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Amitriptyline (Elavil) Withdrawal Symptoms + How Long Do They Last?

Amitriptyline (Elavil) is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) that has been used to treat major depression since its approval in 1961. It is regarded as one of the most popular tricyclic antidepressants of all time and has been regarded by the World Health Organization as an “essential medicine” or a drug needed in a basic health system. Although it is only approved by the FDA to treat depression, it is sometimes used off-label as a treatment for migraines, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and nocturnal bedwetting (in childhood).

The drug works by inhibiting reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. It tends to increase serotonin significantly, while affecting norepinephrine to a moderate extent.  These days, Amitriptyline is not commonly used as a first-line treatment for depression, but throughout the 1960s and 1970s, it was considered one of the best options. Some documentation even suggests that its efficacy may be superior to other antidepressants, including SSRIs.

Although this is an older drug can work well to treat depression, not everyone is going to have a positive reaction to taking it. For some individuals the side effects may be overwhelming and intolerable. For others, it may not be effective in reducing their depressive symptoms. Finally there are those who have had success taking the drug, but found that its antidepressant effects wore off over time.  There are also people who just want to stop taking an antidepressant and function drug-free again.  If you are considering going through withdrawal, below are some important things to keep in mind.

Factors that influence Amitriptyline withdrawal

Whenever you quit taking a medication, there are factors that will influence the severity of your withdrawal. These factors include things like: time span over which you took the drug, your dosage, how quickly you tapered, as well as other individual factors such as physiology, habits, and environment.

1. Time Span

How long were you taking Amitriptyline? If you were taking it for a short duration, chances are that your body and brain didn’t develop a tolerance or become reliant on the drug for functioning. Thus, those who took it for a short period of time (i.e. weeks or a couple months) should have an easier time coping with the withdrawal period. People who were on the drug for an extended period of time (i.e. years) will likely have a much tougher time with the withdrawal.

2. Dosage (50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg)

Most people end up taking anywhere from 50 mg to 150 mg of the drug at bedtime. However, in more extreme cases, the dosage of 150 mg may be exceeded. The maximum recommended dose of this drug to be taken daily is 300 mg. In general, there is thought to be a relationship between dose of the drug you take and the severity of your withdrawal. Individuals who are on a lower dose such as 50 mg are thought to have an easier time coping with symptoms compared to those who were on the daily maximum of 300 mg.

3. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

Did you quit taking Amitriptyline cold turkey (abruptly) or did you conduct a gradual taper? If you quit cold turkey, it essentially shocks your central nervous system because it will still have been expecting to receive the drug. In order to reduce withdrawal symptoms, the best method is to conduct a gradual taper based on how you feel to reductions in dosage.

To be on the safe side, experts recommend tapering by 10% of your current dose per month. If you feel this is too slow and/or you don’t notice any extreme withdrawals, you can tweak the percentage to suit your needs. Understand that if you are taking a sustained-release version of the Amitriptyline, you may want to talk to your doctor about counting the little “beads” or converting to the non-sustained release version while tapering.

4. Individual Factors

There are always other individual factors that can influence the difficulty of your withdrawal. Individual physiology tends to play a big role in determining how someone will react to withdrawal. Certain people may not experience many withdrawal symptoms, while others will experience every unwanted symptom imaginable.

It should also be noted that personal habits such as: diet, exercise, social life, productivity, etc. can also play a role in influencing how a person is able to cope with their withdrawal. Additionally if you are on any other medications, it may make the withdrawal process easier.

Amitriptyline Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below is a list of possible symptoms that you may experience when withdrawing from Amitriptyline. Understand that you may not exhibit every symptom listed below during your withdrawal. This is just a collection of symptoms that people have reported, with the two most common being dizziness and headaches.

  • Anger: During withdrawal it is common to experience increased anger. You may get angry at other people or angry with your circumstances. This is usually caused by neurotransmitter levels being abnormally low. As they increase, your anger should continue improving. Do your best to contain your anger and learn productive ways to cope with it.
  • Anxiety: When withdrawing from this medication, you may notice that you feel more anxious than usual. This is due to the fact that your serotonin levels dropped after you stopped taking the medication. Low serotonin is thought to contribute to significant anxiety during the withdrawal period. Your serotonin levels and neurotransmission will eventually return to how they were prior to your usage of the drug.
  • Appetite changes: Some people who take this drug report increases in appetite. If you experienced an increased appetite while on this antidepressant, your appetite may be reduced when you quit taking the medication, and vice versa. Appetite changes can lead to weight loss or weight gain when you stop taking the drug.
  • Body aches: In some cases this drug can actually help to reduce body aches. When you stop taking it, you may feel achy all over for no apparent reason. Keep in mind that it may take a few weeks before the aches start to subside. In the meantime, consider getting a massage if this symptom becomes difficult to deal with.
  • Crying spells: It is common to cry a lot when you withdraw from an antidepressant. Crying is considered a natural release of emotion and can actually promote healing. Most people that end up crying during withdrawal do so as a result of the increased depression that they initially experience.
  • Depersonalization: Do you feel like you aren’t the same person that you were prior to taking the drug? It is common to feel depersonalized or as if our normal emotions and personality has been sucked out of our body. Understand that as you experience healing, your natural emotions and personality features will return.
  • Depression: When you quit this drug, you may notice that your initial depression returns. For some individuals, they may notice that not only does the depression return, it actually increases in severity. Depression may increase in severity because your neurotransmitters are likely abnormally low and your brain has become vulnerable and sensitive. As you heal, your depression should either subside or return to how it was pre-Amitriptyline.
  • Diarrhea: There have been reports of diarrhea upon discontinuation of this drug. If you have diarrhea, you may want to consider picking up some over-the-counter Imodium to help with your situation. Typically diarrhea should not last more than a week following your last dose.
  • Dizziness: Feeling dizzy is perhaps the most common complaint people have when they stop taking Amitriptyline. You may feel lightheaded, as though you have balance issues, and uncoordinated as a result of the dizziness. It can be overwhelming, especially in cases of people who quit the drug cold turkey. Even though it may seem never-ending, just know that it will eventually get better.
  • Fatigue: Another very common symptom is that of lethargy or fatigue. You may feel tired all the time and lack energy to complete even basic tasks. Keep pushing yourself through these feelings of tiredness, but honor them in times when you think a little extra sleep would be beneficial. It can be difficult to deal with this symptom, but your energy levels will eventually rebound.
  • Flu-like symptoms: In some cases, people get really sick when they stop taking this medication. You may experience nausea, headache, fatigue, aches, and dizziness – leading to a set of symptoms that mimic influenza. If you gradually taper off of the medication, you will reduce your chances of feeling “sick” during the withdrawal.
  • Headaches: Some people take this drug specifically to treat their migraine headaches. If you were taking it to treat headaches, you may notice that they reemerge when you stop taking the drug. In order to reduce your chances of dealing with bad headaches, it is recommended to always gradually taper.
  • Hypersensitivity: During withdrawal you may notice that bright lights and/or loud sounds become very bothersome. Your visual and auditory processing may become hypertensive and moderately loud noises may sound extremely loud. As your nervous system heals and the parasympathetic functioning is restored, hypersensitivity should be reduced.
  • Insomnia: Some individuals take this drug for insomnia and/or notice that it helps them fall asleep at night. When withdrawing, you may notice profound insomnia to the point that you cannot get a good night’s sleep. Understand that insomnia may be temporarily worsened during withdrawal and that you can cope with it by learning ways to lower your arousal.
  • Irritability: You may become increasingly irritable during the early weeks of withdrawal. You may feel like lashing out at other people and as though you have taken on a mean persona. This is usually a result of neurochemical changes that you are dealing with during withdrawal. If you feel irritable, you may want to practice some sort of relaxation technique and/or exercise.
  • Itching: Feeling itchy is a very common side effect of this particular drug, but a less common withdrawal symptom. If you feel itchy, it could because you are in early stages of withdrawal and still have the drug in your system. Realize that once you stop the drug, the itching should subside within a week.
  • Joint pain: In addition to feeling body aches, you may notice some joint pain. This could be a result of norepinephrine changes – a neurotransmitter linked to pain processing. Realize that the pain you are experiencing may be temporarily more severe during the early stages of withdrawal.
  • Memory problems: Some people report issues with memory retrieval and feel as if their short and/or long term memory has worsened. If you are having difficulties with your memory, just know that this drug is not associated with any long term memory damage. In other words, as your brain heals itself, your memory should return to normal functioning.
  • Muscle pain: This drug is sometimes prescribed off-label to treat people with various types of pain. It can reduce muscle pain while a person takes it, but when they come off of it, the pain may be even worse. This is due to the fact that norepinephrine levels drop when a person quits the medication. It can take awhile for them to stabilize and the increased pain sensitivity to subside.
  • Nausea: You may feel nauseated if you quit this drug cold turkey. Nausea occurs because your body has gotten used to receiving the drug on a daily basis and was incorporated in its functioning. When you stop taking the drug, nausea is a common response from the body.
  • Panic attacks: Since this medication affects serotonin levels, when you stop taking it, your serotonin levels can drop. This can result in increased levels of anxiety, which in turn can cause a person to experience panic attacks. Panic attacks experienced during withdrawal will subside once our serotonin levels are restored and when we learn to relax.
  • Poor concentration: Many individuals report that withdrawal from Amitriptyline takes a toll on their ability to focus. Completing work-related tasks, schoolwork, and/or taking tests may become extra difficult. Additionally doing something simple like reading a newspaper may seem tough. Understand that you may temporarily experience poor concentration, but your brain will eventually restore its natural ability to focus.
  • Restlessness: Some people report feeling restless when they initially stop taking this drug. They are unable to sit still and are fueled by inner agitation and anxiety. If you feel restless, you may want to engage in some sort of relaxation exercise to calm your nerves and/or get some exercise to burn off energy.
  • Sleep changes: During withdrawal, your sleep cycle can easily get thrown out of balance. You may find it difficult to fall asleep at night and/or difficult to stay asleep at night. You may have weird dreams, nightmares, and feel tired all the time. Many people report feeling unable to fall asleep at night, and extremely lethargic during the day. Understand that as your brain recovers, your sleep cycle should eventually normalize.
  • Suicidal thoughts: During withdrawal it is relatively common to feel suicidal and increasingly depressed. If these thoughts become overwhelming, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. Understand that the potency of suicidal thoughts tends to increase during withdrawal because your serotonin levels are low and neurotransmission tends to be chaotic. The longer you have been off of the drug, the less these thoughts should occur.
  • Sweating: Many individuals note that they sweat profusely when coming off of this antidepressant. Increased sweating is common when a person quits taking a drug that their body has become accustomed to receiving. When the drug supply is cut, sweating is a physical reaction that many people have. Sweating may occur throughout the day and/or at night.
  • Vomiting: Although vomiting is an extreme withdrawal symptom, it is one that is sometimes reported. Usually those who report vomiting were on a high dose, quit cold turkey, and ended up feeling very sick with high nausea. Just know that vomiting should not last more than a few days.
  • Weight changes: Some people gain a fair amount of weight while taking Amitriptyline. In the event that your weight gain was caused by the drug, you should lose the weight that you gained while taking it. Additionally if you lost weight while taking this drug, you may gain some weight back that you lost while taking it.

Note: It is understood that amitriptyline stays in your system (along with its metabolites) for a period of 4 to 21 days after discontinuation; suggestive of high interindividual variability.  Some users will eliminate the drug quicker (in around 4 days) than others (nearly 21 days).  As a result of variability in elimination speed, severe withdrawal symptoms may emerge sooner or later depending on how long your body retains amitriptyline (and its metabolites) in your plasma.

How long do Amitriptyline withdrawal symptoms last?

There’s no telling exactly how long Amitriptyline withdrawal will last. For some people who were on a low dose for a short-duration, it may only take a few weeks before they feel 100% back to normal. For others that were on the drug for an extended period of time at a high dose and/or those who quit cold turkey may end up dealing with withdrawal symptoms for months following their last dose. It is important to avoid getting caught up in comparing how quickly you recover to how quickly someone else recovers – everyone is different.

In order to speed up your recovery, it is recommended to engage in healthy activities such as: getting adequate exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting proper sleep, forcing yourself to socialize and stay productive, and seeking the help of a professional if you need it. The less stress you have to deal with in your environment and the more you push yourself to engage in healthy activities, you will increase the speed of your recovery. Although withdrawal symptoms may be overwhelming at times, continue pushing through them and realize that in time they will get better.

Withdrawing from an antidepressant can be a frustrating experience, especially if you didn’t know what to expect. Do your best to talk to other people about how you feel and consider seeking the help of a therapist if you lack social support. If you have gone through Amitriptyline withdrawal, feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. You may really help someone else who is going through the same thing.

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{ 377 comments… add one }
  • Mrs low November 12, 2014, 7:09 am

    Hi I have been taking this drug for years and decided enough is enough so tapered down over 6 months and it was tough. The worst I had was sleep deprivation and muscle aches, so I upped my tinctures I take to help with sleep and upped my yoga and meditation which helped immensely. I am now off them and still ache a bit but getting there. I won’t let this demon of a drug beat me though, so give it a go if I can do it anyone can. Just got to be positive as this is poison I am feeding myself… and that’s not good for my soul. Good luck.

    • Lisa Harris June 3, 2016, 12:44 am

      I’m weaning now after 6 years. I take it for RSD/CRPS symptoms. I’m also into herbs and essential oils and would like to know what tinctures you’re using. I make my own, also vinegars, oxymels, salves, etc. I’m also pre-menooausal and just started taking red clover tincture. Thanks much!

    • Sally Morgan August 23, 2016, 2:17 pm

      I had been taking 400 mg of this drug for 30 years and I have successfully been off the pills for 11 months. I went to an MD on several occasions but was repeatedly told to go back on the amitriptyline to relieve the distress of withdrawal. My response was, like hell and now distrust doctors advice as they all seem to be pill pushers.

      It has been a horrific struggle and I am still working through the symptoms listed above in the article. I want to do this holistically and I am currently taking supplements and extracts that have helped ease the process but the lack of sleep ( 3 to 4 hours a night) is really taking it’s toll on body and mind. I don’t want to take drugs to sleep but have used benadryl on occasion.

      I have also tried melatonin, 5HTP, Gaba, l-Glutamine, Valerian root but nothing seems to work well or not leave me groggy and non functioning. If anyone has any suggestions it would be appreciated! Does anyone know if the body will rebuild natural levels of serotonin or is this a lost cause? It helps to know that there are others going through this and I’m not going crazy!

      • Paola Brunetti September 12, 2016, 1:30 pm

        It used to be thought that you can’t build up serotonin naturally. Now there is a lot of research into the link between probiotics and serotonin. I don’t think they’ve proven anything, but there was an article in Psychology Today I think a year ago about all the research done–Google it. They know a significant amount of serotonin comes from the intestines, and now they think it might be linked to how much/how effective the good bacteria in your gut is.

        I think this builds over time and your intestines are enormous, so to repopulate it with bacteria is a long term approach. If you’re going to try it, try one of the larger doses of multiple strains and see how you feel over the course of a few months. Also think about what you’re eating. Very acidic diets can kill off populations in your stomach, so no alcohol, easy on the vinegar, etc.

      • Rosemarie Tanner December 1, 2016, 12:29 pm

        I have been on elavil 150 mgs for several years. It is a wicked drug and I think it should be banned. It was killing me slowly. I was always dehydrated so badly and was always nauseated every morning. It made me gain a ton of weight. Then the horrific not stop constipation, I could eat 6 extra strength dulcolax at a time, every single day and it did not help at all.

        Because I takes all of the moisture out of your mouth and body I think it was starting to damage my kidneys. This med should be banned and it does way more harm than good. I stopped cold turkey two weeks ago and my life is hell. But no matter what and no matter how long it takes to get back to normal, I will never take it ever again, I’ll wire my jaw shut first!

        I haven’t slept in two weeks and nothing helps either, and when I do sleep I have horrific or weird dreams and I wake up all freaked out. I’m really clumsy lately too. Today I knocked over two huge glasses of chocolate milk, could be from sleep deprivation. I get weird intense super chills and my head feels weird a lot like my brain is riding solo on a rollercoaster. It’s 7am and I am still up, got no sleep, when I laid down my brain was doing the rollercoaster thing.

        I’m going to bed after I send this but I’ll only be able to sleep a few hours at a time and I’ll wake up from a weird dream, and will fall back asleep, and will wake up from a twisted dream, and the vicious cycle will keep repeating itself until I say screw it and just get up, and I will feel like crap yet another day. This med —-s up your brain chemicals and should be banned.

        I’d like to force feed my brilliant doctor a 150 mg tablet every night for a year and then see if he will stop prescribing this poison to people. Googled it and the amount of side effects is unreal but yet they keep writing out that script. Like I said no matter how long it takes to get over this I will never take this pill again and for that matter I will never take any antidepressant or any pill that alters the brain chemistry.

        What ever happened to the days when people talked about their problems and worked them out? Now the doctors don’t want to do that anymore. They just want to put the world on elavil and Prozac, bury their problems and hide them away in the subconscious and alter our brain chemicals and turn us all in to zombies.

        No thanks… my email is jamescwright1960[@]gmail.com. It’s my boyfriends name lol. If anyone ever needs to talk to stick to their guns and get off this wicked crap. Good night…

    • heather wood September 8, 2016, 9:21 am

      I stopped taking amitriptyline four weeks ago. I was on 75 mg. a day for 25 years and just stopped. Still feel absolutely exhausted, the fatigue is terrible. I also have numbness in my cheeks and around my mouth which comes and goes as does the heavy feeling in one side of my head. I have this odd feeling where my body feels it’s not woke up properly, like I need to stretch. Tingling in toes and fingers. Diarrhea and nausea. Very weepy, can’t see an end to it. Is this anyone else’s experience?

      • Glynnis Miller September 15, 2016, 2:12 pm

        I was prescribed 25mg to be taken at night before bed because I was stressing about an up-coming legal battle and had trouble falling asleep. Day one I didn’t seem to notice any changes, however – having only been on the pill for 8 nights straight – I soon started experiencing internal tremors, fits of nausea, depressing thoughts, inability to go out in public – THE WORST!!!

        I made the decision to stop taking the drug IMMEDIATELY having explained my symptoms to my doctor whom I’m suppose to have a follow-up appointment with at the end of the month. The trouble is that the symptoms are still here – my body trembles, I wake up and want to cry, I feel nervous/anxious/jittery even when I’m just sitting at home. It has been an extremely scary time and I pray that the effects wear off for good very soon.

        Some days are better than others, though I seriously wish that I’d never taken Amitriptyline in the first place and chosen a holistic remedy instead. Please let me know how you’re coping and how long it takes until you feel like your old self. I find a bit of relief knowing that I’m not the only one out there who feels this way.

        • Angela October 12, 2016, 7:33 pm

          Have your symptoms cleared? So awful! I took it for 5 nights and started having constant dizziness. It’s been 4 days off and I still suffer from dizziness, dropping things. This Rx is horrible!

      • Cindy September 15, 2016, 6:12 pm

        I have been on amitriptyline for 30 years. I have been as high as 200 mg but currently I have tapered down to 20. Most of the decrease was tolerated well but moving from 30 to 20 as been terrible. I too, have the numbness on my face, vision issues, dizziness, an “unwell” feeling, sleep issues, heart palpitations, etc.

        It wasn’t until recently that I realized it was withdrawal and in a way I am relieved. After reading around the web I am going to try several recommendations: fish oil for the brain fog, “Body calm with melatonin” for sleep and I ordered something called JNK Capsules that is supposed to address the weight gain caused by a gene that the drug effects.

        I also will try to up the probiotics as that makes total sense. I wish you all well and hope we can get through this! Not easy for sure.

      • Carmen Woods September 28, 2016, 2:10 am

        Yes, I’m also going through most of these symptoms. I had taken only taken 30mg per day over the past 3 years for fibromyalgia. It never helped my pain at all. My doctor had told me that I could just stop taking them if I wanted to. I tried doing so, and after just 2 days I thought I was going to die! I had vertigo issues and this constant horrible “whooshing” in my head!

        And one day I even had a complete meltdown at work, so badly that I actually got physical with my co-worker and threw a chair across the room! This NEVER happened to me before! So, rather than dealing with that, I started them back up. Still, I wanted to get off them, so about 3 months ago I decided to gradually reduce them by 10mg per month.

        I had no issues whatsoever as long as I was still taking them, even at a very low dose. But, about 10 days ago I took the last one and I’ve been dealing with the same symptoms again since then. I also have the dizziness, tingling, numbness in my cheeks and around my mouth, and even my eyes will “stop/freeze” every now and then (that’s scary!!). I have the awful constant whooshing again, and it’s about to drive me crazy!

        I have mentioned this to my doctor, and he basically thinks it’s all in my head, and that stopping Amitriptyline “does not cause withdrawal issues”. RIGHT!! *GRRR*!! I have decided to “tough it out” and try to deal with it the best I can. I have been eating healthier and I’m doing a lot of juicing, and I have cut out all wheat/gluten, starches, yeast and sugar.

        Just making these nutritional changes has virtually eliminated ALL of my fibromyalgia pains and issues! I will keep on doing what I’ve been doing and hopefully eventually I can get off of all my other meds.

      • Sue g November 7, 2016, 1:13 pm

        I am now just entering my third week of a cold turkey withdrawal from amitriptyline have been taking it for 25 years originally for arthritis pain. I feel horrific have not slept hardly more than a few minutes at a time I can’t stop itching or crying in other words am a total disaster I keep telling myself it can only get better, but after reading the comments here it would appear that it is going to be a long hard fight. So I am picking up the sword and wish all of my fellow sufferers the strength and endurance to defeat the side effects of going cold turkey… Good Luck!!!

      • Miyoshi November 21, 2016, 7:29 pm

        Yes I took it twenty years this is my second time coming it. This time I weaned for a year from 75-100 mgs. I stopped in June 2016. Still got insomnia total body sore with muscle aches daytime fatigue, have to take a nap after work some days But try to stay up mostly.

        Juicing to sleep more at night. I go to bed at 8 so I can sleep for a few hours… I wake up, maybe be awake 1.5-2 hours then go back til time for work at 5. I had to adjust play games with myself so I wouldn’t get frustrated from missing sleep. So I go early and it helps my mind.

