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Amitriptyline - please take care

If you are someone who finds amitripyline helpful and are happy to stay on it indefinitely please do not be alarmed by this post but I just wanted people to know that - despite what doctors say - it can be extremely difficult to come off it.

I have been taking it for about 20 years for various things including IBS and have spent the last few months trying to stop. I cut down the dose very slowly but withdrawal triggered constant headaches and severe insomnia. I got down to 2.5mg but have now had to go back to 20 mg and am also having to take sleeping tablets to try to re-establish a normal sleeping pattern.

I have now discovered that 2 of my friends had the same problems. Doctors will tell you it is not addictive and you can easily stop - but not everybody can.

I don`t know where I go from here. I don`t want to be on it for the rest of my life but cannot face going through this again.

5 Replies

Have been on it for a year now (I am only 20) and hasn’t gotten rid pain, but too worried that the pain will be too intense if I come off it. Now on 30mg, do you suggest trying to come off it if it doesn’t help? Don’t want to be on it for the rest of my life but not sure what else to do.


I think that it would be worth trying to do without it and see what happens pain-wise. If it is making no difference I believe you would be better off without it

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Thanks janke for telling me something I had suspected for years. I had the same problem when it was used to help alleviate sinusitis pain. Luckily I twigged very early on what was happening. I ended up going cold turkey, which although not very pleasant, was the only way. I nearly had a fit when my GP said I should take it for joint pain after a road accident. She said it was probably better than the pain, ha, she should try it herself sometime.


I`m getting quite angry about the way this drug is handed out so easily. At the moment I wish I`d never taken it - and I certainly wish I hadn`t been encouraged to stay on it so long - no doctor ever suggested there could be a problem with long term use


I agree, I wish I had never started taking it. I was told it was a wonder drug, when I tried to come of it, I was really poorly and my go merely said that it showed my body needed it. A year ago I tried again and have taken all that time to go from 20mg to 10 by reducing very gradually by 1/4 tablet and staying on that for at least 6weeks for my body to totally adjust. Hopefully I will be completely off it in another year and it will never pass my lips again. I don’t fell it has helped my IBS much at all. I find Imodium best if I’m going through a bad patch.

My advice is leave Amytryptiline well alone.

Good luck



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