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Amitriptyline Drug Information

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Amitriptyline is an antidepressant medication. Depression is an all-pervasive sense of sadness and gloom. In some patients with depression, abnormal levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters may relate to their depression. Amitriptyline elevates mood by raising the level of neurotransmitters in brain tissue.
What is the most important information I should know about amitriptyline?
• It may be 4 weeks or more before you start to feel better, but do not stop taking amitriptyline without first talking to your doctor .
• Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Amitriptyline may cause drowsiness or dizziness . If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities.
• Dizziness is likely to occur when you rise from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly to prevent dizziness and a possible fall.
• Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking amitriptyline.What is amitriptyline?
• Amitriptyline is in a class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. Amitriptyline affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression.
• Amitriptyline is used to relieve symptoms of depression such as feelings of sadness, worthlessness, or guilt; loss of interest in daily activities; changes in appetite; tiredness; sleeping too much; insomnia; and thoughts of death or suicide. Amitriptyline is also sometimes used to treat certain types of pain.
• Amitriptyline may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking amitriptyline?
• Do not take amitriptyline if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the last 14 days.
• Before taking amitriptyline, tell your doctor if you have
· liver disease;
· kidney disease;
· asthma;
· thyroid disease;
· diabetes;
· stomach or intestinal problems;
· high blood pressure or heart disease ;
· had a heart attack in the last 6 weeks;
· an enlarged prostate or difficulty urinating; or
· glaucoma.
• You may not be able to take amitriptyline, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
• Amitriptyline may be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take amitriptyline without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.
• Amitriptyline passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. Do not take amitriptyline without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
• If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, unsteadiness, feeling uncoordinated, and low blood pressure . Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of this medication.
How should I take amitriptyline?
• Take amitriptyline exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
• Take each dose with a full glass (8 oz) of water.
• Amitriptyline may be taken several times a day or in one daily dose (usually at bedtime). Follow your doctor's instructions.
• Do not stop taking amitriptyline suddenly. This could cause symptoms such as nausea, headache, and malaise.
• It may be 4 weeks or more before you start to feel better, but do not stop taking amitriptyline without first talking to your doctor.
• Store amitriptyline at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
• Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
What happens if I overdose?
• Seek emergency medical attention.
• Symptoms of an amitriptyline overdose include seizures, confusion, drowsiness, agitation, hallucinations, and low blood pressure (dizziness, fatigue, fainting).
What should I avoid while taking amitriptyline?
• Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Amitriptyline may cause drowsiness or dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities.
• Dizziness is likely to occur when you rise from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly to prevent dizziness and a possible fall.
• Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking amitriptyline.
• Do not stop taking amitriptyline suddenly. This could cause symptoms such as nausea, headache, and malaise.
What are the possible side effects of amitriptyline?
• If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking amitriptyline and contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:
· an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; or hives);
· seizures;
· a fast or irregular heartbeat;
· a heart attack;
· high blood pressure (blurred vision, headache);
· difficulty urinating; or
· fever with increased sweating, muscle stiffness, or severe muscle weakness.
• Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take amitriptyline and talk to your doctor if you experience
· drowsiness or dizziness;
· dry mouth and eyes;
· constipation;
· mild tremor;
· sweating;
· mild agitation, weakness, or headache;
· ringing in the ears;
· nausea; or
· loss of weight or appetite.
• Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
What other drugs will affect amitriptyline?
• Do not take amitriptyline if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the last 14 days.
• Amitriptyline may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including other antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines without first talking to your doctor.
• Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with amitriptyline. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.


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