View Full Version : Amitriptyline .... and I slept ! Yay !

09-02-16, 08:23
I so hope I am not tempting fate and posting too early, but I had my best night's sleep last night in 6 months !

After serious problems with sertraline and then mirtazapine (both of which had me bouncing off the walls), I weaned myself off ADs and have been meds free for a month or so. HOWEVER, my sleep pattern was severely disrupted and I have been barely surviving on between 90 minutes sleep on a bad night, and around 3-4 hours on a good night.

GP has prescribed Propanalol to help with the panic attacks and anxiety, and while the anxiety has eased, it is lurking in the background and often runs riot in the early hours of the morning.

My regular monthly appointment with the GP yesterday and we discussed a way forward to help sort the sleep problem and improve the anxiety. He (and I) are very reluctant to look at sleeping tablets for all the obvious reasons, but not being able to sleep has been a nightmare.

GP knows how reluctant I am to consider meds, - I had hoped that the sleep would somehow sort itself, but I have so much going on in my life at the moment and I am not functioning properly because of lack of sleep.

I left the surgery with a prescription for Amitriptyline 10 mg, with the instructions to take one or two at night - around 2 hours or so before bedtime. If they leave me drowsy during the day, then I should take them earlier in the evening.

Decided NOT to Google them, or to search for Am. posts on NMP - but to just go for it. Took two last night, and slept through to just after 3 am (around 4 hours sleep). BUT, instead of staying awake, which is the normal pattern for me, I drifted back off to sleep and dozed until I forced myself out of bed at 7 am.

Don't feel hungover, or too sleepy and hope that this is now the start of a road to recovery for my sleep. Perhaps tonight I shall just take one and see how it goes.

The dosage is not a therapeutic dose for anxiety, but if I can somehow get better sleep, then perhaps I can deal better with the anxiety, and there is always room to increase if necessary.

I decided not to research start up side effects or withdrawal, although my GP was very reassuring that compared to the SSRIs and SNRIs, Amitriptyline - which is one of the older style meds, is very gentle, and when I decide I want to stop, it is an easy taper. (Having come off the dreaded Mirtazapine on a gradual taper, I think weaning off this new med at an appropriate time should be a walk in the park).

I am hopeful .......................

09-02-16, 08:37
Really pleased that you have had some decent sleep, Sandie. I think this low dose is used to manage neuropathic pain but it also is sedating and if it works, go for it! You desperately need to feel confident that you are going to get decent, unbroken sleep so this could just give your sleeping patterns a kickstart?! I really hope so.

10-02-16, 07:57
I suppose it was a bit much to hope that the Amit would sort the sleep fairly rapidly. After such a promising start on Monday night, last night was back to the usual 3 plus hours sleep.

I awoke at just after 3 am but this time I didn't get back to any sort of sleep - not even dozing.

But, I was calm and relaxed and it struck me that for the first time in a long, long while, I hadn't awoken with that awful weighted burden of anxiety pressing hard on my chest.

I suppose that it is inevitable there will be blips, but if after a week or so I am not getting the sleep benefits, and if I also don't feel any other advantages to taking the Amit, then I see no point in continuing. I certainly won't continue with it for more than 2 weeks unless I am seeing some results.

10-02-16, 09:14
Oh I was so excited to read this!!!!

But then no such luck on the second night? Sorry to hear that.

Persevere for a bit because remember your sleep has been so disrupted for so long.

I really hope this works for you, you'll feel like a million bucks with some sleep on board and everything will be easier and thus less anxiety.

I still haven;t cracked the sleep thing myself BUT no longer waking with that horrid feeling of dread either, so that's something to hang onto. Managing about 5 hours a night now, which isn't enough but am not panicking when awake, thank goodness.

Hope your next night it a good one


10-02-16, 10:13
Thanks Shaz. It's good to hear that you think you are making progress and not waking with the awful panic or feeling of dread is wonderful.

