IBS Network
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Hi, Sorry if this question has already been asked, Has anyone had any experience with low dose amitriptyline?

I have IBS which leans to more D type - however most of time it pain / aches / feeling of needing loo, Generally misery without actually going to toilet multiple times a day or having constipation.

I Need my life back and was wondering if this could help?!! Thanks

10 Replies

I am on 60mg for my IBS-D. I was recommended it three years ago when my night time cramps got really bad, to the point I either couldn't get to sleep or woke several times in the night but I was dubious because it's an anti-depressant and wouldn't accept a prescription. I only started taking it when I was really stressed two years ago due to uni exams and a family bereavement and my IBS-D went crazy and I couldn't sleep for the pain. My GP explained that in smaller doses it can alleviate pain, cramps and help sleep. When I started on it, my GP gave me 10mg just so see if it would help and she slowly increased it in increments over a few months until I noticed a definite difference. I also have hypermobility so I suffer from leg and back cramps in my sleep and it helps those too and it also helps my migraines which are near enough non-existent now thanks to it. My GP would recommend it to any IBS-D sufferer. I'm on quite a high dose in terms of an IBS prescription but my dose takes all my other problems into consideration. Hope this helps!


Hi kiwimiwi ;)

Thanks , that's really helpful and weirdly you point out other things similar to me! I also have some hypermobility and suffer from migraines- thankfully not that often now but when they come they are hum dingers!

Have you tried to stop the amitriptyline at any point ? And if u did were there any bad consequences? I guess I'm fearful of being dependant on something because its worse to come off. However, I suppose if it takes the constant grief away it will worth it.

Thanks for helping ;)


I've never tried to come off it because my GP says I shouldn't if it helps me. I've been on the same dose of 60mg for a year now and as far as I know, it's a case of reducing the dose at 10mg increments over a period of time in order to come off it. You have to come off it slowly even if you took only 20mg because of how it works but the IBS dose is a lot lower than a typical depression dose which is like 150mg! I honestly wouldn't know how my body would take it if I stopped it suddenly!


I too have had IBS for many years but have also been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, which makes life very hard. I have anxiety about travelling incase I have an accident for not being able to get to the toilet, which makes it worse. It makes makes me want to go, so on a long journey I have had many white knuckle rides until I can get to the next stop. I have very understanding Husband, family & friends, but it makes life difficult. I don't sleep well because of my fms. I watch what I eat, even though endulge when I know I am not going anywhere the next day. I take amitriptylin, it helps me sleep but I don't feel any better. Diclofenic seemed to be quite good. Every day is different. I am 56 and I have struggled for years. I accept now that I will have pain everyday, but I can get on with life. I have had to give up work as some days are so bad that I cannot get up for hours. I get headaches, dizziness, ache all over, but I refuse to give up. There are worse out there!!

Perhaps you should find out if you might have Fibromyalgia, with your symptoms.

Good luck my friend.


I was put on this in the lowest dose in November 2012. I have IBS that varies between D and C. Before going on it I was going to the bathroom every morning up to 12 times before midday! Once I started the amitriplyne, I found it slowed this down a LOT. Some mornings I wouldn't have any D and other mornings just 2 or three times. The doctor wanted me to trial going off it for a bit to see how i would go. I have been off it for a week now and I have D again in the mornings. 7 times today for example. I definitely found that the amitripyline has helped me and I am interested in going back on it as it makes my life easier and less painful, in the mornings especially! While I was on the amitriplyline I did still get cramps and constipation, just less D and its not quite as painful. Also, a couple side effects I found with it was a dry mouth and sleeping reallly deeply at night. I am also on the FODMAPS diet. This may have affected my experience with it.

I think it could be worth a try :)



Just found this on the NHS website. I also suffer with IBS mainly C but swings between D and C. I also have hypermobility syndrome and I now see that the two things are caused by the same problem. Hope this info helps you, it made interesting reading for me x


My doctor has prescribed 25mg tablets and I take 1 every night before going to bed. He also prescribed 10mg tablets for taking during the day if I need relief from cramp pains. They certainly help me sleep and I have been assured that they are not addictive!


When I had post natal depression a few years ago my IBS was alot more less frequent and my anxiety attacks disappeared!!! I never knew people were diagnosed low doses for IBS thats very interesting.


Thanks for all the replies, it has thrown up some interesting things. I think I might give them a go later this year. I'm trying for a baby at the moment so its not advisable but if things don't work out I think I will try. Thanks everyone ;) x


I've been tried on doses between 10mg and 100mg. Currently taking 75mg in the morning as my specialist is of the opinion that taking them at night means that they are working most effectively whilst sleeping and thus it doesn't do much for daytime pain.

They do work very effectively for me once you get past the fatigue that comes with taking them, but after 10 years, they are becoming less effective. I did try coming off them a year ago but my symptoms got much worse very quickly so I went back on.

They're definitely worth a try, if you can get past the side effects which seem to decrease over time!


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