What is Amitriptyline HCL?
Amitriptyline HCL is one of the most powerful tricyclic antidepressants. You can buy Elavil brand medication with amitriptyline as an active ingredient. There is also an option to buy Amitriptyline generic, which is the same drug as a brand one.
The drug is used to treat anxiety, depression, improve sleep. It is also very effective to treat urine incontinence at night. Amitriptyline is also prescribed to treat various depressive disorders. However, it is most commonly used to treat conditions of excessive anxiety. Other indications for using the drug are bulimia, phobias, neurology, behavioral disorders, anorexia, headache, migraine, enuresis in children. Doctors also prescribe Amitriptyline for sleep in case of insomnia.
What is Amitriptyline used for?
The drug is prescribed to treat:
- Various types of depressions (it is very effective for anxiety and depression due to its substantial sedation effect);
- Mixed emotional and behavioral disorders;
- Enuresis in children (excluding children with hyperactive bladder);
- Psychogenic anorexia, bulimic neurosis;
- Chronic pain syndrome;
Avoid using Amitriptyline in case of:
- Heart failure decompensation stage;
- Acute and recovery phase of myocardial infarction;
- Conduction disorders of the heart muscle;
- Severe hypertension;
- Acute liver or kidney failure with functional disorders;
- Gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer;
- Bladder atony;
- Pyloric stenosis, paralytic ileus;
- Concomitant treatment with MAO inhibitors;
- Pregnancy, breastfeeding;
- Children up to age 6 years;
- Hypersensitivity to amitriptyline.
Take Amitriptyline with caution if you suffer from alcoholism, bronchial asthma, manic-depressive psychosis and epilepsy, hyperthyroidism, angina, heart failure, angle-closure glaucoma, ocular hypertension, schizophrenia.
Amitriptyline (Elavil) Dosage
Take Amitriptyline tablet with or without food, washing down with a glass of water.
The initial daily dosage is Amitriptyline 50-75 mg (25 mg in 2-3 doses), then gradually increase the dosage to 25-50 mg to achieve the desired antidepressant effect. The optimum daily dosage is 150-200 mg (the maximum dosage is taken at night).
Increase the dosage up to 300 mg of Amitriptyline or more in case of severe depression resistant to treatment. Intramuscular or intravenous drug administration is preferable in such cases to start treatment using the highest possible initial dosage with further dosage escalating under the control of overall health condition.
You can start to gradually decrease Amitriptyline dosage upon observing the lasting antidepressant effect for 2-4 weeks.
If your depression symptoms are back at lower dosages of the drug, you have to resume taking your previous higher dosages.
If your health condition does not improve within 3-4 weeks of treatment, further treatment is useless.
Elderly people with a history of pulmonary disorders should take 25-50-100 mg of Amitriptyline in divided dosages, or 1 time a day at night.
Children over 6 years should take 12.5-25 mg of Amitriptyline at bedtime to treat enuresis (the dosage should not exceed 2.5 mg/kg of body weight).
Take 12.5-25mg to 100mg a day to prevent a migraine, chronic nervous pains.
Most common symptoms of Amitriptyline overdose include drowsiness, disorientation, confusion, depression of consciousness up to coma, dilated pupils, fever, dizziness, dysarthria, agitation, hallucinations, seizures, muscle stiffness, vomiting, arrhythmia, hypotension, heart failure, respiratory depression.
If you think you took too much of Amitriptyline, seek immediate medical help or contact your physician.
Amitriptyline amplifies the depression effect on the central nervous system of the following medicines: antipsychotics, sedatives, hypnotics, anticonvulsants, analgesics, anesthetics, alcohol; exhibits synergism when interacting with other antidepressants.
Amitriptyline can cause febrile temperature reaction, paralytic ileus if used simultaneously with neuroleptics, and/or anticholinergic drugs.
Amitriptyline potentiates the hypertensive effects of catecholamines and other agonists that increases a risk of cardiac arrhythmias, tachycardia, severe hypertension, but inhibits the effects of drugs that affect noradrenaline release.
Amitriptyline may reduce the antihypertensive effect of guanethidine and drugs with a similar mechanism of action, as well as decrease the effect of anticonvulsants.
Amitriptyline may increase anticoagulant activity if taken together with coumarin derivatives.
Simultaneous intake of Amitriptyline and cimetidine may increase concentrations of the latter in blood with possible development of toxic effects.
Taking Amitriptyline together with disulfiram and other inhibitors of acetaldehyde dehydrogenase can cause delirium.
Estrogen oral contraceptives may increase the bioavailability of amitriptyline.
