used to it. I take mine about 7pm at night so I don't feel as groggy in the morning. I still feel a bit groggy but it soon goes after a coffee. it can still be used as an antidepressent but at a much higher dose. is it helping your stomach pains. getting used to medication takes time if this one doesn't help your doctor could try another. let us know how you go on x

Thanks for the reply! I think I'll stick with 30mg for another night or two and if it doesn't improve I'll try 20mg. I'm reluctant to change to 20mg because of the hallucinations but if I have to I will. How long did it take for the groggyness to go away or to improve? I know everyone's different but just trying to get a general idea. That's great that it has worked for you! X

I still feel a little muzzy in the morning for about 1 hour, that's why I take it at 7pm. it works for my problem so it is worth being a little groggy in the morning. x

Ok grand, thank you! Delighted that it works for you x

I’m currently on 150 mg of amitriptyline and have been for a couple of years. It floored me when I first started but now I’m used to it. I am tired but not drowsy or sleepy. Only thing is if you forget to take it at night and then take it in the morning it sends you to sleep within an hour.

Purple001 profile image
Purple001 in reply to Rebecca97

If you don't mind me asking, how long were you floored for? I know everyone's different but trying to get an idea of how long it will last. The tiredness won't bother me I'm used to it from chronic fatigue. That's great that it's working for you!

Rebecca97 profile image
Rebecca97 in reply to Purple001

Probably about a week to 2 weeks every time my dose went up. I was on sick leave though so I wasn’t doing normal daily activities so it’s hard to compare. If you get through the next week or so and you’re still feeling like that then go back to your doctor and let them know. I also tried Gabapentin and pregabalin before I went on amitriptyline - they didn’t work for me but maybe they’d work for you? (They didn’t make me sleepy at all)

Purple001 profile image
Purple001 in reply to Rebecca97

Ok I’ve only been on it a few days so I’ll definitely give it some more time. I’m not as bad as I was so I think I’m probably slowly adjusting it. I’m going to stick with it for the moment as there’s been good results with people with the same condition as me but I’ll definitely keep those other medications in mind. Thanks for your help, hope you’ve found something else that works!

Yep I could not take the tablets, had all sorts of issues, ended up in hospital with a rapid heart beat for two days,and nightmares, and just found the tablets did not suit me, have you been diagnosed with a condition to warrant taking these tablet's? And you've had plenty of responses and sometimes it's a question of either excepting the side effects which are pretty common or going back to the doctors to see if there's a different type of medication available, however I wish you the best to resolve your health problems, thanks

Purple001 profile image
Purple001 in reply to Cb1963

I had hallucinations on 10mg that’s why I was put on a higher dose and that has resolved that issue. I had a rapid heart rate the other day but that resolved itself after a few hours. I decided to stick with it and I’m better than I was so I’m going to keep going and see what happens. Yes I have and people with the same condition have had good results from the tablets. I’m going to give it more time as it seems it took most people a week to two weeks to adjust to it and I’ve only been on it for a few days. Thanks for the reply, hope you found something else that worked

Hi I have been on amitriptolene over many years for nerve pain yes it works,however as everyone says you usually start on 10mg, I came of it several times because of the fatigue,I already suffer with terrible fatigue as I have psyaratic arthritis,the double wammy was too much but amitriptolene was the only thing that stopped the nerve pain,then my consultant put me on duloxetine, great no fatigue,didn't work as quickly but no side effects for me,it is also an anti depressant, however the pharmacist assured me as with the very old drug amitriptolene they both work really well on pain in lower doses, so best of luck

Hi thanks for the reply, I'm going to stick with it a while longer and see. I'm not as bad as I was so I'll give it some more time and hopefully my body will adjust. Glad you found something else that worked!

Hello Purple001, Sorry to hear you're having problems with the Amitriptyline, you're right in taking it in small doses.

The next paragraph I copied from Arthritis research UK, I hope they don't mind (only trying to help a fellow pain warrior).

If amitriptyline works for you, the effect on sleep is usually immediate, and your pain and mood are likely to improve over 2–6 weeks. Because it can sometimes take a while to find the right dose, it's often helpful to keep taking amitriptyline:Even if it doesn't seem to be having much effect at first.Even if you're having some side-effects - as these usually become less troublesome as your body becomes more tolerant of the drug.

It's used for all sorts of problems (depression, chronic pain,arthritis, fibromyalgia and muscle relaxant) But my use is for the muscle relaxation and the Fibro.

