Amitriptyline HCL - Uses, Side Effects, Warnings, and More

Amitriptyline HCL – Uses, Side Effects, Warnings, and More

Amitriptyline HCL – Uses, Side Effects, Warnings, and More

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Depression is one of the mental and emotional conditions that can be treated with the help of this medicine. It is possible that it will help enhance your mood and sense of well-being, decrease worry and tension, help you sleep better, and increase the amount of energy you have. This particular prescription is classified as a member of the group of drugs known as tricyclic antidepressants. It does its job by shifting the proportions of certain naturally occurring chemicals (neurotransmitters like serotonin) that are already present in the brain.

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Amitriptyline hydrochloride: instructions for use

Before beginning to use amitriptyline, as well as whenever you get a refill on your prescription, make sure you have read the Patient’s Medication Guide that your pharmacist has given you. If you have any questions, visit your doctor or pharmacist.

You should take this medication orally as advised by your physician, which is often anywhere from once to four times each day. If you are only going to take it once per day, taking it before bed will help you feel less sleepy during the day. Your current health status and how well you respond to treatment will determine the appropriate dosage.

It is possible that your doctor will instruct you to begin taking this medication in a low amount and then gradually raise that dose. This will help lessen the likelihood that you will experience adverse reactions to the drug, such as drowsiness, dry mouth, or dizziness. Be sure to pay close attention to the directions that your doctor gives you.

It is important to maintain consistent use of this drug in order to derive the maximum advantage from it. Take it at the same time(s) every day so that you won’t forget when to take it. Do not raise your dosage, take this medication more frequently, or use it for a longer period of time than directed. Your condition will not improve any more quickly, and the likelihood that you will experience adverse consequences will rise.

Continue taking this medication even if you don’t feel like you need it. It is important that you speak with your healthcare provider before discontinuing the use of this medicine. It is possible that certain conditions will become even more severe if you suddenly stop taking this medication. Additionally, you may have symptoms such as changes in your mood, headaches, fatigue, and altered sleep patterns.

Your physician may gradually reduce your dosage of this medication in order to prevent these symptoms while you are withdrawing from therapy with this drug. For further information, please speak with either your physician or pharmacist. Notify your doctor immediately of any symptoms that are new or that have worsened.

It’s possible that this drug won’t start working immediately away. You could experience some positive effects in as little as a week. On the other hand, it could take up to four weeks before you feel the full effect of the medication.

Notify your primary care physician if your symptoms persist or worsen (such as your feelings of sadness getting worse, or you have thoughts of suicide).

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Side Effects

It is possible for this medicine to cause drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, weight gain, or difficulty urinating. Notify your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if any of these side effects continue or become worse.

When rising from a seated or lying position, it is important to do so carefully in order to limit the likelihood of experiencing dizziness and lightheadedness.

If you suffer from dry mouth, you can alleviate the discomfort by sucking on sugar-free hard candies or ice chips, chewing sugar-free gum, drinking water, or using a saliva substitute.

Eat foods high in dietary fiber, get plenty of exercises, and drink plenty of water to avoid getting constipated. In addition to that, you might need to take a laxative. Inquire with your local pharmacist about the kind of laxative that might work best for you.

Keep in mind that the reason your doctor has recommended that you take this medication is that he or she believes that the potential benefits to you outweigh the potential risks of doing so. The majority of persons who take this medicine do not report experiencing any severe adverse effects.

Notifying your physician as soon as possible is essential if you experience any serious adverse effects, such as persistent heartburn, an increased risk of bruising and bleeding, shaking, facial expressions resembling a mask, muscle spasms, severe stomach, and abdominal pain, a decrease in sexual ability or desire, and painfully enlarged breasts.

If you have any very serious side effects, such as black stools, vomiting that looks like coffee grounds, severe dizziness, fainting, seizures, eye pain/swelling/redness, enlarged pupils, or vision problems, get medical attention as soon as possible (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night).

