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Amitriptyline

Hello, I have a friend who is taking 25mg/day of amitriptyline for treatment of headaches. Is it okay to have a couple drinks with this, should she skip that evenings dose? With Christmas coming she would like to have some alcohol. I have read that it can increase the effect and of course she won't be driving.  Thank you
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Avatar_m_tn
While I never took Amitriptilyne, I did take Nortriptilyne for about 2 years. The two drugs are kind of sister drugs and work in many of the same ways, although the chemical compound is a bit different.

I drank (in some cases a lot) on Nortriptilyne and never had a problem. Amitriptilyne is a bit more sedating than Nortriptilyne so the result may be a bit different.

I am now on another (very like) tricyclic called Protriptilyne and as of yet have had no problems drinking on this drug.

BUT, as I must always say, this is me and my risk taking. I do not advocate anyone drinking alcohol while on any antidepressant. In rare cases if the person drinks way too much then I have heard of deaths as a result.

So my oppinion...... 99.9% chance your friend will have no problem with 3 to 4 drinks, but I would stop at that point. On the other had what about that 0.10% chance she could get sick from this. Only she can make that choice.
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653169_tn?1303449969
I use to take amitriptyline and have some pharmacy background. I suggest no drinking with amitriptyline to be on the safe side. Amitriptyline plus alcohol could equal respiratory depression, which means possible passing out or in fatal cases even death. It's just not worth the possible complication even if it is only a 0.10% chance of happening.
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Avatar_m_tn
The last poster is correct and as I said your really not supposed to drink on any antidepressant. What I was doing was giving you my experience and the fact that I used to drink.

Not saying it's a good idea, just saying I did it and got away with it. Your friend may not be so lucky. Also keep in mind that Amitriptilyne is not like an SSRI. It's much more sedating and combine sedation of that drug with alcohol and it could spell problems.
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983030_tn?1261356662
Hi. I'm not sure this is helpful or not but  I took amytripline from 10mg up to 100 mg and back down again to 10 mg over a year. I drank as much as I ever wanted ( usually 2/3 beers a day) and I'm still alive - still depressed.
The most unique (and useful) thing about this drug for me was it helped me beat my nic gum addiction which was really bad and it also helped me beat my cannabis habit which had been going on for an even longer time. I've left the nic gum behind but I live with the addiction to cannabis. I could pick it up like that. But if I did pick it up - then I couldnt put it down again.

Amytripline for headaches is a  little odd. What about aspirin? Maybe your friend isnt being entirley truthful with you and wants to avoid telling you she has a mental illness. Thats fair enough too. You are a good person to look out for the health and welfare of your friend. Dont judge her. If she wants a drink - I say go ahead. You'll know when you've drunk too much and you wont do it again for at least a week. I respect the advice given above but I'd suggest the real fear of misadventure would be with risk taking, or motor vehicles or guns and violence. Its a jungle out there.
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Avatar_m_tn
Good for you my friend, that nic gum is hard to stop. Sometimes I think it's harder to stop than the smoking.

We get this "can I drink on my antidepressant?" question a lot here.
One person on this forum hates when I tell the truth that I used to drink while taking my meds.

I always make it a point to say, "no it's a bad idea." but lets face reality here, a young person is going to drink no matter what you say. I figure no sense in telling them they could die.

Now in the case of MAOI then no way. Never drink on MAOI, but so few people take Parnate or Nardil that this really doesn't apply to them and they know about the heavy alcohol restrictions with MAOI.

I say lets talk about quantity of alcohol. Drink half a fifth of 100 proof vodka and yes, if you take Amitriptilyne then you could die. No question about that.

Have a cold beer while watching the game...... Odds of complications are almost non-existant.

It's all in moderation. Some people like to have a glass of Merlot with their steak. Should they not because they take an antidepressant? I don't think so.

I appriciate your honesty and experience with Amitriptilyne and drinking.

Regards.

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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for all the comments. It sounds like it is a tricky question, amitriptyline and alcohol. I'm sure she wouldn't have more than 3 or 4 drinks max, she's 70 yrs old and doesn't use alcohol much. So would you still take that evenings dose, skip a couple days,   does it matter??  Thanks
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983030_tn?1261356662
I used to forget to take my dose occasionally from time to time. I also took half of those 25mg things - generally I believe it stays in your body anyway.
At 75mgs my doctor sent me for an ECG it apparently has been reported as causing some problems woth heart rhythm. I was OK Your friend  At 70 years may be more prone to that type of thing.- maybe not she probably got one of the strongest tickers going around !
I think at 70 she deserves to be comfortable and have what ever she wants (with moderation as Hensley258 said) and enjoy life within her means as much as possible.

My psych once told me that older people get depressed about what happened and the decisions they made during their life - he said that when younger life is just so fast and hectic...its when your older youve got more time to think and dwell on it....and get depressed.....

I dont know if thats right or not, but someone once said "old age is no place for sissies"
All the best and merry christmas!
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Avatar_m_tn
MP64, you didn't say she was 70 years old in your forst post. Then I say no way.
Shes 70 and taking Amitriptilyne and drinking? No No.

I would say at that age she shouldn't even have one drink with her meds.
That age makes all the difference in the world. The body is not as resiliant as a young person.

I said at first may one or two beers, but not at 70.
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1110049_tn?1409405744
I am nearly the age of your friend, and no I would not drink with any anti-depressant.  Never have, and never will.  And yes the older you get, the worse yo9u will feel.  it is just not worth it.
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983030_tn?1261356662
Are you saying its not worth getting old? Is depression more common in older people?
I respect your honest and open reply.
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Avatar_f_tn
To lifesux_thenyoudie you shouldn't accuse people of lying unless you know your facts. Ive just been prescribed Amitriptyline for my constant headaches and my Dr told me it is used more to cure headaches and pain relief than it is to help depression so you shouldn't throw around accusations like that
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