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Thread: amitriptyline side effects long term

  1. #1

    amitriptyline side effects long term

    I've been taking amitriptyline for about 4 years now to combat crawling, buzzing and burning sensations down the backs of my legs and feet. I have also found voltarin 50mg useful to combat stiffness. Not so much of problem during the day, but lying down to sleep and it drives me crazy. My injury was a large disc herniation/sequestration causing CES like symptoms.

    Anyway I had to up the dosage form 10mg to 25mg about 6 months ago and more and more I am noticing that I am having trouble concentrating at work, have mood swings, and also fluid retention (very puffy around eyes and sometimes legs). I have also found that I wake up from a continuous 8 or 9 hr sleep still feeling very tired.

    It might seem relatively minor but I would like to try getting off the drugs altogether and just see how things are for a little while. Any useful advice how to do this - I have read other posts that suggest slow reduction is best - would this be over the course of days, weeks or months? Also what to expect and how long would it take to really know if it was the drugs or not causing the symptoms?

  2. #2
    Hi L2R - I would taper off 25 mg qd over a 2 to 3 wk period. I took Elavil for 8 years at 25 mg at night and chose to get off it (even though it helped with pain and sleep) due to the development of prehypertension which I partially attributed to Elavil.

    Here is what I did:
    I cut the 25mg in half and took that for about 6 nights (12.5 mg). Then I took the same every other night for a while maybe 10 nights. Then I stopped. I didn't notice any problems except worsening of NP pain which I treated with other drugs - I upped the Lyrica. Pleasantly, my BP did come down so I felt it was the right thing to do due to my blood pressure. The last thing I wanted to do was to take Elavil for pain, get hypertension and then have to take more pills for that.

    So , in total , about 2 -3 weeks to get off Elavil.

    I wouldn't be totally sure that the symptoms you are attributing to Elavil usage are indeed the cause. Only time will tell when you do a trial off the med. Fogginess in the morning, and dry eyes and mouth, and vision blurring and hypertension are the side effects I know about.

    Hope that helps....

    Arndog

  3. #3
    Well, I am fine on 1/2 tablet (12.5mg) in terms of pain and sleep, but when I try no tablet I'm still wide awake at 1 or 2 am in the morning (+ I have to get up numerous times as my bladder is going berserk). So I'm going to try 1/4 tablet and see what happens.

    One thing though - the nights I've stuck it out, I wake up really tired but not fuzzy or foggy at all. Its weird trying to explain the difference but I'm pretty sure its real and not a placebo type effect.

  4. #4
    I think it is totally real what you describe. It does sustain sleep. I take 10 of ambien so that helps push through sleep to the morning.

    Let us (me) know if a quarter of a 25 mg tab works.... how are you going to cut a half a pill in a half???

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by arndog View Post
    I think it is totally real what you describe. It does sustain sleep. I take 10 of ambien so that helps push through sleep to the morning.

    Let us (me) know if a quarter of a 25 mg tab works.... how are you going to cut a half a pill in a half???
    I use to bite them or use a pill cutter. The amitrip I mean.
    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

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