        It’s November now maybe by this time next year it’ll be history. I will never take a long term pharmaceutical again in life. And not to eager to take over the shelf. I’m taking herbs and juicing Romaine and Celery to help me sleep. It has helped but the juice shouldn’t be more than 3 days old. Hang in there probably one of the best things we can do is leave it behind. Miy

  • janett November 23, 2014, 10:04 pm

    Quit cold turkey after a year of taking 50mg to 100mg a night. I have had a lot of pain and fatigue. It’s been hard but I can’t keep gaining weight. So far it has been a week and a half sense I stopped but I have already lost 3 lbs and can’t wait to get the thirty two more pounds off. It’s a lot harder to go off then I was made aware of. But I am on my way to a thinner healthier me. Good luck.

    • Lea April 13, 2016, 2:20 am

      Agreed!! I gained over 20 pounds while on this medicine and it’s been maybe 5 months! Enough is enough sister :)!!

      • Brandi August 29, 2016, 11:37 am

        I have been taking it for over a year, but I can’t handle the weight gain!! I’ve just started to wean myself off of it and I am hoping the weight comes off! :)

  • John Clark November 26, 2014, 3:10 pm

    Hi – I quit cold turkey after taking amitriptyline for about 20 years yes it did help my depression and also my sleep but for the past four months I have been suffering with my sleep pattern but I know it will get better. To any one out there don’t take this drug unless the doctor says it is really necessary, hope I have been of some help. -John

    • AMANDA December 19, 2014, 7:43 pm

      Hi,so pleased I have come across this website.I have been on amitriptyline for 14 years and decided to stop it after a few side effects. I had know idea I should slowly reduce the dose and not go cold turkey! It has been 3 weeks now first couple of weeks it was like I had flu, runny nose, really achy joints, watery eyes, not getting to sleep and waking up suddenly, etc. This week I have really had a bad head and pain behind my eyes and when I turn my head I feel really dizzy. I know we are all different.But can anyone help me out there and advise me on how long this will go on for? Thanks. -Amanda

      • Luis February 28, 2015, 3:22 am

        Hi there, I have been taking amitriptyline 100mg for two half years and two weeks ago had bad reaction to the medication, so the next day I went to the pharmacy to see if they had changed carriers and explain the weird reaction I had. They then gave me new prescription and told me to toss the old one and it might be bad batch. I took the new batch for few days and started feeling tingling sensation so I decided to taper off and never want to feel that way.

        I just want to feel like myself again. It has been 8 days and still feel same side affects as above, it is not as bad as the first couple days but want to know when will feel myself again. It kind makes you feel like the medication is stuck inside you forever. Do other people feel the same way? Please respond thanks.

      • Julia Cooper August 6, 2015, 3:24 am

        For Amanda: For the dizziness, try some divertigo. Available over-the-counter, a natural herbal formula. I’ve just recently stopped taking 12.5 mg nightly for 25 years. It was quite by accident I forgot to take the meds three nights in-a-row; decided to go for “4” and now it’s almost 30 days. Had at least a dozen symptoms listed on this site–some only occurred once or twice, but I know almost all will gone soon. Hang in there–they will leave. Push yourself to get some exercise daily–it really helps.

        • Ginny Beegle August 24, 2015, 4:51 am

          I’ve taken 100 mg a night for 23 years for massive migraines. I’ve tried in the past to go off but the migraines got so much worse I couldn’t do it. With menopause done, my migrains are finally managable again and I’ve been tapering for about 4 months. I’m down to 25 mg, feel pretty good except a little trouble sleeping, and the dizziness that really just kicked in about a week ago. I’m going to look for the divertigo tomorrow, and hopefully that will help. I want off this stuff SO BAD, but it really did help me for many years. I hope I’m totally off within a month!!! Good luck to all of us!

          • Nita January 19, 2016, 10:54 pm

            Been taking since around 1980 for migraine prevention. Began on lower dose but I am on 150 per night now. Not working. Due to anxiety and stress related to death of my mother I have been on 5 mg ambien for about a year and 5 mg Xanax at night for severe insomnia. Due to some changes enacted by Obamacare I was taken off all three of these cold turkey.

            My migraines had gotten much worse so a change was in order I guess. Anyway I am having horrible withdrawal. It’s been about a week. I am cold to the bone which is very very unusual for me. Stomach issues, mostly loose stools. Weak and shaky. Depressed. Hoping it won’t last much longer.

            Dr has put me on topamax and zanaflex along with desyrel. Hard to quit the old and start new all at once but with the changes in policies in healthcare left me no choice. Anyone had any experience with anything similar?

        • Lori January 6, 2016, 6:52 pm

          Divertigo is a drug also. Just because it is called herbal does not make it drug free. You are just replacing one drug with another.

        • Sherry March 30, 2016, 10:31 pm

          I have been on elavil for 33 years. That’s when my father passed away. I just quit cold turkey. I’m struggling so bad. I don’t want to break over and go back on it. The withdrawals have been very bad for 6 weeks now. But I’m hanging on.

          • Kelly June 18, 2016, 8:05 pm

            How long did your withdrawal from elavil last? I’ve been off it 6 weeks cold turkey from 50mg a night and feel awful. Thanks. Kelly X

          • Roberta July 17, 2016, 1:00 pm

            I hoped I wouldn’t see so much of a problem with discontinuing amitriptyline but that doesn’t seem realistic now. After Drs wouldn’t prescribe opiates for my pain I increased my dosage up to 200 mg a night. That has been my dosage for about a year but I have taken it for 17 years. I have tried reducing the dosage gradually but can’t tolerate even 25 mg less for a day.

            I start feeling irritable, anxious and in pain if there is any reduction. Now I have been warned that if I don’t stop taking it I won’t live more than a year 2 tops because it is causing me to have an arrhythmia of the heart that is a killer so I am a ticking time bomb. I can’t believe Drs don’t classify this drug as addictive. I stopped various opiates relatively easily but I can’t stop amitriptyline for even 1 day.

      • Laura May 11, 2016, 3:27 pm

        Hi, I’m still on this drug but am planning on tapering it down. I suffer with dizziness (vestibular imbalance to be exact) there are head exercises that a physiotherapist gave me and they help, accompanied by jogging twice a week… Hope you’re feeling better soon!

      • Miy July 3, 2016, 4:01 am

        It can be a long process…I tried weaning off several years ago. Lethargic balance was affected could not stay awake in front of my computer at work. Went to emergency several times and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.

        Finally it was suggested that I was withdrawing from amitriptyline that I had stopped 3 months prior. The withdrawals didn’t start right away either not until about 6 weeks after I stopped taking it. I withdrawing now but at least I know what to expect. Good luck to you. Don’t give up.

    • Al Bokhour January 27, 2015, 9:52 am

      Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure when you wrote this. But I’m just curious as to how long it actually took you to start feeling completely normal again. I took the drug for 9 years (for insomnia) and starting withdrawing over a 2 month period. I went to zero about 3 weeks ago and still cannot get a full nights sleep now. It’s very tough. The extent of my sleep is 3 hours. I’m in bad shape.

      • Jessica February 25, 2015, 4:48 am

        Hey All :) I’ve been on this drug for about 10 years (for insomnia as well) and had gotten all the way up to a dose of 75 mg a day. About 5 years ago, I was only taking 25 mg a day and tried to quit cold turkey and couldn’t get more than 3 hours of sleep a night either. It was horrible! By the end of a week I was having visual and auditory hallucinations that I just couldn’t deal with so I went back on the pills. This time around, I’ve been using Nature’s Way melatonin lozenges and they are helping immensely!

        You’re supposed to only take one, but it takes 3 for me to fall asleep right now. I’m hoping to taper that down as the amitriptyline leaves my system completely. But I’m not too worried about it since there aren’t any negative side effects from melatonin. Its only been a couple of weeks so I’m still not feeling great, but without the melatonin, I’d either be suicidal, in the loony bin, or back on the amitriptyline (LOL). Best of luck to you and I hope that helps a bit.

        • Pat March 7, 2016, 4:30 pm

          Thanks for sharing. My script didn’t get refilled due to my doctor being out of the office. Have not had a dose for over a week. Thought this is a good time to stop taking this med. I’m unable to sleep but will try the melatonin as you have. Not being able to sleep is the worst. And I also have a ringing in my ears. Hopefully this will all end soon.

      • Donald July 17, 2015, 2:11 am

        I take OTC melatonin 3-5 mg to help sleep on some nights. I only take it every now and then to get a good nights sleep. Works for me just and as good as the amitriptyline for sleep in my opinion.

      • patty October 2, 2015, 8:06 pm

        I quit cold turkey in July and every week I get a symptom. I go see a neurologist on Tuesday. I hope he can help. I can’t sleep or concentrate and have experienced every side effect listed. I’ll be praying for you and everyone who posts on this blog.

        • Bec November 8, 2016, 11:49 pm

          Hi Patty. Just wondering how you went with coming off these pills? It’s been 9 days for me and I’m lucky to get 3 hours sleep a night and yet I seem quite energetic still during the day. I’m in pain a lot and my muscles are very tight as I suffer with Fibromyalgia and Migraines. I really hope I can sleep properly soon as my body needs to heal. Plus I have excessive sneezing too as a withdrawal symptom. So frustrating!!!!

      • Ruth September 29, 2016, 6:11 pm

        I was on this drug for 20 years for migraine prevention – 25mg. Since I quit taking it a month ago, I have had a lot of those symptoms. Still feeling light headed and don’t sleep well. I did have a lot of itchiness for a couple of weeks but that seems to have subsided now. I think everyone is different maybe depending on the length of time you are on the drug and the dosage.

        I gained weight and could not understand why I couldn’t lose it. Even though I was eating healthy and exercising everyday, I couldn’t lose weight. I have lost about five / six pounds now without changing my life style. Hopefully as the medication gets out of my system I’ll be able to lose more weight. I have a feeling it will be a few months before I feel completely well again.

    • sheena joughin January 28, 2015, 4:49 pm

      How long did the withdrawal symptoms last for you? I took 25mg for twenty years and then stupidly went cold turkey two weeks ago; terrible headaches and dizziness. Did yours go away in time? Thanks very much. -Sheena

      • Sarah March 9, 2015, 10:55 pm

        I was taking about 300 mg for chronic migraines for almost a year, but it wasn’t helping enough to make the 25 pounds I gained worth it, so I slowly stepped down for about 2 months and stopped taking it. It took about 4 months total for my body to get back to normal. It kind of feels like a constant hangover, but it gets better eventually. It really helps if you increase the amount of water you drink (I drink about 5+ gallons a week) and if you meditate and get sleep. You start to feel better much faster. The weight I gained unfortunately didn’t go away as quickly as I had hoped and Im still working on losing the last 15 pounds. Hang in there

    • Jen November 29, 2015, 1:28 am

      Very true! I wish my doctor would have told me even a low dose of 10mg three times per day for one month was difficult to stop. I had every known side effect which increased my anxiety/panic attacks, depression, and insomnia. I had to page her because the side effects from the medication made me so very anxious and so very afraid to the point where I could not socialize or leave my home. She told me to stop the medication and I feel dreadfully ill.

    • Heather February 9, 2016, 6:21 pm

      Thanks John! I’ve been taking it for about 18 years. I didn’t sleep much for a week but slept last couple of nights for three to four nights. I get chills, like I’m a little sick, but I’m starting to feel a little better. Head doesn’t feel as dizzy, but still very weak. Let me know if you’re feeling better and productive. I haven’t been productive, except in writing.

      • Gail March 27, 2016, 9:48 pm

        I am so relieved to read all of the other responses here. I have been taking 200mg at night for three years for insomnia and pain management. The weight gain was horrible. I had tried tapering off in the past, but even at the smallest changes the side effects were unbearable. I finally quit cold turkey last week and I’ve had all the symptoms listed here, the fever/cold chills, headache, unable to sleep for more than 2 to 3 hours at a time, nightmares, dizziness, emotional ups and downs basically feeling like I have a hangover and the flu combined with PMS. It’s starting to slowly get better. For me, cold turkey was the way to go.

      • Lin July 24, 2016, 10:49 pm

        I have been taking this drug for about 2 months first month 20 mgs 2nd 50 mgs at night. I took it to relieve the pain of Interstitial Cystitis. It made me feel really spaced out so I went cold turkey. My worst symptoms were uncontrollable shivering and flu like feelings, fatigue and lack of motivation. However 2 weeks on I can feel little parts of my day are motivated again and I feel more like my old self. Long may it continue.

        • KD August 1, 2016, 2:33 am

          I was put on Amitriptyline, 25mg for bladder pain syndrome & have been taking for almost 1 month. Stopped taking 1 wk. ago because I had doubts about continuing this medication. Come down w/flu like symptoms along w/bad body aches & headache.

          Maybe I should of weaned myself off as nurse had stated. 2 days on & 1 day off for 7-8 days. Then 1 day on & 1 day off for 7-8 days then twice wkly then once weekly then STOP! I should’ve of NEVER taken a medication you have to be weaned off of! Hope this helps all of you w/ these problems.

    • Randy May 24, 2016, 9:40 pm

      After 17 yrs of being on a ventilate up to 9 25mg tabs it became clear they were not helping me but ruining my life. As I had been in therapy w/an excellent Dr (I’ve great relationships w/my life long clinic GP), I knew it was time to seek a new approach & get off this life dulling med. I told my Dr’s of my decision & it was fully supported however he had no advice for me nor of what to expect.

      I felt I’d have some insomnia & illness so I tapered over a year from 4-5 25mgs down to 25 (IR). WHAT happened I was wholly unprepared for. Yes I lost the ability to sleep, became ill w/nausea & felt terrible. 2-3 weeks in I developed dizziness, loss of co-ordination to the point of tripping & injuring myself. Disorientation increased over next week’s through the fall & winter. I became violently sock to my stomach at the 3 weeks mark & it was intense enough I felt it was the flu.

      However…this 2-4 day matter kept repeating every few days. My illness was becoming worse than I’d noticed. I list 20 lbs in less than 2 months. I felt increases in irritation, emotions but not an increase in depression per se. This has now gone on for nearly 9 months. I feel better emotionally & having better constipation, having saliva again, & less dry eyes was a huge relief.

      I’very become involved with multiple Dr assisted entactogen/psychedelic therapy which so far is a blessing. MAPS work with PTSD is key to my success in over coming the debilitating effects of multiple benzos, Aventyl & this I can say: if these meds including SSRI/TCA therapy doesn’t help you… get off them. My therapist states what my extensive research has shown: they simply do not have a long term know how on use of these meds.

      Sacred plants have been used safely in a Shamanic context & in modern psychotherapy with true success. I suggest that these endless treatments are just that: without end. I applied many techniques of mediation & mindfullness. My experience is may be not ever ones. ..but placebo effect is likely the obesity thong going for these drugs only early on.

      I was told repeatedly these meds were not addictive. They very much are & I am happier without them. Other therapies should be considered for you & you only. Study…look at the new research that has is ongoing at John Hopkins & UCSC among others to see what true healing means.

    • Miy July 3, 2016, 3:51 am

      I too have been on 20 years. I am having muscle soreness everywhere you can possibly think of. Lethargic also. Did you also experience this? Thanks.

  • Chandra Pail December 15, 2014, 6:48 am

    Thank you very much for this information. This gave me courage to make peace with the withdrawal symptoms. Hugs.

    • Tina January 20, 2015, 6:49 pm

      I have been on this for 4 years at a low dose of 25mg for pain! For the last 6 weeks or so I’ve been slivering down the mgs until it was a few grains of powder! Even after cutting it way back and now free of taking any at all for the last 2 weeks I still have side effects that are listed above! I’m never going back on this crap no matter what because truthfully it did little to nothing for pain and I’m tired of the compromise one has to give for using this crap! Not once was it explained that it would take so long to get off of! Had I known this early on I wouldn’t have used it in the first place. I know better now!

      • Jen November 29, 2015, 1:35 am

        I agree and I feel so ill. I was on 10mg hcl three times per day for only one month and the side effects were simply unbearable as the medication began to take affect. My doctor told me to stop the medication without tapering because it is such a low dose. I pray this issue doesn’t last too long. I have lost 25 lbs in one month and she didn’t even notice when I saw her. Disappointing. I wish she had taken the time to explain the side effects and withdrawal consequences. Sad. I am afraid to take any psychotropic drug again.

      • Teresa Boggs February 10, 2016, 11:27 pm

        Hi Tina, Thanks so very much for your and also everyone’s input. I, like you, have also have been on 25mg for 15 plus yrs. I plan on taking myself off slowly, first half, then quarter pill, then slivers as you put it for 2 weeks each. I am also taking myself off of gabapentin (from 300mg on down). I hate taking meds and feel like they are a lot of people’s problems in how they feel. TOO MANY SIDE EFFECTS!!! Good luck to everyone fighting to be more healthy!

        • Ann B April 21, 2016, 10:57 pm

          After seeing the new studies about amitriptyline and increased risk of dementia I’ve decided I’ve got to get off this drug. I take a very low dose, 10 mg a night, for insomnia and I have been on it 10 years. I am almost 56 years old and don’t have any memory loss, in fact I just started a whole new career 3 years ago and am doing great.

          I am terrified of the insomnia that may come back, though I have to admit I don’t sleep all that well on it either lately. But the risk of dementia scares me even worse. My mother had Alzheimer’s, the early stages (she died of pancreatic cancer) I know that sleep is just as important in preventing dementia diseases as getting off this drug, but I am scared now.

          Because I have to work, and work is very high stress, I need to do this very very very slowly. No cold turkey for me. But I am scared. I am looking at the Bach products to replace this drug for sleep. Melatonin did not help me.

          Forgot to add. I’m worried about the pain level going up too. I have fibromyalgia. But I am that scared of this “harmless” drug I am willing to risk that too.

          • Flo May 14, 2016, 7:37 pm

            I have been on amitriptyline for over 25 years at 25 mg. Started because it was recommended for fibromyalgia. Ran out and didn’t get over to pick up refill for 4 days so I decided not to. Cold Turkey. Quit smoking after 30 years and Vioxx after 3 or 4 years cold turkey. Day 6 today and dizziness and dry mouth are gone. Having sleep problems but that will goo too. Let’s get healthy without drugs. They are worse than the symptoms in the long run.

          • Isobel June 3, 2016, 11:23 pm

            Hi Ann B, You sound a bit like me. I also have been on elavil 10mg for about 10-12 years for fibro pain and for insomnia. I also have fears of dementia after hearing of the link to Alzheimer’s and amitriptyline. I have been trying to taper off but it is difficult and have experienced increased muscle spasms in neck and head and jaw along with anxiety and some forgetfulness. Scary. I am determined to get off of this eventually and the support group helps you to realize you are not alone and to not give up.

  • Annie December 15, 2014, 9:24 am

    I am in withdrawal right now, and thank God for this site because I didn’t know what was happening to me. I have had a lot of problems because I had to quit cold turkey after 5 yrs of use.

    • Tina January 20, 2015, 6:50 pm

      Me too…hang in there!

    • Chris July 8, 2015, 10:54 pm

      Anne What type of withdraw symptoms are you having? I have been on amitriptyline 25mg for 6 years and ran out and basically went cold turkey off of it for 2 weeks and experience bad withdraw symptoms. It started out as itching then my wife rushed me to the ER cause it was hard to breath and I am still having issues with breathing. I have only been back on it for a week.

  • chaf stevenson December 18, 2014, 5:47 am

    I took 150 mg a day for three yrs. I just stopped 5 days ago and I’m physically a wreck. I hope this doesn’t last too long.

  • Charles December 22, 2014, 6:32 pm

    I have been taking this drug at a very high dose. My doctor had me quit cold turkey 5 days ago. I can’t sleep I’m groggy and worse of all I’m afraid I will kill someone or myself. I hope I’m around next week to give an update.

    • Cathy May 1, 2015, 2:49 am

      Charles, praying you got through your battle getting off Elavil. Please share with us how you’re doing.

    • Andrea June 9, 2015, 11:10 am

      Hi Charles, I just read your comment, and I hope you’re doing okay. I’ve taken drug every night for about 7 months at 100mg for migraine headaches, and my withdrawal symptoms are terrible. I’m so nauseous and shaky that I don’t know what to do. Take care please.

    • ccboyd August 8, 2015, 1:49 am

      Charles I am trying to get off Elavil too. I pray that God will hold you in his arms and get you through this.

      • JANET MCGOULDRICK June 13, 2016, 2:22 pm

        I have been on amitriptyline for almost a year, taking 100-150 mg as a sleep aid. I thought I was getting dementia because my memory was so bad, I left the house with my clothes on inside out. I’ve reduced the dose by 50mg and feel really depressed, suicidal and what’s worse, angry. I hate who I have become, I’m normally a gentle and compassionate person, and I feel like an out of control megalomaniac!!!

        I love God, so I’m going to pray for everyone here, that you all come off this disgusting medication and that you become healthy and full of joy in Jesus Name. Amen. Love you all, you can do it.

    • Ruth October 3, 2016, 2:10 pm

      Charles, it does get better, but it takes time. I’m off the drug now for 4 weeks after taking 25 mg every night for 20 years for migraine prevention. This is a terrible drug…the weight gain, the cravings, etc. And coming off the drug is terrible. Sleeplessness, dizziness, flu like symptoms, and the list goes on.

      I cried all through the first weekend and then I had anger spurts… I can’t believe that doctors actually prescribe this med. I still am feeling wooziness most days, the itching comes and goes. But at least I’m off it. Eventually, it will get out of my system, although I think it will take a few months before I am completely clean. Hang in there everyone. It will get better!

  • Michele December 23, 2014, 6:48 am

    I am so thankful for coming across this site. It’s been a few weeks since I have tapered off at first then just quit. Every thing listed as a side effect I have been dealing with. I really had no clue what was the matter with me. I feel better now knowing that I am not alone…and hopefully it will get better!

  • Rob December 23, 2014, 7:24 pm

    I have been on various doses for about 5 years and stopped almost 4 weeks ago. I tapered very quickly, over 3 weeks and then quit. My experience has been shocking, the panic attacks are almost unbearable – yesterday I ended up in hospital having an ECG as I have been convinced I am about to have a heart attack…shocking palpitations and unreal anxiety. I am trying so hard not to go back on but find these withdraw symptoms incredibly frightening!!! I just wish I could find some information on how long this is going to last for??? I desperately need some support here. What a dreadful drug!!!!

    • Rachel December 31, 2014, 2:48 am

      Awful. All the above symptoms and my doctor told me I would have no trouble coming off of it. This is my second attempt and I gave up after less then a month. I took my full dose and finally felt like a human for the first time in weeks I could actually sleep!

    • Agnes January 27, 2016, 6:32 pm

      I’ve been taking 25mg for roughly a year for chronic pain and when I said to my doctor I want to come off it he only said to do 10 mg for some time, but no special advice on how to taper it down. He didn’t even warn me about any side effects at all. I stopped cold turkey while on holiday as I thought it would make it harder to sleep through the night and I thought I could deal with that when I’m at the beach.