Like you I started on 10mcg, but now on 70mcg a day, which I've been on for last 18 months or so. Like you I had the same side effects, but luckily I persevered and the side effects stopped or became more tolerable.

I also had the same troubles next day, which I put down to Fibro 'fog and the Fibro pain. That was until a couple of weeks ago, on my first (I think?!) post I got a reply (Sorry can't remember who!?) saying the best results were to take the Amitriptyline between 5 and 6pm, so i tried this (what have i got to lose!?) and the result was amazing! Slept all through the night and woke up, if not great, with feeling of having a good night's sleep!! Unfortunately when I got up my pains were still there, but oh well can't have everything.

So please try and persevere, you never know you might also be one of the lucky ones!!?

Take care.

Rob X

Purple001 profile image
Purple001 in reply to Robto

Hi rob, thank you so much for posting that! Very reassuring. I'm definitely going to give it more time and see, hopefully my body will adjust to it as it sounds like a very promising medication. I had been taking it at 8pm so I might try take it a bit earlier tonight. Thanks again for going to the trouble of finding that information for me! I hope you've found something effective! X

Hi I’ve lot of experience with amitrityline in fact over 35 yrs of it in 2 categories for pain relief and migraines which also includes yours and in high doses of 300-400 mg daily doses for depression with many other tablets leaving a lifelong side effects of dribbling from your mouth when you talk that will never go. Your dr started you on too high a dose and you should have spoken to him immediately about the dose after the first night or 2 nights. He clearly wasn’t that experienced to even put you in that dose and that’s an increasing dose after 1 month. You should been started on 10 or max 20mg. 10mg with a hardened user of morphine fentanyl patches 75mg dosset box drugs (54) plus out dossett diamepams up (50)mg) daily and in dosset 30mg daily plus oramorph and oxycodeine 10 mg would still have an effect on me after 9 yrs if taking those at that dose. Mine were for 12 months of daily migraines which I’m also on epileptic drugs for. I only went upto 80mg after 4 months but couldn’t stay on those as the dose caused extensive dental damage to both teeth and gums which believe it or not doctors do not know and my dr is a very experienced dr at the nearer end of his career and a very good dr and he didn’t know. I had to use an artificial saliva spray but decided to drop back to 40-50mg instead of risking gum damage/disease/ tooth’s decay/ tooth loss and even cancers. My dental surgeon no ordinary surgeon as you don’t get ambulance transport gor normal dentist. My dentist is the nhs operating dental surgeon which I required and still have ongoing dental work because I had 13 teeth knocked out in anaesthetic and operating room whilst undergoing major surgery and was rescussitated 4x not the first time, as I’ve done this also in 2009 2012 2013 2015, 1994, 1996, 2007 all in surgery. Then I was in icu. I now have a dnr. I know before any replies none of you will not know that anitrityline damage your mouth badly and if you use corsodyl mouth wash that turns your teeth black and all the teeth whiteners inc those supposedly approved by dentists are not approved by dentists as the ads cllaim as they are very deep abrasives that are taking the enamel off your teeth and will leave your downtime exposed and Denton’s is yellow and you won’t be able whiten that. I asked mark Taylor dental surgeon for John Radcliffe hospital oxford last week about all these as I have every kind of toothpaste inc every sort of of Colgate which my dentist I had from 2-21 yrs old told me the Colgate total at 21 was an abrasive as that’s how long that ones been around andnot to use All the email and repair are rubbish as is the Colgate whiteners and also the max white experts and oral b white and pro enamel sensodyne white and pro enamels and Beverly Hills and arm and hammers plus coconut oils and coconut pure taws etc plus I bought the the black stuff to whiten my teeth in pure form last year which he dismissed it as rubbish straight away. I just wished I’d had have asked before I bought all the others wasting my money. I know this was about anitrityline. But I’ve also let every person using amitrityline know things they wouldn’t otherwise know. Thanks.

Hi, I appreciate the reply and information. The doctor that put me on them is very experienced with the drug. Everyone is different and reacts differently to drugs. I have other health issues so I needed the higher dose. I’m one week on it now and I’m fine, nearly back to normal. The doctor wouldn’t have put me on it if it wasn’t safe for me, so I’m perfectly happy with their decision and know it was the right one for me. I’m sorry to hear you have been through such an awful time and I really hope you’re doing better now

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