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I've been prescribed Amitriptyline - Advice needed ?


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Old 06-01-2009, 21:19
BadCoverVersion
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So the story goes...

I had a booze-induced convulsion just over 2 and a half years ago and fell hard on to a concrete floor and broke my cheekbone (a clean split down the middle according to X-rays). Unfortunately the break initially went unnoticed and by the time it was discovered an operation simply wasn't an option. Since then I have experienced pain and general discomfort in one side of my face...predominantly toothache and numb sensations not unlike pins and needles.

Anyway, to cut a long story short I have been given Amitriptyline as a treatment...apparently it can have an effect on nerve endings and combat pain relating to damaged nerves. However 'googling' tells me that it is more commonly prescribed as an anti-depressant and sleeping pill...and this concerns me, well...a bit.

Has anybody had any experience of this drug? Have you experienced any side effects? Do you personally think it wise for me to begin taking these drugs?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

PS: I'm not a drunk. I've had these convulsions since I was a child...alcohol, stress and general illness can exacerbate my 'condition'. This was my last convulsion.
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Old 06-01-2009, 21:29
Ginger Nut
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I had this prescribed for my dodgy back. It is an AD but in much smaller doses it works as a painkiller. Allegedly.

That said I found it had no effect on the pain at all. Just like all the other horse transquillisers I'd had before that also had not effect on the pain.

I can't remember whether it had side effects now. I know I did get side effect from some of the tablets - the only thing that actually happened when I took them!!!! - but I can't remember which ones it was.
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Old 06-01-2009, 21:35
sybilvimes
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I found it gave relief for a short time, about 6 months, then the dose had to keep being increased to remain effective. I also found it gave me a very dry mouth, i was constantly drinking water. Eventually it just didn't work anymore.
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Old 06-01-2009, 21:37
Christa
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I was given it to help me sleep after I'd had some trauma. It's an old-fashioned anti-depressant but it isn't really used much as such anymore, but it is really good at sending people to sleep.

I took it at night & it knocked me out. But on the initital dose I started on it also knocked me out during the day - so the dose was reduced until it didnt make me sleepy during the day.

Side effects are: dry mouth - really annoying, nausea, irregular heart rhythm -especially if you miss a dose (don't *ever* miss a dose!).

But other than that I wasn't really on it long enough to give you more info.

I have no idea whether it's wise or not - I'm not a doctor - but if it does help with your nerve pain it may be worth a go & if it doesn't help you can stop.

Personally, not something I'd have wanted to take long term because of the side effects.
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Old 06-01-2009, 21:37
devilmaycare
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My auntie takes it for her back pain - no side effects for her.
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Old 06-01-2009, 21:38
chitarivera
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Low dose of it = painkiller only.
Higher dose = painkiller combined with anti-depressant.

I had it some years ago [low dose] after an accident and it helped me greatly.

However I have an elderly relative who has been prescribed it and it made him hallucinate. He's off it now, of course.
So, like any prescribed drug, different people have different reactions.

Best of luck with it.
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Old 06-01-2009, 21:54
fredster
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So the story goes...

I had a booze-induced convulsion just over 2 and a half years ago and fell hard on to a concrete floor and broke my cheekbone (a clean split down the middle according to X-rays). Unfortunately the break initially went unnoticed and by the time it was discovered an operation simply wasn't an option. Since then I have experienced pain and general discomfort in one side of my face...predominantly toothache and numb sensations not unlike pins and needles.

Anyway, to cut a long story short I have been given Amitriptyline as a treatment...apparently it can have an effect on nerve endings and combat pain relating to damaged nerves. However 'googling' tells me that it is more commonly prescribed as an anti-depressant and sleeping pill...and this concerns me, well...a bit.

Has anybody had any experience of this drug? Have you experienced any side effects? Do you personally think it wise for me to begin taking these drugs?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

PS: I'm not a drunk. I've had these convulsions since I was a child...alcohol, stress and general illness can exacerbate my 'condition'. This was my last convulsion.
I have been taking it for five years for depression. My psychiatrist said its an old drug, but very effective. I take whatever dose I need depending on my mood. But only at night. I am dependent on them now and try and keep to the lowest dose possible. My GP is quite happy for me to keep taking them. I must add I am not a youngster.
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Old 06-01-2009, 23:09
jay2009
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So you suffer from convulsions and had booze?
surely you'd have been told not to conshume alchole?
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Old 06-01-2009, 23:42
BadCoverVersion
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So you suffer from convulsions and had booze?
surely you'd have been told not to conshume alchole?
No...the cause of the convulsions has never been found.

It's not epilepsy...it's thought to be related to a drop in my blood pressure and partly hereditary (my Grandfather suffered from unexplained fits).

They are extremely infrequent these days (years apart) but bought on by all manner of things. I've had 2 which could possibly be related to alcohol consumption but many more whilst ill or under stress.

I've only had about 5 or 6 in the past 9 years.

Thanks for all the advice so far folks...it's very helpful.
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Old 07-01-2009, 00:38
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When I worked in mental health (3 years ago now so I may be out of date) I was taught that amitryptyline was an anti depressant with a sedating effect. Like other similar medication it can cause dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, urinary retention, sexual disfunction and cardiac dysrhythmias, the last of which can be fatal in overdose so it should not be prescribed for patients who are prone to suicidal tendancies.

But the other point about medication is that although it may be well known for one purpose - it may equally work for another. If you have concerns about what you are taking then talk to your medical practitioners who will know your case and will be able to explain why you have been prescribed this particular drug.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:24
Laurence89
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I tried it for sleeping but gave up after it had zero effect.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:26
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I tried it for sleeping but gave up after it had zero effect.
How long did you try it for?
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:33
Laurence89
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How long did you try it for?
I think it was about 2 weeks
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:36
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I think it was about 2 weeks
How did I guess... it takes about 4 weeks to work optimally. Not suggesting that you try again of course. In fact I shouldn't have asked the question or I'll slip back into my assessing ways!
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:40
Laurence89
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How did I guess... it takes about 4 weeks to work optimally. Not suggesting that you try again of course. In fact I shouldn't have asked the question or I'll slip back into my assessing ways!
Lol thats fine. Its just that after a couple of days it had zero effect so i went on to something else stronger.

I don't need anything these days fortunately.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:46
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Lol thats fine. Its just that after a couple of days it had zero effect so i went on to something else stronger.

I don't need anything these days fortunately.
Glad to hear it - or I'd be struggling to resit the urge to ask what stronger medication you were on.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:48
Laurence89
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Glad to hear it - or I'd be struggling to resit the urge to ask what stronger medication you were on.
I would be neither able to remember the name, or how to pronounce it!
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:01
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I would be neither able to remember the name, or how to pronounce it!
Phew that let's me off the hook.

I wonder if there's anything I can take to stop me being interested in drugs and what they do.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:40
cah
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Amitriptyline perscribed in a low dose taken combined with another painkiller at night can have amuscle relaxant effect so helping the pain to damaged nerve endings thus enabling a good nights sleep.Iwas prescribed these with tramadol due to having a damaged clavicle bone although they help me sleep i tend to wake up with a dry mouth and aheadache
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:00
ladydragon
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<snip>
Anyway, to cut a long story short I have been given Amitriptyline as a treatment...apparently it can have an effect on nerve endings and combat pain relating to damaged nerves. However 'googling' tells me that it is more commonly prescribed as an anti-depressant and sleeping pill...and this concerns me, well...a bit.

Has anybody had any experience of this drug? Have you experienced any side effects? Do you personally think it wise for me to begin taking these drugs?
That's a question for your prescribing practitioner who is qualified, has full access to your medical history and can physically assess you rather than an internet forum!

As for amitriptyline - it is an old style anti depressant which is more likely these days to be prescribed in low dosages for neuropathic pain and perhaps sedation... As -string- mentioned, it should really be avoided now in those with suicidal tendencies or depressed youths...

Yes, there are side effects as with any medication but these will vary from person to person if they have any appearance at all... It can sometimes cause some urinary retention (especially if taking a drug such as Tolteradine) which should be notified to your doc promptly...

If you have been prescribed a starter dose initially to take at night time and find it isn't actually addressing the neuropathic pain throughout the day then it might be worth asking your clinician's opinion on raising the dose depending on whether you have any noticeable affects from it or moving to a drug such as Carbamazepine or Gabapentin... Anti seizure medications which are actually also very good neurophathic pain inhibititors... But that would depend on your doctor's opinion given your medical history...

If it's one of the branches of the trigeminal nerve which was damaged courtesy of your broken cheekbone, then treatment for pain relief can be a bit hit n' miss in determining what works best on an individual basis... Good luck x
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:30
dd68
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didn't the box come with a leaflet in?
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:33
Sunshine&Solace
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I was prescribed this for pins and needles type pain (neuropathic pain) and I've found it very effective. I haven't had any side effects either that I've noticed.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:43
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It's a typical starter drug for anyone with Fibromyalgia, so I took it for a while. I found that the dry mouth and feeling of being spaced out were the most notable side effects, but the weight gain was the worst.

Bear in mind, though, I went up to 75mg, so a low dose should be alright, I should think
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:35
BadCoverVersion
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That's a question for your prescribing practitioner who is qualified, has full access to your medical history and can physically assess you rather than an internet forum!
Of course. I'm just asking for personal opinion based on other peoples experience with the medication.

I presume that my GP has evaluated my medical history prior to giving me this drug. She did explain that the drug was intended to target the nerve damage...I was just surprised to learn that it is commonly prescribed as an anti-depressant.

I intend on seeing her again as I don't know if I feel entirely comfortable with this prescription.

As for amitriptyline - it is an old style anti depressant which is more likely these days to be prescribed in low dosages for neuropathic pain and perhaps sedation... As -string- mentioned, it should really be avoided now in those with suicidal tendencies or depressed youths...

Yes, there are side effects as with any medication but these will vary from person to person if they have any appearance at all... It can sometimes cause some urinary retention (especially if taking a drug such as Tolteradine) which should be notified to your doc promptly...

If you have been prescribed a starter dose initially to take at night time and find it isn't actually addressing the neuropathic pain throughout the day then it might be worth asking your clinician's opinion on raising the dose depending on whether you have any noticeable affects from it or moving to a drug such as Carbamazepine or Gabapentin... Anti seizure medications which are actually also very good neurophathic pain inhibititors... But that would depend on your doctor's opinion given your medical history...

If it's one of the branches of the trigeminal nerve which was damaged courtesy of your broken cheekbone, then treatment for pain relief can be a bit hit n' miss in determining what works best on an individual basis... Good luck x
Thanks for the information...you seem relatively clued-up on this particular subject!
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:41
BadCoverVersion
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didn't the box come with a leaflet in?
Yes...and I read it thoroughly. Unfortunately there were no personal accounts to be found on there...and I would like to hear the views of real, readable human folk, simply for research purposes.

I was prescribed this for pins and needles type pain (neuropathic pain) and I've found it very effective. I haven't had any side effects either that I've noticed.
Sounds similar to my own symptoms.

Just so folks know...I've only been prescribed a 10mg dosage...to be doubled after 10 days.

I'm feeling more comfortable about taking the drug now...but I am still going to check in with my GP just to get some added reassurance and a little more information.

Thanks all.
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