      It was hard to sleep for a week or so, but I got through that. But I didn’t know about any of the other side effects… I thought I had food poisoning because I had very bad nausea for like a week. Then about 10 days ago I started to get dizzy. Then I freaked out whilst watching a theatre performance…

      Then last Friday I had a fully blown panic attack and I ended up at the emergency dept of the hospital because I couldn’t stand on my feet and I was sure I was going to pass out. It was the scariest experience ever in my life!!! and it’s been terrible ever since. I’m constantly anxious, nervous every time I leave the house, can’t work. I feel an absolute disaster. Today I left a work meeting as I was just about to have another panic attack.

      And the worst about all of this was that I didn’t know why all of this was happening to me. it was just so sudden and did not make any sense at all. have I known that these were the withdrawal side effects at least I would have not been terrified that I was losing my mind. Thank God I thought about the possibility that this may have something to do with me stopping the medicine.

      At least now I know I’m not going mental. Is there anyone out there who can say how long does it take for the symptoms to disappear?

    • Pat August 1, 2016, 6:55 pm

      Went off cold turkey. It’s been 2 months still can’t sleep. Dr has given me sleeping pills can only get 3 or 4 hours been to the emergency room 2times heart pounding and racing. Also shakiness and anxiety. Getting exhausted can’t do anything but lay on the couch. Any idea how long this will last?

      • Sandy November 4, 2016, 6:38 pm

        Same for me Pat. I was on 50mg/day for over 10 years for chronic migraines and then my doctor retired. Well my new guy said it’s an outdated medication and I need to stop taking it. Never told me I was going to go through all of this. Shaking, haven’t slept in 2 weeks, dizziness, nausea, heart pounding, no energy, can’t eat.

        My boss called me to her office today to ask what is wrong because she is worried about me. I was so embarrassed!! I called the Dr. office and said this is NOT going to work. Are there options to not go through this? does anyone know? Haven’t heard back from the Doc yet. :(

  • Michelle January 1, 2015, 10:43 pm

    Hi, I was on this drug for anxiety and bad stomach spasms for over a year. I was up to 150mgs a day and felt like a zombie. It didn’t really seem to help the pain or anxiety, however we cut the dose, found the source of my anxieties and I was ok, no pain and little anxiety. I decided to go off this drug three weeks ago, as I really didn’t think it was doing my body or mind any good. I have had weight gain and I haven’t been able to find the motivation to finish my studies.

    I tapered off over a week and have been off the drug for 2 weeks. At first I felt good, just normal nausea, but this week the anxiety and restlessness are bothering me and this worries me, I guess that’s the nature of my condition, but i am determined to be drug free. What I have not been doing and this information has reminded me, is to exercise, sleep more and eat well. Instead I’d worrying about my anxiety, I am going to be proactive with my health, thanks so much.

  • Nancy January 18, 2015, 9:35 am

    I have quit cold turkey for about a week now. I have Fibro, Carpel Tunnel and Neuropathy, so many things I have lived with daily and for many years from pain . I am also on other pills for pain. The itching has been driving me crazy for the last 4 days and mostly nights. Oh how awful. Cold~ Equate Advanced Recovery Skin Care Lotion (from Wal-Mart) is helping the itching somewhat. I also have terrible stinging and numbness from my fingertips to my knuckles. The lotion helps if massaged rigidly into my fingernails and fingers working upwards, not downwards. I am going to do my best to get off this medication as the price went up so drastically. I will be so thankful when this is over with.

    • Sharon March 6, 2016, 7:54 pm

      I’m into my 4th week of cold turkey. The choice wasn’t mine. I’ve had the awful itching for about a week now. I have bad allergies anyway but nothing is working. I was told to try medicated extra-dry skin Gold Bond lotion. It helps a lot longer then anything else has. The aloe and vitamin E seems to give me relief for a couple of hours then put it on again. At this point anything is worth trying before I’ve scratched my eyes out and skin off.

    • Betsy Graham July 29, 2016, 11:39 pm

      I’ve been on amitriptyline for years now, the only thing I liked about it it did help me sleep but my mouth was so dry I could hardly stand it. I was up to about 75 to 100mg and then I would cut them in half some. I know a nurse that told me they give amitriptyline to ALS patients to dry up their secretions.

      So that’s why I wanted to get off because my mouth was so dry. So about a month ago my doctor and I agreed I would to get off it then he went on vacation and was supposed to start me on a similar one to help me sleep and he forgot to send it in so I did not take any other new ones. Forgot to mention I went on Paxil and did not like that and did taper off that because it was a low dose, so I was actually on two anti-depressants of the same time for a short time.

      I had a few amitriptyline’s left but as I said they were at a high dose then I just stopped. I think this is been less than a month and I just wanted to say I started getting nauseous and then I got excruciating headaches which move around. Now for about 4 to 5 days I’ve had diarrhea so much I’ve been writing it down to keep track and nauseous cramps flu like symptoms sometimes itching of the skin and scalp.

      I was crying a few days ago I had no idea what was happening and I just had decided to look up what happens if you don’t taper off and anti-depressant. So I figured out that’s what’s been going on and then hearing about all this problems with the amitriptyline. Actually makes me feel better because I was going crazy right now.

      I am still very sick I’ve had to miss work my head is pounding like it’s squeezing and I am going to the doctor tomorrow. I don’t know if they give you something else to help you taper off but I will never take amitriptyline ever in my life!! Good luck to all and I hope this can help all of you some!!

  • Georgia January 18, 2015, 12:59 pm

    I quit cold turkey the other day. I am over the weight gain. I was taking it for Fibro so I was only on a low dose. I was awake for 36 hours in a row. I’ve got a lot of joint pain but I have lots of energy. I find it easier to cook and eat healthy food, whereas before I was so tired ALL the time and hungry all the time I just ate crap. Hoping I will lose the 20kg I put on while taking this medication now that I’ve come off it.

    • sarah May 25, 2015, 4:22 pm

      Hi Georgia. How long were you taking it for? And at what dosage? I just stopped the 10mg a day that I was only on for a few months and just woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I was going to die! Seriously freaking out and feeling anxiety unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before! Praying it subsides quickly as I have a 1 year old and am preparing to move house so i desperately need rest!

      • Teagan June 29, 2015, 7:19 am

        I’ve only been on 10mg too and the doctor didn’t even hesitate or mention any withrawals at all when I told him I waned to stop taking it after 4 years. I stupidly didn’t even consider withdrawals and the doctor didn’t suggest tapering at all. I’m so mad about the lack of advice. I’m only 4 days in and the body aches and nausea are unbearable. When I think about this lasting months I think it would be easier to just go back on the prescription. Hope it gets better soon for everyone.

        • Auria October 27, 2015, 6:21 pm

          Hi Teagan, don’t give in to this medication!! I’m going through the same symptoms described above and it has been hell for me but I’m determined to get off this poison once and for all. I’m now on 5mg nightly and in another week, I’ll be on 5mgs every other night and remain on that for a month. After that I’ll be on 5mgs every two nights and so on until I’m off completely.

          I honestly can’t wait!!! Doctors should advise their patients of how difficult it is to withdraw from his horrible medication. I curse the day I ever got on it for insomnia. Good luck!

          • Ruth October 3, 2016, 2:13 pm

            Auria, good for you! Don’t give in! This drug is just not fit to take. And if it takes a few months, at the end you will be so much healthier for getting this med out of your system… Cheers!

      • Jen November 29, 2015, 1:42 am

        My heart was pounding to the point of madness which created more anxiety then I already have! I told my doctor and she told me to stop the medication and not to taper because I am on the same low dose. How long did it take you to feel better?

    • Yola September 18, 2015, 7:34 am

      Hey there Georgia, I have Fibro too, and gained weight with this pill! I have been off it for 2 weeks…OMG the tingling all over, nerve pain (hates my clothes touching me)…hows your nerve pain now? And energy?

  • Gerry January 21, 2015, 6:15 pm

    By default; (new medicine cost increase: was $8 w/Ins., now $95 w/Ins.) after 20 yrs use 300mg at night for pain and stress, I’m 5 days into my ‘Cold Turkey’. Checked in to see what I might be in for!! The list of accidents and the many highly stressful situations my body and mind have been through, reads like a Sears Catalog. I’m going back underground, I’ll keep a record and check back in when I surface. HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR US. Thank you all very much for your insight.

    • JANET MCGOULDRICK June 13, 2016, 2:42 pm

      Hi Gerry, His grace is definitely sufficient for us, amen. Thank you for your post. I have only started to come off this drug, and I’m feeling so ill. I am determined to do this because this is no life at all. I will be praying for you and you will achieve this. God bless.

  • walt peacock January 22, 2015, 5:20 pm

    I was on a low dosage 25 mg for several years I tried tapering, one half dosage, 12 mg for 2 weeks, then I stopped completely. And this was before I did any research on withdrawal symptoms… the vomiting was my main symptom. When I awoke, and got up, my stomach started rolling, had to run to the bathroom, and threw up… this was horrible. I threw up more times during withdrawal than I have in my entire life. It went on for 6 days so I resumed the 25 mg. Within 2 days I was A-OK.

    • Missy June 17, 2015, 1:45 am

      My doctor took me off cold turkey after 15 years of use. I was off a total of 15 days and it was hell. I couldn’t sleep the whole 15 days. I went back to doctor he had to put me back on I was a wreck couldn’t eat sleep or work in that condition. I was also very emotional which made people think I was crazy. I lost 10 lbs in 15 days because I wasn’t eating. But guess what I’m back on the meds couldn’t function.

  • Barbara January 23, 2015, 9:03 pm

    I stopped taking amitriptyline (60mg) a few days after Christmas after seeing my consultant re fibro. I had asked if I could try something else as the amitriptyline was not helping, (I had been taking it for 3+ years). I stupidly went cold turkey never thought to do it gradually. The first 2 weeks felt like there was a party going on in my head, but that has passed and although sleeping is still a problem, I feel so much better and even friends have commented on how much brighter I seem to be.

  • margot January 24, 2015, 2:32 pm

    I was on 50 mgs of amitriptyline for three years due to nerve damage and pain. Then I had an abscess on my spine and was very depressed: the dose went up to 150 mgs. I felt as if everything was a dream and had trouble concentrating, functioning and dealing with anxiety. They swapped me to another drug gradually and it was like I was a different person; all my friends said the old me was back, though the depression and anxiety were worse. Now I’ve come off the last 25 mgs of amitriptylene and have permanent headaches, feel like I have flu, can’t sleep, etc. Seems like even 25 mgs needs tapering off.

  • Jo January 25, 2015, 2:53 am

    I was on 70mg of Amitripyline and 8 x 30/500 co codamol a day for chronic back pain. I quit both cold turkey 4 days ago because I don’t want to be taking drugs for the rest of my life. I am 44. I am having terrible withdrawal symptoms. I can cope with the diarrhea and just about bear the pain in my back but I haven’t been able to sleep, not even a wink since I stopped!

    My whole body is restless as soon as I lie down and I can’t stop moving my arms and legs. It’s so much worse than I realized. This is my 3rd full night without sleep and I am worried about how long this will last. I have been crying tonight with frustration. I feel as though my body needs sleep to repair and recover but I can’t relax. I hope this doesn’t last for too long. It’s wearing me down.

  • Christina January 27, 2015, 9:09 am

    I had been taking 25mg daily for over 6 years for head and neck pain and had tried a few times (unsuccessfully) to come off it in the past but I went cold turkey just before Christmas. I’m now at week 6 and the headaches are worse now than ever! I honestly thought coming off what I considered a small dose wouldn’t be a problem! How naive was that! I’m close to begin taking them again and have to force myself not to, distract myself in some way, take a paracetamol for the headache just to take the edge off. Do something! Anything but taking that drug again! I do not know how long this will last, although the nausea and itching has eased, so hopefully that means there is light at the end of the tunnel? Don’t give up!

    • Jo January 27, 2015, 6:50 pm

      Hi Christina. You seem very strong and determined like a lot of people before us. I was only on Amitriptyline for just under a year and coming off 70mg is so much worse than I could have imagined. I too am having headaches, terrible weakness and pain all over and the insomnia due to restlessness is the worst I have ever experienced.

      Even so I will never take another piece of that poison ever again! When this is over I am going to look into natural ways of pain management involving exercise and healthy eating. I would rather suffer the back pain and figure out ways to cope than ever do this to my body again. It really is’nt worth it. Stay strong. You have given me hope. -Jo

    • Scott February 22, 2015, 7:46 pm

      Hi Christine, I quit taking 25 mg of Amitriptyline cold turkey around the 15th of January and I have all the same symptoms you had/have. I was wondering since you stopped a few weeks before me if your symptoms have gone away or gotten any better because mine seem to be getting worse. I have found mild relief with valerian root which has similar effects on the nervous system to amitriptyline but I can’t take it in the day because it makes me so tired. Feel free to respond here or email me as I have had a rough time lately and any information would be useful.

      • Janie May 17, 2015, 3:02 am

        Hi Scott, sorry to butt in on your conversation with Christine, but I’ve been taking Amitriptyline for 4 years 25 mg for bad heads, tapered off over a couple of weeks, finished last Sunday. Felt OK first of all, now a week later I ache, can’t sleep, permanent headache, not happy in my body! Can you tell me about Valerian root, is that in tablet form and what is it used for, the feeling sleepy sounds good. Many thanks. -Janie

      • Lisa August 5, 2015, 3:29 pm

        Scott, I discontinued 25 mg Amitriptyline cold turkey on on July 16, 2015. I was using it for Fibro and to help sleep since 2008. I took only one pill at night and there were many times I would forget to take it. I have been been feeling chronic and acute motion sickness, dizziness since I discontinued the med. I have been to my PCP several times as a result. She feels at this point, it would be prolonged for me to be experiencing withdrawal from the med. I am wondering how long it took for you to start to feel better. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated!!

        • Jean Ries August 26, 2015, 11:14 pm

          I am starting my fourth month after quitting. At first I had all the symptoms, most of all the head stuff, insomnia, and restlessness is the worst. I started feeling better, currently I am having residual withdrawal symptoms about two nights a week. The rest of the time I feel so much better. It is worth it to hang in there. I agree change diet to nourishing foods, exercise no matter how little, stretching, mild yoga, relaxing walks, and meditation. treat yourself well because you probably haven’t before.

          Pretend if you have to that you are at a spa, and take special nourishing care of yourself. There are a lot of spots you can reach to message if you only learn to care. Highland’s Homeopathic products have helped me; especially Restful Legs at night. Nerve Tonic seems to help heal frazzled nerve endings. I too am very grateful for this website, walking through this alone, I would not have made it.

          • Sara October 17, 2015, 6:12 pm

            I have been taking 50 mg for 15 years for peripheral neuropathy. It didn’t help the leg pain and burning feet as much as it helped me to sleep. I ran out 2 weeks ago and can’t sleep. I started taking Cymbalta a month ago which may be helping some of the withdrawal effects. I have been getting muscle pain in my legs and didn’t know that it could be from withdrawal. It’s good to know that I’m not going crazy so thanks for that and the melatonin tips. One side effect that hasn’t been mentioned is a feeling of a lump in the throat. It’s like there is food stuck but there isn’t anything there. I don’t know think that there is anything that can be done about it except time. Walking has helped me with the restlessness. Time will tell with the rest.

      • Andy February 2, 2016, 10:00 am

        Hi Scott, just wanted to know how you are getting on? I was only on 25mg for 5 weeks which I quit cold turkey. It’s now been 6 weeks since I quit and I’m really struggling with my sleep. Valerian root seems to be helping a bit. Just really want to know how much longer this will last really. Most of the other symptoms are going which is a good thing but the lack of sleep is horrible. I’ve found meditation to be helpful also and nice hot relaxing baths. If anyone could give some advice I would be grateful. Good luck to everyone getting of this drug. Thanks.

  • Anne January 28, 2015, 3:18 pm

    I’ve been on 20mg for the past 3 years for migraines and they stopped working. My doctor asked me if I wanted to come off them so I agreed. He didn’t explain how to stop taking them so I just stopped last week – cold turkey. I’m feeling sick, tired and have diarrhea. Hoping these symptoms go soon!

  • Kerilyn January 30, 2015, 3:30 am

    I was on 100mg at bedtime, for the past 15 months. Back in December I started decreasing 25mg every two weeks. I have had severe insomnia, fatigue, nausea, achiness since. I was tired of the weight gain though and just want to get off. My doctor suggested I go off the last 25 mg by reducing 5mg every two weeks. I hope that helps, part of me wants to just quit taking it and get it over with.

  • Robert January 30, 2015, 11:27 pm

    Really nice to find this site. What with all the really bad news about anti-cholinergics coming out I’m sure there will be a lot of new participants here like me. I’ve taken 50mg a night for six years, for insomnia. I tried to reduce my dose to 35mg in one swoop last November (because of weight gain) and failed. Too tough, too much insomnia and mind fog. Now with the additional medical news about tricyclics and other anti-cholinergics I have to try again. The information here about cutting back ten percent a month is good. However, is there a 5mg pill of amitriptyline? I thought 10mg was as small as they come, and they’re so small it’s hard to cut them in half.

    • Kerilyn Land January 31, 2015, 10:29 pm

      10mg is as small as they come. My doctor told the pharmacist to make it into a liquid if they needed to in order to reduce by 5 mg. I’m still on 20mg so I’m not sure what they will do.

    • toni February 1, 2015, 2:25 am

      Hi Robert, when I first started taking it the doctor had me increasing on 5mg increments. The smallest tablet is 10mg but he told me to get a little pill cutter from the pharmacy to cut them in half. So easy and I couldn’t imagine trying to cut those tiny little tablets any other way! :)

      • Adam October 26, 2015, 1:38 pm

        I was on 25mg and have been dropping by 2.5mg and 2mg drops. This has been made possible by a razor blade, a jewelry scale, and some capsules to put the pieces in.

    • Julia Cooper August 6, 2015, 4:05 am

      Hi, Robert! Wal-mart has a little plastic pill cutter, with a permanently installed stationary blade for about $1. Open lid; push tiny pill all the way into small “v” of groove; close lid on pill lightly; then do a quick judo-chop on the lid. It will deliver you a perfect 5 mg half tab!

  • toni February 1, 2015, 2:18 am

    Just want to share my experience of Endep (amitriptyline) withdrawal for anyone else that goes through it and is desperately googling for help/more information (as I did!). I was on 50mg of Endep for about 3 years for headaches. Decided to come off of them as I hadn’t been getting headaches. Tapered off over 2 weeks, which in hindsight was too quickly but they were all the tablets I had and I didn’t want to go back to the doctor for more. Once I stopped taking them I didn’t notice any change for the first week or 2.

    After that though I started feeling really really lethargic, nauseous, emotional, depressed, hungry, on the brink of tears all the time etc etc. I had just started a new exercise/eating routine though so didn’t think too much of it just thought it was my body getting used to the changes I was making. But it just kept getting worse to the point where I was crying over nothing and wanting to make some life choices (quitting the job that I love!) over a ridiculous little thing that happened. That’s when the penny dropped that maybe the Endep had affected me more than I had realized.

    So about a month after I had stopped taking the Endep I went to my doctor for a check up, just to make sure that there was nothing physically wrong with me. She did blood/pregnancy tests, etc. and listened to my complaints. She told me I was depressed, but physically all OK. She said the only way to know if it was Endep withdrawals was to go back on the tablets and see if the symptoms stopped. Hell no cos I don’t want to have to start all this again! So I decided to battle on!

    I made sure I was getting lots of sleep. Crackers helped my nausea and I steered clear of milk or anything that made my stomach churn. Made sure to go for some nice little walks (doctors advice, apparently brisk walks are good for depression). Talking to my boyfriend and my boss really helped. I took multivitamins to make sure my body was getting everything it needed. And I made sure NOT to make any drastic decisions and generally just be kind to myself and give my body time to adjust.

    I would say the nausea and depressed feelings got worse still over the next week, but knowing that it was just the Endep withdrawals really helped! Then the depression started to lift and I would wake up feeling amazing in the mornings!! So much better than when I was on Endep! Its now been about 6 weeks since I stopped taking Endep and I still feel a bit nauseous, still can’t stomach even the thought of coffee lol! But otherwise I am back to loving life again. :)

    If you are considering coming off Endep, I would really really suggest that you do your research on tapering down slowly. It really does affect you more than you realize! If you’re like me though, and tapered off really quickly thinking it was no big deal and are now wondering if you’re going crazy… Go to your doctor to make sure nothing is physically wrong with you. Then just be kind to yourself. Do what your body and mind will let you and just ride it out. You’ll start to feel better eventually :) Good luck!!

    • Heather June 9, 2015, 12:09 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing. I had been on 50 mg for migraines for about 2 years. Got tired of being a slave to medications. Started weening off per my doctor, but after reading everyone’s comments, my doctor had me tapering off too quickly. It’s been 2 weeks since I took the last pill. Sleep seems foreign, headaches are terrible, I vomit all day and my muscles feel like they are on fire.

      I was going to the gym 3-4 times a week before I quite taking amitriptyline, but because of the withdrawal, I’ve barely been. Reading everyone’s journey through this has made me motivated to get back in the gym and just power through it. I’m also gonna look into natural remedies for some of my symptoms. Having a significant other who is understanding and very supportive has DEFINITELY helped, especially in those moments where I feel like an over emotional meat sack. Lol

      • Shinia December 2, 2015, 12:06 am

        Hi Heather, I am currently on a 50mg dosage for migraine for almost 4 years. I’ve been wanting to come off the drug for some time now and would really appreciate your advice. Thanks!

  • Carol February 1, 2015, 12:27 pm

    I have been on a relatively low dose of amitriptyline for about a year (for persistent neck pain). I stopped taking it over a week ago, thinking it wouldn’t be bad (as I was only taking 10 mgs nightly), but I was wrong. I’ve felt extremely nauseous and have experienced really frightening heart palpations. My stomach is continuously rolling and gurgling and I feel like I’m in a fog. I’m finding it difficult to travel on a car or a bus as I feel so sick and dizzy; I almost vomited on a bus the other day. I’m hoping I’m over the worst now and am determined to come off it now.

    • suzanne May 23, 2016, 8:36 pm

      I have been on 75mg for about 20 years which is worrying me greatly for sleep problems. I have tried to stop many times over the years but ended up taking again due to very bad sleep problems working full-time can’t cope with no sleep. I stopped them very gradually over the last two months and stopped finally a week ago. Really struggling crippling anxiety, insomnia and terrible shivers which I can’t get any relief from. Anyone got any suggestions I am determined to stick with it, thanks for all sharing your experiences.

