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AaronB
29-06-13, 20:11
Hi Everyone,

I have improved my anxiety levels a lot since being told I have GAD and HA. However my headaches just will not go.

I have seen my GP on numerous occasions and she is absolutely sure I do not have any serious condition with my head, or brain. And on Monday just gone I also went to the Optician and all clear there too. Nice and healthy eyes.

She is sure that these are tension headaches.

So I asked about Amitriptyline, and she said good idea lets try it.

So, tonight I have taken a quarter of a tablet. I know I know, it's such a tiny amount, and it's only a 10mg tablet anyway.

Thing is, I work myself up so much before taking anything new that I start creating symptoms and side effects before I've taken the bloody thing!!

So I've taken the quarter, and I have the other quarter sat beside me now. I still have a headache though, so should I take another quarter? I'm allowed up to two tablets a night and so far just have a bit of a numb tongue, thats it.

What do you suggest?

CharlieM
29-06-13, 20:17
I started on 10mg a few weeks ago. After 2 weeks I upped to 20mg, and am now starting 25mg for the next four weeks.

Absolutely no side effects and I am definitely starting to feel some benefit as far as my pain is concerned.

Amitriptyline can be taken as high as 75mg per day, so I have plenty of room to up my dose further if needed.

Aaron, 10mg is a small dose so you will be fine taking the whole tablet.

AaronB
29-06-13, 20:27
Thanks CharlieM, I've just taken another quarter so will leave it as a half tonight. Can I ask what pain you are referring to? Do you suffer from headaches too? It is my headaches (which are daily, and sometimes all day) that I am seeking relief from.

I am down a lot at the moment but I'm sure that this is due to the headaches rather than Depression itself.

CharlieM
29-06-13, 20:35
Mine is neuropathic pain caused by anxiety. My GP has also referred me to a neurologist to find out where the pain is originating. It is prob from my neck where a nerve maybe compressed.

My pain is in my neck, shoulder, jaw, armpit, arm and chest. Amitriptyline is an old school AD, but is now mainly prescribed for migraines and neuropathic type pain. It is safe and although it can cause dry mouth and vivid dreams, it also has a sedative effect which is why I take mine an hour before going to bed. I have never slept as well as I am at the moment.

AaronB
29-06-13, 20:56
Thanks, sounds like the positive effects of this drug are worth the rather minor side effects. I'm aware we all react differently but I'm willing to give it a go.

I may as well take the other half of the tablet then. I really struggle taking tablets but have found that if I take them in quarters they basically dissolve on my tongue anyway.

My headache is slowly easing up, I'm guessing that's a good sign.

---------- Post added at 20:56 ---------- Previous post was at 20:46 ----------

I assume it's okay to effectively crush these pills? As thats basically what I'm doing with my teeth!

CharlieM
29-06-13, 20:58
Yes, should be fine to crush them. In fact it will probably make them work quicker.

AaronB
29-06-13, 21:13
Thanks again, I'll report back with how they work for me. Which should hopefully help others.

---------- Post added at 21:03 ---------- Previous post was at 21:01 ----------

Full tablet down. Makes a change for me to be able to take them!

---------- Post added at 21:13 ---------- Previous post was at 21:03 ----------

And I assume it won't just take away this current headache after the first tablet? Wishful thinking?

AaronB
30-06-13, 11:08
Well I went to bed around 10 last night, slept better. Definitely.

I woke up a couple of times, but got back to sleep very quickly. So a real improvement on my sleep pattern previously.

I had very little energy this morning though, still the case if I'm honest. But I'm going to try and perk myself up a bit and see if it helps.

As for the headache, my head feels slightly achy. But no where near as bad as yesterday.

So far so good.

Can anyone who has taken Amitriptyline for tension headaches let me know roughly how long it takes to help them after starting these pills?

ricardo
30-06-13, 11:33
Aaron hello.

You most probably won't have read about my daughter who has had a migraine and photo phobia for over a year and has had every conceivable test that there is available.

She was prescribed Amitriptyline 10mg which definitely knocked her out but didn't help with her migraine.
Since we returned to England her GP also suggested that my daughter was suffering stress related headaches as she has a few other health problems and after discussing these problems with her and also dealing with them her stress levels have subsided and so has her migraine,which is now not so intense.She is not taking any medication anymore, is more active and therefore has less time to think about her stress.

AaronB
01-07-13, 08:10
Well I took a tablet again last night and to be honest it didn't make me sleep nearly as well as the first tablet. I didn't have such a deep sleep and woke up a few times too.

Will it sometimes work and sometimes not?

