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Neurologist prescribed Amitriptyline HCL?
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Neurologist prescribed Amitriptyline HCL?

Quick question to anyone that may have a similar experience.  I had multiple symptoms that brought me to see a neurologist in September(body numbness, tingling, burning sensation etc).  Today, January 5th, I had my first follow up following two MRI's on the head and neck, nerve conduction on my legs, and over 1800 dollars in blood work, to include a lyme disease test.

I saw him today and he said other than a slight elevation in some cervical fluid that was still considered normal, he wants me to take Amitriptycline HCL.

Still scratching my head, as I feel no pain and never presented to him or my FD with any pain.  I have a tolerance for pain, and perhaps I should feel some given my symptoms?.  I am not depressed, nor have I ever suffered depression. I was recently laid off in October, and yeah I have some normal anxiety... I do sometimes have an issue with sleeping, and usually drink a few beers and nod off.

My question:  Has anyone taken Amitriptyline HCL Mg (first week, next week 20, etc) and if so, have you had any weight gain?

Sounds vein, but it took me 3 years to lose 40 lbs and I am 48 years old, 5ft 4 in now at 130lbs, and I just had my one year anniversary, I don't want to gain weight to go to sleep better...And funny, I never talked about not having good sleep with my neurologist.

He asked me how I slept, and I told him, I have a few beers and crash out.  Can I sleep without the beer?  Oh......probably not as well, not sure...never really tried hard enough.

Let me know what you have experienced if you have taken Amitriptyline HCL on a regimen starting with 10 and working your way to 30mgs for 6 weeks.  Or if you have taken it AT ALL in the past, please

What did you experience that you didn't' like?  Did you gain weight?  Did you lose any hair?

What did you experience that you liked?

Thank you for your help
Dinese
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21 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi!

I have never taken Amitriptyline but I was prescribed it... 25mg for headaches.

Amitriptyline is in a class of drugs: Tricyclic Antidepressants these are and old class of antidepressants and are not often used to treat depression anymore. They are prescribed for nerve pain. So my guess would be that while you are not having any problems with pain your problems seem to be coming from your nerves and that is why they prescribed them.

While I did not take Amitriptyline I did that Nortriptyline... which is in the same class of drugs. I had no side effects... but it didn't work for my headache.

When I was first prescribed the Amitriptyline I was nervous about taking it after I got the huge list of side effects from the pharmacist. If you are really worried about taking it talk to the prescribing dr.

Plus, if you try and you do develop those symptoms you can always talk to your dr about switching to a different tricyclic... or do that to begin with. If I remember correctly my neuro told me that the one least likely to have weight gain as a side effect was Protriptyline.

But again talk to your dr... let them know how you feel don't not take it or stop taking it with out discussing it with them.
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547368_tn?1332173665
Hello Dinhi,

I am sorry that you are having nerve symptoms. Does the burning not hurt or bother you? The burning nerve symptoms is usually very painful and uncomfortable for most ppl.

Jeric is correct, Amitriptyline (or Amitryptyline) hydrochloride is a Tricyclic Antidepressants. It has some sedative effects. It may be better know by it's trade name, Elavil. As with any antidepressant you can either gain or lose weight or neither. You are on a very small dose. You should not consume alcohol with an antidepressant.  

I took this medication for 2 weeks for nerve pain some years ago. This drug is not used as often as it once was. I experienced vertigo. It was so bad that when I would turn my head to look of my shoulder while driving everything would spin. I obviously could not tolerate that side effect and did not continue taking it.

If you are uncomfortable taking this medication please discuss this with your prescribing physician. If you feel your symptoms are tolerable and do not want medication share that with him. Sometimes physicians feel they should do something to help their patients. By ordering a small dose of Elavil to ease your nerve symptoms the neurologist was attempted to ease your symptoms. Our part in medical care is to be open and discuss our feeling with our physicians. So I urge you to talk to him. You may just want to call his nurse and express your concerns.