  • Kate B February 3, 2015, 7:45 pm

    As I am reading all of these comments,I am almost in tears. I’ve felt like I was going insane for the last month! I’ve been taking 25mg at night for about 3 years for pain. It hasn’t been really helping anymore and I asked my primary how to taper off it since I was done. She told me to stop and I should be fine since I’m on such a low dose. I was fine for about a week.

    One night I woke up shaking so bad with a massive headache that I went to the ER. They gave me IV Reglan for my headache and sent me on my way. Well that was just the tip of the iceberg! I’ve had nausea,vomiting, migraines, dizziness, panic attacks, shaking, and a feeling like my head is fuzzy. This is over a course of 1 month. I’ve had cat scans and MRI to rule out tumors and aneurysms, because of the head pain.

    It’s been 1 months today and most of those symptoms are gone I still have the foggy head and panic attacks. I don’t know how much longer this can possibly go on but I have an appointment with my doctor in two days and I’m going to confront her. This has been absolutely horrendous! I would never wish this on another soul. Doctors need to be more aware of how bad this can be. And they need to inform us that this is in store one day down the road!

    • Judy C March 6, 2016, 11:15 pm

      Hello Kate B, My son has been titrating down from amitriptyline but his migraine became so bad we took him to the ER. They also gave him IV Reglan. Since that visit, he has not been able to quit shaking. His anxiety is horrible. Is there anything that you found that helped? Have you tried any natural detox programs? Judy C

  • sara February 5, 2015, 6:22 pm

    Hi all, I started on Ami a year ago at 25 mg and went up to 100 mg a day for migraines. Well, I was diagnosed with migraines and it turns out, I was having chronic tension headaches with anxiety/panic attacks on the side. So I had a throbbing one sided headache (not head splitting but very irritating) with dizziness, nausea, rapid heart rate, depersonalization, shakes, etc.

    Every few days I would be wracked with anxiety that there was something wrong with my head even after ruling that out. Anyways, I had terrible dry mouth for months which sounds minor, but I could barely say a few sentences without needing water. Plus, it made me zombie-like and I gained 20 pounds. So, I tapered myself down to 75, then 50, then 25 in one month and now I have not been taking it for 3 days.

    I have not noticed any major symptoms yet; I was expecting insomnia since it knocked me right out every night. My sleep is a bit lighter but I suspect if my anxiety comes back, I will look into other medications that are more targeted at that. Ami did nothing for my tension headaches. I do not think my body reacted much to the meds, even on 100 mg. Everyone is different and I guess I was not that sensitive; also I was taking it for something I did not have! Good luck to the rest of you.

  • T February 10, 2015, 12:21 am

    I’ve been on this drug for migraines for about 3 years. My doctor started me on 10 mg, then 20, 30, then 50. I’ve been on 50 mg for about a year and a half and I really just didn’t even find this medicine effective for something like migraines now. I withdrew off of it over about a month’s time (cut my pills in half), then just stopped. This was just recently and I feel terrible.

    I’ve had a headache every day since I’ve stopped it, lightheadedness and dizziness, my muscles have been feeling weak, and I’ve had really bad nausea. I thought it was just me and my body going crazy and had to search this stuff up. And also not to scare anyone, but while withdrawing from medications and stuff, keep an eye on your blood pressure!

  • Seira February 10, 2015, 1:20 pm

    Hello everyone, It has been such a relief to find this site and read about the various withdrawal symptoms from quitting amitriptyline. I started Endep (amitriptyline) in April 2014 for fibromyalgia and constant tension headaches. I’ve been taking 12.5mg each night up until 2 weeks ago when I decided to quit. Endep did improve my sleep immensely and the occasional migraines I used to get, ceased. But the tension headaches remained and I still had some physical fibromyalgia pain. After reading other comments here I am wondering if my weight gain is connected to taking Endep.

    I decided to quit because I want to stop taking so much medicine and find more natural ways that promote restorative sleep. Since I was on such a low dose, I didn’t think I would need to quit gradually. But, even quitting 12.5mg cold-turkey has resulted in a fair number of the withdrawal symptoms outlined here! In the first few days I had extreme body pain, my tension headache became much worse than usual so much so that I was almost in tears. I had dizziness and felt vague, too.

    Those symptoms went away but these past 2 weeks I’ve had trouble falling asleep, with racing thoughts, and then I keep waking up at odd times like 3am or 4am thinking it’s morning. If just quitting 12.5mg results in these withdrawal symptoms, then my heart really goes out to those coming off higher dosages. I truly wish everyone all the best. I am not a resident of my home-country (which is where I was prescribed Endep on my last trip there).

    I live in Japan where Chinese medicine is regulated by the government as prescription medicine made only from plant matter (and, rarely, some kinds of sea shells I believe. Today I’m starting a Chinese medicine that aids falling asleep. For anyone who can read Japanese it’s called: ジュンコウ帰脾湯FCエキス細粒医療用. I hope that gives positive results. Thank you for letting me share my experience here and read about other people’s too. Wish the absolute best for you all.

  • mandy February 12, 2015, 11:51 pm

    I regret ever taking this drug. I have gained a stone in weight in the year I have been taking it. I also experienced terrible withdrawal symptoms when I came off of it cold turkey including: heart palpitations, restlessness (where I could not keep my legs still in bed), anxiety, etc. Anyways, I am now going to reduce my dose weekly and come off it gently. I am on 50 mg at the moment. Good luck to you all.

    • Laura April 10, 2015, 7:36 pm

      Hello Mandy I’ve been on this drug for 6 years and have gained about a stone in weight. This last month I’ve been cutting back but now suffering terrible restless legs that keep me up for hours at night! Also terrible nightmares. I was on 50 mg and am now down to 35 mg but it isn’t easy is it. Good luck to you and all of us on this awful drug.

  • jackie February 14, 2015, 3:13 am

    Been two weeks since came off amitriptyline. I started taking it on and off for a bout 3 or 4years. I have fibromyalgia… I wish that I started to cut them down slowly instead of going cold turkey. My sleep pattern is worse, aches&pains increased, I have terrible night sweats, am irritable, and impatient. The good thing is my brain doesn’t feel foggy… I’m taking multi vitamins, eating plenty of fruits and veggies, and a more balanced diet. Good luck everyone. Try to think positive and stay grounded.

  • Cheryl February 18, 2015, 3:23 pm

    I have been taking 25 mg of Amitriptilyne for approximately 10 years. I was so tired of the weight gain and didn’t feel like Amitriptilyne was even helping me so decided to get off, cold turkey about 3 weeks ago. I have not been able to sleep. My head is killing me and I feel like I have the flu. I hate this. I am so tempted to get back on it to make the pain go away, but am fighting the urge. I hate this stuff. I also gained about 40 pounds while on this medicine, and no matter what diet I do, I can not get it off. I hope this goes away soon. Feeling blah!

  • Scott February 22, 2015, 8:16 pm

    After suffering with what the doctors diagnosed as irritible bowel syndrome for almost 2 years my general practioner prescribed me Amitriptyline 25 mg to help relax my stomach muscles. I started taking this medication in September 2014 and took it up untill January 15th 2015. I found only occaisional mild relief in my stomach well the majority of my IBS symptoms remained constant. I stopped taking the medication cold turkey thinking that I had only been on it for 5 months at a low dose and the withdrawal shouldn’t be that bad.

    The first 2 weeks I had no symptoms at all and I felt normal. The third and now fourth weeks have been just horrible. My whole nervous system seems to be a wreck, my stomach muscles are contracting in and out randomly, I have terrible head aches in the back of my head and neck similar to migraines I have suffered in the past. I also get pressure behind my eyes and very clear random thoughts worrying about anything and everything in my life. I get random sharp nerve pains in my chest and in my temples, I have random palpitations and all of this has made my IBS symptoms way worse than before.

    I have found a bit of relief from taking 2 valerian root 530 mg tablets once daily at night. Valerian root is one of the strongest herbs that effect the nervous system and if it wasn’t for this I may have commit suicide or even worse gone back to taking amitriptyline. I can only take the valerian root in the evenings as it makes me really tired and helps me with sleep but it has helped me for sure. I first bought this valerian root supplement in October after I had already been taking amitriptyline for a month because I had read about it’s effects on the nervous system.

    Before I started taking it I looked it up online and found out that it doesn’t react well with amitriptyline because they both have very similar reactions in the body and one can worsen the other’s effects. So I put the valerian root aside and stuck with the amitriptyline untill January when I decided I had had enough of the chemical addiction which wasn’t even helping my ‘IBS’. I am very glad I had this valerian root still in my medicine cabinet because it really has been a life saver. I would recodmend anyone going through withdrawal to look into it and see if it’s safe for your own consumption.

    It does react with some medications so be careful and do some research before trying it out. My doctor had been pushing paxil on me for my IBS for months before she gave me the amitriptyline, but I was refusing the paxil because my brother and sister are both addicted to the stuff for their depression. Well since the amitriptyline didn’t help me I am serious considering taking the paxil as I am desperate to fix my IBS as its taken over my whole life.

    • tom March 13, 2016, 4:50 am

      I’m sorry you’re in so much pain. Consider Low Dose Naltrexone for IBS. It’s off patent and your regular doc won’t know much about it. 1-4.5mg doses are what used. Some good reports for many neuro and gut symptoms. It actually raises endorphins. Peace.

  • Brad Dixon February 23, 2015, 3:39 am

    I’m looking for the courage to get off this drug. I have taken it for more than 20 years, anywhere from 50 mg to 400 mg for migraines. I love and hate it! It saved me from debilitating migraines but with newer meds and life changes, I think I can live without it. I have tried 3 times to escape Amitriptilyne in the last 6 years and it has become a prison. Each attempt ended in in anxiety attacks, depression, crying… to the point I couldn’t work and felt barely alive. Doctors were little help…I realize now I have to manage it for myself. I will try a slow, slow, slow taper and time the moment I drop to zero to a time when I can concentrate on myself. Thanks for sharing your stories, I need all the encouragement I can get it to try this again.

    • Camille August 29, 2015, 3:21 am

      I have severe fibromyalgia, migraines, insomnia and depression. I used to take 400 mg of Amitriptyline. I have been taking the drug for 30 years total. I have used this drug for most of my life. It is a part of my body chemistry. I feel trapped and like this drug is a prison. I can’t live with it or live without it. I worked down to 150 mg at my doctor’s insistence because high doses are hard on your heart according to my psychiatrist.

      Every 50 mg I went down took me 7 months of hell to recover from. I had the shakes every morning and was Extremely emotional along with almost all the symptoms above. I have been taking 150mg at night for 6 years now. I decided that I want to travel and be medication free and my goal is to do some walking trips through Europe. I went down 50 mg July 25, 2015 and then went down another 50 mg August 23. I am angry, exhausted, anxious, feeling sick, weak, feeling hopeless and crying all the time. I am not suicidal. I don’t feel like myself and of course I can’t be myself.

      My brain and neurotransmitters that make my Central Nervous System work are not the same. I will go off another 50 mg in a couple months. I feel like I have damaged some of my most important interpersonal relationships because my kind and patient personality has changed and nobody understands that this can be one of the worst medications to go off. Unless you’ve been there you could not understand how difficult going off this drug can be. It is very lonely to go through this without anyone that I know who understands this. The loneliness is compounded by the withdrawal symptoms.

      I had shoulder surgery a few years ago and I took the opiate Dilaudid which is stronger than morphine. The withdrawal from that took a week or two of anxiety, craving and nervousness and then I was OK. Amitriptyline is 100 times worse than going off that mega-strong opiate. I am determined to live a drug free life. I travel a lot to visit family across the US and the issue for me is always making sure that there is a CVS where I am staying so that I can get my prescriptions transferred and filled from my CVS at home.

      I feel like this is a sad existence and that my doctors have only treated the symptoms of my fibromyalgia and put me on too many drugs. I have my goals and have already gone off my muscle relaxants and others. I just hope I can get through this with minimal damage to people who love me. It is the worst drug I have ever quit taking including tranquilizers and the above opiate. I know I can do this like so many of you have shared.

      I am getting a divorce and moving and this is probably a bad time to do this, but life rather stinks right now. I thought now is the time to move forward with my life so I am doing this anyway. After reading many entries, I decided I am going to call some of my walking friends in the morning. Brad Dixon and any others struggling with this drug – you can do this too! It is difficult but possible!!

      You functioned before without Amitriptyline and you can do it again. If I can do this after 30 years on high dosages of this drug, anyone can do it. It is not easy, but you have to make it a priority and make a game plan. Thanks so much to all the other who shared their stories of getting off this highly addictive and insidious drug with the longest withdrawal period in history.

      • Tony April 6, 2016, 10:48 am

        Thanks for your comment, Camille. I’m a lot younger and was only on it for a year, but I missed what I used to be so much I just stopped cold turkey. I got to a point where I need to be the one who takes control back in my life, so far it’s been hell. I have the worst case scenario of any withdrawal symptom I get playing in my head every day.

        I literally sleep every other day because one night I won’t sleep and the next I will from just fatigue. I’ve been having gut problems ever since the 4th day off the drug. The horrible nights are less frequent, but the panic attacks, anxiety attacks, and depression moments are coming back. I want to run again, but I lost 10lbs very fast coming off amitriptyline that I’m afraid to burn too many calories as my gut hurts so I skip meals sometimes.

        I’m determined to get back my old self, I miss running, I miss eating 3 meals comfortably, I miss going to bed when everybody else does. I hope you can keep fighting as I will fight with you. My struggles may not last as long as some, but I will make sure I get to the other side into a medication-free life again. I learned this at a younger age thankfully, I will do w/e it takes to naturally fix problems before medication going into further adulthood. Stay positive <3.

    • Adam October 26, 2015, 1:59 pm

      Try tapering at 10% dose drop per month. If you’re anything like me you’ll still get mild withdrawals each time but they’ll be much more manageable than bigger drops. I bought a set of digital jewelry scales and cut up the tablets with a razor blade so I can make my own doses up in capsules. I’m down to 10mg from 25mg over about a year. I’m sticking on the 10mg for the duration of the winter and then I’ll be tapering the final 10mg over next summer.

      Hopefully I’ll be drug free by the same time next year! I’ve had particularly bad protracted withdrawals from these kind of drugs. I had terrible problems getting off citalopram a couple years ago, which rendered me unable to work. Now with the tricyclic I want to be extra cautious and I’m doing my dose reductions very, very slowly.

    • Kate March 26, 2016, 10:39 am

      I too have been on this horrific drug for 20 years. Looking back I wish I had NEVER taken it. It becomes addictive very very quickly but the GPs don’t warn you of this. I am tapering at the moment and it is really difficult but I have to be brave and get through it as we all do. I was on 150 mg but now down to 75 mg.

      It’s really hard but I know in the end it will be so worth it. I have been shouting at my lovely partner and saying horrible things that just isn’t me and it’s so not fair to him. But when I do come off these antidepressants I will be me again and that’s what keeps me going. Also I am going to have CBT again and I know then that I will be depression free and amitriptyline free. Just can’t wait.

  • Scott February 24, 2015, 7:40 am

    I have just quit 3 days ago, coming off 25mg/day for the past 25 years. I feel awful. Terrible headache that just won’t go away, stomach is in knots, unable to sleep, muscle aches. I have tried to quit before without much luck, but I’m going to battle through it this time. Nice to see a current post regarding this issue. I can’t believe how many people have been prescribed this drug with the thought that it is not addictive. Good luck to all of you.

  • Mary-Anne Nickerson February 28, 2015, 8:56 am

    Hi All, Well I’d say it’s been 3 weeks since I came off this drug I’d been on it for years having suffered from endometriosis (still have at 46) and now lower back and pelvic pain. I was on about 30mg and gradually came down to 10mg then went cold turkey. The reduction caused me to have extremely increased anxiety I felt my heart pounding my head racing (unable to shut off my mind) but somehow I went to work luckily I work in a holistic center I shared my symptoms and a colleague acupuncturist saw me.

    He put a few needles in specific places (I remember the spot between the big toe and second toe was really painful!) but temporarily it was as if I had become grounded again. However I am still having symptoms my sleep pattern is unpredictable I have no problem going to sleep (which was the opposite to when I was on the drug) but I can now wake in the early hours and not be able to go back to sleep. I think it is improving it does take some adjusting and I do recommend avoiding alcohol and coffee any type of stimulant (although life without chocolate would not be worth living!). I am having a massage treatment combined with osteopathy and deep tissue massage every week.

    I know this is costly but if you tell them you are coming every week they are very likely to give a good discount so just ask it’s really going to help you through this. I do keep wondering when I will feel normal again but to be honest I’m not sure what normal is anymore…but am getting more accustomed to these changes and my fiancée is really encouraging me…do make sure you tell others how you are feeling and get some support. I realize my dosage is a lot less than some of you and am writing this to urge you not to go cold turkey but taper down.

    Just coming off the final 10mg caused (is still causing) problems so I cannot imagine how awful it must be to go cold turkey off a higher dose! My heart goes out to you! Also getting back in touch with the reality of your pain can be alarming, I literally feel like I have flu aches all over my body, but my feeling is that I want to know and understand my pain better and treat it holistically or seek other options. It was probably 15 years ago I was prescribed this for endometriosis and pelvic pain I am hoping in that time there have been other medicines developed.

    I will NEVER take any drug without first finding out about withdrawal symptoms again. I felt let down by the NHS for not explaining this at the point of prescription and actually wonder if 15 years ago they had even had any idea. I hope my comments help and encourage you to manage your withdrawal symptoms…whatever you do, just do what feels good for yourself and be kind to yourself because this isn’t easy.

  • bill March 3, 2015, 5:31 pm

    After 4 years on dosages up to 75mg for pain and major depression, I stopped after being on 25mg for about a year. The first week and a half was okay. Then it hit me and for the past 8 days, I’ve had the worst cold/flu I’ve ever experienced. I cannot sleep for more than 3 hours at a time and my legs constantly shake when I try to sleep. Anxiety, crying, headaches, fear. I never knew what I was in for. I hope these symptoms go away soon. I don’t want to go back on any medications. I haven’t felt “normal” for 4 years. Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences. We’re not alone in this.

  • Gavin March 4, 2015, 1:37 pm

    Initially on 100mg for depression. I was so groggy that the side-effects were as bas as the illness so I reduced down to 20-30mg and stayed there for 10 years. Tried to reduce to zero several times, both cold-turkey and taper, but failed. This time cold-turkey for 3 weeks. I am trying to counter the side effects with L-Tryptophan (converts to Serotonin which Amitriptylene effects) and B-100 supplements but it is difficult to know if they are working.

    The first 2 weeks were not really a problem but I did get leg twitches and couldn’t stay still in bed. That’s why I started the B-100 which is sometimes used for Restless Leg Syndrome. No more leg twitches since then. The insomnia is bad, I often feel dizzy and I felt nauseous on the bus. I wake up after 40 minutes sleep and repeat that 3-4 times. I will then be awake for several hours and finally get two blocks of 1.5 hours sleep from about 7am onwards. The tiredness leaves me with headaches.

    People with depression often have low vitamin D levels so I am also taking that. Thanks to the other posters, would an update be possible so that others can gauge how long withdrawal takes?

    • Linda March 5, 2015, 12:45 am

      I’m so glad I found this site! I had started at a low dose because of sleep issues some years back and was up to 100 mg. at night. I quit cold turkey a few weeks back because I am starting allergy testing and this med affects the results. My sleep pattern is exactly like yours and the restless legs. Frustrating as heck. I need sleep to function. For flu like symptoms I am getting headaches and chills. At least I now know – no way am I ever getting back on a prescribed sleep med!

    • Terri March 18, 2015, 11:02 pm

      Gavin. I quit taking the amitripyline the 5th of February. I quit cold turkey, (second time doing so) and it has been a nightmare. I have been on 50mg at bedtime for about 17 years. I was put on it for a migraine preventative, but it seems my migraines are getting worse, than better. My daughter was on this stuff for 3 months and suffered from twitches and tremors, and, she was convinced she had MS. As she delved into researching the twitching, she stumbled onto the side effects of this drug.

      She quit taking it and the twitches went away within days. She said Mom, you need to get off that stuff!!! I had non-stop migraines for a couple of weeks, and I feel as if I’m motion sick all the time, and for weeks, I didn’t sleep at all and was a complete zombie. I now do not sleep without a sleep aid. I think I traded one nightmare for another. This time I will not go back on it, the side effects of this med is horrible! Reading about withdrawal, it can last for months, and the no sleeping can last a real long time. Best wishes to you!

  • Debbie March 5, 2015, 5:43 pm

    I was taking Amitriptyline 10 mg for 26 years and I decided to stop taking the pill (cold turkey) the Doctor never told me that I had to wean off of this medication because there would be terrible withdrawal symptoms. I stopped taking it February, experiencing insomnia, anxiety, loss of appetite, itching all over my body especially at night. I tried many things and the insomnia has not subsided. I took benadryl for the itching and that did not help. The doctor prescribed Hydroxyzine HCI 10mg to take 4 times a day for the itching and so far that has not helped.

    The doctor suggested that I get back on the Amitriptyline for a few weeks then wean off. I will not go back on that medication after a month not taking it just to wean off of it but I would advise anyone wanting to stop taking that medication to wean off it and do not cold turkey as I did. Hopefully my withdrawal symptoms will not last too much longer (ugh). I hope this helps, good luck!

    • Joan June 19, 2015, 2:45 pm

      I thought I was the only one to suffer this really awful itching (so relieved it’s the Endep) it’s happening several times a day apart from feeling really sick, must say this drug is the pits, it caused me to have extreme sun sensitivity and tinnitus so had to come off it slowly after 5 years and 100mg a day.
      Last dose was 12-5-2015, will it ever end?

    • Shelley September 7, 2016, 10:30 pm

      Try soaking in baking soda for the itch B and D vitamins and melatonin if you have sleep issues. Hope that helps.

  • Jodie March 6, 2015, 8:32 am

    I am currently about a month into the withdrawal from Amitriptyline and I feel terrible! The anxiety has really kicked up. Thankfully I have some anxiety meds to help take the edge off that. I should mention I was on 25 mg since November 2014 and have been on and off of it since. I have been having headaches, horrible muscle aches in my legs and especially my left arm, chest pains, dizziness, restlessness and definitely feeling like I have the flu.

    The pains in my legs while sitting and at night are unbearable! I cry a lot as well. Mostly for no apparent reason. It takes forever to relax enough to fall asleep. Ugh, I’m hoping that this gets better soon. I should have never gone off this cold turkey but at 25 mg I didn’t think much of withdrawal symptoms. I feel for the rest of you that are trying to break free from the clutches of amitriptyline.

