Amitriptyline – Why take this medication


Your doctor has recommended that you try a new medicine, what’s the first thing that you should do? Anytime you are adding a new medicine to your arsenal of pills fighting whatever you are fighting, a good thing to do is to make sure that you 100% understand what you are taking.  And if you don’t think it is something that you need to add in, then talk with your doctor.  Explain your concerns and see if this is the best choice of medicine for you.  There are so many different medicines out there that you can be a little picky and can say that this is something you don’t feel would be a great medicine for you.  Speak your mind, the doctors need to know your concern, since this is the only one life you get.

I am taking a medicine that took me awhile before I was on board with it.  It is Amitriptyline.  The pros, to me, didnt outweigh the cons, so I would get the prescription, and not take it since I was concerned about the side effects and the effects it has on other parts of my body.  I finally had to talk with my doctor and explained where I was coming from and my doctor explained to me why she feels I need to take it and the benefits it has to my body.  Here is what Amitriptyline is used for and the side effects.  Then you tell me is it worth the risks.

Amitriptyline came out in the early 60’s and was a great medicine for antidepressants, manly major depression, anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and bipolar. Later on it was discovered to help with migraines,  treatment of Neuropathic pain such as Fibromyalgia, and less commonly used to treat insomnia. So what was it prescribed for me?  My doctor felt that there was enough data out there to say that it will help with my horrible insomnia.  I didn’t feel that there was enough to prove that it will help my insomnia.  But she also pointe out that it helps with Neuropathic pain and was to help that too. I wasn’t diagnosed with Neuropathic pain but it could help with the nerve pain I was feeling and diagnosed with.  She felt there was enough of  proof that it would help me get a much-needed night of sleep.  I decided to try it and that was almost a year ago and for the most part, and I remember to take it, it works.

The other piece to all this was the side effects it claims to have. Here is the list of side effects that could be an issue to deal with:

  • dry mouth
  • trouble seeing
  • low blood pressure
  • sleepiness
  • constipation

Three out of the five, would actually benefit me.  For instance, the sleepiness is exactly what I need to help with.  So that was beneficial.  Then there was low blood pressure, since I have high blood pressure, I thought it would be good to have a medicine that could lower mine.  And then there was the constipation,  I could always use that when I having a flare up of my Ulcerative Colitis.  But the way I was thinking of helping my body could actually be harmful.  Since the lowering of the blood pressure could be happening when taking this medication, how much lowering of the blood pressure wouldn’t be known except by monthly testing.  Also, with the side effect being constipation and I thinking this would help during the UC flare up, but the truth is, too much constipation is not very good for my intestine and can do more harm than good. So the only side effect that I would benefit from is the sleepiness, which again is the reason for me to be taking this medication.

THere are serious side effects are as follows:

  • seizures
  • risk of suicide
  • urinary retention
  • glaucoma
  • Heart risk

The one on this list that scared me the most was the risk of suicide.  Being already depressed, things like that can be the one key component that might just push me over the edge.  So I need to be watched carefully for that.

In the long run, is it worth being on this medication for my insomnia.  And the answer to me is yes. Even though all medications have these long, disturbing list of side effects, it does not mean that will happen to you.  If you take your medication and are constantly under the care of your doctor, and watch for the side effects all the while getting a good night sleep.  Isn’t that worth it?


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