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Amitriptyline for back pain

(17 Posts)
L1Fracture Wed 05-Apr-17 10:49:08

I fractured a vertebrae in my back 2 years ago and have had pain ever since. I've tried various combinations of drugs; cocodamol (makes me vomit), naproxen (did nothing) , gabapentin (became tolerant to it very quickly and horrific side effects with each increase).
My current regime is slow release morphine tablets, paracetamol, ibuprofen and oramorph for when the pain is really bad. The morphine tablets only worked for 3 months, my GP is reluctant to increase it so wants me to try amitriptyline.
I've read about the tiredness and dry mouth are there any other side effects I need to be prepared for?
Surgery isn't an option because of a permanent paralysis risk.

Badders123 Wed 05-Apr-17 20:19:56

It's great
Really good med for chronic pain imo
I did have a dry mouth in the mornings but I just kept a glass of water by my bed 👍

Lucienandjean Wed 05-Apr-17 20:29:43

I agree it's good for chronic pain, particularly nerve pain. If the gabapentin worked (even briefly) it's probably nerve pain, so amitriptyline is definitely worth a try.

I found it made me very tired for about 2 weeks, then less so for a month or so. I also had a dry mouth for a while. Now, six years on, all the side effects seem to have gone, but it's still working on my pain.

If it makes you very sleepy, it may be better to take it in the early evening, so you can get up the following morning!

I haven't had to increase my dose, so I haven't developed a tolerance to it.

I hope you find it helps.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Wed 05-Apr-17 20:35:54

It's fab! Had a huge huge impact on my back pain. I'd been through all the standard painkillers with little or no effect. This time 2 years ago, l was thinking that l would be unable to continue to work. Now l can garden for a whole day!

Dry mouth impact is hardly discernible. In fact l found ld forgotten about it, untilyoud mentioned it. And the sleep is great too!

L1Fracture Thu 06-Apr-17 12:36:21

I took the first one last night, I didn't sleep as well as I'd have hoped. I feel very tired today and struggling to concentrate. I have high hopes for amitriptyline because if this doesn't work I'll have to have increasingly higher doses of morphine.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Sat 08-Apr-17 09:20:56

What dose are you on? It only really started working for me at a hoggish fose

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Sat 08-Apr-17 09:21:21

Hoggish fose🙄 Higher dose!

Realitea Sat 08-Apr-17 10:07:47

I love amitriptyline. I was expected to go up to 50mg increasing every other week but it's just impossible. 10mg is all I can manage without feeling hungover.
But 10 is enough for me.
I had a dry mouth for the first two weeks and after that I'm just normal. I do sleep well now too.

quckingduck22 Sat 08-Apr-17 10:29:42

I've been on the for 3 months now for headache/migraine and depression. The depression was made worse due to physically not being able to do anything due to my heaches that I was getting 5-6 days per week.

Nothing would shift it, tramadol other heavy pain killers.

I started off with 10mg at 7pm. I would normally go upto bed at 10 and watch tv for a hour but found was falling asleep before going to bed. Felt pretty chilled when I first was taking them but no issues in the morning.

I'm now on 20mg and take them at 9pm and that works for me. I get a solid nights sleep and in terms of headaches still get 1 per week but now easily manageable with paracetamol and goes within a hour.

I love them, they have given me my life back.

PancakesAndMapleSyrup Sat 08-Apr-17 10:36:47

I couldnt tolerate amytriptline it caused urinary retention which apparently is quite common and i was only on a 10mg dose. Oranorph was useless after a short while as like you i get used to things and tolerant quickly. One thing that has worked well for me (although morphine based) arw buprenorphine patches. Something you might want to try? Im also now off pregablin/gabapentin all that crap after getting to highest dose and nothing working anymore.

Sickofthinkingofnewnames Sat 08-Apr-17 11:01:58

I love amitriptyline.You need to give it at least four weeks to settle down.Literally had kept me going.

L1Fracture Thu 13-Apr-17 19:56:59

I'm now on 20mg a night. I think it's helping but I only started on 10mg last week and 20mg for the past couple of nights. I'm finding the tiredness overwhelming, I'm fortunate that I don't work so am sleeping a lot.
I really hope this works, I don't know why any of GPs at my practice haven't suggested it in the last 2 years. I really want to get off morphine.

maggiso Thu 13-Apr-17 21:54:27

I was prescribed low dose amitriptyline for another painful condition but found it helpful for my back pain (degenerative disc disease). I was advised to take it initially about 12 hours before I wanted to get up, to help reduce the morning inability to get up! For me it helps with getting to sleep- because without it I just cannot get comfortable enough to drop off. Pain is more tolerable after at least some sleep. I have stayed on 10mg. The dry mouth was a nuisance at first( I have another problem that makes mouth dryness worse) . I take water to bed, but also use a mouth spray ( from boots-dental expert dry mouth spray) which is useful when travelling. For me it did not help with pain control for a little while, but has been helpful in the longer term.

Crummyfunnymummy Thu 13-Apr-17 22:01:07

I put off taking it because I was worried about the side effects. Finally relented in February after procrastinating for 7 months! Wish I'd started sooner. I'm on 10mg and apart from feeling a bit tired for the first week it's been awesome!!!!!!

Joanneruth64 Sun 03-Jun-18 01:15:41

Ive been using this amazing drug ..only 10 mg for 4 weeks now..for hip arthritis dissapeared almost immediately...its given me my life back.

goose1964 Sun 03-Jun-18 15:14:46

Had it for a hip/groin pain. It was fab but I had a Very bad dry mouth from it. I went through boiled sweets like they were going out of fashion but it was worth it for the relief it gave me

Littlepleasures Mon 04-Jun-18 01:38:51

I’ve been taking it for about 9 months for knee pain and it’s been a life saver. It was a last resort as I was only getting a couple of hours of sleep each night and pain killers had no effect. I did a lot of research before asking my doctor if I could try them. My physio had said that there was no physical reason for my pain. There had been in the past but although the reason for the pain was no longer a problem, my brain was still acting as if the pain was still there. Amitriptyline apparently targets this type of pain. Neuropathic pain. One thing I was prepared for was the initial side effects. Most patient reviews said they could be quite severe but it was well worth persevering as they disappeared after a few weeks. I’m glad I read this as they wiped me out initially and I didn’t drive for about a month because of the wooziness. Didn’t notice the dry mouth though. I started with 10mg, and I could feel the pain lessening within a few days, gradually increasing it to 40 mg before the pain disappeared completely. Pain free sleep is heaven but I had to experiment for a few months with the best time to take them as I found, taking them about 8pm meant I wasn’t able to fall asleep till about 4 or 5 am and struggled to get up much before 11 am without feeling very light headed. I now take them about lunchtime and get sleepy about 2 am. I just read till I fall asleep whereas before, the pain was so bad I had to get up and stretch my knee and walk around to get any relief. God it was miserable. I think I’m quite unusual though in not feeling drowsy for so long after taking them.
I’ve built up my fitness since the pain has been under control and I can now walk for miles and work out in the garden for hours where before I’d be in agony after just 10 minutes. Amitriptyline has given me my life back.
I am trying now to lessen the dose to see if I could eventually come off them. I came down to 30mg a few months ago but could feel the pain return at night so went back to 40mg. I’ve been on 30 mg the last 2 weeks and so far no return of the pain so I’ll try 20mg in a few weeks time. See how I get on.

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