Pimozide probucol and can enhance cardiac arrhythmias.
Amitriptyline may enhance the depression caused by corticosteroids.
Amitriptyline increases the risk of agranulocytosis when it is used together with drugs for hyperthyroidism treatment.
Simultaneous use of MAO inhibitors and Amitriptyline can be fatal. There should be a break in at least 14 days between taking MAO inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants.
Can I take Amitriptyline during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Avoid taking Amitriptyline during pregnancy and breastfeeding as it may harm a newborn.
Amitriptyline side effects
You may have the following side effects during Amitriptyline treatment: blurred vision, increased intraocular pressure, dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention, an increase in body temperature. These effects usually disappear after adaptation to the drug or dosage reduction.
Central nervous system: a headache, fatigue, irritability, dizziness, weakness, drowsiness, decreased concentration, nightmares, confusion, hallucinations, agitation, disorientation, tremors, paresthesia, peripheral neuropathy, extrapyramidal disorders, convulsions, anxiety.
Cardio-vascular system: tachycardia, arrhythmias, conduction disturbances, labile blood pressure, symptoms of heart failure, syncope.
Digestive system: nausea, vomiting, heartburn, anorexia, stomatitis, taste disturbances, dark tongue, epigastric discomfort, gastralgia, an increase in liver transaminases, cholestatic jaundice, diarrhea.
Endocrine system: an increase in breast size in men and women, galactorrhea, changes in the secretion of antidiuretic hormone, changes in libido, potency, hypo- or hyperglycemia, glycosuria, glucose intolerance, swelling of the testicles.
Allergic reactions: skin rash, pruritus, photosensitivity, angioedema, urticaria.
Other: leukopenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, and other blood disorders, hair loss, swollen lymph nodes, weight gain during long time intake, sweating, pollakiuria.
Amitriptyline withdrawal symptoms
You may experience the following withdrawal symptoms, if you cancel to take the drug for a long time, especially in high dosages: a headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and irritability, sleep disturbance with bright, unusual dreams, irritability.
Store at room temperature in a dry place protected from light. Keep out of reach of children.
Taking Amitriptyline in dosages above 150 mg a day reduces seizure activity threshold. Therefore, you should take into account the possibility of seizures in people with a history seizure and in people, who are predisposed to it due to age or injury.
Elderly people should take Amitriptyline under strict medical control with minimal doses and gradually increase them in order to avoid development of delirium disorders, hypomania, and other complications.
People with depressive phase of a manic-depressive disorder may enter the manic phase.
Amitriptyline and alcohol
Like with any other antidepressants, avoid taking amitriptyline with alcohol.
It is recommended to refrain from driving a car, working with potentially dangerous equipment or doing other activities, which requires increased concentration, during treatment with Amitriptyline.
Avoid taking the drug in case of acute liver or kidney disorder with severe dysfunction.
Children under 6 years old should avoid taking the drug.
There are a lot of Amitriptyline reviews from people, who used it to treat various mental disorders. About a half of people complain about its side effects that develop rather fast - in a day or two after a beginning of treatment. According to Elavil reviews, excessive drowsiness and lethargy are most widespread adverse reactions. Taking into account the type of side effects, people try to take the drug before going to bed at night.
There are cases when people complain about the same symptoms at the same time, pointing to the fact that they continue to have them for more than two-three months. In such cases, the drug is most frequently replaced with another similar antidepressant. There are also reviews, in which people confidently say they have not noted any side effects during Amitriptyline intake.
Summing up all Amitriptyline reviews, we can state that the drug is not very well tolerated but it can cause completely different side effects for every person. Even if a body does not perceive it, and then the drug can be replaced with another drug. Howbeit, it is recommended to consult with a medical specialist before taking the drug.
Amitriptyline for depression
Amitriptyline (or Elavil) is tolerated well enough in most cases if you take the drug strictly according your doctor's instructions. Since this drug is known to have a sedative effect, it does not affect quality and duration of sleep. Considering this fact, this drug can be taken even before bedtime.
What is depression?
By depression, we understand a feeling of emptiness, worthlessness, depressed mood, obsessive thoughts, a complete or partial lack of interest in life, feelings of isolation, tearfulness, which may be accompanied by insomnia. Bouts of depression tend to repeat itself, causing a person to have a very painful experience.
What are the true causes of depression?
