Amitriptyline and IBS: Has anyone any experience... - IBS Network

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Amitriptyline and IBS


Has anyone any experience with using amitriptyline for IBS? I was on it for a brief period several years ago but stopped after a week due to side effects. I've read online since that these usually subside after 3 weeks. I've been really struggling with my IBS since starting a new job two months ago. I've been on a Fodmap diet but nothing seems to get rid of my symptoms which are mainly abdominal cramps and spasms. I was thinking of asking my GP to prescribe amitriptyline for me again but I wanted to see if anybody had any success with it.

20 Replies

I'm on amitriptylene for IBS as well as Buscopan. You have to make sure you take it without fail as where I miss a dose here and there I got awful bloating and cramps. It took months of taking them regularly for my symptoms to subside...not go but subside. I am waiting for and endoscopy appt to look into my stomach and gut and taking lansoprazole first thing in the morning in case of ulcer.

hi,i haves tried them a few times myself they helped a little with the pain but I felt really sleepy with them found it hard to get out of bed in morning,i have now retired so don't have to get up so early im also thinking of trying them again but first im trying digestive enzymes and forever living aloe vera juice(tried the cheaper juice to no avail) good luck.

I've been on amitriptyline for over 4 years. I found that it helped a lot in the beginning. I guess it still helps now but I still have ibs so it's by no means a cure.

Sandra06 in reply to ivesy

There is no cure I have ibd or uc but colonoscopy was abandoned at the sigmoid colon waiting on ctc I can't take painkillers due to they gave me an addiction in the past so they used amitriptyline as of last night helped me but was still up at 6:00am in pain not as much mind but I'm going on cbd oil its all natural so nomore chemicals can naff me up Evan more I had servere aniemia for over 10 years its only the last 2 due to new symptoms they know its my intestines still there's no cure for ibs either unfortunately

Hi there, I'm sorry you're struggling with your IBS at the moment. I was prescribed Amitriptyline a few months ago(I've had IBS for 10 years)and it's been a lifesaver for me.I'm able to go out of the house much more and lead a relatively normal life. It does cause bloating and constipation but that's outweighed by having less pain and fewer random bowel movements. It's certainly not a cure, as ivesy says, but it's worth trying, perhaps starting with the lowest dose of 10mg.?Good luck, anyway.

I tried different medications and amitriptyline 50mg works for. I also now know what food and fluids I'm okay with.

Doctor started me on a low dose of amitryptiline and told me to up the tablets to where they worked for me.

Good Luck

Happy 250505


I was on amitriptyline for a seriously bad period of IBS a few years ago and it was horrendous. I was on the lowest dose possible 12.5mg and I could barely function they made me so sleepy. I actually missed a whole Bank Holiday weekend sleeping - I slept from Friday afternoon to Monday morning without waking!!! I had even had the Police & neighbours hammering on my door due to a break in next door....but even that didnt wake me. They had other side effects too but the sleepyness was the worst, there was no way I could have gone to work & done my job or even drove my car, so it was good job I was off on the sick. Sorry you are suffering bad at the moment, give the amitriptyline a try, it might not affect you as bad but be very careful if driving etc.

Been a lifesaver for me. I was getting diarrhea in the night and it was causing havoc with work etc. I took 25mg at first and it stopped the nightime movements, and kept me regular. I now take 10mg and as the others say, they are not a cure, but give a better quality of life. I find 10 mg doesnt make you too sleepy if taken about 2 hours before you go to bed. And give them about 2-3 weeks to work properly, as they are not like immodium but get into your system gradually. Give them a try, and be patient, I think youll find them beneficial.

Sandra06 in reply to Paulus

Its made my bowel movnents worse not better but not in as much pain only started last night mind as antispasmoids don't do shit lol

Hi, I tried Amitripyline and it worked a treat, I thought Id cracked it

and on top of that it definately helped me sleep, I was taking 10mg.

I think I took it for around a month then oh dear! on a visit to the

bathroom I had profuse bleeding (from behind) I was terrified. It

eventually stopped. I was thinking about what it could be and as you

can imagine my thoughts were all over the place. I suddenly thought

to check out the Amitripyline and there it was, unexplained bleeding.

Stopped taking it immediately and the problem went away. I was

upset because it did help the ibs and that left me back to square one.

moto-joe in reply to shirlygirly

This happened to me too. I think it's due to the drying properties of the drug. I still take it and it went away for me. My GI doc thought maybe it was a bleeding internal hemorroid.

I wouldn't let that stop you from trying it again if it was working for you. The dose side effects usually subside over a little bit of time.

I tried Amytriptaline 10mg last year, it helped with the pain but I was completely unable to function normally the next day, reducing the dose to 5mg didn't help so I stopped.

My Consultant prescribed a drug called Pregabalin and it's fantastic as not only does it help manage the pain, it also takes the edge off my anxiety, I've been taking it since May and I feel much better. I am on the lowest dose 25mg and have not had any side effects so far.

I'd never thought of pregabalin to be honest but might ask GP to let me try that first as my main issues with IBS would be pain and anxiety. Thanks :)

I took pregabs once never again couldn't move

I read somewhere the other day that it is ok for ibs

i would like to say i have been on it now for about three months and i have felt it helping me. I have tried lots of other things too but to no avail. Iwould give it another try so good luck


Sorry that you're suffering bad cramps and spasms. That's been my problem for many years - I started the low FODMAP diet about 3 years ago and that helped but didn't completely eliminate the pain of IBS particularly at night. I was still regularly unable to sleep with cramps so, because of this, I started on 10mg Amitriptyline about a year ago and it's been brilliant. I almost always sleep really well even if I go to bed with pain so now feel so much better generally and can cope better with any pain because I'm not so exhausted. I've read that others have found that they were just too sleepy to carry on with the medication but after feeling groggy the first few mornings, this hasn't been my experience. I haven't had any other side effects and it's really made a difference to my quality of life.

If you do decide to use it, I hope you also find it a help.

Best wishes Hilary


YEs; it takes a while -about 7 days to get used to amitryptiline-the blurry vision etc

but if you take it early evening you will be ok in the morning

You cant ever drink alchol with amitryline tho !

I was on 10 mgs 4 years .

Your GP should be pleases for you to go back on it for its has cheap as chips

Blessings S x

I tried amitryptilin for IBS and the resuly with me was making me feel suicidal so on my doctors orders I stopped them. Now on a low dose of Diazepam which eases me.

Hi I was amitriptyline for several months it worked for me but as a lot of people have stated it does make you feel drowsy. I have to admit it helped a lot and I was also suffering back pain which it also cured. The problem I found which wasn’t explained to me is I’d take them late on in the evening such as 10:00 pm. I have since learnt you need to take much earlier than that. But after my concern of drowsiness when driving I was put on to a sister drug called nortriptyline which isn’t as drowsy and the next day feel fine. It also works well. My advice would be if you don’t want to go to work feeling tired and yawning throughout the work day and your new boss thinks you’ve been partying like it’s 1999, then ask to be put on nortriptyline. You can also take them late on and still wake good. Plus one other thing do not and I will repeat this do not drink alcohol on them. Some very very very bad experiences doing that. I’m on them for IBS D and have found to have control back over my use on the toilet.

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