I am so sleep deprived now that it is seriously harming my ability to function on a daily basis. I have to continue with the Amit and give it a chance, but was so disappointed that last night was not as good as Monday.

11-02-16, 07:48
Yay - I managed almost 6 hours sleep last night ! Rather than taking the Amit 2 hours ahead of bedtime, (which is what the GP suggested I do), I took it at bedtime, in the hope that the sedating properties would last longer - and they did !

Can't believe the difference in me - after just one decent night. No panic attacks and that awful tense anxiety is dissipating too.

Still very early days, but fingers crossed that this could, at last, be the first steps towards recovery ........

11-02-16, 20:00
Delighted to hear this, sandie!

12-02-16, 10:22
So after a brilliant night's sleep on Wednesday, - last night was rubbish. I was watching some gripping TV (not something I would normally do), and I suspect I was perhaps over-stimulated. I won't make that mistake tonight !

12-02-16, 10:33
Well it's good to hear you had another good night before though, sandie.

I found when my sleep was messed up by the Citalopram and the dependence on Zopiclone, this "one day sleep, one day can't sleep" was how mine worked but over the next week & a half I got off the Zopiclone and found I could sleep more 5 hours each night and then that increased over the next couple of months.

CrystallHiggs has found similar after she had to withdraw from the Traz that messed up her sleep (that her GP prescribed for her sleep!). She has this type of patter at first and was sick of it but her body just corrected itself from there like mine did. Perhaps with the addition of the Am, and your own tweak to make it work better, this pattern will happen?

12-02-16, 10:46
I sincerely hope the sleep thing resolves itself Terry - the difference between how I felt yesterday and how I feel today is significant, and I have that awful anxiety churning stomach.

Just sorting myself for a visit to Sainsburys with my 91 year old mother in law - it's no fun when I am feeling well, but when I feel as I do today, then it becomes quite a challenge.

14-02-16, 10:50
Not sure how this Amit is working out. Other than a dry mouth I have not noticed any real start-up side effects - yet. But while I think I am getting a more calm night (not tossing and turning quite so much), I am not sure I am sleeping much better - yet ! Still hoping this will change.

I had a good day yesterday. Hubby was home and we had a relaxing afternoon and evening - I even had a few moments when I felt almost 'normal' - laughing and relaxed. Stupidly forgot my evening Propanalol and I think this has resulted in me feeling jittery today - even though I have taken my morning Prop.

It's early days still - only had 6 nights on the Amit, so far too early to see if it is going to help, and I shall give it a fair chance, but only if there continue to be no side-effects.

Would love to know other members' experiences of Amitriptyline.

25-02-16, 07:59
Well it is still early days - not even 3 weeks since I started on the Amitryptiline, but so far not too bad. No start-up side effects - other than a slightly dry mouth.

BUT, my sleep has definitely improved. I am now probably managing 5 hours in one hit and then dozing for a couple of hours or until I decide to get out of bed. While I am still having to face the challenges which created my anxiety, and I still feel a little jittery on occasion, the anxiety is considerably lessened; of course I am also taking Propanalol so I suspect this is also contributing.

I know I still have some depression, but I am coping. I still have a long way to go but I am convinced that it is the much improved sleep which is helping me cope. Still have little in the way of motivation to get out and about and do stuff, but hoping that the better weather will create a desire to actually get out and about.

No night sweats since before Christmas - and this alone is a significant step forward.

After my awful experiences on Sertraline and then Mirtazapine, I was very anti meds, and reluctant to take the Amit, but so far so good.

25-02-16, 08:16
Hi glad to hear that Ami is working for you. It's a tricyclic antidepressant and good for nerve pain and sleep. Many people can't take the SSRI's SRNI's etc as they are bicyclic. I tried one of them once and was climbing the walls with anxiety.

I take 10mg Doxepin which is a cousin to Amitriptyline and a bit more sleep inducing, so you could always try them too.

Zopiclone is good but only to take once in a while

Good luck with it. Lesley :)