Speaking about the reasons for the development of depressive states, we should note in the first place, that in most cases they tend to occur in response to stress. In addition, depression is often one of the signs of a mental pathology. A suicide attempt is a common result of this condition in most cases. The depressive state develops due to an insufficient number of certain neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are active chemical components, which occurs due to the launch of a series of biochemical reactions. The lack of serotonin and norepinephrine often leads to depression. Serotonin is responsible for the emotional stability of a person. In addition, serotonin responsible for the sleep mode, the prevention of depression and self-control. You should be regularly getting enough sunlight in order for this substance to be produced in sufficient quantities.
What is the role of Amitriptyline depression treatment?
Modern medicine provides a large number of various methods to get rid of depression. Amitriptyline increases a level of both serotonin and norepinephrine. By acting on a human body, the medication has a powerful calming effect, while minimizing both depression and anxiety, as well as a sense of panic. A person may complain about an excessive sensitivity to pain due to a decrease in serotonin levels. Amitriptyline can help in this case since its known to have analgesic properties.
The drug can be used to treat both endogenous depression and schizophrenia. In addition, it is prescribed in case of the depressive phase of manic-depressive psychosis. Various behavioral disorders are also an indication to use this drug. The most important thing is to adjust the dosage properly. You may have numerous dangerous side effects in case of Amitriptyline overdose. Side effects may include heart disorders, excessive sleepiness, increased body temperature, increased blood pressure, impaired consciousness, respiratory depression, disorientation, hallucinations, shortness of breath and so on.
Amitriptyline to treat nocturnal enuresis in children
Persistent enuresis is a process of urination, which is primarily involuntary. Nocturnal enuresis is urine incontinence in the age when people can control work of a bladder. Nocturnal enuresis is commonly observed in children under the age of 5 years. According to statistics, this condition is one of the most common among the various urination disorders in children. For example, children under five years suffer from this disorder in 10% of cases. Ten-year children - 5% of cases, a fourteen years old – 2% of cases. Sometimes enuresis occurs even at the age of eighteen years old. It should be noted, this disorder is more often observed in boys than girls.
What causes enuresis?
There are actually a lot of enuresis causes. These could be considered as the malformations of the urinary system and nervous system, infectious disease, psychological stress, bladder disruption bladder, kidney or urinary tract disorders, as well as mental disorders. You should take your child to visit nephrologist or urologist in case of enuresis. If the reason is not hiding in the pathologies of the urinary system, then you need to “drill” much deeper.
Can Amitriptyline help to treat nocturnal enuresis in children?
Amitriptyline is used to treat nocturnal enuresis in children only in those cases when it occurs due psychosocial stress. The psyche of children is very sensitive. And even the slightest stress can be a reason for its impairment. The psyche of a child can be shaken because of frequent parents quarrels, as a result of moving from one city to another, due to a conflict with peers and so on. Amitriptyline can help to overcome enuresis in such cases.
Important! Parents should very closely monitor any changes in a behavior and the overall health of a child during treatment with Amitriptyline because this drug tends to cause a sufficiently large number of side effects.
Amitriptyline for sleep
Amitriptyline, also known under the brand name Elavil®, is a prescription drug used to treat depression. Your doctor may also prescribe amitriptyline for insomnia. Using right individual dosage it can be an effective drug for the treatment of chronic insomnia. This drug is not classified as sleeping pills, but it is not addictive and helps people relax and go to sleep. That is why so many doctors recommend taking this medication.
The needs of a person may differ when it comes to using Amitriptyline for sleep. The dosage of the drug for insomnia treatment is much less than the dosage for patients with depression. In case of depressions doctors usually, prescribe 50 mg of Amitriptyline or more. Dosages of the drug people with insomnia are from 10 mg to 40 mg.
Doctors usually start with a very low dosage and increase the dosage every week if necessary.
There are potential side effects of the drug, because of which some are hesitant to use Amitriptyline for sleep. One common side effect is weight gain, dry mouth, and constipation. This antidepressant has a different effect on people. Thus, you will not be able to understand whether the drug is suitable for you until you try it. If you have started to take the drug and want to stop taking it, contact your doctor to find out how to cancel the drug properly.
Amitriptyline is not safe for people who are exposed to direct sunlight or fluorescent artificial lighting for a long time.
It is not recommended to stay under the sun for a long time if you are taking this medication. If you spend much time under the sun and do not want to change your lifestyle, you should tell your doctor about it and discuss an alternative form of insomnia treatment.
There have been rare cases of insomnia as a result of taking Amitriptyline. Contact your doctor as soon as possible, if your sleep is getting worse after you started taking the drug. However, most often people complain about the drug because it works too well. People often can not get up for their work in the morning after taking the medication. This means that they need a lower dosage of Amitriptyline for sleep.