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Amitriptyline - any experience?

(29 Posts)
FannyCornforth Fri 30-Oct-20 08:50:14

Hello to everyone
I've got osteoarthritis and possible (probable) spinal lumbar stenosis.
I'm still waiting for my MRI report.
I'm in considerable pain and my mobility is awful.

Anyway, to cut to the chase - I'm currently taking naproxen and tramodol for pain relief.
The consultant I have seen has suggested Amitriptyline 10 mg as an alternative to opiates.
He also said that it would improve my sleep, which is another issue.

From what I can make out it's a strange drug, originally an antidepressant, and it can take up to six weeks to get into your system and to start working.
But I need pain relief now, so I'm unsure what to do really confused
Obviously, I will call my GP to discuss this (it's already been prescribed,) but in the meantime, I wondered if anyone would be as kind as to share their experiences with Amitriptyline.
Thank you very much smile

DillytheGardener Fri 30-Oct-20 09:03:43

Morning Fanny, sorry to hear of your health issues. The dose I’m presuming will be very low, much lower that they give to people using it for depression. My doctor told me they found that Amitriptyline also as a side affect, eased symptoms for many other things such as migraines, so they made a very low dose version for them.

I used it for migraines, it worked, no migraines but it made me very slow, and dopey, but I am extremely sensitive to any drugs of any kind, so I’m not a good example. My friend used it for the same reason as me, and she had a few days of feeling only barely noticeably a bit tired then after day 3 felt completely back to normal and tolerated it fine and cured her migraines.

If you are in considerable pain, do give it a try!!

Thorntrees Fri 30-Oct-20 09:03:58

Hi, Fanny, I don’t often post on the forums. I was prescribed Amitriptyline earlier in the year by my GP. I have long standing nerve pain down my face from facial surgery after a fall, in repairing the damage the facial nerve was cut. Usual pain killers don’t touch nerve pain and I have got used to the discomfort but over the last year or so it has got worse. My GP suggested I try Amitriptyline,starting at 10mgs and slowly increasing to a maximum of 50mgs. I was uncertain it would help but now at 40mgs I do get some relief,it’s not perfect but it dulls the worst of the discomfort. I take it at night, no side effects and yes it does help with sleep.I realise your pain scenario is different but it might be worth a try. The dose for pain is much lower than the anti depressant dose by the way.

FannyCornforth Fri 30-Oct-20 09:11:49

Thank you both very much for taking the time to reply.
I'm already on an antidepressant (citalopram) but I've been told it's okay to take both as they are both low doses.
Thorntrees it is for nerve pain
in my case aswell. I get shooting pains all down my leg. Sometimes I even get pain behind my eye.
How long were you taking them for before you got pain relief?

Spinnaker Fri 30-Oct-20 09:18:19

Great results for me. After suffering for many weeks with excruciating sciatica I finally gave in and went to see my GP. She prescribed Amitriptyline and I have to say it was like being given a new body, in that I could walk, bend, twist and stretch freely like never before. It saved the upcoming holiday too and I was out walking across Dorset without discomfort or pain - it also helped with my sleep. I only had a month's course but could have had more if needed as it doesn't always take effect as quickly as it did with me.

As mentioned above the dosage is lower for pain use than it is as an anti depressant, but have another chat with your doc to out your mind at rest.

Hope you feel better soon flowers

Marydoll Fri 30-Oct-20 09:19:28

Fanny, I'm sorry to hear you still have had no results for your MRI.
Unfortunately for me, Amitriptyline wasn't a success. It was described for chronic pain to try and help me sleep. It had the totally opposite effect.
I had nightmares and I became so angry and agressive. When I recklessly argued with my scary head teacher, I knew I had to stop. I would have taken on the world.

I believe many people find it beneficial, but I have a long history of drug allergies and bad reactions, so that is probably the reason, not the drug itself.
I hope you get some kind of relief. I would give it a go, what have you got to lose?

tanith Fri 30-Oct-20 09:37:46

I took Amitriptyline when waiting for a hip replacement as I couldn’t sleep it worked really well my doctor said it was a very low dose just enough to relax muscles and aid my sleep. I was very grateful but made sure I took it 2 hrs before bedtime as it did make me a little sleepy in the morning otherwise.

FannyCornforth Fri 30-Oct-20 09:42:11

Oh wow! shock
Couldn't get more different experiences Spinnaker and Mary.
Thank you both.
(I spoke to the consultant's secretary yesterday and she said the report has been done and she would post it that day.
I'm not entirely sure why they don't email it.)

emmasnan Fri 30-Oct-20 09:48:05

I take it for migraine and it does help, I also sleep much better. .
One of the side effects I do get is a very dry mouth.

Sparklefizz Fri 30-Oct-20 09:51:25

Hi Fanny I was prescribed Amitriptylene for muscle pain due to having M.E. but it relaxed me so much that I kept stopping breathing (like a form of sleep apnoea) and would wake up suddenly, gasping for breath.

After a week of this, which I had never had before, my GP told me to stop taking it.

Re your arthritis, which I also have, have you joined an arthritis Facebook support group? I joined one for the UK only, and have learnt such a lot on there with reading other people's experiences.

Sparklefizz Fri 30-Oct-20 09:55:47

This is the FB Group I joined: Osteoarthritis Support Group (UK only). It has 10K members and is full of information. Also check out Versus Arthritis which is a website with loads of info. My arthritis is manageable as long as I keep mobile and do targeted exercises. I prefer to do this than to take pain relief. I notice a real deterioration if I miss a day of the exercises.

annsixty Fri 30-Oct-20 10:06:37

Hi Fanny
My friend and neighbour has spinal stenosis.
She takes strong painkillers but was also recently prescribed Amitriptyline and then had the dose increased.
It seems to work for her in helping her sleep.
She is very particular about timing in the evening, she explained but I can’t remember the details.
She is away at the moment so I can’t check.
Good luck if you decide to take them.

