This medicine contains the active ingredient amitriptyline, also belonging to a group of medicines called tricyclic antidepressant drugs. It is usually prescribed as a treatment for depression, because it modifies the levels of chemicals in the brain and in that way it reduces the symptoms of depression. Even if it is not its primary purpose, Amitriptyline is used to help ease certain types of nerve pain, and also to prevent migraines. This medicine is prescribed to children in cases of nightly bedwetting.
Is Amitriptyline suitable for me?
Amitriptyline is not suitable for everyone. Do not use it if you
- are allergic to amitriptyline, other tricyclic antidepressants or other ingredients of the medicine
- have heart disease such as irregular heartbeats, heart block or failure, coronary artery disease or have recently had a heart attack
- suffer from periods of increased and exaggerated behavior (mania)
- have severe liver disease
- are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) or you have taken MAOIs within the previous 14 days for depression
- are pregnant or breast-feeding
- have a problem with your blood called porphyria
In particular, you must tell the doctor:
- if you have an overactive thyroid gland
- if you have a problem with your liver
- if you have epilepsy or sugar diabetes
- if you have had problems with constipation
- if you have prostate trouble
- if you have increased pressure in your eyes, glaucoma
- if you have a tumor on your adrenal gland, phaeochromocytoma
Amitriptyline interacts with other medicines. It is most important that you tell the doctor all the medications and herbal supplements that you are currently taking.
See the package leaflet for a complete list of possible contraindications and warnings.
How should I take Amitriptyline?
This medicine is available in form of a film-coated tablet.
You should take amitriptyline exactly as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist.
- It is usually prescribed as a single dose to be taken at bedtime, although your dose may differ from this.
- If it is used to treat depression, adults will usually be directed to take 50-75 mg a day either in divided doses or as a single night time dose increasing to 150-200 mg a day, and adolescents and elderly 25-50 mg a day either in divided doses or as a single night time dose.
- In the treatment of nightly bedwetting children from 11 to 16 years should take 25-50 mg, and children from 7 to 10 years 10-20 mg at night.
Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, or do not use it for a longer time than your doctor instructed. Do not take two doses together if you miss a dose.
Read the information leaflet provided with your medication for additional information. Talk to your doctor if you have any additional questions.
What are Amitriptyline side effects?
Like all medicines amitriptyline can cause side effects, including:
- headache, dizziness
- weakness, tiredness
- change in weight
- increased sweating
- hair loss
- widely dilated pupils
- difficulty passing water (urine)
- skin rashes
- skin rash due to sunlight
- feeling sick
- malaise and headache
- dream and sleep disturbances
- irritability and restlessness
- mania or hypomania
Consult a doctor if the side effects are severe. See the package leaflet for a complete list of side effects.