Amitriptyline : Fibromyalgia. What side... - Pain Concern

Pain Concern

29,527 members9,869 posts




What side affects are people experiencing taking Amitriptyline and is a particular brand more effective. Also does your pharmacy change brands? What affect does changing the brand have?

23 Replies

My son has been taking amitriptyline for several years now and it really knocked his neuropathic pain on the head and helps him sleep as one of the things that was stopping him from sleeping was the neuropathic pain. Actually, when I say head, it was his feet that were painful!

For the first week he was very dozy in the morning, but his body soon adapted to that and by the end of the second week he was back normal during the day, and pain free at night.

It works for him, but it doesn't work for all people because people are all different. There is something called the Number Needed to Treat (NNT) which is how many people need to take a drug for one person to get a benefit. For ami it is about 4. That is actually really good because some drugs like some statins it is 70! So just because ami works for my son doesn't mean to say it will work for you, it will all be down to individual variation. So if you have tried it for a couple of weeks and you see no change, then it is time to try something else.

As for brands, they have changed my son's brands back and forth and he found no difference. I have been on thyroxine for my thyroid problem for several years and they change brands on that one too and again I find no difference.

I am not saying that different brands of some drugs can have different ingredients in their make up other than the active drug, and that maybe there are a few people that do react to that, but it is actually quite rare. But usually those are fancy brands of over the country drugs, not the basic workhorse drugs that are on prescription.

Have you heard of the placebo effect? There is also the opposite called the nocebo effect. There was a wonderful example of this when a company changed the colour of their thyroxine. Someone in New Zealand reported an adverse effect with the colour change and went to the press. The press picked it up and suddenly there was a huge number of people reporting adverse effects. The funny thing was, this drug was used in many other countries where no adverse effects were reported. It was the press whipping up a nocebo effect that caused the problem, not the drug itself.

Amitriptyline is a very old drug, it is made very cheaply, basically and consistently made. It is also safe and well tested. You have no need to worry about changes in it between manufacturers.

Foresting3 in reply to cyberbarn

Thank you so much cyberbarn. Very useful info. Encourages me to persevere.

cyberbarn in reply to Foresting3

It can be really difficult to separate out what is causing what. For example a week after my son started on a new medication he felt generally awful. It would have been easy to blame the medication, but I looked at all the other things that changed at the same time. One of them was a change in the weather. My son does poorly with hot weather.

So we kept on with the medication. The weather got cooler, but at the same time we had to go out and that really exhausted him and we know that it takes a few days to recover from being out and about. So finally now the weather is cool, and he is well rested, and we are seeing some positive results from the new drug. If we had assumed that the changes in symptoms were down to the drugs and we didn't take an honest look at all the other changes in the environment, we might not have given the drug a chance.

So it is worth looking at any other changes in the environment when they pharmacy switched to a different brand just to make sure you are laying the causal associations in the right and sensible direction.

As for pharmacies using the cheapest drugs, are you in the UK? The BFN gives the prices paid for the different brands and there is little or no difference.

Hi I've been on amitriptylene fo years and they make sleepy so I take them at bed time?the only other thing is they make me thirsty which isn't a bad thing

Foresting3 in reply to cbrion

Thanks cbion. I’ve been on it for years as well but the pharmacy has changed the brand. The side effects seem to be more apparent. I’ll persevere and see how it goes. Have a Lovely day !”

DW46 in reply to Foresting3

This has happened to me I just stopped sleeping it’s been a week now. Back on my old brand for five days and I’m still the same. Lots of original side effects have come back so wondering if it’s stopped working. I’m so tired. How have you got on?


It used to really work for me when taken at night for my nerve pain but if the pharmacy switched brands I'd moan at them cos only the same one use to work.

My doctor wrote the brand I needed on the prescription.

Hope that helps.

Not on them now I'm on duloxetine instead

Foresting3 in reply to Tjwa

Thanks Tjwa. Yes the pharmacy has a note of my preferred brand but their suppliers are out of stock. I could change pharmacy but they could have the same problem. My thought is that the pharmacies go for the cheapest! So I carry on with what I have and see how I go. How do you get on with duloxetine. Do you have fibromyalgia?

Tjwa in reply to Foresting3

Yes fibro,arthritis and also neuralgia in my face .

Duloxetine works really well. But it's not nice to come off of.

That's the bad bit. But works great

Lilmo1 in reply to Tjwa

Duloxetine made my hair begin to come out, loads on my hairbrush and after shower, it was doing me great to but had to change it.

DW46 in reply to Tjwa

Did you taper off amitriptyline first before going on new tablet?

Tjwa in reply to DW46

No amitriptyline isnt habit forming so didn't have any issue coming off it at all. But I'm an insomniac. You could see your Dr if you need something else to help you sleep if you need too. I use an anti histamine at night now that works well for me. Again non habit forming.

Hope that helps

Makes me very very sleepy...

So much so I can't get up in the morning, even on half a tablet.

stop it...your making me very jealous, 50mg gets me a couple of hours zzzzz but I do be wide awake next day, no drowsiness.

Oh dear that’s no good. Are you on something else?

Hi, I find that they make me sleepy which is not a bad thing as along with other pain relief I can't manage a few hours before the pain wakes me up again.

Different brands should not make a difference as they all have to comply with the same chemical ingredients. Pharmacies and NHS go with the best deal that month, like shopping around but the medications should be the same effect.

Hugs Jan

Zombie medicine. Avoid at all costs.

Hello Forsting3

I take Amitriptyline 25mg now and again, for RLS I would take 2x25mg I would love to be able to increase my dose but can't as I take Lithium for Bipolar and because its an antidepressant it would conteract the Lithium, so its a no can do.

I get a dry mouth next day when I take Amitriptyline and after about an hour or two I am a bit wobbly but thats all the side effects I experience.

Its a good calming med, so also helps me get over to sleep as I have insomnia but it doesn't keep me asleep, only get a few hours, then up for a few then catch one or two more, and am bushed next day.

Hope my experience helps you some, I think its an okay med.

I take 2 x 10mg Amitriptyline each night for my Scoliosis. I have been on them for about 8 or 9 years. They gave me my life back. I was gettting 20 mins sleep max before being prescribed them and had deteriorated to a weeping shadow of my former self. My Scoliosis just crept up on me and I ached all over my torso and woke up/ couldn't get comfortable no matter how rtired I was.

They pills do make you drowsy. They don't do well with alcohol (so beware!). I take mine just before bedtime and then read for 20 mins and off to sleep I go. Every night. I wake up pretty sleepy too and that can take a little getting used to.

Thanks Lanark. Pleased that you’re getting better sleeps. I also take Amitriptyline at night. Take care

Hi there. I used to take 10-20mg Amitriptyline at night for nerve pain/sciatica symptoms. (Have switched to gabapentin now).

Whether amitriptyline had any direct impact on my pain I was doubtful, but it definately helped me to sleep. And sleep in turn helped me cope better with pain the next day/allowed my body to rest/heal better overnight which also helps pain! Slightly dry mouth and had to take them at about 8pm in the eve to be able to get out of bed the next morning but once up and about you're fine (I found at least!). Good luck.

Thanks petlover. Glad Gabapentin is working for you. Side effects for me were horrible so have stuck with Amitriptyline. The different brand is ok now after persevering! Take care and stay safe

DW46 in reply to Foresting3

How long did it take to get used to your old brand again?

You may also like...