  • Sandra Knight March 11, 2015, 12:45 am

    I have been on 25mg Amitriptyline for a number of years for anxiety and fibro pain and sleep disorder. I have gained more weight than is comfortable for my small boned body. I have decided to go off them. I quit about 2 weeks ago, took one every other day for a few days then cut right off. No withdrawal for a few days then the head zaps started and affected my vision, runny nose and eyes and ears were bothering me. Just a horrible feeling in my head.

    Next I found I was cold and shivering, and in bed, had to bundle myself in 2 sweaters, bed socks with PJ bottoms tucked in to keep from shivering and be able to get to sleep. I was really feeling tired and yawning and would go to bed but not get a good nights sleep, due to wakefulness. My restless leg syndrome acted up and I took Hyland’s Restful Legs tablets.. that did help. The dizziness in my head got so bad I became nauseated with bad indigestion and couldn’t face eating.

    I had soup 2 nights in a row then last Sunday broke down and took a Ami pill. It sure did give me relief yesterday and today and I ate decent meals and felt better. I can feel the funny head nonsense starting a little tonight but will hang in there. I have 4 pills left and if it gets real bad again I will try breaking one and take a quarter of a pill to help get me through. I am 72 and am finding these withdrawal symptoms pretty bad.

    Am now feeling joint pain today and was scared last week when I had funny chest pains but told myself it was just my acid reflux and gastritis causing it and tried to relax. I am so glad to have found this site and read about all of the people that are struggling to get off this nasty med. I am going to hang tough. I can and pray all of you conquer your demons and get back to being yourselves.

  • Jean March 13, 2015, 12:42 am

    I came off it and have had achy joints and bad stomach cramps and nausea even though I came off of it gradually. Any one else had the stomach cramps and bloated feeling?

    • Dot September 9, 2015, 6:34 pm

      Hi there, I have been on it for nearly twenty years. Tried to come off it after 4 years but knew I had to do it gradually. I was on 25mg. and slowly tapered down to 10 mg. and then stopped. OK for a few days and then had horrendous stomach pain and nausea and eventually took a 10mg tablet. The relief was amazing. Went to doctor who persuaded me to go back on the 25mg as it was such a small dose. Recently started trying again.

      Down to 10mg with 20mg when feeling unwell. The last couple of days I have had stomach cramps and wondered if this was something unrelated but having read the thread realise this is one of the symptoms. Will try 20 mg. and then taper down more slowly. I used a pair of scissors to cut a tablet in half and slowly go down to 15 mg and then to ten. I will then take tablets every other day as I will find it difficult to manage the nausea and stomach cramps. I am sitting with an electric blanket on which is very comforting, Good luck to all of you.

  • Brittany March 16, 2015, 7:07 am

    I didn’t want to go cold turkey, I lost the darn things in a move. On top of that, I had to do 80 hours of overnight shifts in a row, so I had to change everything around. I am trying to wait for my next refill, but by now I can’t sleep, and it even got so bad that I ended up in the hospital because the sleeplessness caused a relapse. Now it scares the heck out of me when I lay there hour after hour unable to sleep. I am so sleep deprived that I am irrational and not thinking clearly, so it’s hard to say to myself that my body will go back to normal and I will be able to sleep again. Ahh!

  • mandy March 16, 2015, 7:08 am

    I have been on ami on and off for about 18 years, originally prescribed for migraines when I was 16. If memory serves, I started at 10 mg and increased to 25. About two years ago, the migraines increased, so my dosage was increased to 50mg. Over the past few months, the dosage was increased again to help control my insomnia, gradually, up to 200 mg, which seems to be my magic number to control the migraines and help me fall asleep and stay asleep.

    I have nothing negative to say about the medication and, as far as I can remember, have never experienced any side effects. (However, my doctor monitors my vitals, making me come in every 60 days just to check my heart and blood pressure). I recently was very ill with a sinus infection and didn’t realize that my refill had run out and, due to a bunch of complications, went without my ami for almost a week, cold turkey. Probably due to my dosage and the duration of time that I’ve been on the medication, my withdrawal was almost debilitating.

    (It has been 5 days now and it’s gotten increasingly worse. I get to see my doctor and get my refill in the morning) here is what I’m experiencing: extreme insomnia (as I type this, it’s 3am). Constant, mild headaches. Diarrhea. Intense nausea and dizziness. If I don’t lay completely still, I feel like I’m going to throw up and the whole room is spinning, almost like vertigo. Extreme panic attacks, including unprovoked, uncontrollable anxiety, racing heart, and profuse sweating. Extreme loss of appetite.

    I have barely eaten anything in the past two days. And today the vomiting began. I know that most people probably won’t experience the withdrawal as badly as I am and also that the medication is not for everyone, but just wanted to share my experience of accidentally, temporarily quitting cold turkey. I’m not sure when the symptoms will subside and I guess I won’t find out, but it’s been just shy of a week and it’s only getting worse.

  • bill March 16, 2015, 6:37 pm

    I just wanted to say that my symptoms have subsided since the first 2 weeks. I have been able to sleep. Turns out I did have a cold that lasted about a week and a half. I am feeling better regarding the other symptoms. Not many others have posted about getting better. It is getting better for me. Slowly, and I hope surely. Hang in there. It’s not your fault. Try to relax. Wish I had more to offer.

    • Christine Pemberton March 19, 2015, 9:45 am

      Hi there I have been off the tablet for 3 and a half weeks. I took it for 4 years. I have lost a lot of sleep, but I’ve started to sleep a little better now. I was feeling sick all the time, but I found if I drink cranberry juice in the day it helps to ease the sick feeling. I take two paracetamol when my headache starts it helps me feel better. I look forward to getting back to my happy self. Good luck to you all who have come off the medication.

    • Sheila March 28, 2016, 1:17 am

      So glad to hear some good news. I went off cold turkey a week ago… having tight chest and reading all bad reviews has me scared. Been thinking of going back on, but afraid to do that too. Only on 10 mg for about 8 months. Thanks.

    • Jennifer May 7, 2016, 3:38 pm

      Thanks for lifting my spirit Bill. I am a firm believer in my Christian faith and God will see me through this soon.

  • David March 16, 2015, 8:43 pm

    I had an emotional breakdown in grad school in 1982 and have been on ami 50-75 mg nightly ever since. I have tried to get off the drug a number of times only to fail. The last time I found myself screaming at my teenage son while on my cell phone for no reason. I went back on the drug. My withdrawal symptoms have been minor compared with most of yours. I have tapered off the drug over a period of a month.

    I have been clean for 4 days. I have had at most 2-3 hours of sleep the past few nights. I feel irritable, agitated and angry. I feel empty no matter how much I eat. Fortunately, I am retired, single and my kids are out of the house. Unlike most of you, I don’t have the stress of a job or family relationships. I gave blood two weeks ago and my blood pressure was 155/85, too high. I watched a series of interesting videos on Youtube by author Robert Whitaker. (If you are having a hard time don’t watch the videos now).

    He talks about the dreadful long-term side effects of psychotropic drugs. He says they frequently do a lot more harm than good according to non-biased research. My heart goes out to you all. I wish I could do something to help you. I am a Christian and Christians are “not supposed to be on anti-depressants” according to many pastors. One person mentioned valerian root. I think I will give it a try. I have been taking 500 mg of magnesium and 5 mg of melatonin. They have not helped me. I am thankful I found this website.

  • Jo Ann March 23, 2015, 1:01 am

    I was on 30mg for about a year and a half, gained about 15 lbs, slept great while on the drug. I took about 2 weeks to wean myself, and felt good initially. But soon found having headaches for two weeks at a time or a couple days. Almost always after exertion and/or in the heat (playing tennis). I’m finding that I’m having less headaches, but when I do get one I have no idea how long it is going to last.

    I had my Neurologist call in another prescription because I was tired of the headaches. So far I’ve held off taking them since my Chiropractor helped. Now after reading all of these posts, I’m going to stay off of this drug. I’m dealing with post concussion syndrome, so I really don’t know if it’s the withdrawal or from the concussion. I’ve been off the drug for 5 weeks, so I’m praying that my symptoms will end soon.

  • Tracy April 1, 2015, 10:16 pm

    I have been on amitriptyline for 15 years for fibromyalgia. At one stage I was taking 125mg per night and I with my doctors advice reduced it down to 20mg. Last week I visited the doctor and said I want to come off the amitriptyline so this was reduced to 10mg. I stopped 4 days ago and since yesterday afternoon I have felt: nausea, headache and vomited once. I spoke to the healthline who put me onto a doctor who said I shouldn’t have withdrawal. But after reading all your comments, I can see it is going to be a journey to get this out of my system.

  • Antonio April 5, 2015, 4:35 pm

    I took amitriptyline for 5 nights only, 25 mgs each tablet. I stopped on the 6th night, as my back muscle tension got better. Today is day 7 since I stopped and I have had a nightmare and still have. My heart is racing 24/7. I can’t sleep, so taking diazepam at night and now zopiclon, to be able to sleep. I know the last two are addictive, but I can’t sleep otherwise. I have had tremors, although they have subsided a bit. I feel desperate.

    I need this to stop. I am eating well, going for walks and swimming and still working, but it’s hard to finish the week. I don’t know what else to do. The doctors say I have personal problems and they make me anxious. No. This has only happened to me since I was put on amitriptyline. I need it to stop. Herbal tablets are not working. I need my heart to go back to its relaxed rhythm.

  • Nikki April 5, 2015, 5:40 pm

    I took 30mg for migraines for 5 years and it stopped my migraines with no side effects. But just over the past year, I started getting really tired all the time, felt like a zombie, gained weight, couldn’t remember things, got headaches, and was sweating excessively all the time. After doing some research online, I thought this might be all linked to my Amitriptyline – just extremely delayed side effects. So around new years, I went to my doctor and she said that this is rare but it can happen.

    I couldn’t take the side effects anymore so I decided to go off and my doctor told me to go down 5mg every 2 weeks. I did and was fine until I got down to 5mg and then I started feeling dizzy a lot so I went back up to 10mg for a few more weeks and the dizziness quickly went away. But now I am not working at the moment and I thought it is a good time to try to get off it again in case I get sick from it. Time for attempt #2: First 2 weeks taking 5mg I was fine, but ever since I started taking 5mg every 3 days for 2 weeks now.

    I am feeling like a wreck: Dizziness every day, feeling like crying all the time, can’t sleep anymore, itchiness – I can’t decide what is worse – the side effects of taking the drug or the withdrawal symptoms from not taking it! And what’s even scarier is, it looks like it could get worse looking at the comments above. I can’t imagine what it must be like trying to get off this drug while holding down a full time job as well. I may be able to rest a lot at the moment (cant sleep though) but I still hope this does not go on for too much longer. It is HORRIBLE.

  • Tara April 7, 2015, 8:01 am

    I have been taking 25mg of this on and off for about 4 years. I stopped it for a few months last year with the only side effect being lack of sleep. I went cold turkey on Friday night as am due to start IVF soon and I feel like I’m dying. Have had crying fits, am rattling with the cold, heart is racing, stomach is churning. I literally feel like a drug addict going through withdrawal. So glad to see I’m not the only one – not that I would wish this on anyone – have given in this morning and made an appointment to see my doc in 2 hours before I lose the plot!

    • Nikki April 8, 2015, 11:00 pm

      I feel your pain Tara. Be interesting to see what your doctor has to say. I am thinking about making an appointment with mine too.

  • Justin April 9, 2015, 9:02 pm

    I have been taking the medication for a couple years though I would occasionally miss a night or two and never notice. I was prescribed for vague Fibro symptoms (pain, tingling, etc.) and the medication seemed to help somewhat. My dose was increased at one time to 50 mg and recently I tried to go back to 25. I have been having all these gastro problems like endless heartburn and nausea along with fatigue. I figured it must be my inconsistent use of the medication.

    So I took 50mg one night and the next day took 50 again in the morning. Later that afternoon I had the WORST anxiety of my life. Unable to stay still for even a second. True and enduring panic! I can’t even be around people at all. Was this an over dose? I have resumed 25 mg but the anxiety is still here. I can’t tell if it is a result of me tapering down from 50mg and it is withdrawal or I if I ingested a non lethal overdose that really messed with my system. To make things worse, I went to my doctor today and she gave me an EKG.

    She said the medicine is causing conduction abnormalities and increased blood pressure and the I will need to come off it completely! I work full time, just got a promotion, attend school full-time, intern, lead my worship team at church and so on. I am scared that I am not even going to feel normal at 25 mgs again let alone completely stop. I don’t know what to do. I feel so scared and defeated! No one ever explained the risks associated with starting this medication, and no one is ever going to understand what is going on with me. I feel like I am going to lose everything. Someone please help.

    • Laura April 10, 2015, 7:55 pm

      Justin don’t be scared there are many of us under the spell of these awful tablets. They mess with your mind and your ability to reason. This medication has made me feel that without it everything will go wrong in my life. I’ve been trying to cut back and suffering nightmares, restless legs and a feeling of impending doom! Try to take control of your life ,be strong and remember that there are loads of us out here feeling the same and hopefully that will give you strength. Good luck, Justin.

      • Doreen Churchman July 17, 2015, 4:06 pm

        I was so pleased to see all these reports. I have been on Ami. for about 3 years luckily only on 25mg until about a year ago when I went onto 35mg then 50mg earlier this year. I was so tired all day I felt that I needed to come of these. I have reduced to 25mg over the last 10 days but my legs and feet are driving me mad. After reading all these reports I will persevere. Thank you all for your help.

  • Sue April 10, 2015, 9:24 pm

    Hi. I’ve come across this site today. I am at day 4 of cold turkey, trying to come off amtriplyline. I’ve been on it for about 3 years. I’ve taken a weeks holiday from work, because I knew I’d have trouble sleeping. I’m going to bed as late as I can but still wide awake at 3am. Today I’ve been really dizzy and lightheaded. Can anyone tell me how long before symptoms become easier? And other side effects I will get which I might not have thought of.

    • laura April 11, 2015, 11:37 pm

      Sue Don’t go cold turkey! Gradually decrease the dose and then see how you are feeling/coping. If you are wavering, go back to your normal dose until you’re ready to try again. I’ve been trying to get off this vile medication for the last 6 months unsuccessfully but I’m not going to give up now! Let’s keep going we will win in the end.

      • Sue April 13, 2015, 6:28 pm

        Thank you Laura for your advice. I guess I underestimated how hard coming off these horrid tablets would be. The dizziness has taken over my life the past few days. I’m holding on to the walls or furniture I feel like I’m going to fall over. I’ve resorted to cutting a 10mg in half for the past two nights. After my bedroom stopped spinning I managed to get some sleep, but the dizziness is still there. Probably have to try 10mg if it doesn’t settle down.

  • Karen April 17, 2015, 3:45 am

    Thank you for the information. I ran out and missed 3 days of meds before getting the new script (I think my dose was 50mg). So I decided since I’d started I’d just hang on to the new bottle and see how I did without it. The worst symptom? ITCHING! Unreal. But it’s been 2 weeks now and I keep hoping it will soon go away! Glad to find itching is a withdrawal symptom.

    • Estee September 22, 2015, 3:56 am

      I was having terrible itching at 10 p.m. every nite. When I went to bed I would wake up with this itching and would be scratching till I would draw blood. At first I thought I had allergies to my 2 cats. But when I went away for a few days without the cats the itching did not go away. Benadryl and hydrocodones would not help. I started to develop hives. My heart specialist told me my heart is good but racing a little. I felt it was the Ami. I told my pain specialist he did not agree. I stopped cold turkey last week. Itching subsided greatly.

      I had a few hives on my chin. I was feeling depressed yesterday and took one pill 25 mg. Almost immediately a huge boil developed on my chin. I had benedryl and was taking one pill 3 to 4 per day every 4 ro 6 hrs. As the horrible itching returned. Itching not too bad now. And certainly has not started up at 10 p.m. as it has been doing for months.

      Boils are horrible. One on chin started oozing. I’ve always been proud and admired for beautful facial skin. I have become anemic and GP feels I am bleeding internally. My hubby took me for dinner tonite I hadn’t eaten all day. Forced myself to eat and then felt nauseous. I have been sleeping too too much the past few days. I thought I had that horrible flu that is going around. I may have a bit of flu but nothing to cause me to crawl into bed with a heating pad. Feeling chilled then hot and sweaty. Need to keep taking showers because of body odors I feel I have. Never did that before.

      However I am reiterating the itch that has been driving me crazy is almost all gone. I do feel depressed have been short of breath and dizzy. I actually felt I was on the verge of dying. Unfortunately my family have not understood. “You are always sick!” I hope I am strong enough to NEVER go back to Ami or any other opiate except Tylenol 3 for pain.

      I am a prescribed medical cannabis user. I use a vaporizer. Do not like vaping during the day. But when I wake up at 3 a.m and can’t go back to sleep. I will vape and take in 3 to 4 puffs. Go back to sleep and will sleep a further 6 hours. There have been some days where I have slept only 3 hrs. so I vape and fall back asleep but those times are rare. My muscles are aching especially in my right shoulder.

      I had one total knee replacement last year and need another for the other leg (slip and fall accident) also have fibro. When my muscles have been aching I use my TENS machine which I just recently put back into use. It does relieve the pain. Better than these chemicals. I was on Ami for 3 yrs.

  • Shay April 20, 2015, 7:10 pm

    I have taken 25-50mg of this drug every night for at least 15 years. I’ve tried to step down on at least 3 occasions and the dizziness, itching, and nausea have reigned me in each time; however, I didn’t realize what was happening to my body was due to withdrawal symptoms. Let me add lip numbness, and whole body buzzing sensations to the list of reactions. I am gradually stepping down by alternating 50 mg and 37 mg nightly for at least a month. I will post regularly to let everyone know how it’s going. I am also planning to journal my experience. Together, we can do this.

  • Gillian April 28, 2015, 8:10 am

    This is as bad as it gets. I HATE my doctor for not only putting me on this when I was already really ill, but then not being available even for a phone call to help with the symptoms. I’ve been in bed, but not sleeping obviously since my initial problem was insomnia. Nausea phase.and extreme exhaustion. Is this a life? No it’s purgatory. Never taking another micro milligram or seeing a ‘doctor’ ever again.

    What do they know? They haven’t had to be like this. Antidepressants doled out like sweeties. I’m not ‘allowed’ a sleeping tablet because I could get addicted. How ridiculous cruel and ironic us that? So it’s OK to become addicted to a drug that’s physically and mentally killing you? I hoe everyone gets well and me too maybe we could start a campaign or do something useful.

  • Cathy May 1, 2015, 2:55 am

    So grateful for this site, the medical info, the withdrawal side effects and comments. I have been on Elavil for 19 years @ 25 mg. I realize that’s a low dose….my body doesn’t handle higher doses well. It was prescribed for my Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy…now called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Helped with reducing night pain and sleep. Found a natural product that worked really well for sleep.

    Stopped cold turkey and thought all was fine until day 8 when I started having severe nausea which hasn’t stopped now for 48 hours straight. No sleep along with really rough days. Reached out to Google to check on withdrawals – thought it was the flu at first, but this is far beyond just the flu symptoms. So I will try 3/4 tab for 2 weeks and reduce 1/4 each 2 weeks in hopes that I can end with no additional withdrawal symptoms. Wow, had no idea! Grateful to not be on this journey alone.

  • Pippa May 1, 2015, 9:22 am

    Have been taking Amiltriptyline for 2 and a half years now and decided to come off it due to side effects and bad press about anticholinergics. Thought I was tapering off slowly over about 6 weeks from 25mg but withdrawals have been horrible – headaches, dizziness, spaced out, poor memory, nausea, fatigue/weakness and really bad joint aches and pains. Have been off completely for nearly 2 weeks now but symptoms no better.

    Doctor says it could take a month before I start feeling better. Was taking it for sleep (ME/CFS) and couldn’t sleep without it. My nutritionist has put me on 5-HTP, which has really helped with sleep – got 6 hours last night (bliss) but still a little way to go. 5-HTP has really helped but must NOT be taken with any antidepressant or other sleep meds, etc. Check with health professional before taking. Hoping this torture ends soon for us all.

    • Paula May 8, 2015, 12:27 am

      Hi I was on 75 mg 50 mg than 25mg of Amitriptyline for 2 and a half years. For the last year only 25 mg. I took 12mg for 10 days when I went off the first week I had bad vertigo, migraines and nausea. I couldn’t keep any food down for 3 days. Now 3 weeks and 3 days, my head is still killing me. It lightens up a tiny bit during the day and I feel like a million bucks than it kills me again. I am so tired of suffering. The nice weather is coming. My neurologist said I should go back on the amitriptyline. I really don’t want to but I cannot handle these migraines everyday. Really want my life back. I don’t want to go back on this medicine. Can anyone give me some kind of advice or support? HELP!

  • Anne May 1, 2015, 6:14 pm

    I don’t normally comment online however, this site and everyone’s comments has been so helpful to me I hope my shared experiences will help others. I took 15-20 mg of amitriptyline for over 18 years for Fibro & CFS, which I have had now for about 28 years. I have also had positive testing for Lupus and disk herniation in my upper spine. I had to stop the med within 3 days due to the serious side effects I was having caused by it.

    I have had most of the symptoms listed above including vomiting. It has been difficult but I made it and so can you. I’m still having some symptoms but believe I’m near the end of it. Several months prior to stopping, I cutout all gluten and processed foods from my diet. I eat mostly organic raw plant based foods in salads, smoothies & juices. I’ve discovered that magnesium malate as well as the combined citrate & malate helps me. I take Epsom salt baths when needed.

    I started seeing a licensed acupuncturist regularly (also licensed in physical and massage therapy). All of these combined have made a huge difference for me. Even though I’m still having some symptoms and dealing with some underlying health issues I believe I’m well on my way to healing my body and know I will eventually find a way to feel better. Thank you to everyone’s comments here, you have been a great inspiration for me.

  • Janette May 2, 2015, 5:37 pm

    I’d been taking Amitriptyline for around 3 years for pain relief along with Tramadol (as was prescribed by my Pain Management Consultant), for severe osteoarthritis. I was totally fed up with feeling groggy in a morning and literally having to be ‘scraped’ off the pillow in a morning to go to work. The fogginess lasted most of the morning.

    I’ve gained so much weight, although I know this medication wasn’t the only cause, but I definitely believe it contributed. I came off gradually over a month, taking one every other night as was advised by a doctor and then stopped… OMG I nearly resorted to going back on it. I felt so, so ill, nauseous, headaches for days, but the worst of all was the dizziness, almost like vertigo.

