View Full Version : Starting Amitriptyline tonight. What to expect?

09-25-2004, 08:35 AM
Tonight I take my first pill of generic amitriptyline, 25 mg/day.

For those who are taking it or have taken it:

How long does it take to work?

Does it really help with pain? Urgency? Frequency?

How are the side effects?

Thank you.

09-25-2004, 10:22 AM
Daniel, amitriptyline was a life saver for me. I started out at 50 mg and it took 3 months for me to feel relief. It has been 5 years and I am now down to 5 mg. My side effects were constant tiredness, my appetite increased but I watched what I ate and didnt gain weight. The side effects were not nice but it was better than dealing with IC.

09-25-2004, 10:28 AM
For me, it began to help right away. I have read that it takes longer for some. I guess it is like everything else about this disease...different for everyone. Very frustrating...I know.

Try to take it a couple of hours before bedtime. Like around 7:00 to 7:30pm or so. I do not find that it affects my ability to function if taken early. No dizziness or anything like that. I have found that if I take it early, then I do not have so much of that dopey feeling in the morning. It can cause you to feel tired the next day. That should go away within a few days to 2 weeks.

Some people report that it can cause libido problems. For some, it can also be a factor in gaining some weight. When I first came aboard the ICN, I read posts that called it the "Elavil 20". That meant that most people gained about 20 pounds once taking it for a while. I think what it does is cause you to crave sweets and carbs. It might also make it more difficult to lose weight. My recommendation is to watch the amount of sweets and carbs you eat from the very beginning. Resist those cravings. Find something that will satisfy your sweet tooth, like hard candy, and don't consume too much of that, either.

Finally, for me, I am absolutely convinced that it has relieved most of my symptoms. Don't get me wrong. I do have some flares every so often. I had one yesterday. One thing I have noticed, though. The break through flares are not as intense as my flares were before Elavil.

I wish you much success with this med. :)

09-25-2004, 02:05 PM
I believe the amitriptyline helped me right away with the pain, frequency and urgency symptoms. I started at 25mg, bumped up to 50mg two weeks later. My Uro wanted me to get to 75mg, but I said I'd prefer not to and he went along with that. Anyway, I've been taking it now for seven months. Outside of being groggy in the mornings I haven't had any problems with it. Others mentioned taking it earlier in the evening, like Sharon above said, and I found that really does help with the morning sleepiness.

I've also noticed the appetite increase, especially for sweets/carbs! While I haven't gained weight, I'm constantly having to remind myself it's the med's talking and I'm not really hungry! This 'craving' business is new to me!

Good luck with it!


09-25-2004, 02:49 PM
Hi there, I started at 10mg of Elavil & 5 mg of Ditropan at night. After only a week, I was able to sleep through the night with only one wakeup! (Before that I had been voiding every 20 min & was completely unable to sleep, eat, drive, work, or do anything except go to the bathroom). I had no weight gain at 10 mg, but did gain 15 pounds when I increased to 20mg per night. So, I'm now dealing with dieting, but my IC is better with it than without it, so I'll stick with it!
Wishing you good luck & better days soon!

09-25-2004, 06:15 PM
Thanks all. Taking my first pill now. I am a bit apprehensive about the whole "anti-depressant" thing.

But man, compared the Elmiron, this stuff is cheap! ~$14 Canadian for a month's supply!

09-25-2004, 06:33 PM
$$$ Just goes to show there's a 'bright side' to everything, eh? $$$

09-25-2004, 06:46 PM
I started Nortriptalyne 3 nights ago, and Ditropan 5 nights ago so I don't have much to report. Dr said these meds can takes weeks to see any improvements...the best advice I got from this board that helped me alot today was baking soda and water..I took a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon, but things do seem to have calmed and my flare up feels better...still have some cramping but I took a muscle relaxant I got from my mom and I will head for bed soon. Last night I was up 10 times, and I am hoping tonight will be alot better.

09-26-2004, 02:09 AM
I use 30 mg and do ok, I am tired, and sluggish until I get the coffe in me in the morning LOL, and it does take the edge off of my pain if it is a mild pain. I still use the restroom alot at night I just do it sleepy. I was suppose to go to 40 mg and after a couple days became mean and my whole family was ready to leave. Hubby refers to it as that evil pill now. Hope things work for you.

09-26-2004, 03:44 AM
Hi Daniel, when I was first diagnosed in 1999, my uro had me on 50mg right away. I did gain weight (not realizing it was the med) and it really knocked me out - I would sleep 18-20hrs a day. I just couldnt wake up!

Then over time (about 3 years) I went down to 25mg, 20mg, then 15mg etc....finally got down to 10mg.

Last Xmas I tried going off it completely, boy, was I in for a big surprise! The pain was so intense and I felt terrible. I realized how bad my IC was without the med.

I spent all of last Spring in a flare (from March to June 04) and my uro put me back on it. 30mg, then 40mg now I'm back to 50mg b/c the lower doses weren't doing anything for me. I am hoping that now that I am feeling better, I can cut that down to 30 or 25mg.

I hope you find some relief with it.

09-27-2004, 12:41 PM
I am on Amitriptyline. I have only started taking it but I have noticed a difference.

it doesn't really make me tired (like pass out tired like some meds) but once I am asleep I sleep like a rock. I haven't slept so heavily in years...I am having weirdo dreams as well.

It is hard for me to wake up after taking the Amitriptyline, but along with that and the weirdo dreams I haven't had any issues with it.

09-27-2004, 01:44 PM
sure hope it works for you. I had a bad reaction to it .... I am now taking Wellbutrin xl.

09-27-2004, 01:58 PM
I've taken Amitriptyline, too. The first side effect I noticed was the very strange dreams, but boy did I sleep well. I started off with half of a 25 mg and then after about five days, when to the 25 mg. Taking it a couple hours before bedtime is an excellent idea. You will feel less groggy in the morning.

09-27-2004, 04:52 PM
Daniel, in low doses (such as 25 mg or 50) of elavil it doesnt act as an anti depressant. You have to take 50 mg/3 times a day for that. The lower doses are used to treat chronic pain such as in IC and to relax the nerve endings. The newer SSRIs (such as prozac, zoloft, etc) are used to treat depression now as they are tolerated better than some of the older tricyclics.

Lady Tamara
09-27-2004, 06:03 PM
Hey there I have just started taking Allegron (Nortriptyline) for the relief of pain for my Vulvar Vestibulitis, i was previously on Endep when i was diagnosed with IC, but that gave me too many bad side effects, so I stopped taking that. I have been told it can take weeks til i may have relief. Was on the Endep (Amitriptyline) for about 8 months and did not find much relief at all really. Hoping this one goes better :) I also tried baking soda, but not quite sure how it worked, as last night had a bath in it, now today have a flare *confused* Can anyone comment on this? thanks!