Forum

Amitriptyline

Just been prescibed amitriptyline for my tightness and muscle spasms in my right arm. Had been taking gabapentin 1800mg which did not relieve my arm and made me gain significant weight. MS nurse had suggested pregabalin but gp says pregabalin is much like gabapentin and I would probably find that weight gain would be an issue.

So then he asks if my ms nurse had mentioned amitriptyline which she hadn’t so he’d given me that and said i would not gain weight with this and it should relieve the symptoms in my arm.

I’ve read the leaflet and am worried that this is purely for depression, I am not depressed ( yet !! ) so why on earth prescibe me this? It doesn’t say anywhere that it treats nerve pain or spasms.

Has anyone had any positive results for nerve pain taking amitriptyline? I don’t want to take anti-depressants…very confused with all this.

Thanks

Anne-Marie

Hi Anne-Marie

I took it originally for musle spasms around the waist and found it helped with the stabbing pain in my back. It only acts as an anti depressant in a high dose, we don’t ususally take more than 70ml a day for pain relief. Personally I get on very well with it and as I take it at night it helps me sleep. Not everyone has the same positive reaction to it though, it’s all about the individual.

I think I read somewhere that it can put on weight if you eat a lot of salt in your diet. Personally try and stay clear of salt as much as possible as putting on weight is something that I battle with all of the time.

It hasn’t really helped that much with the muscle spasms around the waist better known as ‘the MS hug’ though it did work on the pain.

Good luck with it.

Love Wendyxx

Hi Anne Marie,

Like many drugs amitriptyline was designed for one thing (depression) but found to have beneficial effects for something else. I don’t know the science involved but it is most definitely prescribed for nerve pain.

If you spend a bit of time on Google you will find lots of references to this – it’s not some weird experimental thing. I was prescribed amitriptyline for nerve pain a decade ago.

As Wendy has said the dosages are different. One thing I would note is that it takes anything up to a month to start working so don’t be disheartened if you don’t see improvement straight away.

Jane

Hi I take 100mg every night and it certainly helps with pain, pins and needles etc. Karen

I take 25mg at bedtime and double it if I am experiencing lots of tingling. I have been on it for years and it has caused weight gain with me.

Cathy

Hiya

I take it too-currently 25mg at night. I have lost 2 stone over past couple of years…

Ellie x

Gabapentin and Pregabalin did nothing for my pain but both made me put on over half a stone. I have been taking Amitriptyline since February and it works wonders for me. I’ve put on a little weight but am prepared to put up with that for the benefits.

i’ve been taking amitriptyline for 3 years. i like to take it at bedtime because it helps me to sleep.

weight gain or loss doesn’t seem to be affected by it. my weight has been very erratic. i started off at 10 and a half stone and size 12, dropped to 9 stone and size 10, now i’m back to 10 and a half stone and size 12. (i’m 5 ft 8" so 9st was UNDERweight)

i have stopped taking gabapentin and am managing the pain with just amitripyline and occasionally tizanidine.

my darling friend was taking amitriptyline for the pain of her cancer and agreed that it helped her get to sleep. sadly she passed away in february.

carole x

Thank you everyone for your replies, sorry to hear about your friend Carol.

This forum is a godsend, I’ve learnt far more on here from other msers than anything the " professionals " have to say. I often get the feeling that the doctors don’t really care how I feel and don’t seem to listen properly to anything I have to say.

If I went to the doctors with a gigantic boil on my bum then I’m sure they’d be more interested!!

Glad amitriptyline works for some people, I’ll give it a go.

Hiya I too take 30mg at night to help with the pain and to help me sleep so I dont keep getting up to go to the loo.

Works a treat but does take a while to work.

I also had to play around wth the time of taking it.I now take it no later than 8pm so the effects are gone by 8am.

I have found if for any reason I take it when I do go to bed say 10ish I have a terrible night and keep getting up.

I would def give it a go and play around slowly with the dose and time to get it to suit you.

Pip

Hi Anne-Marie

I take amitriptylene 10mg every evening for tingling legs and stiffness- legs very stiff in the morning. MS nurse suggested taking 20mg.

Put in for repeat prescription for 20mg. Dr phoned me this morning - to see how I was.Gave a quick review of

my medication and said she would up it to 20mg.

Great service.

Daughter used to take it for migraines - it’s one of those medicines that worked for one thing but has found to be effective

at helping other things insead.