CharlieM
01-07-13, 09:18
It's early days Aaron,

And you are on a small starter dose. I took 10mg for 2 weeks, then 20mg for 2 weeks. I am now on my 3rd day of 25mg. I am now feeling the benefits much more, so stick with it.

AaronB
01-07-13, 20:01
Thanks CharlieM

I wonder if my GP is planning on increasing my dose though, she didn't mention anything about increasing, and actually didn't mention anything about booking another appointment to see her.

I will book another appointment though and ask her.

One thing though, with this higher dose, do you just take two 10mg tablets? And then two and a half? Or is there another tablet that is then a 20mg and a 25mg?

On the label on my box of Amitriptyline, it does say one OR two tablets to be taken a night.

Should I take two after say a couple of weeks?

CharlieM
01-07-13, 20:41
The 20mg meant I had to take 2 tabs of 10mg. The next size up is 25mg, which I am now taking one of each night an hour before bed.

I think they then do 30, 40, 50 and 75 after that.

You need to ask your GP if you want to up it - at least I did.

Stormsky
01-07-13, 20:43
They come in 10,25,50,75,100,150mg

AaronB
12-07-13, 20:37
Hi Everyone,

So I've been on Amitriptyline for just over a couple of weeks now and have had a very welcome break from the tension and headaches. I have also felt a lot more calm, and feel happier as a result.

However, in the last five days or so, I have had a slight return of the headaches. Only a little, and nowhere near as bad as what I had previously. And one dose of paracetamol wiped it out.

Last night though, and today, I have experienced more of a head ache. To the point that today I thought it was a migraine and as I'm writing this still have the head ache. I have taken two doses of paracetamol and unfortunately still feeling the ache, although it does respond to the paracetamol a bit.

So I wondered if tonight would be a good time to maybe try two tablets? As I have only been taking 10mg per night. Or maybe a tablet and a half?

This tablet has certainly put my mind at rest about any horrible things like brain tumours and the like, as my GP and Osteopath have both been telling me lots and lots that they are sure it isn't anything like that, and just tension. And the fact that just the 10mg per night so far has knocked the head aches out for a good amount of time reinforces that I should think.

Just to add, on the box it says 'one or two tablets per night', so my GP is fine for me to use two if required.

Is it time to up the dose? Or just see if the headaches go away again and stick to 10mg?

I do sleep a lot better too.

CharlieM
12-07-13, 20:44
Aaron,

Def worth going to 20mg, as long as your GP ok with it. I am now on 25mg and doing brilliantly.

My pain has all but gone and my mood is great. Sleeping well and no nasty side effects. 20mg is a very small dose and you may eventually end up on as much as 50mg in the future.

It's a miracle drug as far as I am concerned :)

Charlie

AaronB
12-07-13, 21:01
Thanks CharlieM,

I have work earlyish tomorrow and I'm a driving Instructor so I will try one and a half tonight and then two tablets tomorrow.

It's so nice to hear other positive experiences with this drug, I too feel it has helped me so much in such a short amount of time.

A couple of mental notes I've taken over the last couple of weeks where I've noticed a change have been truly encouraging.

I went to my local Harvester restaurant and fully intended to get a take away as I don't like sitting and eating around other people (anxiety), and the restaurant was very quiet and normally I would still say no I'm not eating in but on that day I did and was absolutely fine.

When I take my pupils for test I am normally very nervous and almost shaking whilst they wait for their examiner, which is silly as it's obviously not even me taking the test! Since starting on Ami though, I've been so much more calm and relaxed.

I was so sure that the vast majority of my anxiety has been because of my headaches etc. And feel so much better since starting this drug.

I'll take the slightly higher dose tonight and report back.

Thanks again. :)

yenool
13-07-13, 13:18
Glad to hear the amitriptyline is helping you. I was put on it for pain and my doctor wanted me on 50-75mg for nerve pain as apparently that is the dose that works best.

I started on 10mg and worked up, I found around the 50mg area it definitely started making me feel chilled out and quite 'steady' mentally

My main issue with it at higher doses was increased hunger and weight gain.... 14lbs+ over 6 months or so. I don't know if that is all down to increased appetite or if the drug actually slows your metabolism down as well.... just be aware with it, AMI is not a good drug for those who have weight problems!

edit:
It comes in 10mg and 25mg pills so the dosage can really be tweaked slowly if necessary. I came down on it due to the weight gain and when I started reducing the dosages I didn't get the 'brain zaps' like I have got previously with SSRI or SNRI antidepressants.

