I was originally prescribed amitriptyline as a sleeping aid. I quickly decided that this was not a treatment for me as I shall explain a little later in this post.
Primarily an anti-depressant drug, Amitriptyline is marketed under a number of brand names including Elavil, Tryptanol, Endep, Elatrol, Tryptizol and Trepiline. It is a tricyclic antidepressant which inhibits serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain.
Amitriptyline is approved for the treatment of endogenous depression and involuntary melancholia.
Amitriptyline is also an effective pain-reliever and sleeping tablet and has many unapproved applications including:
It appears that Amitriptyline has an extensive list of possible side-effects which can include:
- Upset stomach
- Hot Flushes
- Dry mouth
Refer to the links below for a more comprehensive list.
From my own experience, the drowsiness was the factor that precluded the long-term use of Amitriptyline. I was prescribed this drug for irritable bowel stomach pain which it did help with. However, the usual MS brain fog got so bad that I could not function. The fog was a zero-visibility low-cloud, I didn’t know what day it was and, had I tried, I probably couldn’t have tied my own shoelaces.
At the time I was working so this side-effect could not be tolerated. I subsequently spoke with my mother who also has MS and she described exactly the same outcome. My GP has since suggested it as a sleeping aid and I, not surprisingly, turned Amitriptyline down.
I still, many years after this experience, have problems sleeping. My GP tried me on Nortriptyline which I found far less effective at inducing sleep but equally effective at exacerbating my brain fog. I am now taking Temazepam which is considered quite addictive but it does seem to knock me out without leaving me incapacitated the following day. I have found Temazepam quite good but, extended use does seem to reduce its efficacy. I had started with 5mg tablets, raised this to 10mg after a few months and and now on 20mg.
Amitriptyline on Wikipedia