Elavil is a class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants, used to treat depression. It affects the chemicals in the brain that may have become unbalanced. Elavil is also used to treat symptoms of depression.
Before using Elavil, tell your doctor if you have allergy reactions to Elavil or to other medications. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant and are breast feeding a baby. Also let your doctor know about all the prescription and non-prescription medicine, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs that you are using on regular basis especially those medicines which makes you feel sleepy (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxes, medicine for seizures, or other antidepressants).
Do not take Elavil if you have any of these medical problems:
- Heart disease
- A history of heart attack, stroke, or seizures
- Bipolar disorder (manic-depression)
- Schizophrenia or other mental illness
- Diabetes (Elavil may raise or lower blood sugar)
- Overactive thyroid
- Problems with urination
How should I take Elavil?
Follow the instruction of your doctor or the medication bottle label/pamphlet as prescribed to you. Speak to your doctor before you stop taking Elavil, if medication is suddenly stopped, unpleasant side effects will occur. It may take up to 4 weeks for Elavil to take effect, if your symptoms have not improved, talk to your doctor.
If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible. Skip the next dose, if it’s almost time and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up on dosages. Do not drink alcohol when taking Elavil. It can cause dangerous side effects. Grapefruit products may interact with Elavil, talk to your doctor about the use of grapefruit products.
Precaution, while using Elavil:
- Be careful while you are driving or operating any machinery as it may cause drowsiness or dizziness.
- Do not give Elavil to anyone under 18 years old without asking your doctor.
- Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays. Elavil can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and cause sunburn. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing if you are out for long period of time.
- Do not use Elavil if you have taken cisapride (Propulsid) or used an MAO inhibitor such as is carboxazid.
- You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old.
Serious side effects:
- Fast, pounding, or uneven heart rate, chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling
- Sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance
- Hallucinations, or seizures (convulsions), feeling light-headed, fainting
- Restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck, uncontrollable shaking or tremor
- Skin rash, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Extreme thirst with headache, nausea, vomiting, and weakness
- Urinating less than usual or not at all
Less serious side effects:
- Nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite
- Dry mouth, unpleasant taste
- Feeling dizzy, drowsy, or tired
- Trouble concentrating
- Blurred vision, headache, ringing in your ears
- Breast swelling (in men or women)
- Decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm
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