Teetime Fri 30-Oct-20 10:10:37

I had the same experience as marydoll nightmares and no help with sleep or pain control but it works for other people so worth a try.

sparklingsilver28 Fri 30-Oct-20 10:12:36

FannyCornforth prescribed Amitriptyline for Shingles in my back - miracle relief.

Marydoll Your allergy experience not dissimilar to mine and Hypertension drugs. Long conversation with family pharmacist, to discover this very often due to the fillers used in the manufacturing process rather than the drug. In such cases she would always recommend the proprietary brand rather than a generic brand (one made under licence from the origin developing company) because different manufacturers use different fillers. Any future problems maybe worth mentioning to your GP/Pharmacist.

Thorntrees Fri 30-Oct-20 10:16:46

Fanny, ( sorry,don’t know how to highlight your name), it’s difficult to say when I noticed relief from the Amitriptyline as I was used to the constant pain having had it for many years. What I found after gradually increasing the dose was the pain was less severe and I didn’t get the intense pain spasms which occurred when it felt like even the bones were aching- hard to describe how that felt. I have stayed at 40 mgs as that puts the discomfort into the background and makes it much more bearable. I did try 50mgs but gained no greater relief and prefer to keep the dose as low as possible as it’s a long term treatment. Trial and error really to get the best outcome, I just wish I had been prescribed it sooner so am grateful to my GP for suggesting I give it a try. Hope it works for you.

Barmeyoldbat Fri 30-Oct-20 10:41:58

Yes I take it, having been taking it since early March, for spinal pain thatssends me up the wall. Anyway, it worked. At first I worked up to 30mg (3 tablets) a day and took them just before bedtime. I found I was sleepy in in the morning until I got up and got going. It stopped the pain and I had a wonderful summer but the pain has been gradually coming back. I spoke to my doctor and he said I could take 10mg for every kg of my weight so as my weight was 70 kg I could increase up to 7.

I now take 60mg a day and I take them about 7 pm so I am not so sleepy in the morning. A great pain killer.

henetha Fri 30-Oct-20 10:48:20

I've been taking Amitriptyline for about three years now.
Partly for my chronic back pain, for which I also take Solpadine. It has helped to reduce the awful spasms I was getting across my spine.
Also partly as it's a mild anti-depressant,- during a family crisis at that time I suffered from terrible anxiety during the night. It definitely helps me to sleep.
I was told to double the dose recently, so I started taking one in the morning (I usually just take one at night) but it made me so sleepy all day that I couldn't really do anything except keep nodding off. So I'm back to just one at night.
Mine is only a low dose, 10mg. But it works for me and I wouldn't be happy without it now.

Blossoming Fri 30-Oct-20 10:57:14

I suffer from nerve pain in my neck and shoulder following a brain injury 17 years ago. It was so bad that I was simply unable to function, it was just a constant red fog of pain filling my mind. I felt so hopeless and would cry a lot. My neurosurgeon recommended 25mg Amitriptyline taken at night, it doesn’t totally remove all pain but it has damped it down to a bearable level. I would hate to go back to the way it was.

grannysyb Fri 30-Oct-20 11:12:10

I have been on 5mg every night for some years, it has certainly reduced the number of headaches I was having. I have never had any side effects, but a friend had terrible nightmares when she was prescribed it. However another friend is on 50mg a day and it's certainly reduced the migraines which were blighting her life

Alexa Fri 30-Oct-20 11:22:13

FannyCornforth, it made me constipated. If this should happen I personally recommend a low maintenance dose of Laxido however ,as always, please consult the doctors.

cornergran Fri 30-Oct-20 11:34:58

Definitely worth a try FannyCornforth. Like any medication some people experience side effects, others don't. Sadly it doesn't work for me (fibro, osteoarthritis, spinal nerve pain), even the smallest crumb triggers what I can only describe as a sense of overdose with nightmares and extreme lethargy. I was happy to try it though, its commonly used for pain conditions and usually well tolerated.

boodymum67 Fri 30-Oct-20 14:07:44

I think amitriptyline is a wonder drug!

I have Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis..had it 23 years.

One of the early symptoms was intense pain in my buttocks and in the back of my thighs. It felt like I was sitting on broken, jagged glass. It is nerve pain.

I was given the drug in 2000 and the dose was low...maybe 10mg. I had to keep increasing the dose until it stopped the pain.

I got up to 100mg and slept 12 hours every night and was painfree in those areas.

I gradually decreased it and have been on 50mg for several years. I sleep well most of the time and don't have that pain now.

I tried to lower it further, but the pain returned, so 50mg is my permanent dose..unless anything changes.

Living with pain is so demoralising.
Good luck

Floradora9 Fri 30-Oct-20 16:44:32

I had it prescribed for nerve pain and the best effect it had was to improve my night's sleep . GP asked if I still needed it and I said I did as had no bad side effects.

FannyCornforth Fri 30-Oct-20 18:53:51

Thank you everyone for taking time to reply, I really appreciate it.
I will read all of your replies later, as I need to take them in properly x

Flaxseed Fri 30-Oct-20 19:26:27

I was prescribed 10mg for atypical facial pain. It never touched it sad
so I stopped taking it.
A couple of years later I was prescribed it again for anxiety/disturbed sleep following my daughter being very unwell. This time I was prescribed 25mg which I take 2 hours before I go to bed and it’s really helped me.
Sadly, even with the increased dose I still suffer the facial pain.