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amitriptyline side effects - anyone any experience?

(15 Posts)
PumpkinJack Sun 14-Oct-12 10:58:29

My mum has just started taking 10mg for chronic pain issues but she is experiencing such dizziness/wooziness that she is really struggling. She works full time and is worried about being able to work next week. Can anyone offer any insight into how long this may last? I really want her to persevere with them. She is taking them before bed so I've suggested taking them earlier, say 6pm

Pendulum Sun 14-Oct-12 11:01:24

Hi, I'm also on 10mg for chronic pain. My GP told me to take them around 8pm to avoid the sedative effect the next morning. I notice when I forget and take it later than that.

theotherboleyngirl Sun 14-Oct-12 11:13:04

Hi I currently take 30mg for chronic pain. The 'fog' with amitriptyline is a well known side effect - a lot of people give up before it passes. It took 4-6 weeks for mine to pass but I was upping the dose all that time. I agree with the previous poster - take the tablet about 8pm in the evening - it will help with sleep. Getting up on amitriptyline is hard but it's been the best thing ever for the pain. She may need to be signed off for a few weeks whilst she adjusts. It DOES pass. But it is absolutely awful in the short term and it takes a LOT of perseverance. After trying all sorts, and all manner of cocktails of drugs over the past 6 years I can honestly say it was worth persevering for me for the pain relief. However I have one friend with MS who just couldn't get through that fog.

graciesmall09 Sun 14-Oct-12 20:07:38

I take 25 mg per day (taken at bedtime) for nerve pain. When my GP prescribed it to me she said she has seen huge rugby players floored by the side effects and little old ladies totally fine so I was started on 10 mg per day. I have had no side effects at all albeit I do usually sleep better. My GP did tell me to take them about 8 pm at night and this seems to work for me.

PumpkinJack Sun 14-Oct-12 20:30:53

Thanks everyone, I've passed your responses to her. She is always really sensitive to side effects of drugs, poor thing. Thank you.

Tuttutitlookslikerain Sun 14-Oct-12 22:14:48

I take 50mg for chronic pain. If I don't take mine really early in the evening, ie before 7.30, I have real difficulty waking up the next day.

If I were your mum I'd try taking it earlier.

ArbitraryUsername Sun 14-Oct-12 22:22:08

I take 40mg daily at about 7/7:30pm. It does make me sleepy (a desired side effect is that it means I sleep deeply enough not to be woken up by joint pains) and I get a bit of a dry mouth, but it's worth it. I find that the side effects diminish the longer I take it.

DameFannyGallopsAtaGhost Sun 14-Oct-12 22:28:53

20mg here at 630pm. I think it stays in your system for 12 hours ish, so that gives me a reasonable margin for getting up.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 14-Oct-12 22:35:12

Problem is, I fall asleep about an hour after taking them so can't take them too early.

I wasn't as bad in the mornings after a few weeks though. My gp signed me off for 4 weeks as I got used to them.

DameFannyGallopsAtaGhost Sun 14-Oct-12 22:38:45

I'm enjoying being able to sleep before midnight/one these days smile

Casmama Sun 14-Oct-12 22:43:29

Your mum should go back to her GP and discuss her experience. Amitriptyline is often a first choice for neuropathic (nerve) pain because it is cheap. It can work very well or some people but there are other options if she can't tolerate the side effects.

magso Mon 15-Oct-12 19:09:41

I was advised to start on 5mg ( half a tablet) when first starting on this for chronic nerve pain. This was to reduce the side effects. I then increased to 10mg after 2 weeks. I also take it in the evening. Certaily worth discussing with the doctor who prescribed it.

jessiegee Mon 15-Oct-12 21:33:51

I got restless legs from them. They didn't help my pain either so I've come off them. Regarding drowsiness I found that if I took them around 5/6pm I didn't feel as groggy next day.

LongTimeLurking Tue 16-Oct-12 18:32:17

I just started taking these for chronic pain as well. Started on 10mg and now up to 25mg, my doc wants me up to about 75mg as apparently that is the dose that is best for back pain.

They do make you a bit sleepy and foggy in the mornings, best to take them early evening I find, 6pm - 7:30pm at the latest, as the effects normally wear off after about 12 to 14 hours.

There is also a similar drug called Nortriptyline which is also meant to be good for pain. It is supposed to have less side effects but as it costs more so doctors usually try you on Amitriptyline first.

Weight gain is another side effect to watch out for... they can give you carb cravings.

BionicEmu Wed 17-Oct-12 19:36:37

I take 200mg a day for neuropathic pain and depression. I agree, build up the dose slowly and take them 12 hours before you're going to get up. I was told to take them before bed, but I just couldn't get up the next morning. I guess they'll probably metabolise at different rates in different people, but the 12 hours before you get up is a good starting place. I.E if she's still struggling in the morning, try 12.5 hours etc.

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