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Thread: Elavil for chronic pain/depression

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  1. #1
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    New London, WI USA

    Elavil for chronic pain/depression

    Was just wondering what experiences people have had with this med. It was recommended to be added to my meds both for help with chronic pain and depression. I really don't want to take anything for depression if I can help it but was wondering how it would help with pain. Right now I take baclofan and trazedone to help spasms in calves and nerve pain in legs, ultram daily for pain and norco for break through pain. Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Several on this site take it for chronic pain. Honestly, it really isn't used for depression anymore. It may help your mood a little, but it helps pain more at the dose you typically use. These days if you wanted to take one medicine to help bothpain and mood, people try cymbalta or effexor.

    When my Dad had crazy bad pain, he was on high doses of Elavil, as well as gabapentin and morphine. He got off elavil several years ago when he was worried it was making him tired, but it definitely helped his nerve pain. Elavil side effects can be fatigue, constipation, dry mouth and all got to be too much for my Dad. But other folks don't have as much trouble with these.

    It sounds like a good medicine for you to try since you aren't taking anything for nerve pain. But I strongly encourage you not to ignore treating your mood in your battle with pain. When your mood is bad, your pain will be worse. And of course, when your pain is bad, that can worsen your depression. They are tightly linked. You can't treat one effectively without treating the other.

    Good luck. I hope it helps.

  3. #3
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    New London, WI USA
    They do all go hand in hand. In the past I have tried Lyrica, Neurotin, Lexapro, and probably others that I can not recall, without much difference. I know my pain won't completely go away, just trying to keep it at tolerable levels. Most of the time it is however it does not take much to aggrivate or flare up. Between, mood, weather, and activity there always seems to be an issue. I am in therapy, just trying to stay off meds because I do not like how they make me feel, mostly numb. With the side effects accompanying Elevil, I think it would make my situation worse. I already have difficulty with fatigue, exhaustion, dry mouth, constipation with my other meds.

  4. #4
    The specific type of pain you have is important. Please describe yours.

  5. #5
    Senior Member medic1's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    New London, WI USA
    I have a lot of nerve pain in my calves and legs. Calves is the burning, pins and needles pain, and most any touch below injury level is difficult/painful. Hips, (bilateral bursitis) Low back pain, SI joint pain, and foot pain are my main issues. Everything being under constant pressure and stress from walking. Weather tends to effect level of pain too, humidity, dampness, cold, hot.

  6. #6
    I was given Elavil before bed while I was in rehab(25 years ago). They gave it to me for pain, mood and relaxation so I could sleep. I think I took 75mg way back when but have since tapered down to 25mg. I don't feel that it does anything for me now, but when I try to wean off it completely I have terrible withdrawals.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    May 2005
    mercer, wisconsin
    My doc decided that Slavic had too many side effects and prescribed Effexor for me. I take just and have been for 5 years. I noticed a huge difference in my level of pain. The pain is still there, but my attitude towards it is different. I am able to use alternative methods like exercise, distraction and meditation to deal with pain. I tried going off but found that without the med I slipped right back into more pain than I could handle.

  8. #8
    Tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil are old antidepressants, and rarely if ever used for that purpose any more. They can be valuable adjunctive drugs to use for their side effects, and in lower doses than used for depression treatment. Elavil can be helpful in management of neuropathic pain, but rarely by itself; generally combined with other meds for neuropathic pain, such as Neurontin, Lyrica, or Tegretol. Elavil also has some anticholenergic side effects, so it is also often used to help improve the performance of drugs such as Ditropan, Detrol, Vesicare, etc. etc. Since is is somewhat sedating, it is usually given at bedtime, and rarely more often than once daily.


  9. #9
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Didn't help my pains, alone or with something else (just one of a long list.) Has helped others to varying degree.

    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

  10. #10
    Omg I came to the pain forum to talk about how elivail changed my life. I have been on gabapentin, cymbalta, tramadol, lyrica and I'm sure I've tried something else. But nothing touched it. I couldn't move in the mornings because my nerve pain was so bad. I can actually wake up in the morning without feeling like I want to die. I feel 20 times better about my life now. Many people on here have seen me ask questions and struggle with pain it has been the one thing that I wish would be gone even over being able to walk. I still have terrible pain but comparably to what I was feeling before it's nothing. Give it a shot

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