amitriptyline for ibs?: hello, I have been... - IBS Network

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amitriptyline for ibs?


hello, I have been suffering with all sorts of bowel problems and got the all clear after they had a look with the camera in my stomach and in my bowel. they did find eight benign sessile polyps which they took a sample and it came back normal. my bowel sample also came back normal also which I was very pleased about as I am an anxious person. are these benign polyps anything to worry about? I asked why they didn't remove them all and they said they on remove them if there are lots and they are causing trouble, well I always have stomach trouble and have done for years so think they should have just removed them. they told me I just have ibs, I like the way they say just like its no big deal. I have had some indescribable stomach cramps with diarrhoea and constipation but mainly with the diarrhoea and it has left me very anxious which of course just makes it worse. I cant go anywhere alone and I cant go far from a toilet. I have read that amitriptyline is used for ibs? is it any good? im scared of trying new drugs as I have such a sensitive stomach that every thing kicks off a flair up and just makes me feel worse. at the moment when I m real bad I take paracetomal and codeine tablets from boots chemist but I have to be careful as the codeine can make you constipated. I just cant win............any advise would be gratefully received. thanks for listening.x

16 Replies

Hello, I don't have any advice but I ve been recently put on amitriptyline for my ibs. I m really hoping it works because I feel like I ve tried every thing.

I m new to here so I think I will try and ask a professional here about the drug.

It would be interesting to know if any one else has tried the drug and how it's worked for them.

Good luck with whatever you try. I know anxiety has it's connections with ibs, so perhaps an anti depressant like amitriptyline will help.

Hidden in reply to GrumpyGuts


About a year ago, I was prescribed amitriptyline for pain caused by a pinched spinal nerve and, as I had IBS as well, I was interested to see what the results would be...unfortunately, they were nil on both counts!

Which, if any, food elimination diets have you tried?

yogaman in reply to GrumpyGuts

Yes it can in fact if you Google Amitrip an " off label" benefit is for IBS

I'm on this drug and it is really helping me, and also making sure I take my pain relief (Tramadol - 8 a day) at regular times. I am now under the pain clinic, for Wales and they have really helped me. This drug was explained to me and I've been on it a few months now and the pain is not as bad. Before walking would be painful, due to my stomach. Every day my stomach would hurt, but I believe it has worked for me. Chronic pain was explained to me to be not the intesity but how long it has been going on for, for me nearly 2 years, and now my life seems to be going back on track.


I've suffered for years with IBS, mainly diarrhoea and got to the point where I didn't want to go out it was that bad.

My doctor prescribed amitriptyline a few years ago and I was pretty sceptical as it was an antidepressant. For me it has been the 'wonder' drug though and has given me my life back. Apparently it works by dulling the nerve endings and so slows the bowel down, as it is also an antidepressant it also helps with the anxiety of sudden onset diarrhoea. I started on 10mg a day, which did nothing but 20mg suits me fine. It does make you tired so I take it at night.

I appreciate that it doesn't work for everyone but for me it has been brilliant and with no side effects.

Good luck, I hope it helps you too!

Hidden in reply to Mstlb

May I ask not sure if you will no the answer to this or not but i cant take the normal amitriptyline as im lactose intolerant so i was prescribed the oral solution which contains ascorbic acid not having much luck here as it made my ibs d worse but only took it for four days but my question is how long would i need to take amitriptyline for and at what dose to stop my IBS-D ? Thanks very much Sam


I get a little annoyed at some of the negative feedback on amitriptyline. Like the reviewer above, I also have had IBS -D for years. I am on a gluten and lactose free diet, but I still had morning diarrhea, most days , especially work days, and it was ruining my life. Immodium is ok, but it always seems to be a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Amitriptyline may make you drowsy, and sleep like a log, but for a light sleeper like me, thats been an added benefit ! The dry mouth is easily cured by drinking plenty of water, which IBS sufferers should be doing anyway. I started on 10mg, but after a stressful week at work, I upped it to 20 mg. Timing is key also, I work shifts which can be tricky, and Ive had a few bad days, but overall I would highly recommend it, and I am now considering coming off the GF and lactose diets. Worth a try, and stick at it for a month or two, as I did, and you start to reap the benefits. Whats worse, feeling tired, or a morning on the toilet..................yawwwwwwwwn, thats what I'd say lol

richv in reply to Paulus

Very good comment.

