Drugs: sometimes we are our own worst enemy

Hi gang, bet you thought this would be a post about us taking too many drugs to cope with MS???

Well it’s not. It’s about how we sometimes believe that drugs are so bad for us that we keep on a dose that isn’t helping.

I’ve been on Amitriptyline for a few years now and I always took 10 mg in morning and 25 mg in evening. I deliberately kept it that low because…well why? Because I believed that all drugs are bad and that I should always keep the dose as low as possible.

When I was dx with breast cancer I started taking a bigger dose in the mornings…so put it up from 10 mg to 25 mg…and I did start to feel a bit better. Less pain and less anxious.

At the beginning of this week a friend suggested I put it up even more as the cancer drug I’m on was interfering with sleep. So over a few days I increased the dose up to 75 mg (50 mg in evening & 25 mg in morning).

I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER! The ache in my legs has improved. My sleeping has improved. And most of all my mood has lifted incredibly.

At 75 mg I’m now on the dose where Amitriptyline not only works as a pain killer but also as an anti depressant. I didn’t even know I was depressed BUT it feels a black cloud has moved away.

So, what I’ve learnt from this experience is that we should USE drugs to help us & not always be in the mind set that all drugs are BAD & that we need to be on as low a dose as possible.

Hope you’re all doing ok,

Pat xx


Hi Pat

Glad you are feeling so much better by increasing the dose you take, it was obviously needed, without realising. Having said that, it is easy to slip into a depression without realising, as this was proved to me back last year, and whilst, like you, I hate taking medication, I relented and the proof became evident.

i am still in the mindset of only taking low doses, simply because I appear to be a light weight when it comes to tolerating meds. Sounds ridiculous coming from a person who grew up in to swinging 60s, but there you go.

Glad it’s done the trick for you, love to both you and Dickie.

Pam x


Hi Pat, an interesting post!

Ive been on amitriptyline since 2000 and I think it is a wonder drug…for me anyway!!!

I began taking it for severe…screaming…nerve pain in the backs of my thighs and bum cheeks!

I began on a low dose and got up to 100mg before it zapped the pain.

Then a neuro (one of the 16 I`ve seen!) said that dose was too high and took it down to 75mg, then she took it down to 50mg and WALLOP! That terrific pain returned, so I went back to 75mg and have been there ever since.

Now, as you know, quite a few folks here often say I seem upbeat, on top of things etc and I did wonder if that might be due to being on a high dose of ami.

But I asked my GP if that could be so and she said no, they use even higher doses for depression.

Besides which, I`m not always that cheery.

BUT if it gives you or anyone else, such great benefits, then I`m all for that chuck!!!



Hi Pat,

I took Amitriptylene years ago and it did nothing for me…I’m the opposite to Pam, I always have to take the high dose of things!

Recently my gp asked me to try it again for pain but at a much higher dose and it’s been amazing, I’m in far less pain and after years of not sleeping I’m now able to drop off to sleep so easily, it’s fantastic, I wish somebody had had the forethought to tell me this years ago…even my nuero, who I think is good,didn’t tell me that there’s absolutely no problem taking 150 mg!

Hope you are ok Pam and Pat, love to you both Nina x


Hi Poll, lovely to see you on here as always.

75 mg of Amitriptyline is the dose for depression…so your doctor was wrong. I was first told this a couple of months ago when I had a friend from USA staying who’s a doctor (oh it was SO hard not to spend the whole time asking her medical questions!!!).

I did however tell her I was worried about the joint pain that people experience with the cancer drug I’m on, and she said to increase the Amitriptyline dose if I get joint pain. She then said once you hit 75 mg it acts as an antidepressant!

Also if you google ‘Amitriptyline dose for depression’ you get links saying 75 mg. And as Nina says, you can go much higher.

So seems you can thank Amitriptyline after all (plus you are very much a glass half full kinda gal…like me!). It’s has certainly lifted my mood. Like someone’s switched a light on in my brain.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

Pat xx


Thanks for responses.

Like you Pam I’m very lightweight when it comes to drugs (maybe it’s because we grew up in swinging sixties!) but I seem to tolerate this higher dosage ok. I suppose because I’ve been on it so long.

But really I would advise anyone who’s on Amitriptyline and still in pain to increase the dose. It really is a great drug but works even better if you’re taking an appropriate dose.

Being sensible however, I think (unlike me!) you should talk to GP about increasing dose as I don’t know what other drugs you’re on. Better safe than sorry.

Pat xx


Hi again.

There are some folk who can’t take even a low dose of our friend, amitriptyline! Just 10 mg can knock 'em sideways! My daughter and sister are 2 of them.

They don’t have MS , or HSP. Dunno if that makes a difference?


P’s I have always been an upbeat person btw.


Hello, Pat.

I have no idea what Amitripiline is. All I know is that adjusting ones intake of drugs is an essential way of getting the best out of them. I went onto Citalopram anti-depressants 14 months ago and the grey cloud was raised and my blurred vision disappeared. When I stopped Amantadine I began to sleep again. Sometimes its hard to be up-beat all the time.

Yesterday, I did a kitchen epic and roasted a shoulder of lamb in curry spices in my wizzo slow cooker, made a bolognese sauce to feed the five thousand and poached my ripen at home bullet plums in sweet sherry and cinnamon. That made me feel better.

Best wishes, Steve x


Mmm, sounds yummy Steve, well done!

take care, Nina x

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My wonderful GP also says it kicks in as an antidepressant at 75 mg and that although 150 is the general high dose it can be higher but the most common reason it isn’t often used at a higher dose than 150 is because most people can’t cope with the sedative effect. As for me, I love the sedative effect…I can now sleep after years and years of extreme insomnia.

Nina x

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Hi Pat glad you are feeling much better, I daren’t stop my antidepressant tablets I don’t want to go back to feeling like I was before my GP diagnosed me as depressed. XXX Don


Steve if you have pain I would advise you to give Amitriptyline a go. It’s a very good drug for nerve pain & sort of dampens down the nervous system which I personally find very helpful.

Also it’s been around for years. I read a post on a forum by someone who had been on it 30 years. So it appears to be safe for long-term use.

Well done on your kitchen epic!

Pat xx

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Good post Pat, I hate taking drugs but unfotunately can’t manage without them I take micrabegron for the bladder issues and iron tablets for anaemia but I stopped taking the antidepressants after I got Frazer like you I agree that they are important I’m struggling with very painful legs that keep me awake at night but just take abuprofen which are great but I’m not sure ideal long term. Michelle


Thats my Poll, i did try amytrip at the beginning of my journey and a small dose made me feel rank all morning i could hardly function so stopped. I take 2mg diazepam now when i wake up in the night which actually helps to settle my legs so goes to show how much of a light weight i am lol. I have tried every meds for MS there is and they all make me zombie…Actually my doctor at the pain clinic said thats what they do, they make us sedated lol and its not for everyone but if we get the right dose then they can really work, but i suppose with me, i just hate the feeling of being out of space. xx

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Must say it simply works for me.