Overall I think it is a very good medication for anxiety.... I don't know why it isn't used more because in my experience the medications doctors like to use are the SSRIs like prozac,sertraline,paroxetine and so on, all have an activating effect which can make anxiety worse! Amittripyline sedates you more which is nice if you are anxious.

AaronB
13-07-13, 19:26
Thanks yenool,

I seem to have hit a bit of an obstacle. The tension is back :(

Today I have been experiencing pressure at the back of my head and neck and at the base of my skull. Typical tension headache.

Is this normal? Am I getting used to the 10mg hence the return and I just need to up the dose? I'm worried that the Ami won't work and I'll be back to suffering everyday again.

Has anyone else started ami and then seen a return of pain? Do I just need to up my dose in order to find the 'right' dose for me?

And just to add, regarding the weight gain, I'm 6 foot tall and am only just hitting 11 stone on the scale, so I could do with a little gain I should think. I'm starting an exercise plan too.

Stormsky
13-07-13, 23:00
You may need to up our dose, talk it through with doc is best.
I never gained weight, and I took amit for 11 yrs

AaronB
14-07-13, 11:33
So is it normal to experience a relief from symptoms for a couple of weeks and then for it to return?

I feel a lot more on edge now, and can feel tension in my head again.

It worries me because I so enjoy feeling better and calm, and it scares me that I won't be able to get that feeling back sometimes. I just want to be normal!

Last night I took two tablets, will do the same again tonight. I can't feel the effect from the tablets as much as I did when I first started taking them.

Tero
14-07-13, 13:02
I have been on amitriptyline some 20 years for fibromyalgia. I can't say it has noticeable side effects. Since I've been on it so long, I do not remember how it changes sleep. One time my doctor doubled the dose for a few months to attempt to prevent migraines. Can't say it did anything. I take sumatriptan a couple of times a month for the migraine.

It really does not have the side effects that citalopram does, for instance.

AaronB
14-07-13, 17:13
Headache has slowly increased today, I can feel that oh so familiar pressure in the back of my head, and occasionally across the bridge of my nose and around my eyes.

Classic tension.

So my initial reaction to Ami was good but now back to how I was before. I just pray that if I increase the dose it will help me. I so badly want to be pain free again.

---------- Post added at 17:13 ---------- Previous post was at 16:18 ----------

I am more tired than usual today too, keep dosing off.

Tero
14-07-13, 22:42
There are some exercises for neck pain, some just require you to lay on the back on a firm mat with say a rolled up towel to support the neck.

CharlieM
15-07-13, 09:20
Hey Aaron,

How you getting on now? Did you increase to 20mg?

I believe it is normal for the effects of Amitriptyline to taper off as it builds in the body. Remember you are on a very small startup dose. At some point you will get the dose right for you. Everyone is different.

I have levelled out on 25mg after 3 weeks. I suspect I will need to go up to as high as 50mg before I find my correct dose.

I am seeing my GP again next week to discuss an increase. For now, my pain is minimal and my anxiety is almost non-existent.

Keep us updated.

Charlie

AaronB
17-07-13, 19:42
Hey Aaron,

How you getting on now? Did you increase to 20mg?

I believe it is normal for the effects of Amitriptyline to taper off as it builds in the body. Remember you are on a very small startup dose. At some point you will get the dose right for you. Everyone is different.

I have levelled out on 25mg after 3 weeks. I suspect I will need to go up to as high as 50mg before I find my correct dose.

I am seeing my GP again next week to discuss an increase. For now, my pain is minimal and my anxiety is almost non-existent.

Keep us updated.

Charlie

Hi Charlie,

I took 20mg the last two nights, and intend to tonight also. I am not feeling as happy as I was when I first started taking it, but will absolutely carry on and hope that I too can find a correct dose that works for me. I wouldn't say my anxiety has been bad, as it hasn't, but I just feel down. Thoughts about the mortality of life, and becoming increasingly tired of having headaches etc.

I have been trying to stay off extra painkillers, but I had to today as my head was becoming a little too uncomfortable. I suppose this heatwave isn't helping although it's great to have some nice weather so I won't moan!!

I saw my GP, she has put the 10mg tablet on repeat prescription for me, and said it's fine to carry on with them and find a suitable dose that works. I will continue increasing it and see what happens and if necessary, I can ask for the 25mg tablet, or more, if required.

Hopefully, things will improve, but I will continue to report back.

I would like to say thanks so much for replying on here, just when you think there's nothing else you can do and it's all doom and gloom, someone replies and just sprinkles some light on the situation.

So thank you.

AaronB
01-08-13, 23:17
Looks like 20mg is working for me at the moment, feeling good, very little pain during the day, the occasional, tolerable, headache.

