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Amitriptyline/migraines

(30 Posts)
fromtheotherside Mon 04-Jul-11 22:21:36

I suffer with migraines, they wipe me out for 24hrs at least.
I have managed them ok over a few years but now I have DD I cannot just sleep them of. So I visited my GP who has perscribed amitriptyline to take daily. After reading the information leaflet I have doubts over taking them, they are normally perscribed for depression or adolescent bed wetting!
Also it states on the information that taking for longer than 3 months is not advised, I really don't want to be back to square one in 3 months time.
Has anyone else been prescribed them for the same reason? Or taking them for another reason and had bad side affects?
I have been taking them for three days but tbh I am slightly concerned.

OpusProSerenus Mon 04-Jul-11 22:29:16

I had Nortriptyline which is similar for jaw and face pain. These drugs originally were used as antidepressants but beneficial effects on other conditions were then found. They are legitimately used as a way to reduce pain and are often very effective.

Only problem I had was difficulty getting up in the morning.

fromtheotherside Mon 04-Jul-11 22:32:43

Thank you for the reply. I'm not very clued up and really didn't think to ask my GP any questions. Which I should have as reading the information worried me.
As for getting up in the mornings I already have that problem grin

hairypotter Mon 04-Jul-11 22:35:02

Poor you, I feel your pain. I suffered terribly from migraines for years, I could lose up to 3 days with a bad one. After a really awful one, during which dh was working away from home and I struggled to look after dd's, I told my doctor I couldn't put up with them any longer. He prescribed zolmitriptan (sp?) and I can honestly say that they have transformed my life.

You might need to try a few variations before you find one that works for you, but I would give the ones you have been given a go

Good luck smile

osd Mon 04-Jul-11 22:36:11

Amitriptyline, stops nerves from over firing in smaller doses. I use it for a neurological problem and fibromyalgia with codeine, it helps the pain which affects my neck and shoulders. I have been on it for 2 years. I also get killer migraines i use codeine and something for nausea which is bena(something) and works well. Migraines are kept under control for me, with a balanced diet, no skipping meals, enough sleep and sun avoidance and travelling in the front of a car not the back. Hate migraines amitriptyline even though i take it doesn't seem to stop my migraines, i need other things to control it. Hope this is of some help. smile

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Mon 04-Jul-11 22:42:13

I took amitryptiline for migraines. TBH, they didn't really help the migraines significantly in my case. They are a tricyclic antidepressant, which can also help neuropathic pain such as migraines - they are rarely actually prescribed for depression nowadays as SSRIs are the preferred anti-ds nowadays. You take them at night as I am sure you may have noticed that they make you very drowsy. This can be a good side effect if you have trouble sleeping, and sleeping better may in turn reduce your risk of getting a migraine (I always tend to get them if I'm tired or had a broken night's sleep). For me, I found that they knocked me out a bit too much and I still felt groggy the next morning and found it hard to get out of bed, plus I found they gave me a really dry mouth, so I didn't get on with them really.

Give them a chance though, many people find they work really well for things like chronic back pain or pain following a stroke, i.e. any pain associated with the nerves, so they may help reduce the pain of your migraines. Everyone responds differently to drugs, so it is worth giving them a chance.

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Mon 04-Jul-11 22:47:04

I x-posts with osd - I too find cocodamol the best thing to take if I have a migraine, and that managing my life-style and not worrying too much about the migraines helped to reduce them. IME none of the medications I tried were ever successful in really preventing them, so it was just a case of treating them when they came - sleep plus a couple of cocodamol works for me. Plus I think it is a myth that chocolate is bad for them - I find eating something sweet makes me feel better and helps the nausea.

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Mon 04-Jul-11 22:47:51

Oh, but don't take cocodamol too often as they can give you rebound headaches in the long term.

fromtheotherside Mon 04-Jul-11 22:50:30

Thank you all.
I will give them a chance and hope they work. I have to admit the being drowsy and getting up in the mornings does concern me, I never actually want to get up but having a full time job and DD means 6am is the norm for me. But migraines also make this difficult for me.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 04-Jul-11 22:55:12

I take 10mg a night for nerve pain, though GP has told me to now take 20mg but I don't. It has helped with hte pain. GP said if it was being prescribed for anti depression the dose would be much higher, I'm sure he said 70mg. So a small dose won't have that effect.

I found getting up in the morning a struggle for the first few weeks but then seem to have got used to it and I'm ok now.

Saltire Mon 04-Jul-11 22:55:45

What dose are oyu on? I take 20mg every night for pain caused by Fibromyalgia. it was suggested to me by a fellow Mnetter to take them earlier in the evneing than I was doing, so i take them about 8 o clock , the drowsiness is less severe in the mornings

lou33 Mon 04-Jul-11 23:03:50

Until today i was taking 50mg for anxiety attacks, but the side effects of dry mouth and weihht gain took me back to the gp today and i am trying them at a 25mg dose now. Hopefully i wont need to go back on the higher ones. My gp said they were also used as anti depressants but not at the amount prescribed for me.

