Amitriptyline is a tricyclic anti-depressant, used in the treatment of major depressive disorder, and a range of pain syndromes like neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, migraine, and tension headaches. Amitriptyline is a potent drug that induces myriad side effects, making it a second-line treatment option. The Amitriptyline tablets work by suppressing the activity of two hormones called serotonin and norepinephrine transporters, which are responsible for depression in people.

It is in the list of the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. A person should thoroughly read the medication guide before taking the tablets. The dosage is determined by your health condition and response to the treatment. The medicine should not be self-medicated, and only be taken when prescribed by the doctor.

The potency of the drug is not ideal to be consumed by people who are allergic to amitriptyline or have certain health conditions. A few of these health conditions are:

  • History of myocardial infarction
  • History of arrhythmias, particularly any degree of heart block
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Liver Disorders
  • Being under six years of age
  • Patients who are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors

Avoid taking amitriptyline if you have any of the listed health conditions or consult your doctor before taking it. To prevent the occurrence of side effects, doctors usually prescribe amitriptyline tablets in lower dosages, gradually increasing them over time. Diligently, follow the instructions given by the doctor and do not deviate from the dosage instructions.

Medical Usage of Amitriptyline Tablets

Amitriptyline is a prominent neuro-psychotic drug and a very common anti-depressant. Some other health conditions where amitriptyline is used in the treatment are given following:

  • Depression
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Migraine
  • painful diabetic neuropathy
  • Improve sleep disturbances
  • Tension headache
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Cyclic vomiting syndrome

Side Effects of Amitriptyline Tablets

Amitriptyline has a strong effect on the body and elicits moderate to severe side effects in its user. Usually, the side effects resolve over time and do not require any medical consultancy. However, if the side effects persist, immediately consult a doctor and stop consuming amitriptyline. Some commonly observed side effects of amitriptyline are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Amblyopia, blurred vision
  • Tachycardia
  • Increased appetite
  • Tremor
  • Fatigue/asthenia/feeling slowed down
  • Dyspepsia (recurring symptoms of an upset stomach)

Drug Interactions

When two different drugs are taken together, their combined effect may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. Therefore, a particular should not be taken along with another drug, unless prescribed by a doctor.

Interaction with Medicines:

  • Arbutamine
  • Disulfiram
  • Thyroid supplements
  • Antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel
  • NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen
  • Blood thinners” such as dabigatran/warfarin)
  • Anticholinergic drugs (such as belladonna alkaloids)
  • Drugs for high blood pressure
  • Drugs that work in the brain such as clonidine, guanabenz
  • Other antidepressants
  • Medicine to treat depression, anxiety, mood disorders, or mental illness
  • Cold or allergy medicine (Benadryl and others)
  • Medicine to treat Parkinson’s disease

Precautions and Warnings

1. In case of overdose, immediately rush to the doctor or call an emergency number as amitriptyline overdose can have a fatal effect.

2. Avoid consuming alcohol as combining it with amitriptyline can lead to hazardous implications.

3. Avoid direct sunlight exposure, as amitriptyline makes you more sensitive to UV exposure or getting sunburned. Wear sunscreen when stepping out or cover yourself with a headgear like hat or a scarf to minimize sunlight exposure.

4. Do not stop taking amitriptyline suddenly, as it can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How long does amitriptyline stay in your body?

Amitriptyline will stay in your system for about 2 to 6 days after your last dose, but its clinical effect may wear off before this time. Amitriptyline has a half-life ranging from 10 to 28 hours.

  1. Is amitriptyline addictive in nature?

Amitriptyline is not addictive or habit-forming, but it may cause sudden withdrawal symptoms if you stop treatment abruptly.

  1. How long does amitriptyline take to work?

In the treatment of depression, you should feel some relief from amitriptyline in 2 to 4 weeks, but it may take up to 8 to 12 weeks to feel the full therapeutic effects.


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