This medicine carries a very low risk of causing the neuroleptic malignant syndrome, but there is a chance that it could (NMS). If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention: fever, muscle stiffness, severe disorientation, sweating, or a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

It is quite unusual for this medicine to cause an extremely severe allergic reaction. However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you observe any symptoms of a major allergic response, such as a rash, itching/swelling (particularly of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing. These symptoms include:

This list of potential adverse effects is not exhaustive in any way. Please consult your physician or pharmacist if you have any side effects that are not listed above.

In the United States, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit their website at to report any adverse effects.

In Canada, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345 to report any adverse effects you experience.


Inform your physician or pharmacist that you are allergic to amitriptyline, as well as to any other tricyclic antidepressants (such as nortriptyline), or if you have any additional allergies before beginning treatment with amitriptyline. There is a possibility that this product contains inactive substances, which, if present, could result in allergic responses or other complications. Discuss the matter further with your pharmacist for further information.

Before using this medication, it is important to discuss your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have a history of bleeding problems, breathing problems, liver problems, a recent heart attack, problems urinating (such as due to an enlarged prostate), overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), glaucoma (angle-closure type), mental or mood conditions (such as bipolar disorder, psychosis), a family history of suicide, seizures, or conditions that cause malabsorption (such as another brain disease, alcohol withdrawal).

A disorder that alters the heart’s normal rhythm may be brought on by the usage of amitriptyline (QT prolongation). It is possible for QT prolongation to occasionally bring on significant, even deadly, cases of fast or irregular heartbeat, in addition to other symptoms (such as acute dizziness and fainting) that require immediate medical attention.

If you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that can cause QT prolongation, your risk of developing the condition may be enhanced. Inform your physician or pharmacist of all the medications you are currently taking, as well as if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), a family history of certain heart problems, and so on before beginning treatment with amitriptyline (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).

Your chance of having your QT interval becomes prolonged may also be increased if your blood potassium or magnesium levels are low. This risk may be increased if you use certain medications (such as diuretics or “water pills”) or if you have conditions like as intense sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Likewise, this risk may be increased if you use certain drugs. Have a conversation with your healthcare provider about how to make safe use of amitriptyline.

This medication may cause you to feel drowsy, lightheaded, or distort your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not operate a motor vehicle, any machinery, or engage in any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are able to complete them safely. Steer clear of beverages containing alcohol. If you are a marijuana user, you should consult your primary care physician (cannabis).

Before undergoing surgery, it is important to discuss all of the products you use with your dentist or doctor (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

There is a possibility that using this medication will increase your photosensitivity. Reduce the amount of time you spend in the sun. Stay away from tanning beds and indoor sunlamps. When you go outside, make sure to put on sunscreen and protective gear. If you acquire a sunburn or see any blisters or redness on your skin, make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible.

If you have diabetes, using this medication could make it more difficult for you to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Maintain consistent monitoring of your blood sugar levels and report the results to your attending physician. It’s possible that your diabetic medication, exercise routine, or diet will need some tweaking from your doctor.

It’s possible that elderly people are more sensitive to the negative effects of this medication, including dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, disorientation, constipation, difficulty urinating, and QT prolongation.

The likelihood of falling is increased by conditions such as dizziness, tiredness, and bewilderment.

During pregnancy, it is important to only use this drug when it is absolutely necessary. Talk to your healthcare provider about the potential drawbacks and advantages.

Do not stop taking this drug unless specifically instructed to do so by your doctor; untreated mental and mood disorders (such as depression, anxiety, and panic disorder) can be dangerous conditions if left untreated. If you are trying to conceive, become pregnant, or have any reason to believe that you may be pregnant, you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible about the advantages and dangers of using this drug while you are pregnant.

This medicine is excreted into breast milk, but it is not known what effect it will have on a breastfeeding baby. Before starting to breastfeed, you should talk to your healthcare provider.

