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- Treats many kinds of persistent pain
- Especially effective for nerve or neuropathic pain
- Affects the nerve cells in the body
- Genuine medication
- All drugs sourced in the UK
Amitriptyline belongs to a group of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. Nowadays it is mostly used to treat pain and to prevent migraine attacks. However, it is sometimes still used to treat depression and low mood.
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- Amitriptyline increases serotonin within the brain
- Serotonin can help to lift your mood and reduce sensations of pain
- When taken for depression it can take four to six weeks before you notice any difference in your mood
- Amitriptyline is taken every day
- It is best to avoid drinking alcohol when taking amitriptyline
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does Amitriptyline Work?
Amitriptyline increases serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is sometimes referred to as a ‘happy chemical’. Increasing serotonin can slowly help your mood to lift if you are struggling with low mood or depression.
If you have chronic pain, amitriptyline works by encouraging serotonin back into the nerve cells, so that pain messages within the body are suppressed. This in turn reduces the pain you experience.
Migraine sufferers may also find that amitriptyline helps to prevent migraines from occurring. Serotonin is involved in the regulation of blood vessels during a migraine, and amitriptyline can therefore work to prevent a migraine from occurring in the first place.
How is Amitriptyline Taken?
Amitriptyline comes in tablet and liquid form. The tablets can be swallowed with water, and taken with or without food.
The medication should be taken every day at roughly the same time.
Dosage of Amitriptyline
Amitriptyline is available in tablet strengths of 10mg, 25mg and 50mg. The usual starting dose for chronic pain is 10mg each day, and this can be increased up to a maximum of 75mg if additional pain relief is required.
Higher doses of up to 150mg may be prescribed for those who take it to prevent migraines.
For depression, adults will most commonly take 50mg to 100mg each day.
It is best to take amitriptyline at night before you go to bed, as it can make you feel sleepy. This can be a helpful side effect if you are struggling to sleep due to low mood or pain.
Are there any Side Effects?
When taking amitriptyline, low doses are unlikely to lead to side effects. Higher doses may cause common side effects including:
- Dry mouth
- Feeling sleepy
- Difficulty passing urine.
These side effects are likely to settle within a few days. If they persist, speak to a healthcare professional.
Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of experiencing side effects. Alcohol is therefore best avoided when taking amitriptyline.
Rarely, some more serious side effects can occur. These include:
- An irregular or fast heartbeat
- Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes
- Headache with confusion or weakness
- Eye pain or changes in your eyesight
- Thoughts of self harm.
If these occur, call a doctor straight away.
If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
Amitriptyline may not be suitable if you:
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Have a heart problem
- Have liver or kidney problems
- Have epilepsy
- Have porphyria
- Take another antidepressant
- Have glaucoma
- Have diabetes
- Have thoughts of self harm or ending your life.
During the Consultation with Eumeds, you will be asked to complete a health questionnaire to check that amitriptyline is suitable for you.
As many medications can interact with amitriptyline, a prescriber from Eumeds will review your current medications, including any herbal remedies or supplements, to ensure that amitriptyline will suit you. Once prescribed, you can order amitriptyline online for home delivery.