Good luck to you. I am glad that you are not having pain or greatly bothered by your symptoms. Take care, Tuck
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been on Amitriptyline HCL for a couple of months and I am experiencing hair loss, which scares me to death.  It does help me sleep, but I think I am going to go off of it gradually of course, because I do think this is why I am experiencing hair loss.  And who needs that?
Hope this helps,
Ellis804
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760862_tn?1243100904
GOOD AFTERNOON DINHI -

A DOCTOR HAD GIVEN ME AMITRIPTLINE BEFORE AND I DID NOT LIKE IT AT ALL.  GEEZ I TOOK THE FIRST PILL THAT NIGHT ABOUT SUPPER TIME JUST LIKE HE TOLD  ME TO AND NO KIDDING I ALMOST SLEPT FOR 4 DAYS!!!!  I JUST COULD NOT WAKE UP EVEN TO SAVE MY LIFE.  I DO NOT TAKE THAT MEDICINE AT ALL ANYMORE.  I CALLED THE DOC THE NEXT DAY AND TOLD HIM AND HE SAID TO BREAK IT IN 1/2 AND THAT WE ARE EVENTUALLY GONNA WORK OUR WAY UP TO A COUPLE OF PILLS A DAY, I ASKED HIM IF HE WAS CRAZY JUST THE 1 PILL JUST ABOUT PUT ME IN A COMA, SO NEEDLESS TO SAY I DID NOT BUMP UP THE DOSE AND NEVER DID TAKE ANYOTHER PILL.  I CAN'T SAY THAT I HAD ANY OTHER SIDEEFFECTS BUT I DIDNT TAKE THEM THAT LONG EITHER.  HOPE MY SITUATION HAS BEEN A GOOD READ FOR YA!   IF I CAN HELP ANYFURTHER, JUST GIVE A BEEP :-)
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1103598_tn?1258051390
I was prescribed Amytriptyline, 50mg at night for what was then diagnosed as fibromyalgiz, lupus, Sjogren's syndrome and IBS. Turns out I have FMF, Familial Mediterranean Fever and Periphereal Neuropathy. As a muscle relaxer, this drug relieves the pressure on nerves that cause much of the pain and tingling etc. Muscle tension also prevents deep sleep. That is why you were prescribed this dose. The dosage for depression is 3x that or more, and taken in the daytime also. I took this for 5-6 years but stopped when the drug for the FMF, Colchicine, made nearly all the other symptoms go away. The numb feet remained and the pain like someone was sticking a pin in a doll somewhere returned. The Neuroligist put me on Neurontin first, and that was wonderful to begin with...but I would have to have a nap a couple of times a day, so we changed to Lyrica. I only take it at night and it works pretty well. However, as I am having random painful and severe cramps in my legs, feet and hands, I am about to ask a bout adding in some amypriptiline or diazapam which I prefer. I used to think I had a bit of a hangover with the Amytrip, but never did with the diazapan which I took as a muscle relaxer at night for back problems, never as an anti depressant.
Did any of these make me gain weight? Who know? I never lost weight by stopping any drug. It was never any more difficult to lose on or off. I have had a non functioning thyroid gland for most of my life so losing weight has always been difficult. ;-) Sorry, can't blame the drugs...just my own hand to mouth routine. Certainly 25-50mg of Amytrip at night should not be a problem. Never had a problem waking up if required by family member or the cat.
Cheers.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was prescribed amitriptyline for pain. I didn't last two days with it. I was completely disoriented and dizzy the entire time. My wife called my doctor and he said I would get used to it and the dizziness would fade but I just couldn't do it. I couldn't even walk to the bathroom without banging into the wall or falling.
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356518_tn?1322267242
These types of drugs makes you crave sweets there fore making you gain weight.
I was on Elavil for awhile and I noticed it did make me crave the sweets so I quit taking it.
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1093638_tn?1257959388
I also have been down the amitriptylline path. A whole pill put me out for days. A half pill put me out for days. A quarter pill put me out for days....lol. I gave up Zombieland and stopped taking them after a couple of weeks. I never got used to them. Didnt help anxiety, headaches, or pain.

