One of the oldest medications for migraine, Amitriptyline was originally used to treat depression and anxiety. However, when taken at a low dose, it works as a migraine medication and effectively prevents severe migraine headaches.
Uses of Amitriptyline include:
Migraine treatment, i.e., preventing migraine pain and chronic headaches
Treating nerve pain
Treating depression and anxiety
Treating nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) in children
Treating arthritis pain
Amitriptyline increases the serotonin levels in the brain. And since serotonin improves the emotional state, mood, and sleep quality in human beings, its increased levels change the way the body responds to migraine headaches.
Amitriptyline, as soon as a patient starts taking it, improves the quality of sleep. Within six weeks of taking it, the medication can have significant changes in terms of improving mood and reducing pain.
Amitriptyline tablets are swallowed with water. Doctors usually suggest taking one tablet a day before bedtime since the migraine medication may cause drowsiness.
The smallest Amitriptyline migraine dosage is 10 mg. However, the drug is also available in tablets of larger doses. Doctors usually recommend between 25 and 150 mg and will start you on a small dose. The dosage is increased every few days depending on how effective the previous dose was.
Here are a few facts you must know about Amitriptyline, one of the most effective migraine preventive medications:
Amitriptyline usually helps migraine patients feel better within two weeks. However, for some patients, this duration may increase up to six weeks.
Stopping this migraine treatment suddenly can have Amitriptyline withdrawal side effects. So, make sure to tell your doctor if you want to stop it.
Amitriptyline must be taken every day for it to be effective.
Most adults over the age of eighteen can take Amitriptyline. However, let your doctor know if you:
Are allergic to Amitriptyline.
Have a heart condition.
Have liver or kidney problems.
Have a blood disorder.
Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Have suicidal thoughts.
Have taken depression medication in the past.
Amitriptyline may have some mild side effects, such as:
Tingling sensation in hands and feet
Change in appetite
Weight loss or gain
Some serious side effects of Amitriptyline may include:
Severe chest pain
Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Swelling of face or tongue
Jaw, neck, back or muscle spasms
Unusual bleeding or bruising
Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors
Nardil, Eldepryl, and Parnate
Medication for irritable bowel disease, thyroid, mental illness, nausea, Parkinson’s disease, urinary problems, and ulcers.
Note: Check the patient leaflet for the complete list of medical interactions.
Store Amitriptyline away from light in a dry place below 25 degree Celsius.
Amitriptyline and alcohol can be a bad combination since they may cause sleepiness, dizziness, and blurred vision. The effects can get worse if the patient consumes alcohol at the time of starting the treatment or after the dosage increases.
Amitriptyline is not addictive and can be taken for a long time without any side effects.
Stopping Amitriptyline consumption suddenly can have some side effects such as nausea, headache, fatigue, etc.
High doses of Amitriptyline can affect sex life in some people.
High doses of Amitriptyline can have effects on fertility. This may be in cases where Amitriptyline is used to cure depression.
Amitriptyline medication for migraine can be problematic for the baby and is therefore not recommended for use in pregnant women. Check with your doctor before taking Amitriptyline if you are pregnant.
Since Amitriptyline may be harmful to the baby, check with your doctor before taking this migraine medication if you are breastfeeding.
Amitriptyline can be taken for months or even years if it works well for you.