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What is Amitriptyline?

Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that functions by improving your mood. It targets your central nervous system and elevates the ‘feel-good hormone’: serotonin. You can avail of it only with a registered practitioner’s prescription. It comes in the following forms:

  • Tablet.
  • Liquid.
  • Intramuscular administration.
  • Intravenous administration.

Doctors prefer oral doses over injectables. The FDA-approved tricyclic antidepressant is amongst the most sedative and powerful drugs with enhanced anticholinergic effects. On the contrary, the FDA disapproved Amitriptyline for treating pediatric depression.

What are the uses of Amitriptyline?

Some uses and benefits:

  • Depression, anxiety, and mood swings

Amitriptyline tends to alleviate anxiety and increase your energy levels. The TCA antidepressant works by stabilizing the levels of chemical messengers in the brain. In all, the drug assists in maintaining a mental balance.

  • Pain and migraines

Amitriptyline raises the levels of noradrenaline and serotonin, which lower the signaling of pain to the brain.

Off-label use for some conditions:

  • IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.
  • PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Increased saliva secretion.
  • Bladder pain (interstitial cystitis).
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What are the side effects of Amitriptyline?

Common side effects

These side effects usually go away on their own:

  • Lethargy.
  • Headache and fatigue.
  • Difficulty in micturition with abdominal distress.
  • Dry mouth accompanied with an increased urge to drink water constantly.

Serious side effects:

  • Arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm.
  • Yellowish discoloration of the skin, sclera of the eye.
  • Unresolved headaches.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Vision defects for a longer duration.

The severity of these side effects can vary from individual to individual. Consult the doctors at Yashoda Hospitals for an expert medical opinion or if side effects persist.

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FAQ's

1. Can Amitriptyline cause stomach ulcers?

No. Your prescribed Amitriptyline dosage should significantly decrease acidity and gastric (stomach) ulceration. Stomach ulcers produce an intense burning sensation in the stomach. The emptier the stomach, the higher the intensity of pains. Although, if at any time you encounter abdominal distress, stomach pains, or feel tenderness in your pelvic area, let your doctor know immediately.

2. How long does Amitriptyline take to work for migraines?

Amitriptyline for nerve pain can turn out to be a slow solution but has immense long-term benefits. Some patients feel relief within one to two weeks, and some after six to eight weeks. It all depends on how your body reacts and absorbs the drug. Nevertheless, try not to overdose or compensate for any missed doses. Both come with some harsh experiences and side effects.

3. How much Amitriptyline is too much?

In the case of adults, Amitriptyline more than 200mg/day is too much. For children, Amitriptyline more than 50mg/day is too much.

The medication comes in multiple potencies. The dose prescribed is vital to prevent yourself from the severe side effects of overdosing. They can be:

  • Elevated heart and pulse rate.
  • Seizures and fits.
  • Hallucinations and agitation.

4. What is the maximum dose of Amitriptyline?

The maximum dose of antidepressant Amitriptyline is 200mg/day. Generally, a doctor will prescribe between 50mg to 100mg per day for adults and 25mg to 50mg per day for children. In critical conditions, the dose can exceed 150mg to 200mg in adults.

5. Does Amitriptyline come in 5mg?

No, Amitriptyline is not available in 5mg strength. It comes in the following oral dosage forms:

  • Tablet: 10mg, 25mg, or 50mg.
  • Liquid: 10mg, 25mg, or 50mg in 5mL (a spoonful).

The minimum dosage form of Amitriptyline is 10mg. Other forms of administration include intramuscular and intravenous. Doctors prefer prescribing an oral dosage over injectables.

6. Can Amitriptyline cause heart problems?

One of the severe side effects of Amitriptyline reported is abnormal heart rhythm, termed arrhythmia. ECG (a graph of your heart's electrical signals) shows the following intervals: PR, ST, and QT. Amitriptyline may cause QT prolongation. It can cause lethal changes in heartbeats, critical fainting, and dizziness, which require urgent medical attention.

7. Is Amitriptyline a sleeping pill?

Patients who have consumed Amitriptyline have reported sleepiness after taking the drug. Amitriptyline blocks histamine effects and causes drowsiness. Thus, doctors recommend taking it during bedtime. Avoid taking it before driving or operating any heavy machinery.

8. Is Amitriptyline a muscle relaxer?

No, Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). It alleviates mood swings, pains, and muscle aches but does not come under the class of muscle relaxants. Muscle relaxants prevent and relieve muscle tightness or painful muscular spasms. Their mechanism is quite similar to antidepressants. They act on our central nervous system and inhibit the pain signals from reaching our brain.

9. What drugs should not be taken with Amitriptyline?

The list below includes drugs with a known interaction with Amitriptyline. Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medications:

  • Thyroid supplements.
  • Blood thinners like warfarin.
  • PONV (post-operative nausea and vomiting) drug.
  • Calcium channel blocker for high blood pressure.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors inhibitor drugs.
  • Aspirin.
  • Nortriptyline.

10. Can Amitriptyline make you feel high?

People tend to abuse Amitriptyline. In high doses, it can cause hallucinations, sedation, and euphoric effects. Nevertheless, an overdose of drugs can lead to hazardous health issues like cardiac arrest, low blood pressure, elevated heart rate, increased pulse rate, frequent seizures, fits, disturbing hallucinations, and agitation.

 

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