Painful spasms


I take 50mg amitryptaline and 60mg duloxetine each day to help with the spasms and pain. However the last couple of evenings the spasms have been really bad and painful.

During Casualty last night (50 minutes) I had 67 painful spasms in the thigh of one leg; and that wasn’t counting little twitches that didn’t hurt!!

Just wondered if amitryptaline can become ineffective with time or if anyone had any other ideas.

Sarah x

Hi Sarah, I have been on amitriptyline since 2000. As far as I am aware, it isn`t for spasms. I take it for nerve pain.

I take baclofen for spasms and spasticity. I don`t know what duloxetine is for.

luv Pollx

Hi Sarah,

The amitriptyline you are on would be for helping with nerve pain rather than spasms.

Duloxetine can be prescribed to help with nerve pain and with muscle stiffness but not so much with actual spasms. Poll is correct is saying that Baclofen is the usual drug prescribed for spasms although there are other medications as well.

I doubt that either the amitriptyline or the duloxetine have become ineffective. I think it is probably more that you need to the correct drug prescribed for your symptoms. Have you a MS Nurse you can talk to or a GP who is reasonably knowledgeable about MS?

I’d have a chat with either of them and see how you get on.



Hi Poll,

The amitryptyline was definately prescribed for spasms and usually control them well. Normally I just get half a dozen or so in the evening but the last few nights have been unbearable.

The duloxetine was prescribed by the Pain Clinic for nerve pain - not that it’s doing any good! They want me to stay on it for 6 months to see if it has any impact.

I have had baclofen prescribed before for stiffness but I’m not taking it at the moment.

If the spasms are as bad tonight I think I’ll have to go back to my GP.

Sarah x

Hi Belinda,

I can email my MS nurse; she usually replies very quickly. Maybe I do need to change to baclofen if that’s the usual way of treating spasms. I certainly need to get it sorted!!

Sarah x

Oh, I`ve learned something then.

luv Pollx

Hi Belinda,

I to used to suffer with really bad spasms and am now taking clonazepam 3mg every night and it has worked a treat, I still get them but nothing like I did. I would be awake for most of the night jumping around every minute and nigh on crying please, please go away let me sleep. I vary rarely get them during the day unless I’m so, so very tired.

Do hope you find something soon that will work for you.




Just letting you know that I saw my MS nurse yesterday. As usual you folks knew the answer! She suggested I went on to Baclofen and when that’s controlling the spasms properly to gradually reduce the amitryptyline. I had the 1st decent night’s sleep for ages!!


Sarah x

That’s great news Sarah. Thanks for letting us know :slight_smile:



I was on baclofen 1 tablet a day @ 10mg ywice a day and that kept spasms under control but baclofen has a half life of about 4 hours so it is not effective for veryy long,

I started to be woken up 4 hours after taking baclofen at night withy very painful spasms in my ankle (which is very stiff) Neurologists told me to get a presciption for Tizanidine Clonezepam. I take 2 or 3 Tizanadine each at 2 mg and i clonazepam at 0.5 mg - slept through every night since then.

Gabapentin is very good for muscular pain, I think its called neuropathic pain. Suggest you look it up in Wikipedia

I’m not a doctor but my 'script do seem to work but each person’s reactions are different.

Like evferyone else do have a chat with neurologist or MS nurse. Does sound like you’ve cracked it anyway



Ive just started taking Baclofen again for spasms and pain. I broke my back last year and the pain in that area was excrutiating, also leg spasms starting at the hip and down the right leg. All pain seems to have gone. I do get the little spasms still but not painful at all, just twitches.

Seems the doseage has to be right. Im presently taking 30mg which is doing the trick and helping me sleep at night too. Think its a case of hit and miss until doseage is right.

Glad you got some help and prescribed Baclofen. Stick with it and it should keep working.



Hi Sarah

Interestingly I saw my own GP re my pain clinic’s advice to up my amitriptyline from 25mg to 50mg and failing that to control neuropathic pain, start taking Duloxetine 60mg. However my gp said that I should stop the amitriptyline completely and start taking the Duloxetine and not take both together as they are both anti depressants. As other people have said it’s prescribed for nerve pain: I’ve never heard of it being prescribed for spasms.

The Duloxetine has been found (but not proven apparently) to reduce nerve pain in people who suffer from diabetes.

I too, suffer from spasms. Not funny, especially as someone else commented, when all you desperately want to just go to sleep :wink: I tried Baclofen first, then clonezepam as well. This didn’t help at all. I was then told to take Tizanidine, but unfortunately it made me need to sleep all the time and still wasn’t particularly effective. I wasn’t happy about driving at this point ;-/ I have since found Diazepam - only 5mg - to be very good. However as the consultant was concerned about the dependance issues I have now been prescribed Sativex. That’s brilliant - for me anyway. It not only helps with my leg spasms but also has a positive effect on my bladder which can also drive me nuts, lol.

I can, if I really need to, take the Sativex and Diazepam together. Good to know on that odd ocassion when the spasms are going full pelt…

Hope that helps!

Kind regards, Tigger