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Amitryptilene- experience?

c_t_lcc_t_l Posts: 6
edited 05/19/2015 - 6:00 AM in Chronic Pain
i'm going through the worst bout of spinal pain in 10 yerars after being attacked/kicked in the head and then a bike fall on the back of my head in january. i've been reasonably functional with celebrex nightly and vicodin for breakthrough (typically when i have to do something in the evening at the end of a workday) for a bunch of years. my doc wanted me to try a low dose of amitryptilene. would appreciate hearing about others' experiences with this drug. took it two nights so far... info i've read suggests it might be making me drowsy at this point but unlikely i'd feel any other effect yet....

welcome to spine-health

it would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. so many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. the more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,

here are some questions that you should answer:
  • - when did this first start?- was it the result of an accident or trauma?- what doctors have you seen? (orthopedic, neurosurgeon, spine specialist, etc)- what conservative treatments have you had? which ones?- what diagnostic tests have you had? and their results (mri, ctscan, xray, emg, etc)- what medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)- has surgery been discussed as an option? (if so, what kind)- is there any nerve pain/damage associated?- what is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

please take a look at our forum rules: forum rules

please remember that no one at spine-health is a formally trained medical professional.
everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
as such, no member is permitted to provide
  • - analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie mri, ctscan, xray, etc)- medical advice of any kind- recommendations in terms of medications, treatments, exercises, etc

what could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
you should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

it is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). it is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are
i’ve had this for years, it hurts, i cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should i get?

diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. in many ways its like a game of clue. especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. the doctor is like a detective. they need clues to help them move along. so, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. that is like it is here. without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

specific comments :

personal opinion, not medical advice :

--- ron dilauro, spine-health system moderator : 05/19/15 12:02 est

First lumbar herniations 1997
Fall from bike=>Transient paralysis/central cord/ACDF C5-6-7 2001
T10-11-12 lamincetomy, T8 herniation 2004 (mild caudia equina)
Head/neck took some whacks Jan 2015....


  • Thanks Ron-- I actually did read that all the way through before posting. In my judgement it was not necessary to include a long detailed history beyond what I provided (and my sig info) just to ask what others' experiences have been with this medication. Hope you'll forgive me.
    Also- just noticed there's a medications forum-- no hard feelings if you want to move this.
    First lumbar herniations 1997
    Fall from bike=>Transient paralysis/central cord/ACDF C5-6-7 2001
    T10-11-12 lamincetomy, T8 herniation 2004 (mild caudia equina)
    Head/neck took some whacks Jan 2015....
  • I have been on amitryptilene in the past and did feel it was beneficial for me. I weaned off it at about 6 months post fusion. It did make me quite drowsy so I only ever took it at night. It had the additional benefit of helping with my chronic anxiety and so I felt it was a good option for me
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
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  • Jill55JJill55 Posts: 101
    edited 05/19/2015 - 9:59 PM
    Hi I'm in the UK and tried amytriptyline but it made me really hung over half the day even if I cut the tablet in half it was a 10 mg tablet. I have been taking a similar drug nortrtyline and have found that I have no feeling of a hang over next day. It is also a muscle relaxant. Hope that helps.
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 606
    I didn't have good results with amytriptyline. Not only did it make me extremely drowsy, but it gave me tremors in my hands. I took it for a couple of months, thinking my body would adapt to this new med, but it didn't.
    Plus, it didn't help my nerve pain.
  • Robin LongstrideRRobin Longstride Posts: 22
    edited 05/22/2015 - 7:43 AM
    I've been taking 3 10mg nightly, helps with cervical pain as well as helps me sleep. Take it early if you are sleepy in the morning or adjust meds. I've been on this for about 1.5 years- this was the only anti-depressant I could tolerate for pain. good luck.
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  • I started Amitryptilene about 2 1/2 weeks ago. They gave it to me for pain and depression. It made me extremely drowsy the first 2 days and then I was totally fine. It hasn't helped my depression not my pain so far. I will be in it another week before they decide whether to take me off it. If I noticed a slight difference than they would keep me on it and increase the dose but I'm at 25 mg 2x a day and haven't noticed any difference.
  • My experience was mixed. Made me drowsy so helped with sleep but felt a little "hung over" in the morning so needed to take earlier. My biggest complaint was weight gain. If it helps with the pain and sleep though might be worth a try. I gave it a 6 week trial before stopping.
    Good luck!
  • Iv'e been on it for about a year now. I take 50mg at bedtime since it was prescribed to me to help with depression, nerve pain and help me sleep. Doesn't do anything for pain or depression. But seems to help me sleep.
  • I'm taking 10 mg once at bedtime. Definitely sleeping more rock-like. No idea how to figure out what effect it's had on my pain, if any. Two days after I started I was able to reach things that fall on the floor again without having to plan how I was going to accomplish that..... but so many factors, no way to know if this drug is playing a role. I can definitely feel it's effect on my mental functioning.... it's like there's a cap that's been put on my overall intensity. Not sure why anyone would want that...
    Also feeling like every place is too warm, and sweating easily, Almost like I remember when I tried Cymbalta about 10 years ago-- except I don't feel the need to be horizontal all the time like I did with that awful stuff. Looking forward to the weight gain.... those who've experienced that-- do you think it was more from the drug slowing you down, or increasing your appetite, or something else?
    First lumbar herniations 1997
    Fall from bike=>Transient paralysis/central cord/ACDF C5-6-7 2001
    T10-11-12 lamincetomy, T8 herniation 2004 (mild caudia equina)
    Head/neck took some whacks Jan 2015....
  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    Amitriptyline is one of many Tricyclic antidepressants. I take one of the others, clomipramine for OCD for the past 15 years and my experience with the appetite thing, I think, is pretty typical. When I start to feel "hunger" I have no more than 30 minutes before I feel like I need to break into someone where and go crazy eating every piece of food available. I start feeling light-headed, get sweaty, shaky, and feel close to blacking out. Ideally if I have a carb or a piece of fruit I can be okay But I also have Celiac Disease so I need to find gluten-free food. The hunger thing is not always predictable. I don't feel like grazing as if I had an increased appetite. I wouldn't say "no" to chocolate cake if it were gluten free but I'm not randomly knocking off donut shops! The best for me to have access to are bananas and oatmeal (gluten free) and yogurt.

    I've been on clomipramine for 15 years and this has almost always been my experience. What changed this for a bit was when I was taking "Topamax" for migraines. The Topamax seemed to level out the tricyclic cravings but it also caused my IQ to drop when I was on it. Now I'm on Lyrica, closely related to Topamax but it helps my pain more as well as making me feel dumb. I just can never find the right word I want and I hate that feeling!

    My 2 cents now costing 45 cents due to inflation!

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
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