Help with Amitriptyline: GP has just prescribed... - Pain Concern

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Help with Amitriptyline


GP has just prescribed Amitriptyline for chronic right arm pain I am feeling very nervous about taking and being dependent on long term drug therapy any advice would be great fully received.

10 Replies

Hi Peri. I have taken Amitriptyline for migrain and body pain for many years. It relaxes the muscles so best taken at night. Only side effects I have had are a dry mouth and a slight weight issue but I have stopped taking the drug at various times and have no withdrawal symptoms. I now take it as and when I have a migrain or need some quality sleep after bad sleep because of body pain. I feel in control of it and how it works for me.I would suggest that you give the drug a try as prescribed by your doctor and see if it helps. You may need to take it for a month or so before seeing real results but, as I say, I have not found any problems in stopping it should you find it does not work. As regards side effects, I have found Amitriptyline has far fewer than many pain meds. Hope this helps.

Thank you, I am going to try it have tried a number of different drugs and alternative therapies it would be nice to get back to a manageable level of pain.


Just a thought, I agree with all ladybear has said but when I first started taking it it would knock me sideways and I would be so Lethargic all weekend (I found a Friday was the only day I could take it) so I had to cut the tablet (10mg) in half for at least two weeks before i started to get used to it.

Now I take 60mg and have no worries about it affecting me unduly apart from helping with the pain, as well as with the Tramadol, Gabapentin, etc. etc.

Make sure you control the drugs going into your body and do not let them (the drugs) control you, for example try not taking them(be it paracetamol, Tramadol or Amirtriptyline) for a few days to make sure that you are getting pain relief and not just because you have been taking them for ages.

All the best

I have had higher dosages of amitriptyline for depression as well as pain, and had no problems stopping at all. Many peoploe do find it makes them lethargic, so starting at a weekend is a good idea - although others, like me, have minimal lethargy. The two side-effects I had were a dry mouth (mints or a mouth spray helpful) and constipation (high fibre diet and, if necessary, a mild bulking laxative, such as Fybogel help.)

Amitriptyline has been in use for depression for many years, usually in much higher doses, and has been found safe and reliable, and found to be useful in reduching chronic pain.

Hi Perl, It really is nothing to be scared of, infant you may find that you get some degree of relief from it! You will feel tired after taking it. I found it too sedative (probably because I was holding down a full time job whilst I was taking it). I took mine at 7pm, i found if i didnt I struggled to get up for work. Try titrating the dose up slowly over a few weeks that way you won't be as sensitive to any side effects. Expect a dry mouth - gum/ mints help. It may make you feel dizzy initially but stick with it as this will pass after a while. It is the sort of drug that you need to take constantly, to build up a therapeutic level in your body, before you will get full effect from it. If you find it doesn't work for you, speak to your GP as you may need to use it in conjunction with another drug. I take Nortriptyline instead now as it is less sedative, it works well for me.

Like you I also have neuropathic pain in my right arm and I was very reluctant to try pain killers. I suppose it is fear of the unknown, however, you may find it improves your quality of life.... Nothing ventured! Good luck x

Each person will react differently to each drug. In my case, i was unable to tolerate the side effects of tramadol (which didn't relieve my pain away) or citalopram and escitalopram for anxiety+depression.

I've been on 25mg a night of amitriptyline for 10 days now without major side effects. The first few nights it knocked me out for 12-13 hours but that has worn off. But i would have trouble if i had to get up early to to work, drive etc. My doc says it can take several weeks before you feel any benefits, and i think its worth persevering with. Good luck!

Thank you so much for all you answers, have felt quite knocked out the past couple of days and dry mouth is irritating but manageable. Still experiencing some pain but getting better. Still a little worried about working next week but will keep you all up dated on how things are going you have all been a fabulous support and it's great to talk to people who actually understand

teadrinker in reply to Perl

I got very sleepy and dizzy / nauseas on amitriptyline. After a few weeks it was changed to nortriptyline (which is in the same group of drugs) & the desire to nod off all the time stopped. Unfortunately it didn't help the pain & the higher doses caused hallucinations, so I had to give it up.

I was also on a similar drug for depression years ago, and had no trouble coming off any of them. But I think the secret to coming off them is to do it very, very gradually, under the guidance of a doctor or pharmacist. (Stupidly stopped taking pregabalin suddenly one Christmas Eve and had a terrible time - "cold turkey" is no fun at all & in hindsight quite dodgy).

Hope your amitriptyline experience goes well.

I personally couldn't take amitriptyline as I am side effect sensitive and they just totally knocked me out. I took my first one on a Friday and then slept all day Saturday! The same with Pregabalin - made me dizzy too. My neurologist referred me to the Pain Clinic at my local hospital and I am now on Duloxetine ( I have peripheral neuropathy). I am starting at a low dose to reduce the side effects and am due to go back soon when I think a dosage increase will be needed as it is not controlling the pain. Interestingly, the pain consultant said that amitriptyline is now a very old fashioned treatment and things have moved on. However, many people have experienced relief from their pain with this drug and that is what it is all about, so good luck with it and I relly hope it sorts out your pain. M x


I have discussed this on another site ,regards back pain. MY MISTAKE, just getting used to laptop. I have taken this medication since late 80s for nuropathic pain in legs arms and spine

I have have found it very good after getting over the the side effects and the terrible taste

I take milk with them now with additional medications, This med was designed as an anti deppresant , the fact that it works on nerve and tendon pain was an accidental thing that came about. You are best to take this one at night as it can really cause drowsieness if taken in morning. My dose as 75mg each night. although you may be on a different dose

good luck with them

You may need too take pain control with these tablets as they can be complamentry to pain killers

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