Just started Amitriptyline and now feel rubbish

Has anyone else tried Amitriptyline? 48 hours ago my Doc gave me some to try saying it would help me get a full nights sleep and also help my stomach/bowel to relax at night as my mind is at rest too. Then last night out of the blue I had the worst IBS-D I have had in easily a year. Coincidence? I'm not sure what to think anymore. One minute I seem to feel fine although my stools are never 100% solid then this.

11 Replies

  • I've been on amitriptyline for 20 years +, have IBS and diverticulitis plus more health issues than most but apart from aiding with sleep the worst thing about amitriptyline is it causes memory loss, I get constipation more than being able to go normally but never diarrhoea and have never been told by a doctor or consultant, and trust me when I say I have seen many different doctors, that is aids with constipation or diarrhoea. Paracetamol, codiene type tablets help to cause constipation as well as some food types. Hope this is helpful to you x

  • I was on them for 5 weeks, they didn't stop my stomach bubbling or help me sleep or stop my muscle twitching then I woke in the night and had the same as you, worst IBS-D that made me pass out and cut my lip open, had D for the next 4 days and gave me tons of anxiety. I slowly dropped my dose down and came off them but have had heart palpitations ever since and have to take propranolol to stop them. Also wake every night now feeling sick.

  • My stomach bubbling has slowed down in the 3 days I have been on them thats for sure. I have noticed as I am drifting off to sleep my muscles twitch a lot. The anxiety is the worst part of IBS by a mile, I hate feeling this way. Probably why I have been given these tablets to try! :-(

  • Amitryptiline made me feel like a real zombie when I was given it. My GP told me that I'd eventually get used to it but I didn't want to! I wonder if your doctor does think anxiety/ stress is having a big effect on you and that's why they've given it to you?

  • There is definitely something about my anxiety/stress levels that seem to be why he has put me on these. I have to take them for a month and see if I have any improvement. I have to say the stomach bubbling has slowed down and today is a feeling good day but I don't want to rely on these as I don't want to be on antidepressants!!

  • Well if you're seeing some improvement maybe stick with it for now? Amitryptiline are definitely on the edge of the drugs that can be called anti-depressants. Your doc hasn't given you citalopram or fluoxetine (Prozac). Maybe see it as how they're supposed to be used. As a bridge to helping you manage your anxiety yourself? I can only speak from personal experience but there's nothing worse than trying to manage difficult thoughts and feelings when you're not feeling strong physically. I really hope this is a new beginning for you.

  • Hello there. I have suffered from IBS for some years now, but developed discomfort just under my rib cage (on the right side) around one year ago. My consultant prescribed Amitriptyline to help relax me and (as you say) stated it would help me sleep better at night. However, it does not really help with the CAUSES of IBS and if you have eaten something which triggers an attack and are also feeling a bit stressed, then you will probably still have to dash to the loo!

    So whilst the tablets DO help to relax you, they are not the solution to IBS. You should look to your diet to try and reduce the number of attacks you suffer.

    All the best.

  • I had read that Amitriptyline can help some and not so much with others. Its early stages I guess and whilst I feel ok I will keep my head up.

    Diet wise I am eating a lot of foods that are gluten free despite being told I don't have any intolerance which is seeming to help a bit.

    Like anyone that has this though its all about dealing with it each day whatever the symptoms throw at me. So frustrating its unreal!!

  • I also try to adhere to the FODMAP diet, which has helped me reduce the number of attacks over time. I also drink very little cow's milk and stick to Oatly milk which seems to help too. It's really a case of you finding out what works for you and knowing what triggers an attack. Chilli is fatal for me and things like cauliflower, sprouts, onions, cabbage and kale don't do me much good either, but everyone's different, so that might not be the same for you.

    Try cutting things out for (say) one week and see if it helps, then reintroduce them and if you get an attack, you will know to steer clear of that particular item. It does take time and perseverance, so good luck!

  • Did the doc tell you to gradually increase the dose? If you're feeling better on the dose you're on now stick with it. I passed out the second day of upping the dose from 30 to 50 (doc told me to)

  • Well I had to send some more samples off, my results came back and the Doctor has finally found that I have some inflammation in my bowel so has referred me to the hospital. The day I did the test though was just after having a really bad bowel movement (the worst for a good 18 months) 24 hours earlier so that may be why it showed up. He had told me to start trying to use Gaviscon to reduce my excess wind and stop my stomach gurgling as much as it does. Funnily enough since stopping taking it I feel back to normal, well as normal as normal can be. I just hope I will get some decent answers from the hospital!!!

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