    A nurse friend recommended Stugeron {Cinnarizine 15mg per tablet} (taken for travel sickness) (and hey presto after 4 days of taking that every 4 hours the symptoms went and I feel GREAT, as thought I have come out of thick fog, am bubbly again and so much happier but best of all I FEEL ALIVE! I would recommend this course of action if anyone suffers the same.

  • Pauline May 18, 2015, 12:13 pm

    Hard to believe, for someone who ‘googles’ everything, I’ve only just looked up ‘amitriptyline withdrawal’. Luckily I found this (after thinking something is really wrong with me) and I’m so grateful to read what others are going through. I’ve been on 75mg for 15 years, recently had other issues, so switching to beta blockers. I’ve tapered down to half of a 25mg tablet for the last week and stopped completely for the last 3 days. I’ve been nauseous constantly, it feels unbearable.

    I’m confused, feel dizzy, can’t sleep and waking up after an hour or so feeling wide awake. It’s pretty much what everyone else has described. I’ve had full on flu symptoms for a week now but it could be flu as it started before I stopped taking them fully. My Dr today has prescribed me 10mg but I’m now reluctant to take any more of these awful drugs, I’m gonna have to come off them anyway and I’ve managed 3 days, just about! No idea how old this thread is so I’ll date mine 18/05/15.

  • Sally May 19, 2015, 11:25 pm

    Glad to have found this site. We are all so different but many common symptoms. Been on 50mg for 4 years for depression. Went to 25mg 2 weeks ago. Can’t bear to take less ATM, and thinking about going back to 50 for now… They’ve been good to me thus far. Good luck everyone.

  • Midge May 22, 2015, 1:14 am

    I’ve been taking 40 to 50mg a day for around 15 years, I got fed up of feeling like a zombie with a dry mouth who couldn’t think or speak straight so I’m finally coming off of it. Lack of sexual function was another reason I wanted to stop taking them, my old Dr was useless though. I’ve got a nice understanding Dr now who actually listens and cares! so I’ve got some different pain killers now.

    I was advised to reduce the amitriptyline by 10 mg a week, I’m down to 20mg a day now, or I will be tomorrow and I have had almost constant borderline migraine headaches nearly every day, I was wondering if it was the new tablets that I’ve been given causing them but thanks to your comments it seems likely that the headaches are withdrawal symptoms.

    I’ve had difficulty sleeping as expected, but I’ve now have clonazepam which helps, although I’m not really supposed to be taking them before I come off the amitriptyline but I have had to as I can’t sleep and there is nothing worse than not sleeping when you suffer from chronic pain.
    I’ve had occasional dizzy spells, which haven’t lasted long thank god.

    Herbal tablets called Kalms sleep, 4 at night help a bit with getting to sleep although I used to take them anyway. I think amitriptyline may have caused as much anger on them as I’m getting coming off of them (LOL). For the rest of you coming off of them, I wish you well.

  • becks May 24, 2015, 9:05 pm

    Oh my word…thank god for having stumbled upon this advice forum, I actually didn’t believe that withdrawal from a “medicine” could and would cause such harm! My doctor took me off this drug over 3 weeks ago and I can honestly say that I have never felt so out of norm…just about every bloody withdrawal symptom listed on this forum! Honestly thought I had lost myself! I had been taking this at, initially 25mg due to nerve damage in a disc in my spine, then taken up to 150 eventually (for the said, and anxiety attacks) my “new” doctor decided to to “recommend” that I no longer get issued with them.

    I had been suffering an immense amount of stress, and so he thought best to prescribe a different drug, and my god have I suffered since! Had I known (even better, had my doctor researched) the tremendous withdrawal symptoms, then in NO WAY would I have trusted his judgement as I have have felt the worst that I have ever felt…pain, insomnia, phsychosis, irritability, anger, joint pain, depression, flu-like symptoms…the list goes on, and I am only into week 3!

  • Julie May 25, 2015, 2:15 pm

    Wow! After being on only 10 mg for 2 years for interstitial cystitis pain, I tapered to 5 mg for a month before going totally off 3 weeks ago. I didn’t expect any issues, as I tend to have a high tolerance and I had been on such a small dose. The first 2 weeks I was fine. Then, as I was driving down the crowded freeway, I experienced a sudden drop in blood pressure, making me feel clammy and light headed. I thought I was going to lose conscienceless and had to somehow maneuver a safe stop to let my husband take over driving.

    Throughout the week I have felt off, unwell, not right. Yesterday, after experiencing a panic attack, I somehow thought to google amitriptyline withdrawal. In hindsight, I am going through withdrawal, having experienced sleep issues, vertigo, lightheadedness, sudden drop in blood pressure, anxiety, panic attacks, muscle weakness. That’s all I can remember at the moment as my head is really foggy. I feel like I am on a bad trip; that my mind and body are not connected and that I might literally lose my mind, because it is constantly trying to slip away from my body.

    I can’t wait until this is over and sure hope it doesn’t get worse before getting better. Thank you all for your comments. It makes me realize that I am simply going through withdrawal and what I have been experiencing will eventually go away. I don’t know what I will do if the interstitial cystitis pain returns as amitriptyline was literally a life saver for me when I started on it.

  • Lynn Mason June 4, 2015, 10:58 pm

    I’ve decided to stop taking this after 21 years and being on 150mg at night. Doc said half the dose, so on 75mg, God I feel like sh*t, crying, depressed and feel like a big zero. If things don’t improve, I’m going back on 150mg again. This is hell on earth.

    • Tory June 12, 2015, 8:40 am

      Lynne, You are not a big zero, it’s just that this drug makes you feel like you are. I’ve been on 150mg (huge dose) for 4 years and in the last 9 weeks have gone down to 25mg. Crying, depression, fear, anger, hopelessness and the desperate wish to feel human are brutal and are only temporary, fleeting horrors that will pass much sooner than you think. You can do this. I’m doing right now as we speak (June 11, 2015).

      My husband is nursing me through the withdrawal but many people who are lucky enough to have a private withdrawal clinic on hand, take advantage of that and walk through the fire with medical and pastoral care. Withdrawal is a lonley journey but you’re not alone online! Please don’t give up. You can do it! You just need to take things one day at a time…sometimes one hour at a time. Hold tight! Tory :) if I can do it so can you.

  • Micaela June 11, 2015, 5:24 pm

    I was on amitriptyline (25-50mg) every night for about 15 years. Last month, Dr took my off that and started me on gabapentin. The only effect I had from quitting it was severe itching on my hands for two days. That was it. No long-lasting withdrawal symptoms. It sounds like it I was lucky.

  • suzanne June 12, 2015, 12:34 pm

    I’ve been taking Elavil for close to twenty years, 30 mg/day until I went to 150 mg/day when I stopped taking Effexor (which was causing me problems). I just read in the AARP newsletter (I’m 61) that that there is an increased likelihood of dementia with long-term use of anticholinergic drugs, so I googled “amitriptyline dementia risk” and the search returned articles from reputable sources, as well as a Harvard Health Blog entry – and as a result, I’ve decided to discontinue Elavil.

    It does not appear that this was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, but nevertheless it has me worried, to the point where I took none yesterday and woke up this morning with more than the usual anxiety, part of which may be due to just reading the article, which did freak me out. Dementia runs in my family, which adds to the worry. My biggest fear is that I cannot find evidence that the dementia is reversible if the drug is stopped. Called my doctor and he is looking into it for me.

    I had no idea that the withdrawal could be as bad as what I’m reading here. I am not looking forward to this. I already have serious anxiety issues and this looks like it’s going to be a long road to get this stuff out of my system. I’ve been taking it for so long that I actually have no idea what it’s like not to have it in your system. Sigh. Good luck to you all.

  • Lindsay June 13, 2015, 8:10 pm

    It’s a comfort to read that I am not the only one. I took Amitriptyline for 2 years for migraines and recently tapered off of them. This is week 2 of being completely off of them. I’m experiencing the same symptoms everyone else has reported…nausea, vomiting, horrible headaches, insomnia, body aches, chills, but the absolute WORST is the anxiety. I’m afraid to leave my own house to go to the store and I don’t know why.

    I’ve never felt anything like this before. Honestly, I’m afraid to even say this for fear of sounding dramatic, but I really truly do feel like I’m slowly dying. This is absolutely the worst I have ever felt in my life. I hope it goes away in the next couple of weeks…part of me is already wanting to go back on the medication, but I’m trying to convince myself to stay strong.

  • Linda L June 17, 2015, 6:36 pm

    I’ve been taking between 10 and 100mg for almost 20 years. I’ve tried reducing a number of times, but now I see that I’ve tried to do it too fast. I’m down to about 5mg now, but getting lots of headaches and I’m having a hard time concentrating, maybe due to less sleep than I’m used to. I won’t increase what I’m taking but I will continue to decrease slowly, rather than stop at the end of this week, which is what I had planned. So glad to find this!

  • Yvonne June 19, 2015, 9:52 pm

    Really helpful to read people’s withdrawal journeys. I’ve been on Amitriptyline for over 20 years at 30mgs daily for migraine prophylaxis. I came of it gradually some years ago but it took so long. I’ve been back on it 3 years and as migraines got worse went up to 70mg. The migraines were constant so I decided to stop this and codeine based painkillers and came off cold turkey 2 weeks ago. The past 10 days have been the worst with constant nausea, and stomach pains in addition to most of the other symptoms mentioned. It’s hard waking up every day feeling as terrible as the day before – when will it end?

    I’m finding guided mindfulness meditation really helps the restless spaced out brain feelings and sleep. Does anyone get zap like shocks going through their head? – hard to describe them! Now that I’m this far I won’t go back but I would really advise everyone to do gradual withdrawal. I’m a Doctor myself so I know cutting down gradually is the best way, but I guess I didn’t realize how bad cold turkey withdrawal can be. Make sure you have someone to support you through it – it really helps.

    • christine July 17, 2015, 1:25 pm

      Yes! I get horrific zaps in my shoulder, and of all things, in my armpit. Arms and hands, sometimes ache as if I had arthritis as well. As much as I’d like to be sleeping right now, a series of shocks so intense that they felt like getting kicked by a giant eel wearing copper boots woke me up. So I took an additional 10mg, which did no good and waited 20 minutes, then and additional 25mg, which did no good, so I took another 50. That seems to have done the truck.

      I can bite the bullet as well as the next guy, but this is horrible. I’d been taking 150 mg for MS nerve pain and difficulty sleeping (caused pain)for three years. I’ve been having the random zapping pains and other symptoms sporadically since I started, but just thought they were weird random pains, or foreshadowing of my future MS.

      Have been tapering off since around October of ’14; but the worst came after trying to go under 50mg. Read recently that it takes 2 weeks for amitriptyline to clear out of the bloodstream. I’d have to be put in a medically induced coma to bear that. Plus, some amitriptyline settles in tissue, even the heart. I don’t know if it leaves the tissue, or if so, how. I’m certain, however, that I need to consult a psychopharmacologist – I need to KNOW how this drug behaves in my body during discontinuation.

      Am stopping quitting until I find out more and draw up a better and more detailed, well-informed plan. I’m having the longest period of sleep disturbance ever. As a sleep devotee, losing more than one night of 8-10 hours of quality sleep is rare and awful. It lowers my immunity to any bug going around, and I don’t feel like a me. I also work at about 30% capacity.

      Preceding the zaps is an obvious amplification of the ringing in my ears, and a racing heart/pulse. Then the zaps start, often followed by vertigo, loss of balance, nausea, and a feeling of malaise. It nothing for the nerve pain and I’m not sure it helped with sleep much. Curses amitriptyline! Foiled again.

  • Dana June 29, 2015, 3:30 pm

    I’ve been suffering from terrible insomnia for the past 4 months, which is very unusual for me…I like to get 8-9 hours per night plus naps! I thought I was going crazy or something was wrong with me for no reason until I found one of my old journals–looks like I went off amitriptyline (100mg gradually) for migraine about 4 and a half months ago. I cried with relief when I saw this…my sleep deprivation is not as bad as some of yours, but I’m mostly having issues falling asleep (can’t sleep til 1:00 am or later).

    Or when I succeed falling asleep, I wake up at say 3:00 am and struggle getting back to sleep. I’m also experiencing anxiety, crying spells, and stomach upset. So I’ve been off this drug 4 months and am hoping my body returns to normal. It’s already gotten better than what it was, but it’s been so bad I’ve started seeing an acupuncturist and therapist. The sad thing is, the drug didn’t even work for my migraines! I wonder how much longer this will last.

    • Pete July 16, 2015, 3:13 pm

      I know this sounds weird, but… do a Google search on “salt and sugar mixture for sleep”. This simple idea seems to help a lot of people who wake up between 2 AM and 4 AM and cannot get back to sleep. A more conventional suggestion is to take 5-HTP before bed time. But, if you are taking any other drugs … especially if taking an anti-depressant… you should discuss this (or any other supplements) with a qualified healthcare professional because there can be interactions.

  • Helen July 2, 2015, 4:17 pm

    Has anyone ever experienced constipation after stopping Elavil? I had to be on it for 5 years due to nerve trauma. The highest dose I was on was 50 mg per day, but that was for a short time. I titrated down to 35, then 25 mg within first year or so. The last couple years were less than that. I came off the drug very slowly titrating down to ¼ of a 10 mg per day then per week.

    I experienced constipation while on the drug but was able to manage it, however, it became worse since I stopped. And products (Restoralax, Magnesium, Ducosate) that treat constipation seem to make me tired and have a slower heart rate. This is having a major impact on my life. At first, I had more energy being off the Elavil or even when on the low dose but this is driving me crazy. Has anyone had to deal with this?

    • Pete July 16, 2015, 3:03 pm

      Helen, sounds odd that coming OFF of ami would give you C. But, just proves that everyone is different. As a general comment, I suggest looking at IBS forums. These are the folks who deal with IBS-C and IBS-D as a chronic condition; you will find a lot of coping strategies.

      Specific suggestions: for me, Miralax works wonders. If you are going to use it for more than a few days in a row, it is always best to discuss it with your health care provider. But, it should not cause drowsiness. Drinking plenty of water is always important. Have you been on antibiotics or taken NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc) lately? If so, then the bacteria count in your gut might be low. A probiotic might help.

      Acidophilus is cheap and easy to find. Some studies have found Bifidus offer more relief for IBS suffers. It is also easy to find, but perhaps more expensive. There is no issue taking probiotic long term … that I know of, but do your own research and ask a health care provider that you trust if you are going to do anything like this long term.

      Along with probiotic, many people find that they need to also take a prebiotic. That should not be necessary is you are eating your veggies. Since most of us don’t eat the recommended 9 servings per day, then consider a prebiotic. The best I’ve found is gum arabic — I know, that sounds a bit weird so you might want to research the topic of prebiotics for yourself.

      • Helen July 24, 2015, 7:41 pm

        Thank you, Pete. I will check out the IBS forum. I did find another site that said C could be a withdrawal symptom. I will check out the prebiotic. I eat a healthy diet and take probiotics but the prebiotic may help, too. One doctor commented to me that the Elavil may have affected the nerves – hopefully not permanently.

        I know that it takes about 3-4 months for most drugs to clear your system. That was the case the last time I quit, so hopefully in time this will improve. For anyone wondering about anxiety – it does help to titrate down very slowly and as you mentioned above, Pete, by cutting the pill and then skipping days – increasing the number of skipped days every 2 weeks.

        Even so, there may be some anxiety issues but they are more mild this way. I will continue to add to this site with any information I have that may help others. Good luck to everyone!

  • Robin July 7, 2015, 1:20 am

    I was prescribed this several years ago at 25 mg to help with shoulder tension and resulting headaches. My doctor told me it would also help me sleep and give me more energy. Good news, right? Shame on me for not researching this properly – but for years I thought I was on a muscle relaxer. While I’ve missed 3-5 doses at times, it didn’t seem to bother me much.

    About ten days ago, my prescription ran out and I thought I’d see if I could do without it. I just realized that I’ve tried to quit taking an ANTIDEPRESSANT cold turkey! I’m either very angry or sobbing; I’m having some stomach issues. The shoulder tension and headaches have returned along with anxiety – which has never been an issue for me. It feels like someone is sitting on my chest and I can’t get a deep breath. I went to my PA last week who gave me Xanax.

    At the time, I didn’t realize what I was doing with the amitriptylene and didn’t bring it up. I guess I’ll be calling her in the morning! Glad to find this online. How long did your withdrawal take? I know it is different for everyone but am interested in hearing. Should I go back on and wean myself off or stick it out?

    • Robin July 9, 2015, 2:19 am

      I spoke with my doctor who said that 25 mg was a very low dosage and that I shouldn’t have much of a withdrawal problem. I do have a sensitivity to many medications though. She advised me to stick it out (and take 1/2 Xanax tablet if I need it – no longer than a week). I felt horrible – so exhausted – but woke up today feeling much better – even before my alarm went off and was ready for the day. So here’s hoping that two weeks withdrawal symptoms is all for me. I’m going to the chiropractor tomorrow to see if that takes care of my tension headaches. No more addidictive meds for me as I will be researching any meds that I take from now on. Praying for relief for you all.

      • Robin August 20, 2015, 5:49 am

        Aug 20, 2015. I’ve been off of the medication for a few weeks now and all of the side effects seem to be gone. For me, the hardest part was the anxiety. Although I still have headaches at times, I feel much better than I have in a long while. My sleep is lighter now but it’s easier to awaken in the mornings.

        I do find it frustrating that my medical professional was surprised that I had any withdrawal symptoms. I’m glad that I was able to push through that but I realize that not everyone can or should. Listen to your doctor but make sure he/she is listening to you.

  • Claire Hastie July 7, 2015, 12:22 pm

    I’m so glad I found this site, I’ve been taking 50mg for 18 months for foot pain and since having my operation in March I decided to start reducing the dose 10mg per month and last week was finally ready to stop taking them. Since then I’ve been sitting up all night wide awake, feeling sick, headaches, heart racing, crying a lot and feeling depressed.

    I thought the only way to improve was to just go back onto 10mg if only to get one good nights sleep but having read through the comments I’ve just been to buy valerian root so fingers crossed for sleep tonight. I really do wish my doctor had informed me of how difficult it is to withdraw from this medication, although not addictive I’ve found this harder than withdrawing from tramadol and codine.

    I’ve started an exercise program and healthy eating to try and boost my mood and I think it is helping, I’d put on 17 pounds taking this and have lost 4 pounds in 6 days which in itself has boosted me knowing I can lose the weight I gained taking it. I had lost a total of 70 pounds before I started taking them so it is great to see it starting to come off again.

    Although along side that my appetite has reduced so far that sometimes it hits 7pm and I haven’t eaten in 24 hours but loss of appetite and nausea has contributed to that as well. Thank you all for sharing your experiences as it really does help people like me to know there is light at the end of the tunnel and i’m not alone in these feelings.

  • Laurie July 14, 2015, 6:17 pm

    I was put on 5MG last week to deal with a post surgery nerve pain I was supposed to increased to 10mg a month. At day 5 I experienced numbness and tingling in hands and feet, called the doc to mention it and she said to keep on it and supplement with magnesium. So I took 5MG that evening. All in all I have taken it for just 6 days at 5MG. I woke up the next day with my WHOLE body numb, tingling… Now it is numb and burning. I called ER and they said to stop it right away.

    On day one after stopping I experienced panic attacks when I sleep. I haven’t slept more than 1 hour per night. Anxiety, nausea, head aches, and the side effects I had to stop for are still there!!!! I got so desperate today that I went to ER who said that numbness, tingling, burning is a rare side effect, but has been seen before. They called the intoxication reference unit and they said that all people have recovered from this side effect but it can take a very long time. Needless to say that I am really shocked. I was only on this thing for 6 days!!!

  • Patricia July 15, 2015, 4:18 pm

    I have been on Amitriptyline for about 20 years for migraines. I considered it a miracle drug because I had migraines that lasted 4-6 weeks. I was so happy to have something that worked. My doctor never said anything about any addiction problems or side effects to get off of it. I guess I should have done some research myself, but, like everyone else, I trusted my doctor to do the best for me.

    I won’t let that happen again. Last year the doctor said I needed to get off of it because I have gained about 50 pounds. I had horrible side effects – headache, anger outburst, anxiety and just about everything else. The headaches were worse than many of the migraines I had before. After tapering down to nothing after 5 weeks, I was train wreck. I was happy that I had lost 11 pounds without even trying, but I couldn’t take not sleeping and having a horrible headache all the time.

    I went back on it after another two weeks, and of course gained back the 11 pounds plus more. I know I have to get off of it, but I am so afraid to try. I am going to try, though and hope I can do it. I am so sorry that so many are suffering, but glad to know that I am not alone in the miserable situation. Any suggestions anyone has to make it easier will be gladly received.

  • Pete July 15, 2015, 6:24 pm

    Great article, and comments are even better. I have been on ami for about 20 years, 75 mg for neurological pain (sciatica). Thinking about weening myself off. I appreciate everyone’s comments here. Having read them all, I have a few thoughts to add which might (or might not) help others. One recurrent theme here, that withdrawal effects often take a week to appear. In my (too simple?) mind this means that ami has a very long half-life (that is, it stays in your body for days). I looked it up, and the reported half-life is anywhere from 10 to 50 hours.

    Which means that it will take several days, up to 2 weeks before your last dose has left your body. Second recurrent theme is that the last little bit (5mg or 10mg) is a big step. So, people who used only a small dose to start with still have withdrawal. And, those (like me) who started at a higher dose have withdrawal even after a long slow taper.

    Putting these 2 thought together suggests a strategy to me. When you I get down to the last 5mg or 10 mg … rather than cutting pills, I am considering taking the dose every other day. Then every 3rd day; then every 4 days, etc. When I get to one dose every 2 weeks, then maybe I am done for good? I have no idea if this strategy will prove effective or not.

    So, the other suggestions here for herbal support seem to make sense. Valerian root and melatonin were suggested for sleeping. Maybe SAM-E for depression. Perhaps Kava for anxiety. At least none of the herbals are addictive (that I know of… I’d better research them as well). I will add one other thought, if I may.

    I gained something like 4 stone (40 to 50 pounds) over the 20 years. But, I’ve lost it all already. Just cut the added sugar and if you’re hungry be sure that you have at least some protein with every meal.

  • elaine July 16, 2015, 9:44 am

    Don’t go cold turkey. I came off them 3 weeks ago and I am still suffering dreadfully. I can’t sleep properly, sweating then freezing. Feel sick and dizzy all the time. The only plus is I lost weight after 2 days of not taking it. All the fat around my upper stomach has gone.