Sincerely,
Janet
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591295_tn?1293848852
As you can see from the comments of others, people differ in the side effects that they get, and in the intensity. I would suggest giving it a try, because when it works it works well.

Some basic data on amitriptyline:
1) When prescribed primarily for depression, the typical dose range is 50mg/day to 80mg/day, and in some cases higher.
2) It is toxic at high enough concentrations; however, this is true of the tricyclic class of antidepressants in general. The rule is to take it as prescribed, no experimenting, and if you feel that you have some side effects, report them to the doctor accurately.
3) When prescribed for pain the typical doses are in the sub-therapeutic range for depression; typically 10 - 30mg/day, up to 50mg/day.
4) For most people the main two effects of it are a) to experience muscular relaxation, which relieves tension and often helps with tension-related headaches; and, b) to get to sleep easier, and to stay asleep for a normal period or close to it.
5) Side effects like weight gain, should you experience it, can be countered by either reducing some carbs and sugar from your diet, and/or increasing aerobic activity.
6) This is not a drug to mix with alcohol, especially with a routine of having a few quiet ones in the evening. Sorry, but perhaps one beer at dinner, but no more. Aside from increasing load on both liver and kidneys, it can amplify the effects of amitriptyline.
7) Interestingly, it is a local anaesthetic: pop a pill under your tongue for about a minute before swallowing it, and you should start to feel like you tongue is a bit numb.
8) It may take 4 or 5 weeks for the main effects to become apparent.
Hope that helps a bit,

Regards,
OtisDaMan
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Dinhi;

Wow, alot of the comments have really made me think. I have been on Amatriptyline for about 7-8 months.  The dosage is 4 tablets at bedtime with each tablet 25mg.  I suffer from so very many things, fybromialgia, nerve damage, severe neck pain (which causes my headaches) degenerative disc disease, osteo arthritis, muscle wasting, sleep disorder and am a recovering addict having been clean for a year now.  Anyway, you mention the weight gain.  As a result of not using drugs I have re-gained my weight and have gone over my comfortable weight. I am 5'4" and when I was using I weighed about 115lb's, I reached my perfect goal weight of 130-135lb's.  I was very happy with my appearance and felt very healthy.  Then the weight kept coming, all the way up to 160-170 lb's.  This being after I was prescribed Amitryptiline.  I never connected the two until reading your story.  Funny, I kept telling my doctor to get his scale checked because nothing had changed with my diet.  He just laughed and would not or could not explain my extra pounds.  I also have very damaged knees so it is very hard for me to do exercise of any intensity or length of time.  Anyway, I ran out of my prescription a few days ago and since then have slept very little even though I do have another prescribed sleep aid, and am in a lot of pain in neck, back and knees.  I have since moved from my last doctor and now must find another.  In the meantime I will get my refill just to ease all my symptoms until I can get another doctor to maybe really look into what is best for me.  Hopefully I can get a serious response to my concerns about my weight.  So thank you for bringing this to my attention as no one else even considered this to be the possible problem.

Sincerely,

Vivienne
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow - this discussion on Amatriptyline is really interesting - my doctor has prescribed me 10 mmg to help me relax as I suffer fro a neiurological disoder.  I have two main concerns:

1) I can'st swallow tablets, so I tend to chew them - I was a bit freaked out when my mouth went numb!  But then knocked me out!  But is it ok to chew a bit before swallowing them?

2) I also have IBS - will Amatriptyline help?

3) Is there a significant risk of hair-loss ?

Any adviuce would be great!

Tom

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3233364_tn?1346457706
I take 2-3 10mg tabs a night for chronic pain, migraine management, and insomnia. Sometimes I sleep better with it, and sometimes I don't.

Todd, to answer your questions:

1) You shouldn't chew them. If you are having issues with swallowing, you need to have your esophagus checked. I had issues with swallowing pills for a long time and then found out I had GERD. After that was treated properly, I haven't had an issue swallowing pills.

2) Yes.