I fiddled about with timing until i worked out the best time to take them that didnt leave me groggy the next morning.

fromtheotherside Mon 04-Jul-11 23:04:06

My GP said start with 10mg but I can increase to 20mg if I need to.
I have been taking them at 10-11pm as i was told to take 30/40 mins before I go to bed. I did feel dreadful this morning but never put the 2 together, I will try taking them earlier.

ILoveMrTumble Tue 05-Jul-11 11:04:25

Ive just been prescribed Amitriptyline for migraines, 10mg for 1st four days then increasing dose every 4days until i get to 50mg. I have not started taking then yet as i too am worried about the side effects (i have a relative who has been taking these with extreme side effects). And to be honest i do like a wee tipple at the weekend to chill and relax grin, but taking these tablets i will have to stop as advised no alcohol.

fromtheotherside Tue 05-Jul-11 21:10:45

I appreciate all your replies.
I woke up this morning and felt dreadful, really groggy and not with it.
So tonight I have taken it at 8pm so hopefully tomorrow morning I won't feel as bad.

lou33 Tue 05-Jul-11 21:32:07

When i was taking a 50 mg dose , i had to take them at about 7.30 pm , to ensure i was ok in the morning for the school run. If i took them much later i found it really hard to get up when i was meant to, even though i was told by my gp that i only needed to take them about half an hour before bedtime.

herbietea Tue 05-Jul-11 21:52:14

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herbietea Tue 05-Jul-11 21:52:39

Message withdrawn

fromtheotherside Tue 05-Jul-11 22:03:06

I think I'm going to give them another week or so, at then go back to see my GP. I haven't had a migraine since taking them although it's only been just under a week, so I'm not sure it's the tablets doing any good or not?

jellybeans Wed 06-Jul-11 11:12:14

I tried it but was so 'hungover' in the morning. Need to be on the ball as my toddler is hyper.

lookbutdonttouch Wed 06-Jul-11 21:38:06

I have been on amitriptyline before for migraine, you need to give them a couple of weeks for the side effects and grogginess to settle, then another few weeks to see if they are working.

However I would push for a neurology referral. I found that all the stuff they tried didn't work or the side effects were awful and in the end a neurologist put me on a preventer type drug called topiramate which really worked.

Good luck

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Thu 07-Jul-11 16:42:30

I have to say a neurology referral may not necessarily provide a magic answer either unfortunately. I saw a neurologist at the Whittington and later the top headache specialist in the country at UCL and none of the drugs they prescribed worked for me. In the end I just gave up with the drugs and eventually they died down on their own. Unfortunately migraines are just one of those things that don't always respond to treatment at all. I don't know if it really had anything to do with it, but mine seemed to stop after I became vegan for about a year. I had often suspected that dairy may have triggered mine. After about a year I went back to vegetarian diet and luckliy the migraines didn't start up again - I think I had kind of broke the cycle. I always find that once I've had a couple close together, I will get them pretty much everyday, I had one every day for other 6 months when they were at their worst, I was a broken woman!

Hope you find the amitryptiline works for you, but I found that they only drug that actually seemed to reduce them was lamotrogine which is actually an epileptic drug and I suffered minimal side effects. The senior neurologist in her wisdom decided that it hadn't reduced them enough as I was still getting more than 3 a month, so she put me on propranalol, a beta blocker, which made me feel like death - I was so exhausted that I couldn't carry on taking them. But my neurologist wasn't seeing me for another 6 months, and the GP wouldn't prescribe me anything else as it would go against the advice of the neurologist, so I had no choice but to stop taking drugs. And then one day, they seemed to just stop, perhaps because of my diet, but who knows!

Anyway sorry about that ramble! Hope it works out for you. smile x

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Thu 07-Jul-11 16:43:43

Oh and I believe topirimate mentioned above is also an anti-epileptic. x

susiedaisy Fri 08-Jul-11 12:53:45

hi i have been tacking Ami for 2 years now started at 10mg then worked up to 75mg, but found i just couldnt function on that dose, so dropped to 50mg, it took the edge off of the migraines but that was all, then nearly 2 years ago went back to gp after terrible migraine lasting for over 7 weeks, just couldnt shift it, and was taking way too much time off of work and she prescribed a beta blocker called proprananol, and i take 40mg twice a day alongside of the Ami and it has worked wonders i have to say migraines alot less frequent and alot more managable when i do get one, downside is they slow your metabolism down and i have gained weight, but i would still recommend them to anyone who can take them,

going back to gp too soon wont help they like you to be trying these tablets for several weeks b4 you go back, it is just a case of trial and error im afraid i have suffered from bad migraines for 10 years now and it took 8 years for the right combination of tabs to kick in and help me, hope this helps!

lou33 Fri 08-Jul-11 12:59:11

Just be aware that you can't have propanolol if you have asthma and use an inhaler. My gp put me on amytriptiline for that reason.

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