How Long does Amitriptyline Stay In Your System?

12th November 2021

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.

Can I take amitriptyline?

The majority of adults aged 18 years old and over can take amitriptyline. It can be taken by 16- and 17-year-olds for depression, but this must be discussed with a medical professional. Situations can arise which make amitriptyline unsafe to take. You must check with your doctor before taking amitriptyline if you:

  • have ever had an allergic reaction to amitriptyline or any other medication
  • suffer from a heart problem 
  • have been diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called porphyria
  • have liver problems
  • have epilepsy or are currently having electroconvulsive treatment
  • are pregnant
  • are trying to conceive
  • are currently breastfeeding
  • have glaucoma
  • have thoughts about harming yourself 
  • experience suicidal thoughts
  • have problems emptying your bladder
  • have type 1 or type 2 diabetes
amitriptyline for depression

How do I take amitriptyline?

How much amitriptyline you should take must be decided by your prescriber/a medical professional. You must always take your dosage as it has been outlined. Never take more than your recommended dosage and never take the medication for longer than has been recommended to you.

Although your dosage will be personalised to you by a professional, amitriptyline is available in 3 different strengths: 10mg, 25mg and 50mg. The usual dose of amitriptyline for adults is 50mg to 100mg a day. However, this could go up to 150mg to 200mg a day if you require a larger dose, but only following a recommendation from a medical professional. Younger people aged 16 to 17 years and older, sometimes start on a lower dose of 25mg to 50mg a day to reduce the chances of developing side effects. The dosage usually slowly increases, as your body becomes accustomed to the medication.

The maximum dose of amitriptyline is 200mg per day. As it is not known to cause stomach upset, you can take it either with or without food – whatever is easier to schedule into your day to day. It is recommended that you swallow the tablets whole as chewing/breaking them can make the tablets taste extremely bitter, thus harder to swallow.

What if I take too much amitriptyline?

The amount of amitriptyline that can cause someone to overdose varies from person to person, depending on your personal medication schedule. Warning signs to look out for if you have taken more than your prescribed dosage are:

  • Feeling agitated
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking
  • A fast heart rate
  • Fits
  • Seizures

How long does amitriptyline stay in your system?

On average, it takes 10-28 hours for half of an amitriptyline dose to leave your body. Typically, it takes about five half-lives for a drug to leave your system. So with all of this in mind, amitriptyline will stay in your system for about 2 to 6 days after your last dose.

amitriptyline depression

Does amitriptyline have any side effects?

Just like with all medications, amitriptyline can cause some side effects to occur. However, these are often minor and most people who take the medication don’t experience any side effects. If you do experience a common side effect, it will usually subside as your body becomes accustomed to taking the medication. 

The following are common side effects which shouldn’t cause you to stop taking amitriptyline, but it is recommended that you speak to a medical professional if they don’t subside. 

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • A dry mouth
  • Sleepiness
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness 
  • Headaches

Sometimes, serious side effects can happen. If any of these do occur, it’s vital that you speak to a doctor as soon as possible:

  • A fast or irregular heartbeat
  • The whites of your eyes turning yellow
  • Skin turning yellow
  • Very dark urine
  • Constant, intense headaches
  • Random bouts of confusion
  • Frequent muscle cramping
  • Thoughts about harming yourself
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unexplained eye pain
  • A change in your eyesight
  • Swelling/redness around the eye
  • Constipation that lasts a long time
  • Problem’s urinating

Can I buy amitriptyline from EU Meds?

You can safely buy amitriptyline online at EU Meds. You will first need to have an online consultation with a pharmacist independent prescriber before you can buy amitriptyline. The online consultation will ensure that amitriptyline is the right medication for your medical condition.