Amitriptyline - Generic Elavil
Priced Per Pill
Common 30-Day Supply: 30
In addition, to being an antidepressant, amitriptyline is also used off-label to treat migraines and chronic tension headaches. It is a tricyclic antidepressant that increases the brain chemicals serotonin and/or norephinephrine. Serotonin and norephinephrine are hormones associated with improved mood and reduced anxiety. They also play a role in multiple other body functions.
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Amitriptyline is used to treat symptoms of depression. Amitriptyline is in a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It works by increasing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain that are needed to maintain mental balance.
Off-label Uses For Amitriptyline:
Amitriptyline is also used to treat eating disorders, post-herpetic neuralgia (the burning, stabbing pains, or aches that may last for months or years after a shingles infection), and to prevent migraine headaches. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking amitriptyline:
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to amitriptyline or any other medications.
- Tell your doctor if you are taking cisapride (Propulsid) (not available in the U.S.) or monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate), or if you have taken an MAO inhibitor during the past 14 days. Your doctor will probably tell you that you should not take amitriptyline.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: antihistamines; cimetidine (Tagamet); diet pills; disulfiram (Antabuse); guanethidine (Ismelin); ipratropium (Atrovent); quinidine (Quinidex); medications for irregular heartbeats such as flecainide (Tambocor) and propafenone (Rythmol); medications for anxiety, asthma, colds, irritable bowel disease, mental illness, nausea, Parkinson's disease, seizures, ulcers, or urinary problems; other antidepressants; phenobarbital (Bellatal, Solfoton); sedatives; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft); sleeping pills; thyroid medications; and tranquilizers. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have stopped taking fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) in the past 5 weeks.Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have recently had a heart attack. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take amitriptyline.
- Tell your doctor if you drink large amounts of alcohol and if you have or have ever had glaucoma (an eye condition); an enlarged prostate (a male reproductive gland); difficulty urinating; seizures; an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism); diabetes; schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions); or liver, kidney, or heart disease.
- Tellyour doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking amitriptyline, call your doctor. Do not breast-feed while you are taking amitriptyline.
- Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking this medication if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take amitriptyline because it is not as safe or effective as other medication(s) that can be used to treat the same condition.
- If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking amitriptyline.
Amitriptyline may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
Alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.
Amitriptyline may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- Weakness or tiredness
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty urinating
- Blurred vision
- Pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
- Changes in sex drive or ability
- Excessive sweating
- Changes in appetite or weight
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
- Slow or difficult speech
- Dizziness or faintness
- Weakness or numbness of an arm or a leg
- Crushing chest pain
- Rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- Severe skin rash or hives
- Swelling of the face and tongue
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- jaw, neck, and back muscle spasms
- Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
A small number of children, teenagers, and young adults (up to 24 years of age) who took antidepressants ('mood elevators') such as amitriptyline during clinical studies became suicidal (thinking about harming or killing oneself or planning or trying to do so). Children, teenagers, and young adults who take antidepressants to treat depression or other mental illnesses may be more likely to become suicidal than children, teenagers, and young adults who do not take antidepressants to treat these conditions. However, experts are not sure about how great this risk is and how much it should be considered in deciding whether a child or teenager should take an antidepressant. Children younger than 18 years of age should not normally take amitriptyline, but in some cases, a doctor may decide that amitriptyline is the best medication to treat a child's condition.
You should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways when you take amitriptyline or other antidepressants even if you are an adult over age 24. You may become suicidal, especially at the beginning of your treatment and any time that your dose is increased or decreased. You, your family, or your caregiver should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: new or worsening depression; thinking about harming or killing yourself, or planning or trying to do so; extreme worry; agitation; panic attacks; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; aggressive behavior; irritability; acting without thinking; severe restlessness; and frenzied abnormal excitement. Be sure that your family or caregiver knows which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor when you are unable to seek treatment on your own.
Your healthcare provider will want to see you often while you are taking amitriptyline, especially at the beginning of your treatment. Be sure to keep all appointments for office visits with your doctor.
The doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with amitriptyline. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You also can obtain the Medication Guide from the FDA website http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm
No matter your age, before you take an antidepressant, you, your parent, or your caregiver should talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of treating your condition with an antidepressant or with other treatments. You should also talk about the risks and benefits of not treating your condition. You should know that having depression or another mental illness greatly increases the risk that you will become suicidal. This risk is higher if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had bipolar disorder (mood that changes from depressed to abnormally excited) or mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood) or has thought about or attempted suicide. Talk to your doctor about your condition, symptoms, and personal and family medical history. You and your doctor will decide what type of treatment is right for you.
Amitriptyline may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
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