Will see how I get on and report back.

arfasc
02-08-13, 15:00
I am taking amitryptiline but for sleep.
I've been taking 10 mg for almost 2 months now.
It helped really a lot in the beginning and for the first month my sleep was "perfect".
Then I started waking up as usual but not too bad.
Now for other reasons I am back with some anxiety issues and I slept very bad.
I am wondering if could be the tolerance to 10mg that I know it's a small dose.
I am also on citalopram so I don't know if I can increase?
Anyone on both medications?

AaronB
03-08-13, 14:27
Does anyone drink alcohol whilst taking Ami?

---------- Post added at 14:27 ---------- Previous post was at 14:22 ----------


I am taking amitryptiline but for sleep.
I've been taking 10 mg for almost 2 months now.
It helped really a lot in the beginning and for the first month my sleep was "perfect".
Then I started waking up as usual but not too bad.
Now for other reasons I am back with some anxiety issues and I slept very bad.
I am wondering if could be the tolerance to 10mg that I know it's a small dose.
I am also on citalopram so I don't know if I can increase?
Anyone on both medications?

I think there are some people on both medications. Your GP would be best to advise if you can increase one or the other.

I too have noticed that the sedative side of Ami isn't as affective. I still sleep a lot better than I used to but I do wake up a couple of times a night now.

Headaches are so much better now though so they are definitely a good tablet for me.

Uriel
07-08-13, 11:35
I have Fibromyalgia (FMS) and was prescribed Amitriptyline to help me sleep, something that FMS patients can have problems with. However, the side-effects from it were so bad, my GP took me off it straight away. The Pain Management Centre at my local teaching hospital checked my medical records and advised that due to my being hypersensitive to opiates and anti-inflammatory meds, there was nothing they could prescribe me for pain or sleep or advise my GP to prescribe. The specialists did advise me that Amitriptyline doesn't suit everyone.

---------- Post added at 11:35 ---------- Previous post was at 11:30 ----------


Headache has slowly increased today, I can feel that oh so familiar pressure in the back of my head, and occasionally across the bridge of my nose and around my eyes.

Classic tension.

So my initial reaction to Ami was good but now back to how I was before. I just pray that if I increase the dose it will help me. I so badly want to be pain free again.

---------- Post added at 17:13 ---------- Previous post was at 16:18 ----------

I am more tired than usual today too, keep dosing off.

I have FMS, AaronB, and get symptoms similar to what you are prescribing. Has your GP sent you for an MRI scan on your head and neck? Is the pain an ache or like an electric shock? Do you also experience "pins and needles" at all?

Nikibee
19-09-13, 07:22
OMG! The way you describe your anxiety around taking medication is exactly what I experience, imagining I'm having any of the possible side effects and also panic attacks following taking anything that is not paracetamol.

I too have been prescribed a 10mg dose of amitriptyline, but it has so far been sat on my bedside table as I am too worried to take it.

I am suffering from tension headaches, anxiety and insomnia.

Any encouragement would be gratefully appreciated! :unsure:

Mark13
20-09-13, 15:40
OMG! The way you describe your anxiety around taking medication is exactly what I experience, imagining I'm having any of the possible side effects and also panic attacks following taking anything that is not paracetamol.

I too have been prescribed a 10mg dose of amitriptyline, but it has so far been sat on my bedside table as I am too worried to take it.

I am suffering from tension headaches, anxiety and insomnia.

Any encouragement would be gratefully appreciated! :unsure:
The only side effects I'm getting from this drug are dry mouth and mildly dry eyes. Also it's hard to drag yourself out of bed at 50mg :)

My GP gave me license to experiment from 10-50mg. I've settled at the moment on 10mg in the morning and 25mg evening.

I'd say 10mg is a low dose, the side effects should be any cause for concern, but of course it's your choice, I can only tell you my experience.

I find amitriptyline probably has the lowest SE profile of any drug I've taken on prescription (obviously OTC medications are milder).

I always trust my GP that a drug won't interact with any existing ones I'm already on, but every drug has it's SEs, it just depends what you can tolerate.

All I can say is I found this one had only mild side effects at low doses.

Good luck

Tero
05-12-13, 00:37
I am on amitriptyline and it failed to affect migraines at 50mg, so I am back to 25mg, though on week ends I only take a half pill.

karenp
18-01-17, 10:52
I am up to 75mg now for anxiety. It has helped me but I can get bad headaches as a side effect but this is usually upon an increase. I've not really had any other side effects other than some heightened anxiety when I increased too. But that soon went away. I'm still not 100% but much better. I want to increase even more but my GP wants me to stay on 75mg for now.