I have IBS-C and Ami has for sure helped me. The dosage and timing is important and needs trial and error. I found 25 mg made me a zombie next day and now I split a 25 or take a 10 mg. It helps and also relaxes since it is an antidepressant.

Good luck. I got tired of pecking products from Amazon and returning most of them because they either did not help or made matters worse.

I also take Amitriptyline. I take 20mg at night to help control pain due to a back problem, and another 10mg in the morning to help control the IBS. The reason for starting the morning dose was that if I am in any way wound up, including positive things like being excited about going on holiday, the IBS would get much worse. The night time dose on its own was not helping, so it's the morning dose that really helps my IBS. Between the Amitriptyline and the FODMAP diet, I rarely have a problem now. I therefore recommend both as treatments worth trying.

Good to hear.

Hi Sam and all, I was on 10mg amitriptyline for three years and found it helpful but at a review in November 17, a doctor I hadn't seen before flagged up research suggesting a strong link between it and dementia even at the low dose I was on. I went away and read up all I could find and decided that the risk was too great for me personally (I'm 64) so came off it gradually. Since the last dose at the end of November I've had a couple of flare ups but not more than when on it and still better than before I started it. I feel pretty good most of the time and am relieved to be drug free. (I also follow the low FODMAP diet and have done for about 5 years - the flare ups are, I think, food related... Hope this is helpful, good luck :)

hi sam i am 50 this year and i have ibs and the polyps that you have and yes got told the same as you its only ibs they have no idea what it is like for us all i cant take paracetomal i have tride all thats avalible from the gp and there food map diets with no joy the only thing i find that helps is codene and paracetomal together but the worst thing that flares my ibs is vinegear andanything with it it like sauces etc all the best and i hope you find some relief from reading peoples replies on here because it seems to help alittle knowing that you are not alone thanks jeff

Omg try it. I started on 25 mg 1 week ago. My gut feels amazing. Like it's amazing how affective and quickly it worked. I've suffered for years and finally I've found relief. I truly believe the gut is connected to the brain. I'm more anxious than I thought I was too. I think that ball of anxious stress has been a contributing factor. This medicine has helped so much in such a short amount of time. Since the brain and gut are so connected to each other it's fixed both issues. Also its made me not want to smoke either. I haven't had a cigarette in days. Do it! It works!

Chan1405 in reply to DrewMagoo

Hey Drew, quite interested in your response. Just wanted to ask whether you have found the Amitriptyline helps both your gut and the anxiety? I used to have IBS about ten years ago and remember being given Amitriptyline for a while, it did wonders. Didn’t have IBS for years later, until recently where it’s flared up again and have been pondering over whether to raise this with my doctor again, about trying Amitriptyline again. I’ve eliminated various foods, (found out I’m wheat intolerant, as well as dairy & lactose intolerant, bit of a nightmare as im a massive foodie) also tried eliminating stress, (I try to do reiki every night) which to some extent does help but I’m still getting pain, more so my stomach these days as opposed to my gut. Anxiety flared up again last week, hadn’t had an attack for about a year. So really just wanted to know how effective it was for the anxiety on top of the pain?

DrewMagoo in reply to Chan1405

Hey Chan. Less is more for ibs treatment. Only 25 my is the most effective. I truely think it has helped with anxiety too. But not as much. Sometimes it gives me anxiety because my legs and arms and face go numb. Like pins and needles. Then I have strange chest pains

. then sometimes have a panic attack because of it. I still take it though. I'm also a foodie. And I'd much rather be be able to enjoy eating again. Ance my gut feels better my mood is way better. So it's hard to say if it's just because my gut feels better. Or if it's the anti depressant qualities improving my mood.

Hello, I was prescribed Amitriptyline, 10 mg, by Gastroenterologist after going through lots of different tests and nothing being found. The Gastroenterologist said she had also heard about Amitriptyline being good for IBS-D and was happy to let me try the medication. Like you, for over 2 years, I had battled with diarrhoea and had to always ensure I knew where toilets were when outside. Unfortunately, I also sometimes had sickness with the diarrhoea bouts. As a last resort, I asked to be prescribed the Amitriptyline as I had seen positive reviews on line. The good news is, it has worked and has turned my life around. I was told that I could go up to 30 mg but the 10 mg appears to suit me. I take the tablet at 9 pm, an hour before I go to bed at 10 pm. It really is a wonder drug and does work. Good luck and fingers crossed for you as I really do know what you are going through.

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