The tablets help me sleep but make my mouth very dry - carry a bottle of water around - or chewing gum helps.

Good luck with it.

Jen xxx

Hiya

I gave Amitriptyline a whirl last year at tiny 10mg dose. For the first week or so I had a few mood changes but it did help in making me sleep a bit at bed time.

Unfortunately, it left me feeling a bit too grotty for the first few hours after getting up and as the weeks wore on I had a ‘zombie’ feeling of not quite being there. It seems to work best with the ‘girls’ on this forum but not us ‘lads’ - with exceptions of course. With this condition I am all for this ‘suck it and see aproach’ as various treatments work in a different ways for everyone.

Take care now,

Marty

Hiya

My GP suggested taking it at 7pm to attempt to reduce the groggy effect in the morning-it did make a slight difference to me. But like everything with MS, tailor it to suit your needs (with GP’s knowledge)

Ellie x

Anne marie, I take amytryptiline. Took it for 5 years, 3 x 25mg, then put on 2 stone in weight.

The positive side of amytryptiline is that it calms down the nervous system, and takes away most neuropathic pain, it does work, but side effects of anything which slows the metabolism down is weight gain.

Cannot understand why its not been pointed out, all pills which work to slow the nervous system have as a side effect - weight gain!

We not only move less, but eat the same, hence weight gain without the pills. Add slow metabolism and we cannot but put weight on.

I would take the pills and try limit your intake of food and exercise when and where you can.

bren

x

Hi everyone, thanks again for replies. Callytren, it is interesting to see that you take Naproxen as well, my gp prescibed this about 6 weeks ago but it didn’t help me unfortunately. Really glad it works for you.

I mentioned this to my ms nurse on my 1st appointment with her and she was shocked that I had been given Naproxen, she said do not take that as it will do no good whatsoever and it makes your stomach bleed !!! I was taken aback that she actually said that. Felt like that was a bit of a strong statement.

To be honest, I’m not sure that I’ve got much faith in her as she’s extremely hard to contact even though she assured me that I could contact her at any time and I found out she hadn’t forwarded on the information my gp needed so I’m quite sceptical about her views on Naproxen.

I’ll have a go at changing the times so I’m not too drowsy in the morning and I hope eventually it does stop this crappy pain I get.

Thanks

Anne-Marie

Hi Anne-Marie, I can’t offer any advice about Amitriptyline because I don’t take it but I can say from personal experience that Naproxene (which used to be called Naprosyn) can cause stomach bleeding because it happened to me and I ended up in hospital because of it. I now have a note on my medical records so that no doctor prescribes it or any other NSAID like it. Of course most drugs have side effects that not everyone will experience so you have to make an informed decision as to whether you think the benefits outweigh the risks but if you have any existing gastrointestinal problems I would avoid it.

I took this last night for the first time and it was great. 25mg late evening and it definately dampened down my burning feet, RLS and pain.

I hope it was the tablets and not just luck as I am looking forward to a little sleep now I am taking them

I just upped my dose from 10mg to 20mg, slept really well, but couldn’t cope with the wooly feeling in the morning.

Will wait until I am on holiday and try again. Jen x

HI Annemarie

I felt the same when they suggested amitriptyline to me (same thing, started on gabapentin but it didn’t work plus weight gain). However my doc explained that it works well on nerve pain and I have def found this to be the case. At first i didn’t think it was working but I tried to wean off an noticed it had been! I am on 50mg a night, sleep fine (apart from small child wakings!) and no side effects. Though I must say the first week or so I was on it I felt rubbish, really tired and down, but it did pass and then felt fine, so maybe expect that so you know its not forever.

Take care xxx

Hi I’ve been on Amitriptyline 20mg in the evening for about a month. It doesn’t get rid of the pain but takes the edge off the toothache all over your body feeling. I also take solpedeine extra (paracetamol, caffeine and codeine) 4 times a day and citalopram 20 mg for emotional lability. Amitriptyline is not a cure all but only thing I’ve found that touches the pain, and it has helped me sleep more. Still having insomnia, just not as bad. Used as an anti-depressant, it is usually taken in much higher doses of 80 mg plus. I’ve seen some people say they are on 150 mg. My pharmacists sticker on the box says ‘prescribed off label for nerve pain’ Hope it helps for you Cx