Amitriptyline

Generic Name: Amitriptyline

  • What is Amitriptyline?

    Amitriptyline belongs to a group of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants and is used to treat depression.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Amitriptyline?

    Antidepressant medicines such as amitriptyline may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults when the medicine is first started. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice unusual changes in behavior, feel more depressed, suicidal, irritated, agitated, anxious, or hostile.

    Keep all follow-up visits with your doctor as scheduled, and call your doctor between visits as needed, especially if you have concerns about symptoms.

    Do not stop taking amitriptyline without first talking to your doctor, as this can cause serious side effects.

    Amitriptyline may cause your blood pressure to increase or decrease.

  • Who should not take Amitriptyline?

    If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to amitriptyline or similar drugs such as desipramine and imipramine, you should not take this medication. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

    Do not take amitriptyline while taking other drugs known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

    Unless you are directed to do so by your doctor, do not take amitriptyline if you are recovering from a heart attack.

    Do not take amitriptyline if you are currently taking cisapride because the combination of the two medications increases the risk for severe changes in heartbeat.

    Do not give amitriptyline to anyone <12 years old.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Amitriptyline?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with amitriptyline. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have ever had any of the following: seizures, urinary retention, glaucoma or other long-term eye conditions, a heart or circulatory system disorder, liver problems, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, other mental illnesses, or diabetes. Before having surgery, dental treatment, or any diagnostic procedure, tell your doctor that you are taking amitriptyline because certain drugs used during surgery may interact with amitriptyline.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dosage for you.

    Elderly and children ≥12 years: The usual dose is 10 milligrams (mg) three times a day and 20 mg at bedtime.

  • How should I take Amitriptyline?

    Take amitriptyline by mouth exactly as prescribed.

  • What should I avoid while taking Amitriptyline?

    Do not suddenly stop taking amitriptyline, especially if you have been taking large doses for a long time. Your doctor probably will want to decrease your dosage slowly. This will help prevent a possible relapse and will reduce the possibility of withdrawal symptoms.

    Amitriptyline may cause you to become drowsy or less alert; do not drive, operate dangerous machinery, or participate in any activity that requires full mental alertness until you know how amitriptyline affects you.

    Amitriptyline may intensify the effects of alcohol. Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Amitriptyline?

    If amitriptyline is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining amitriptyline with the following: alcohol, antiarrhythmics such as flecainide and propafenone, anticholinergics, barbiturates, cimetidine, disulfiram, epinephrine, ethchlorvynol, fluoxetine, guanethidine, local anesthetics, MAOIs, neuroleptics, other antidepressants, paroxetine, phenothiazines, quinidine, sertraline, sympathomimetics, and thyroid medications.

  • What are the possible side effects of Amitriptyline?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: blurred vision, bone marrow depression, bowel problems, breast enlargement (in males and females), constipation, dizziness upon standing, dry mouth, hair loss, heart attack, high body temperature, problems urinating, rash, seizure, stroke, swelling of the testicles, water retention

    Older adults are more likely to experience certain side effects, including rapid heartbeat, constipation, dry mouth, blurred vision, sedation, and confusion, and are at greater danger of sustaining a fall.

  • Can I receive Amitriptyline if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of amitriptyline during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Amitriptyline?

    If you miss a dose of amitriptyline, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Amitriptyline?

    Store amitriptyline at room temperature, in a well-closed container and protect from light.

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