  • Amy July 16, 2015, 6:13 pm

    I was only on 10mg nightly for two weeks to treat chronic headaches. It only helped with the pain for the 1st week and then stopped working and I still had all the side effects… Drowsy, dry mouth, blurry vision, weight gain. I stopped taking them 4 days ago. I had the worst flu like symptoms for 3 days, but the symptoms seems to be improving. I don’t feel great, but I feel much better!!

    The good news is that a diet of crackers and apple juice helped lose the 5 pounds I gained in the 2 weeks I was on ami. Thanks to all your comments or I would have thought I was going crazy. That is a pretty strong dry if it did that to me in such a short time! I also picked up some Valerian and Melatonin at the health food store which has helped a little with the insomnia that showed up with the flu like symptoms! Good luck, and stay strong!!

  • Lynne July 20, 2015, 4:41 am

    I’m so glad I found this site. I have only been on 10 mg for four days and can’t stand how I feel. I was prescribed this drug for a constant pressure headache but taking this has given me a different type of headache. Also, I have been napping all day and am totally fatigued. I had decided tonight that I would go off the drug and decided to look up how to do this. After reading your comments, I definitely will not take another pill. I am hoping that after only four days I won’t have too many side effects that some of you are dealing with. Thanks, people!

  • Jane July 24, 2015, 1:53 pm

    My husband found this site for me. I have been on Amtriptyline for a little over 6 years. For the past 4 & 1/2 to 5 years I have been on 25 mg. I was prescribed Amtriptyline for a neuropathy and it has really helped. About 3 months ago I developed stomach issues after taking advil and muscle relaxers for back pain. I was diagnosed with Gerd and was on medication for 2 months but I still had issues.

    I am now waiting for an appointment with a gastroindologist at the end of August. My stomach was actually doing better and I was hoping that I would not need to keep the appointment and then the Gerd returned. Since Amtriptyline is listed as a medication that can cause Gerd, I decided to call my doctor last week about going off the medication. She had me reduce my dose by 1/4 daily starting last Tuesday and my last dose was Friday.

    I have had the expected headaches and have felt nauseated but the good news is that the Gerd is gone. Since going off the medication, I have started having trouble going back to sleep when I wake up at night but my biggest issues has been indigestion. It started on Sunday and I am still dealing with it. Has anyone on this site had indigestion as a withdrawal symptom, what helped you deal with it and how long did it last?

  • Tammy July 30, 2015, 2:24 am

    I started with 25 mg in April to help with sleeping. Decided to quit cold turkey about 3 weeks ago. I know I have not been on that long but the side effects are horrible. My body aches like crazy, itching is in real but is slowly getting better. The fogginess and just not feeling like my self is awful.

    I feel like there is more wrong than just the issue of side effects. I have horrible headaches. I did not think quitting cold turkey after only about 1.5 months on it would be like this. I hope since I wasn’t on it that long the side effects do not last long. Any thoughts?

  • Matt July 30, 2015, 4:33 pm

    I’ve been taking 25-50mg on and off for the past 3 years. Recently I lost my health insurance and do not have my meds. Today is day 3 of cold turkey and it feels like its been a month. Melatonin and valerian root help to at least relax my mind at night, but I’m not getting much sleep. I had a crippling headache on the first day but it has gotten better. I’m sad.

  • Mona August 2, 2015, 1:31 am

    I was prescribed this medication for prevention of migraines. 50 mg at night along with 200 mg. of topirimate. It worked for awhile, then it didn’t so I was advised by a doctor to down to 25 mg. of the elavil for a couple of weeks, then nothing …and down to 50 mg. of topirimate. I’ve been in hell. Panic/anxiety attacks…nightmares, trouble walking…I’m using a cane. I was only taking this for 7 months. I’ve taken the topirimate for migraine prevention before…it’s the elavil….This is a horrible medication!!!

  • Andrew August 8, 2015, 7:43 pm

    I have been experiencing terrible anxiety over the last 3 weeks. I was given amitripyline for my chronic back condition. After a month of taking it with no better pain control I decided to stop taking it. I have always been a fairly nervous person but after coming off these tablets I have felt awful. Heart pounding, mind racing, can’t catch my breathe, out of body experience. Could this be due to the tablets withdrawal? I can’t control this at all at the moment.

    • Lisa August 22, 2015, 5:21 pm

      Same symptoms here, I went into urgent care and they told me I had generalized anxiety disorder. I had no idea it had these kind of withdrawal symptoms! Since you were on it only a short time, hopefully they will pass quickly. I went back up to my normal dose to feel normal again and am now trying to more slowly stop (over 5 months – I am taking 50mg now).

  • Cassie August 11, 2015, 1:12 am

    Anyone else stop having a period? I was on it for about 3 years maybe more. Only 37mg a day for the pain and that wasn’t taken regularly as I’m super forgetful. So I decided to quit as it didn’t really help with the headaches, only botox did, so I weaned myself off for a couple weeks then stopped. Since then I haven’t had a period, it’s been 3 months. Last week I noted breast tenderness and I’m getting dizzy and spinning when moving eyes or head.
    Obviously I thought pregnant, 4 tests later still negative. DR. ordered a blood test but I wonder if it is withdrawal.

  • Healing in Harmony August 20, 2015, 7:39 am

    I have been on amitriptyline for 7 years for chronic migraines. I have been doing research on the proper way to taper off gradually and began my reduction 5 days ago. Everything was alright until today. I became extremely irritable, lethargic, and hungry. Also I could feel flu like symptoms and severe panic attacks starting. Does anyone have advice on how to get through the tired spells or do I just need to sleep until my body feels replenished?

    I have never dealt with anything like this so to me it feels like I was an addict of something. I had no idea what I was getting into until I tried getting off this drug until now. I did try to reduce my dose a few years ago but the migraines were so unbearable I relapsed and even raised my dosage through my doctor. That was a moment I wish I could retract. If I had done the proper research and followed the appropriate steps then I wouldn’t be in this mess. Either way I really appreciate finding this website so I can finally be free of this drug. Good luck to you all and happy healing.

    • Lisa August 24, 2015, 5:19 am

      I have many of the same questions. I feel stupid for not doing my research before starting the drug. I didn’t realize it was physically addicting. After my horrible experience from weeks 2-3 of trying to stop too fast I’m thinking about slowly doing it over 5 months now (first week was fine). I’m taking 50mg currently. My symptoms didn’t get better until I re-started my normal dose again (it took a few days to start to feel normal again). I’m so scared to re-start the slower process and bummed out I will be on the drug for so many months at the slower rate. It feels like there are no good options.

  • Lisa August 25, 2015, 6:00 pm

    What is a good withdrawal schedule? I am currently taking 50mg. I tried cutting down to 37.5 for a couple days, then 25mg. That was a disaster. I made it 3 weeks (week 1 was fine, it was week 2 and 3 that was horrific). I went back up to 50mg for a few weeks to feel normal again. I’m realizing 6 weeks was a stupid schedule to try to wean myself off this drug.

    I have written it out in my calendar and am cutting down by 1/4 of one pill (I take two 25mg pills right now) every 3 weeks. Essentially going from 50mg to 0mg over 5 months. This seems much more doable. I can’t take those withdrawal symptoms again. I just have to say, when I started taking this drug over a year ago, I had no idea there WAS a withdrawal period for this drug. I thought you could take it or not take it, as you wanted. How wrong I was. I didn’t do my research. Can anyone share the schedule that did work for you?

    • Anne August 28, 2015, 4:19 am

      The med level can stay in your system about a week, so when you taper you may not feel the effects until later. Taper in tiny increments by cutting the pill and then by skipping days. It’s not your fault you didn’t know there would be withdrawal effects, our doctors that prescribed them to us should have told us, shame on them. I had to stop cold turkey and wish I could have tapered. Also I wish I had gotten help from an ND to recommend supplements to lessen the symptoms. Hope this helps and hang in there!

      • Lisa September 4, 2015, 9:59 pm

        Thank you so much Anne! I very much appreciate your update below, it’s nice when people come back to say how they are doing. It’s easier this time but I can still tell (not immediately but about a week later) that I dropped the dose again. Thank you for reminding me that it was the doctor who didn’t inform me but I still feel stupid for not looking into it before I started. This has taught me a very important life lesson though, that is for sure! I’m trying to hold on to that thought.

  • faith August 28, 2015, 1:42 am

    I have been on this drug for about 2 yrs. (guessing). It was prescribed for fibromyalgia and migraines. I worked up from 30mg per night to 80mg. I did not get relief from any of my body pain but thought (stupidly) that if I kept with it things would be better. Nothing got better. I felt full of pain and not myself. At 80mg my feet and ankles swelled so badly that my large toenail became purple. This was the end. I decided to quit.

    I thought that taking 10mg less per night each week it would be a good taper as this is how I got up t0 80mg per night, (raising it 10mg per week. Dr. directed, to get to 80mg) This taper did not work. The fatigue, achiness, pain, lack of sleep, extreme sweating, and many other problems people talk about are what I am experiencing. I would NEVER have taken this drug had I known. It is hell living like this. It has been a month that I have been completely off this drug. I feel like I will never be the same. Please say that I will be at least the way I was (with pain) before this drug.

  • Anne August 28, 2015, 4:02 am

    I’m posting an update to my May 1, 2015 post and hope that it will help others. Your symptoms will subside, eventually, but I would work with an ND or someone who has good experience in this area that can advise what supplements to take that will lessen the side effects. I would taper off gradually by cutting the pill and decrease also by skipping days. I did neither of these and wish I had or could have.

    If you have never been tested for H. Pylori bacteria please do so. This medicine masks its symptoms. I ended up with two ulcers that perforated my small intestines (aka leaky gut) and had no previous symptoms. If you have any chronic illness, please get tested for this bacteria because it could likely be the cause.

  • Sharon August 28, 2015, 12:28 pm

    Dear All, I am so glad to have found so much information regarding other peoples experience of Amitriptyline. I was prescribed this medication (10mg-30mg nightly) around 20 years ago for ME/CFS – I was told it would help with the sleeping and nerve ending pain. I think it has helped me over the years but now I am aged 53 I am trying to find other ways to help myself other than medication. Two years ago the GP prescribed Gabapentin which has been much more helpful with my pain management – I was also switched from Prozac (again a 20 year medication) to Venlafaxine.

    This year has been a difficult one with my mental health and I had a blip earlier on this year – around 4 weeks ago after speaking to the wonderful lady I see for Acupuncture I realized I hadn’t taken the Amitriptyline for 4 evenings. As I needed to get a repeat prescription I felt I would see how I could get on with going cold turkey. My sleep/pain is awful each night regardless and I felt if I had any withdrawal side effects, how much worse could it be! I can honestly say after this short period of time that I have a dull headache which has come on over the past two days.

    My appetite has returned to normal in that I am not hungry all of the time. I have had terrible itching on both hands and my feet, which reading here someone else has experienced. Whether the Venlafaxine is covering for the lack of the Ami I don’t know – all I know is that I want to feel more like my old self before I was put on all of these meds that I knew nothing about. Also like other people here I have a huge weight gain – over the past 4 weeks I have lost 12lbs without trying very hard.

    I also had been told there is no withdrawal – the withdrawal the twice I tried to come off of Prozac was horrendous; I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy! So I don’t know where my journey is at present – it has been a huge relief to read these posts and know that I am not alone in trying to beat something that has had such a hold over me. I really do wish everyone here well and that you are able to continue your journey to be free of this medication.

    • Sharon July 2, 2016, 11:31 am

      Hello All, I could not remember when I stopped staking the Amitriptyline and thought of this post I had left here – I am 10 months without taking this medication. I cannot say it has been an easy journey – but 10 months on I haven’t taken it again and never shall. I told my GP I had stopped taking it and I guess he wasn’t best happy with me, but to know the way it was making me feel I had to do something.

      I just wanted to say to anyone that may read this – do what is right for you! I know we are all here for one reason or another and have illness that we do need medications for, but if I had known 20 years ago what I know now, would I have taken it?? I don’t know… at the time I was in such a bad way I would have taken anything to stop the pain and be able to sleep well.

      I feel much more “informed” and feel more able to make choice – especially open to using alternative therapies, which have helped me a great deal. I wish those of you that are starting this journey to a better place. Good Luck and to know there are others of us that have come out the other side. Hugs, Sharon x

  • Search for Relief October 1, 2015, 6:18 pm

    I’ve been cold turkey for about 4 1/2 weeks from a dosage of 50mg due to not knowing I needed to taper. I take full responsibility but would like to know others timelines. I am experiencing severe stomach cramping and waking up by 2:30 am or before only to have to leave for work by 6:15 am. Can someone else tell me when this will start to subside?

  • JoeyPhoenix October 3, 2015, 4:26 am

    If anyone reads this and has also experienced numbness/tingling/electric sensations in one limb please let me know. I was on Elavil for a year for pain, 50mg. After experiencing debilitating headaches I decided to stop. It seems as though when I started to wean off, my right leg would be numb when I woke up. I continued to wean off over a period of 6 weeks and the sensations continued.

    Now, five weeks after stopping completely, my right leg is often numb/tingling and feels like electric currents running through it. It’s especially worse when I lay down flat and at night. The strange part is, I haven’t felt any of the usual side effects that many of you are mentioning. Just the sensations in my right leg. Please reach out if you have also experienced this. Thank you :)

    God bless all who are suffering here. I hope you all find peace and happiness.

    • Pete November 10, 2015, 2:33 am

      What you are describing sounds like a calcium deficiency. Try a calcium supplement. Short-term, it can’t hurt.

  • Molly October 5, 2015, 2:06 am

    I have taken elavil 25-50 mg a night for sleep and migraine for about 5 years. I went off cold turkey 4 days ago and feel like I’ve been suffering from the flu – headaches, body aches, horrible sleep with nightmares, stomach troubles. As I read people’s comments I feel discouraged to know that these withdrawal symptoms can last months. I wish the doctor who prescribed this would have presented these warnings before I decided to take it. I feel like I was so desperate to be relieved of my insomnia and migraines, I did not make an educated decision regarding this drug. Please pray for me.

  • Christine October 8, 2015, 8:03 pm

    I’ve been off amitriptyline a month now. Awful withdrawals. Nausea, malaise, pain, shortness of breath, insomnia. I was put on for shingles neuralgia. It helped with pain. Now off pain so bad. I take melatonin at night. I’m in middle of menopause at age 52 with hormones declining. I exercise, eat vegan. Some days I’m so nauseous and tired. I take two tablets of ibuprofen one in morning and one in the evening. I take many vitamins. This is so hard. Help.

  • Lisa October 10, 2015, 12:39 am

    I wanted to give an update. I did it! After originally tapering too fast I had to go back up to 50mg for a few weeks to get rid of the withdrawal symptoms (vertigo, dizziness, the worst anxiety I’ve ever felt, nausea, I was in the doctors office 1-2 times a week for the entire 3 weeks before going back up to 50mg). I then tapered over about 5-6 weeks, slowly at first and then faster, quitting cold turkey at 12.5.

    It was not great but not terrible for the entire time and then for a few weeks after. It’s now been a few more weeks and I’m feeling normal again! I took it for migraines and pain, I had no idea. What saved me was exercise, everyday, even if I didn’t want to, it helped tremendously. I also cut out sugar and caffeine. Good luck everyone, it gets better!!

  • Pam Maclean October 14, 2015, 11:13 pm

    I was on 25mg for about 6 weeks and had a rotten side effect of regurgitation. I had to stop taking it because of the continued discomfort. I couldn’t believe the withdrawal symptoms could be so intense after such a short duration. Raging internal anger and sudden wakefulness with anxiety and nerve pain! I know it’s the medication so I am dealing with this but not pleasant.

  • Brandon October 16, 2015, 5:40 pm

    Like a lot of others I don’t usually comment on things like this but I really feel compelled to share my experience for others who are quitting. I’ve taken 100mg for about 8 years. When I first started taking it I was also taking 60mg Morphine XR daily. With my my 100mg of Amitriptyline I would also take 20mg of Ambien at night (obviously..lol). Even then I couldn’t get through the pain at night. Back injury but that’s another story.

    My back slowly got better and it left me wondering, is my back better or is the morphine just doing what morphine does? In April it came time to get off the morphine. I wen’t to a nice detox facility and 5 days later came out Opiate free with minimal withdrawal symptoms. Oddly enough, 2 days after I stopped taking the morphine my pain went completely away. The people in the detox facility were very nice and I did a lot of reading up on anti depressants and medication in general. I will say the Amitriptyline really did help me when I was in pain because with the opiates came depression.

    I do believe it does server a good purpose. Stopping ambien for me hasn’t really been an issue BUT the Amitriptyline withdrawal will kick your butt if you go it cold turkey. The first time I thought, I just beat a 10 year opiate dependency there is no way this Amitriptyline can beat me. Yeah right, it beat me. I wen’t from 100mg to 50mg, it wasn’t bad really. I lost some sleep, yes, but it was a small price to pay.

    Next was 50mg to cold turkey. Piece of cake so far. About 5 days I’d say. No, I don’t sleep as much but I feel the sleep I get naturally without medication is so much better! I’m a programmer by trade, a clear head is important. I had no idea my brain was so clouded these last 10 years. Duh, with all them drugs.. yes it was very clouded. The Amitriptyline was my last medication to get off of and I questioned myself a lot.

    I bet some can relate, the panic when you realize you forgot to fill your RX. The panic for me came as “I’m not going to sleep! I’ll go crazy. I can’t turn my brain off!”. I’m not at all downplaying some folks anxiety, just my own experiences. A week later, I don’t sleep much but man do I have energy and most important (for me) is that I can retain the 1’s and 0’s better then I have in 10 years. It’s a rush being off all of the RX’s and it might suck for awhile but remember you are quitting for a reason and its worth it!

  • Dennis October 18, 2015, 4:57 pm

    Hello, I have been on 150 mg of Elavil for over 15 years. I have appeared down to 50 mg, but the withdrawals are terrible. I am fighting thru it and I hope to be off it entirely in 2 weeks. Also at the same time I cold Turkey stopped taking lyrica 150 mg also. I have fibromyalgia and I don’t know what’s worse, the symptoms of fibro or the side effects of lyrica and Elavil?

  • Rachel October 19, 2015, 6:06 pm

    I’ve been taking a dosage of 75 mg of elavil for 8 years now. I was prescribed the medication for chronic tension headaches. I’m 13 weeks pregnant and my doctor asked me to stop taking the drug because there hasn’t been any significant research done on its side effects during pregnancy. I tried quitting cold turkey the day my doctor told me, but I was so sick that I had to taper off.

    I had been tapering off for about 4 weeks (reaching a final dosage of 10 mg) and this is now day three of no drug. I can’t sleep properly, my muscles ache, my stomach aches terribly, my headaches are horrible and I have absolutely no energy or motivation to leave the house. I would have tapered off within a few months but being that I’m expecting, my options are limited. When can I expect to feel at least a little bit better?

  • Paula October 22, 2015, 1:50 pm

    I was on Elavil for 14 years and up to 100 mg per day for chronic migraines, but it really never helped. Doctors just kept telling me to increase dosage. I realized that changing my diet to a low carb/low sugar has helped with my migraines more than anything ever has! I have been tapering off of Elavil for about 9 months now. When I got down to 25 mg my insomnia has been awful.

    Have been trying to get down to 15 or 10 mg but the insomnia was too bad. But after reading this site, I have been cold turkey for 4 days now. I will never take this stuff again!! The last 9 months have been bad, but I just want to get it over with! I started taking Source Naturals Night Rest along with melatonin to help me sleep. I had to take 4 Night Rests (recommended is 1 to 2) with 15 mg of melatonin but once I finally got to sleep I slept all the way until my alarm clock went off. That hasn’t happened in a really, really LONG time.

    I also use Doterra Serenity essential oil, a few drops on the bottom of my feet at bedtime, and the Relaxing Melodies app with sound of water or oscillating fan when I go to bed, I think it helps a lot too. I also just tried Valerian Root and melatonin last night and I slept ok. I still feel really tired, no energy, (have been feeling that way since I began tapering) have slight anxiety and depression now too. I just started taking Sam-E today, 400 mg, am hoping that will help with the depression symptoms (it has great reviews on Amazon).

    I’ve printed out some positive type messages to remind myself that change is difficult and painful but worth it, and that the depression and anxiety I am feeling now is not real, that is it just the withdrawal and I WILL FEEL BETTER eventually. Finding this website with all of your comments also helps a lot! This stuff is the devil and just one more reason I will never trust doctors or the pharmaceutical industry ever again. I will post a follow up once I start feeling better to let everyone know how long it takes. Good luck to you all and stay strong and positive!!

  • Sunny November 4, 2015, 8:49 pm

    I too have been taking 25 mg for about a year for migraines. I still got them (4 x per week). I lost all personality and really became a zombie. I actually get “trancy” (trance-like) when I drive…not cool. I decided a few months ago that I wanted my life back, I want to laugh and I want to care about things and I was not happy with the 10lb weight gain.

    I cut back to 20 mg for about 6 weeks, then 15mg, then 10mg (each stage lasting at least 5-6 weeks). I cut back to 5 mg about 3 weeks ago and everything seemed fine, until today. I cried all the way to work…no specific reason, I just cried. What a goof. I remembered reading about the horrible time people have getting off amitrip. and decided to re-visit this website. I am so thankful you are all here.

    I took a .25 mg xanax, settled into my desk and read all of your posts. We can get off this drug. We just have to remember the withdrawal effects every step of the way. Now that I know I may cry, I’m ok with it. I will wait another 3-4 weeks at 5mg then skip to 5mg every other day. I’m sure there will be additional side effects for that little move, too. Let’s get each other through this. P.S. Headaches are daily. When weren’t they, right?

  • Amanda Andrews November 8, 2015, 2:38 am

    Please be very careful about taking mind altering anti depressants for pain and try something else. You may have a broken body but do not want a broken mind as well. I took 10mg for a year as painkillers and dismissed the odd time when I wanted to kill myself, it was not like depression or sadness, just an obsession to kill myself for no reason and it soon passed. But I never really felt any better or in less pain.

    My Dr increased the dosage to 100mg as I was still in a lot of pain but had a lot of physical stuff to do because i had to move house and nobody to help me. I am a very docile person but became very angry all of the time, with everyone and totally obsessed with killing myself. I constantly wondered how I could hang myself in my new place, when I had baths to try and refresh myself, I thought about drowning myself.

    One night, I threatened my new neighbors and the next say I knew that I would kill myself, if I had to stay in my new house so and to A&E. Those idiots did not ask what painkiller I took, dismissed me as a nutter and gave me sleeping tablets. Luckily, I refused to take them as they are lethal mixed. I never took anymore, had an awful time coming off them and no doctor advised to take it gradually.

    I had all of the symptoms listed above plus what I think was tripping. Although, I have not even smoked dope as I am anti drugs, so unsure what that is like but I imagined crazy things which were not there.

