Pronunciation: (a mee trip' ti leen)
Trade Name(s): Amiline, Amitone, Eliwel, Kamitrin, Latilin, Sarotena, Tryptme, Elavil, Endep
Why it is prescribed: Amitriptyline ia an antidepressant or mood elevator.It is used to treat depression.
When it is to be taken: Amitriptyline is taken one to four times a day. If you take it once a day, it is usually best to take it at bedtime. Follow the instructions on your prescription carefully. Amitriptyline must be taken regularly to be effective. Do not skip doses and the drug must be taken regularly for two or more weeks before its full effect is left.
How it should be taken: Amitriptyline comes in the form of tablets. Your prescription tells you the exact amount to be taken at each dose.
Special Instruction: 1. Amitriptyline can cause drowsiness, especially during the first few weeks of your treatment. Do not drive a car or operate any dangerous machinery.
2. Do not stop taking amitriptyline abruptly, especially if you are on large doses for a long duration of time. Your doctor probably will want to decrease your dose gradually.
3. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it and take any remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. However, if you remember a missed dose when it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, omit the missed dose entirely.
4. If you take amitriptyline once a day at bedtime and do not remember to take it until the next morning, omit the missed dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Side Effects: 1. Drowsiness, weakness, tiredness, anxiety, excitement and insomnia are commonly seen. Take this drug at bedtime if it causes drowsiness and take it in the morning if it causes insomnia.
2. Dry mouth, constipation, difficulty urination and blurred vision are seen. Contact your doctor if these effects persist or severe.
3. Dizziness, lightheadedness and faintness are also seen. When getting up from a sitting or lying position, get up slowly.
4. Fine tremor, shuffling walk, slow speech, difficulty in swallowing, jerky movements, neck muscle spasms, inability to sit still, sore throat, fever, skin rash, yellowing of skin or eyes and irregular heartbeat.
Other Precautions: 1. Before you take amitriptyline, tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking especially monoaminooxidase inhibitors (isocarboxazid, phenelzine, and tranlycypromine), medication for high blood pressure, seizures, asthma, colds or allergies, sedatives, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, anticoagulants, cimetidine, levodopa, antihistamines and methylphenidate.
2. Before you take amitriptyline, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding woman or if you have glaucoma, an enlarged prostate, difficulty urinating, a history of seizures, an overactive thyroid gland or a heart condition. If you become pregnant while taking this drug, notify your doctor promptly.
3. Alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug. Limit your consumption.
4. Amitriptyline can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight than usual. Wear protective clothing and a sunscreen lotion.
5. Before having surgery, tell the doctor that you take amitriptyline.
Storage Conditions: Keep this medication in a tightly closed container and keep it out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature.