What is this medication?
Amitriptyline/Elavil is officially indicated for major depressive disorder as an alternate agent. It is also prescribed off-label for chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic tension headache prevention, interstitial cystitis, migraine prevention, postherpetic neuralgia, and qsialorrhea. (may be used for conditions not listed)
How does this medication work?
Amitriptyline/Elavil inhibits reuptake of serotonin and/or norepinephrine in the presynaptic neuronal membrane pump in the central nervous system.
How should I take this medication?
10mg-150mg divided into one or two daily dosages
How to Take: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, take consistently at same times each day unless otherwise directed, store at room temperature. Generally taken 1-3 hour prior to bed to minimize daytime drowsiness.
You Need to Avoid: Do not stop this medication without tapering dose down over time to prevent withdrawal symptoms (nausea, diarrhea, sweating, headaches, agitation, insomnia, anxiety, tremor, vertigo, dizziness, tingling in extremities). Tolerance to sedation may develop however caution operating heavy machinery or driving if feeling impaired. May increase the central nervous system depressant effects of alcohol so caution if alcohol is to be consumed.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Amitriptyline/Elavil make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have liver disease, if you have bipolar disorder, kidney disease, a seizure disorder, diabetes, cardiovascular disease or are pregnant or breastfeeding. This medication also has risk of causing serotonin syndrome especially if combined with other serotonergic drugs.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, anxiety, dry mouth, urinary retention, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, orthostatic hypotension
Note this is not a complete list of side effects, only common ones
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