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Interactions between drugs might alter the way in which they perform or raise the possibility that you will have major adverse effects. This document does not contain all possible medication interactions. Maintain a list of all the goods you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as herbal remedies, and give it to both your primary care physician and your pharmacist. Without first consulting your physician, you should never alter the dosage of any medication, stop taking any medication, or start taking any new medication.

Arbutamine, disulfiram, thyroid supplements, and other medications that can cause bleeding or bruising (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, and “blood thinners” such as warfarin), anticholinergic drugs (such as belladonna alkaloids), and certain medications for high blood pressure are examples of products that have the potential to interact with this medication (drugs that work in the brain such as clonidine, guanabenz).

Taking MAO inhibitors in conjunction with this medication may result in a severe drug interaction, which could even be fatal. During your course of treatment with this drug, you should refrain from using any MAO inhibitors, including isocarboxazid, linezolid, metaxalone, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, and tranylcypromine. In addition, it is not recommended to use any MAO inhibitors for a period of two weeks before and after therapy with this medicine. Inquire with your physician regarding the appropriate timing to begin or stop using this medicine.

The elimination of amitriptyline from your body can be influenced by other medications, which can then have an effect on how well amitriptyline works. Cimetidine, terbinafine, pharmaceuticals to treat abnormal heart rate (such as quinidine/propofenone/flecainide), and antidepressants (such as SSRIs including paroxetine/fluoxetine/fluvoxamine) are some examples of the medications that fall under this category. This list is not exhaustive in any way.

Along with amitriptyline, there are a number of other medications that have the potential to influence the cardiac rhythm (QT prolongation on an EKG). These medications include amiodarone, dofetilide, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, and macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin). Inform your doctor or pharmacist of all other medications you are taking at the moment before beginning treatment with amitriptyline.

If you are taking other products that cause drowsiness, such as alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, or opioid pain relievers, you should let your doctor or pharmacist know (such as codeine).

It is important to read the labels on all of your medications (such as those meant to treat allergies or coughs and colds) because some of them may contain drowsiness-inducing chemicals or decongestants. Talk to your local pharmacist about the proper way to use those products.

When used with this drug, the usage of aspirin is associated with an increased risk of bleeding. If, on the other hand, your doctor has instructed you to take low-dose aspirin for the prevention of heart attack or stroke (usually 81-162 milligrams per day), you should keep taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Low-dose aspirin is typically prescribed in the range of 81-162 milligrams per day. Inquire with your primary care physician or your pharmacist for further information.

The effects of amitriptyline and nortriptyline are fairly comparable. While you are using amitriptyline, you should not take any medications that include nortriptyline.


Dial 911 if you suspect that someone has overdosed and they are exhibiting serious symptoms such as passing out or having problems breathing. In any other case, you should immediately contact a poison control center. To reach the poison control center for your area in the United States, dial 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents can call a provincial poison control center. Extreme sleepiness, hallucinations, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, fainting, slow or shallow breathing, seizures, and irregular heartbeat can all be symptoms of an overdose.


This drug should not be given to anyone else.

It is possible that you will be subjected to a battery of laboratory and/or medical tests (such as an EKG, liver test, or amitriptyline blood level) on a periodic basis in order to monitor your progress or check for adverse effects. Always be on time for your medical visits. Consult your doctor for additional details.

Neglected Dose

If you forget to take a dose, you should take it as soon as you realize you forgot. If it is getting close to the time of the next dose, you should forgo the dose that you missed. Your next dose should be taken at the typical time. It is not necessary to double the dose in order to catch up.


Keep at room temperature and away from light and moisture. Store at room temperature. Keep away from the bathroom at all costs. Always make sure that children and animals are kept well away from any medications.

Unless you have been specifically told to do so, you should not flush drugs down the toilet or pour them down a drain. When it is no longer needed or has passed its expiration date, dispose of this product in the appropriate manner. Talk to your neighborhood pharmacy or the firm that handles garbage disposal in your area.

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