Elavil, generally known as Amitriptyline, is an antidepressant medication used to treat various mental health conditions. It belongs to the tricyclic group of antidepressants and has been widely used for over four decades. Elavil works by balancing the chemicals in the brain that are responsible for regulating moods and emotions. This can help improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
Amitriptyline is used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. It can also be used in some cases to address a range of conditions, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, chronic pain (diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia), irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis (bladder pain syndrome), migraine prophylaxis, postherpetic neuralgia, and sialorrhea.
Uses and Dosage
Amitriptyline is available as a tablet taken orally. It is usually taken one to four times a day at the same time(s). If you take it only once a day, take it at bedtime to help reduce daytime sleepiness. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Be sure to read the instructions on the prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take the medication exactly as prescribed and do not take more or less than the recommended dose or take it more often than directed.
- Dosage of amitriptyline for Adults Depression should be started at a low level from 25 mg of per day and increased gradually, carefully noting the clinical response and any evidence of intolerance. It can be increased by 25 mg every 3 to 7 days, with a maximum of 150 to 300 mg/day. The maximum daily dose should not exceed 300 mg. Increases should preferably be made in late afternoon and/or bedtime doses.
- The recommended dosage of amitriptyline for Geriatric Dose is 10 mg orally three times a day and 20 mg orally once a day at bedtime.
Common Side Effects of Amitriptyline:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty urinating
- Dry mouth
- Weight fluctuation
- Weight gain
Serious Side Effects of Amitriptyline:
- Being unable to urinate
- Bruising or bleeding
- Changes in your vision
- Developing a mask-like face
- Difficulty having sex
- Difficulty speaking
- Muscle spasms
- Numbness in the arms or legs
- Severe stomach pain
Form and strength
Elavil (Amitriptyline) is available in the following forms and strength:
Elavil: Film Coated Tablet
- 25 mg
- 50 mg
- 75 mg
- 10 mg
- 25 mg
- 50 mg
- 75 mg
- Amitriptyline, a medication that blocks alpha-adrenergic receptors, has been known to cause orthostatic hypotension, dizziness, and sedation. Additionally, it can lead to heart rate variability, slow intracardiac conduction, induce a variety of arrhythmias, and cause prolonged QTc (corrected QT) intervals.
- Side effects associated with anticholinergics include blurred vision, dry mouth, urinary retention, rapid heartbeat, acute angle glaucoma, confusion, and delirium. These adverse reactions can be serious, so it is important to discuss any concerns with a healthcare provider.
- Amitriptyline may cause agitation, irritability, or other unusual behaviors in some people. It can lead to suicidal thoughts and tendencies or increased depression. If you or a caregiver notice any of these side effects, contact your doctor immediately.
- Before taking amitriptyline, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or to other tricyclic antidepressants, or if you have any other allergies. Talk to your pharmacist about inactive ingredients that may cause allergic reactions.
- Amitriptyline can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and blurred vision. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness and clear vision until these effects have subsided. Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking amitriptyline and talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
- If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking amitriptyline. Your doctor may ask you to temporarily stop taking amitriptyline a few days before the surgery, and they may need to adjust the doses of other medications you are taking.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are the risks of taking amitriptyline?
Amitriptyline may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior, so it is important to be monitored closely while taking this medication. In addition, amitriptyline may cause an irregular heart rhythm called QT prolongation, which can be dangerous.
How long does it take for amitriptyline to work?
The effects of amitriptyline may not be felt until several weeks after it is started. It is important to continue taking the medication as prescribed, even if you do not feel any effects right away.
Is amitriptyline habit-forming?
NO, Amitriptyline is not habit-forming and does not create a physical or psychological dependence.
Can amitriptyline be used to treat anxiety?
Yes, amitriptyline is sometimes prescribed to treat anxiety, although it is more commonly used to treat depression.