3) There isn't a known correlation between the two, but if it is worrying you, speak to your PCP, neurologist, or even a pharmacist.
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1326416_tn?1370930601
Ask the doctor these things!!??!!! Maybe it's an "off-label" type of thing.
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Avatar_f_tn
My doctor recently precribed this med.  After reading all the comments I am frightened to even try it.  He originally precribed Effexron but had to stop as quickly as I started because of side effects.  I also have a number of medical issues thus the reason for the script but think maybe I should deal with the problems as I have always.
Thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
This is one of those crude drugs that may have been beneficial decades ago, but its side effects are overwhelming. I was on 25 mg. once/daily and suffered extreme weight gain, dizziness, and an inability to stay awake. I was working in an office at the time I was prescribed Elavil and often would fall asleep for hours (I literally would wake up when my head hit my desk) without any recollection of dozing off. When I fell asleep while driving and totalled my car, I refused to take it any longer.

Bottom line, it did nothing to help my pain other than inducing unconsciousness.
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Avatar_m_tn
My doctor prescribed amitriptyline 50mg for (EDS) excessive daytime sleepiness. I took it last night and have been drowsy all day, the doctor said I would be groggy the first few nights I took it but I have been sleep literally ALL DAY!! I don't like this feeling and can see how this pill can make you gain weight, I have been hungry all day and eating nonstop. I don't think I will take these pills anymore, who wants to be sleepy and overweight!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow.. this is pretty crazy, my brother had an accident at work & injured his foot pretty bad, was prescribed Amitriptyline 25mg. His understanding for being prescribed this was as some type of "antibiotic." He underwent a couple surgeries on his foot and eventually he had to report to work and sit around for his 8 hr shift, since he was still employed by them. Well he was on the A.M. shift 7-3:30 , we are given 14 points to use up as "sick/call-in" , but a no call no show is 3 points off the bat. My brother racked up those 14 pretty quick and was fired for  "going over on points" due to not waking up in time, most of those times being "no call, no show."  He just happen to look up this drug a few days ago & brought to my attention that it's an antidepressant. So I got curious & looked it up and here I am reading everyones story & I'm like, "Dammnn... that's probably was making him sleep thru his alarms, etc." I wonder if theres anything he can do to maybe fight this for having been fired & the Dr. Not explaining the purpose of this drug to him
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Avatar_n_tn
I personally can't tolerate elevil [amitriptyline hcl 10mgs.]. I cannot function on this drug.   I have a hang over like for days & walk funny on this drug. Dr. assures me I'll get use to it. I just say no. Treating pain with real pain medicine seems to be a thing of the past.
I think all the hype combined with the failed war on drugs has complicated Dr.s  thinking.  As my grandmother would say "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater". I believe this is exactly what's happening & I wonder if this old drug just squeezes by the DEA watch list and may be why so many Drs. prescribe this now as a catch all??
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Avatar_n_tn
Western medicine leaves so much to be desired!  This drug is crude imho.
If you truly trust your Dr. & he'll put in the time to work with you that's great.
If this is a in & out, run of the mill visit, I'd say do your research. Even though there has been breakthroughs in the last few decades, it seems practicing medicine has gone downhill. I can only surmise it's in the teaching that is lacking? I wish you the best.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was shot 3 times in 2013
April I am now paralyzed t2 I am taking the drug an I am very happy with what it helps with. My legs feel like I am being poked with a millon little pins . I have very bad spazums it locks my legs together. My legs are able to relax. But I cant belive this pill gets a bad name. Like most pills people often jump on board to take advantage of it. It does work with sleep an severe nerve damage if it workes so well why are people not taking it? All I have read is people taking it an it works so well that they quit taking it. Thanks for listening to me god bless. Zac
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Avatar_m_tn
I was shot 3 times in 2013
April I am now paralyzed t2 I am taking the drug an I am very happy with what it helps with. My legs feel like I am being poked with a millon little pins . I have very bad spazums it locks my legs together. My legs are able to relax. But I cant belive this pill gets a bad name. Like most pills people often jump on board to take advantage of it. It does work with sleep an severe nerve damage if it workes so well why are people not taking it? All I have read is people taking it an it works so well that they quit taking it. Thanks for listening to me god bless. Zac
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