    • Sunny November 9, 2015, 2:12 pm

      Hi Amanda: I know what you mean about feeling angry on Amitrip. I also had feelings of incredible frustration (rage-like, but I didn’t want to hurt anyone or myself), but I did do odd things that gave me great pleasure…when the metal muffin tin would’n fit in the cupboard, I bent it in half and guess what—it fit:), and when I came home from the foodstore and tried to put things in the freezer and they didn’t fit, I would empty everything from the freezer (throwing the stuff on the floor, hard, then re-pack it and whatever didn’t fit got, thrown away…even the things I had just bought.

      I know that was wasteful, but I felt so frustrated. I guess I was very limited on patience. I was taking the Amitrip. for migraine headaches and even though it cut them from 4-5 per week to 3-4 per week, the reward was not worth the side-effects. I am still on 5mg each night and weepy during the day, but I feel more clearheaded, so I have to keep going. Within the next week or so I will cut to 2.5 mg. each night (cutting the 10’s in 1/2 and then cutting the 1/2’s in 1/2) and try that for 2 weeks, then drop the 2.5mg to every other night for 4 weeks and finally attempt “freedom” after that.

      This is the worst drug! I mentioned these things to my doctor and he said he has many patients taking high doses of this medication and they never complain about any of the things I mentioned; my guess is they are too “zombied-out” to notice much of anything or complain. I do use xanax (.25 mg) to sleep and during the day if I am feeling anxious at work. It has really saved me. I do hope you are feeling better, Amanda. Are you completely off the Amitrip, now?

  • Cassandra November 12, 2015, 3:52 pm

    First of all, I am not the person taking this drug it is my husband, but I am looking for support all the same. My husband was prescribed a 50mg dose once a night from his doctor about 9 months ago for “sleep”, and despite my protests he began taking it. Now his mother is SEVERELY schizophrenic (we are talking in a padded cell doesn’t know who she is schizophrenic), and it is my firm belief that unless you actually NEED antidepressants you shouldn’t mess around with them.

    Before he started taking them he was happy, healthy, he exercised, was social, and the list goes on. After he started taking them his personality completely changed. He stopped wanting to exercise, he gained about 25 pounds, he became withdrawn, our sex life pretty much ceased to exist, he stopped talking to me, friends, family, he became depressed, and I feel like I lost my husband. Why am I telling you all of this? I am at a loss as to what I should do.

    He has complete meltdowns over things like socks on the floor, our close friends say he’s no longer “happy”, but they think it’s marital problems and no one but myself knows he’s on any medication. For the first time since I’ve known him (we’ve been married for 2 years, but I’ve known him for almost 8) he became physically violent with me. This is a man who until the last 6 months has been a rock for me. He is the type of person who is calm, understanding, he’s kind and gentile, for him to even raise his voice is completely unexpected and for him to become physical…

    I feel like I am in a twisted version of Alice in Wonderland. I don’t want people to get caught up in the physical part, I am here seeking help because I am at a loss as to what I should do. The kids and I (we have 3 children) have since moved to a friends house and he is currently detoxing, I just need some sort of support from others who are either experiencing this first hand and can offer me some sort of insight, or from those who have had to watch from the sidelines like myself.

    I want my husband back, I am so upset with his doctor I could scream! She didn’t do a family history, she didn’t do any blood work, she hasn’t conducted a followup to see how he’s doing, this woman in my opinion shouldn’t be practicing medicine if she just hands out prescriptions like candy. I am sorry to vent like this, but I’m not sure where to turn and I’m feeling very isolated.

    He is 2 days into his detox and he has chills, a fever, he can’t keep anything in or down, he’s very tired, depressed, and my hope is this will all be over soon. Again, any insight is welcome, and thank you for providing a source of support for this issue.

    • Jan December 1, 2015, 12:44 am

      Hi Cassandra, I am so sorry to hear of your troubles and hope things have settled down a bit. I can’t really suggest anything else other than getting your husband to change his GP as she doesn’t sound very helpful. If your husband is no better or is still struggling, it might be worth getting him to his (new) GP as there must be some way of managing his reaction to the medication. With best wishes, Jan

  • Sunny November 13, 2015, 4:52 pm

    Hi Cassandra: He can’t go cold-turkey. It doesn’t work…read the other posts; people end up in the hospital and back on the amitrip. He is suffering, I’m sure, but it will not end well. The only way to get off this drug is a super-slow-gradual weaning, like taking 5 mg less every night over the period of several weeks. I have been weaning down for months (currently on 5 mg. every night) and I still can’t just quit.

    His personality changes are from the medicine. I withdrew from my family and my co-workers. They all noticed and commented…I didn’t even care enough to offer a reply. I was just happy to be in my own head. You should speak with his doctor about the proper way to get off this medicine. It is a very old drug and doctor’s prescribe it for everything.

    I hope he can find success getting off the medicine…I am still waiting for my personality to return and I am only taking 5 mg. each night. There is no quick fix. If he does end up at the hospital…they will put him back on the medicine. Good luck, and hang in there…your old husband seems to be fighting his way out. -Sunny

  • Sarah November 20, 2015, 3:52 am

    I’ve been going through the withdrawals for about a week now. I was on 75mg for 6 years and I quit cold turkey. My symptoms are flu like and stomach issues, as well as headache and dizziness. I’m also having a hard time concentrating. The flu like symptoms come and go, as well as the dizziness. It’s not as bad as I expected it would be. It’s totally doable. I’m just hoping it will be over sooner than later.

  • Ginny November 25, 2015, 7:36 am

    I am still taking this medicine but missed almost a week and was just looking to see if how I was feeling was related to missed doses. Anyway, this information is not only concise and informative, but it is also delivered in a supportive and proactive manner. Whoever put this together, and I am sure it was a group effort, has done a fantastic job.

    Being on medication for whatever reason is hard enough at times, being told it will pass and giving timelines is all fine but doesn’t address individuality or the fears of what a person is going through. Thank you for taking the time to address how it can make us feel, allay our fears and give ways to help in the meantime. It meant alot to me.

  • Robin November 25, 2015, 2:22 pm

    Update: I have been off of this medication for several months now. I do have frequent headaches – always have – but nothing unbearable. My sleep pattern is a bit different but it’s easier to wake up now. I still have some anxiety occasionally (which was NEVER a problem prior to taking this medication) but knowing that I have a Xanax in my purse makes me feel better. I rarely take one (and a half one at that), but knowing that it’s there is comforting.

    I would rather have the headaches and sleep issues than be on this medication. It still infuriates me that my PA insisted that there should not be any withdrawal symptoms with the low dosage I was on (25 mg). However, I have learned the hard way that my children and I are very sensitive to most medications. In my situation, getting off of this medication was worth the withdrawal. I’m glad I did it. 11/25/2015

    • Sunny November 30, 2015, 6:58 pm

      My headaches are in full bloom (4-5 per week), (they were only reduced to 3-4 per week on the medicine), so what’s an extra headache or two per week, right? My xanax makes sure I sleep at night (lowest dose .25 mg.) and sometimes I need one during the day, but not usually. I do hope to be off this medicine soon (currently at 5 mg per day). Good job, Robin. You bolstered my hope.

  • Sonia November 27, 2015, 11:09 am

    This drug has been horrendous. I was on 25 mg for 6 or 7 weeks than tapered down to 20 and 10. I’m now on 10 every other day but feel the withdrawal symptoms more than ever. Slow tapering with exercise eating right and support from family and friends is all I can suggest. Today I told my mother that these meds are “barbaric”.

    • Sunny November 30, 2015, 6:54 pm

      10 mg every other day is probably the same as me taking 5 mg every day. It’s impossible to get off this medicine. I will try to lower my dose to 2.5 mg every day in a few weeks (I cut the 10’s in half, then I will cut the halfs in half). It is taking months, but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Char November 28, 2015, 3:45 pm

    Has anyone had problems with runny nose and sneezing after quitting amitriptyline? In my research, I haven’t noticed these as being symptoms, and I’m just trying to find out if there’s a link between my quitting of amitriptyline, and these continuous irritating symptoms.

    • Sunny November 30, 2015, 6:49 pm

      I think the runny nose and sneezing probably fall under flu symptoms.

  • Greg Fletcher November 28, 2015, 9:37 pm

    I have taken 100mg for the past 17 years, for fibromyalgia. I tried to go cold turkey while on vacation in Jamaica 1 year ago, and had the worst flu-like symptoms in the world. I thought I was going to die of the muscle, and joint pain. It cost me 3 days of my holiday, but I learned that the medication was better to take than the withdrawal symptoms, because at the end of the day I’m pain free with it.

    • Sunny November 30, 2015, 6:50 pm

      Does it not affect your personality?

  • Lily November 30, 2015, 9:31 am

    Here’s what I don’t understand one little bit… All of us are put on these types of meds by doctors, ridiculed for being on them, but never helped by those same doctors to get off of them. Something wrong with this picture?

  • Jan December 1, 2015, 12:34 am

    I was prescribed between 50-100mg for migraine about 8 years ago, and have been on 50mg for the last few years. I have to say the medication was a godsend for me as it was extremely effective in controlling my migraines and associated headaches. I was having four or five attacks a week which was extremely debilitating and impacted on my work and sickness record.

    As someone mentioned in a previous post, now that I have been through the menopause, the migraine attacks settled down. I accidentally went cold turkey almost four weeks ago as my prescription had run out and there was a delay in sorting a new one out. Initially I was very worried that the migraines would come back with a vengeance, but this did not happen so I persevered.

    So far the only withdrawals I have had have been disturbed sleep and very mild headaches, but I was getting them anyway so I can put up with them. I also suffer with fatigue, so it’s actually quite nice to feel so awake instead of falling asleep all the time! I am also on a lot of other medication which I suspect may have helped minimize withdrawals.

    I count myself lucky that I have not had any of the terrible withdrawals that some of you have described. All I can say is persevere, and try not to go cold turkey if you can help it. Things will get better, and it’s another step to becoming drug free. Good luck!

  • Barbara December 2, 2015, 7:46 pm

    Fifteen years ago, I had shingles which was misdiagnosed twice. I finally had a diagnosis of shingles but by this time, I was broken out over my entire chest and back and the lesions kept coming. The lesions were biopsied and sent to lab. I ended up with post-herpetic neuralgia. With that I received nerve block and received a tines unit for the pain. I was first placed Neurontin 300 mg twice a day and eventually placed on Elavil 25 mg at bedtime.

    Some twenty five years later, I am trying to come off of the Elavil. Today is my 9th day. I feel sick, tired and useless, whereas I have always been energetic. I will survive and only wished I had known before the effects it has on the body. I realize sleep is vital for all types of sanity, but since I am now retired, I am hoping I can do this alone.

    • Sunny December 9, 2015, 7:28 pm

      Cold turkey is vicious. Many fail and end up at the ER and back on the meds. If it gets too tough, you should try to wean down to 1/2 of the 25 mg, then 1/2 of the 1/2 and so on…remembering that it take several weeks for our bodies to adjust to each dose reduction.

  • Jemm December 10, 2015, 2:12 am

    Hi, I’m not sure how old this site is or if anyone’s still reading this, but I thought I’d comment anyway. I’ve not read all the comments (there seems to be thousands) but from the ones I have read, people seem to be split into – people on it for c. 20 years, people on it for just 1, people on 25mg or those on 100mg. I don’t really fit in to any of those! I’ve been on it for around 10 years & on an average dose of 200mg a day.

    I was prescribed for both severe depression & chronic pain (I have something called Loin Pain Haematuria Syndrome, or as I call it “my B*tch”). I REALLY want to come off it, it’s all so complicated I’m not even sure what it’s actually doing any more. It might sound stupid, but I kinda want to stop taking it to see what the ‘real’ me is like. Does that make any sense??

    I’ve probably come down too quickly, I’m at 100mg now after 2 months & I’m struggling, but I’m loathed to put it back up. I just can’t fall asleep until I just can’t stay awake. Lights out at midnight, asleep by 4.30am! Then, once I am asleep, I just can’t wake up, my life’s flying out the window! Add to that dizziness, headache, sweats, uncontrollable crying fits (very unlike me), anger for no good reason & the sheer thought of food making my stomach churn.

    How long does this last? I’m a degree student &, well, you can imagine! I know you probably have no answers yourselves, but I’m just looking for a little reassurance from people who have been there, done that & come out the other side sparkling…please? Before my discomfort overcomes my will power! My email is vjemmb[AT]Gmail.com.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. I hope that nobody feels the way I do, & that all your battles with this psychiatric ‘wonder drug’ are victories. If I can help anyone in return, please feel free to contact me. My best wishes to you all, Ruby

  • Ella December 11, 2015, 12:46 am

    Hi all, I trying to come off Amytriptaline for the 3rd time! I was only taking 10mg at night but it has been the haqrdest drup I have EVER come off! (I have JRA so I have been on a lot of strong pain relief over my life.) Anyway 1st time I went straight from 10mg to 0mg and had no withdrawal symptoms until 2 weeks when I became manic and soooo emotional I had to re-start.

    2nd time I went to 5mg to stop and within 3 days I was dizzy, sick, bad guts, over anxious, weird tongue, pain in arms etc etc so I had to go back up to 10mg and the symptoms got immediately better (evil drug its so addictive). I am so deperate not to be on this drup so my GP gave me liquid form so i could reduce in my own time. I started last Wednesday on 10mg and by 2 days ago I had reduced to 6mg without many more symptoms than a bit of irritability.

    I am now feeling quite crappy and I was wondering if one of the possible withdrawal symptoms could be hormonal upset? eg irregular periods, sore boobs, emotions swaying etc…? Thank you sooo much for your help, I love this site and it stops me feeling alone in my darkest hour withdrawing. I just wish I was never put on this drug and when I finally succeed in getting off of it I WILL NEVER TAKE IT AGAIN! -Ella xx

  • Kevin December 11, 2015, 7:59 pm

    Hello everyone. I was prescribed Amytriptaline (25mg at bedtime) for migraines, headaches and loss of sleep. The first day I took it I already knew that this was a drug I had no desire to continue taking, I felt like crap. I however listened to people who said I should give this a honest try and take it for awhile to give it a chance to work. I took it for a month and felt only slight relief from the headaches, so my dosage was increased to 50mg.

    Again there was no real relief from headaches and my sleep patterns did not change much. I became unmotivated, listless and starting to isolate from friends and family. I decided that 3 months on this stuff was too long and quit cold turkey. The first 2 or 3 days were ok, but after that I started to suffer an almost constant headache, vision problems, feeling not quit connected, irrational fears, itchiness, fatigue and some mild flu-like symptoms.

    Fortunately I was not on it long and I am not suffering near the the symptoms that many of you are/or have. And although I do have some withdrawal symptoms, I feel much better knowing that this shall pass and I will no longer be taking this drug. I was not made aware that there would be withdrawal symptoms and how severe that they might be. I would have normally researched this drug prior to taking it, however for some reason, this time I did not.

    I will in the future be sure to do some independent research into anything that is prescribed for me. If I had read this page prior to taking this medication I would have never started it, but rather looked for a healthier alternative. I have read some useful suggestions here regarding some possible natural alternatives for me. I thank everyone for sharing their experiences, I have learned much from them. I wish you all success in not only getting off this drug, but in finding a healthier way to manage the original condition that it was prescribed for.

  • Tom December 12, 2015, 5:54 am

    I was on this drug for a week and had muscle spasms, real shocks, so I quit immediately. Not sure what to do now as I still have chronic depression, IBS, but don’t want to take any drug at all. Any suggestions?

    • Tracy December 31, 2015, 2:25 am

      Hi Tom, I don’t have any advice for your depression but can suggest, if you haven’t already, that you consider probiotics for your IBS. There are many good brands to choose from but I’ve been very happy with one from Vitamin Shoppe with 13 billion colonies. I hope you’re doing okay with tapering off the amitriptyline.

  • Tammi December 13, 2015, 6:39 pm

    I have been taking 10mg a night for a sleep disorder for 5 years. I have gained weight have spells of deep depression I get angry I cry uncontrollably and I lost my desire for intimacy and it is literally ruining my marriage of 15 years. I quit cold turkey a year ago and it was awful… nausea, trouble concentrating, dizziness, and couldn’t sleep.

    I use cannabis tincture for my asthma and I am planning to up my dose. What I would like to know is if anyone knows any natural supplements that can help ease the symptoms of withdrawal? I am set to start tapering this week I am scared and nervous, but I do not want to lose my husband over medication.

  • Sunny December 14, 2015, 5:52 pm

    I don’t recommend anyone try quitting this medication cold-turkey. If you take the time to read through the posts, you will see the withdraw side effects don’t start for at least a week. As you taper down your dose, you have to give your body several weeks to adjust to the lesser dose, before lowering the dose again. A few days is not enough time for your body to adjust.

    It really take 6-8 weeks, at least, at each level. Everyone finds out quickly how horrible this medication really is and many end up in the ER or doctor, just to be put back on the medicine. It steals your personality and your relationships with family , friends and co-workers. I am still taking 5 mg every night (month 2 at 5 mg.), but I have noticed a little more of myself shining through, not a lot, but a glimmer, and I lost the 10 lbs. I gained…yay.

    January 1, I am cutting to 2.5 mg. every night and March 1, I will drop to 2.5 mg. every other night and hopefully by Jun 1, I can just stop (that is my hope). I have the red 10 mg. pills and I use a pill cutter to halve them and then halve the halves (not exact, but pretty close). Good luck to everyone trying to get free from this medication…Slow and steady wins the race.

  • Kristi December 15, 2015, 8:43 am

    I have been taking this for 3 months, 25 mgs a day, for intercystial cystitis. I decided a week and a half ago that I would stop because I didn’t like the way it made me feel… Like I was numb to everything. I have gained weight as well, but didn’t know that was a symptom. So on day four of quitting cold turkey, I started having withdrawals!

    I had no idea it would be like this. Did any of you have a numbing sensation in your face and mouth, with your tongue going completely numb? It feels kind of like an electric shock, I get dizzy when this happens as well… And it’s happening more frequently, about every 5 mins. A few times it’s also felt like an electric shock shooting up my spine! I didn’t see this as a withdrawal in the list, and am wondering about it.

    I’m not on other stuff, and know this has to be it. I’ve also been extremely fatigued, and irritable. I couldn’t have imagined this happening! I didn’t even know this stuff was so hard core. I feel deceived by my doctor. I’m never taking this crap again. I’m sticking out these withdrawals, it is worth it in the end. I’ve been off it now for 10 days, and I already feel more as a human being.

    Anyone have any input in my withdrawals? It’s kinda freaking me out. My bones have been aching as well, but this numb tongue, face, and lips thing is terrible!

  • Sarah December 19, 2015, 2:49 am

    Wow, reading all these comments has certainly been eye-opening for me. I have been on tricyclics for 34 years, the majority of them on amitryptiline. I was originally prescribed it to treat IBS and depression. Most of the last few years have been low dose—12.5 to 25 mg. I never really worried about it very much because the doctors always said it was such a low dose, don’t worry, it’s not addictive, etc.

    I had half-heartedly quit a few times for a day or so, never had any issues with that, so I though quitting would be fairly simple—now I realize that was the “honeymoon period”, it was still in my system. Two years ago I started progesterone which completely removed my chronic depression. No really good reason to be on amitryptiline any longer. A year ago I began to eat much better (low carb, primal-ish), started researching the effects of this drug, especially on blood sugars and acetylcholine, and became highly motivated to get off of it.

    After working down to 6mg, I dropped it. The first few days were not bad at all (honeymoon), then insomnia and stomach issues came back with a vengeance. Two weeks out I gave in and went back on–I had NO idea getting off it (even such a small dose) would be so difficult! After tapering off a benzodiazephine (sleeping drug), I know how to do this, it’s going to take a lot of time. I know there are no easy answers for insomnia (believe me I have tried EVERYTHING!).

    I so appreciate those who have posted their experiences, and especially the updates. I will post back here with updates as I go along. Not taking this drug every single night will be a strange experience, but I’m really ready to move on without it.

    • Sarah December 28, 2015, 4:23 am

      I’ve done more research, and NOT ONE person here (well maybe Adam) has come off of this drug properly! In order to avoid severe withdrawal effects, you need to drop by 10% (of LAST dose), and hold for 2 weeks to a month (or longer if necessary). If you try to taper too fast, or cold turkey, it will take about 2 weeks before you even really feel the w/d side effects, and they can get worse for a while.

      So if you are recently off the drug and miserable, consider re-instating at a low dose and doing proper slow taper off. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the lower your dose gets, the slower you need to taper. I am still in the process of preparing to taper, and expect that it will take quite a while, perhaps up to two years. But it’s worth it to avoid the problems with insomnia and stomach issues that I’ve had in the past.

      I will probably be using a liquid titration to get accurate doses (I’ve done this before with a benzo and it worked well). It is very unlikely your doctor will give you this information, and know how to taper properly to avoid w/d effects. I’ve gotten a lot of information from the website Surviving Antidepressants. Please don’t try and get off this drug too quickly! Save yourself some grief and do it carefully and slowly.

      • Sarah March 11, 2016, 3:17 am

        An update about where I am now (from 12.5 mg, 34 years)–I had a really difficult winter, with benzo and z-drug dependency. Amitryptiline seemed to go paradoxical on me–that is, it seemed to give me heart palpitations and make me feel wired, rather than putting me to sleep. I was using the benzos and z-drugs to overcome that, otherwise I got no sleep.

        In desperation, I pretty much cold-turkeyed everything at once (I feel like such a hypocrite!). It was brutal, but bearable for 6 days, and then my stomach blew up on me. I’ve reinstated at 1.5 mgs (titrating a dissolved tablet) and am doing much better. Amazing how that little dose is still so powerful. I’ll start tapering that soon, hoping to be off it completely not long from now!

  • mason December 22, 2015, 1:21 pm

    I’ve been taking amitriptyline for 18 yrs & after it seemed to interfere with further progress from symptoms from 2 bad injuries. I was told no withdrawal symptoms were possible rereaptedly & was put on 9 x25mg in the 21st 5 yrs yet was at 5 x25mg in recent yrs. The drug simply was not helping, had obvious counter helpful affects & I feared the long term effects.

    A wish to focus on psychedelic & natural therapies I began tapering over 2 yrs down to 2 then 3 then 2 then 1 for months. Finally I took the last dose & expected insomnia & likely wd symptoms for a month. Well…I was soon sick beyond I had imagined. My Dr knew nothing if this & it was clear I was educating him. The dizziness became lack of ability to walk without falling…loss of clarity now 2 weeks in.

    Then the flu & vomiting, the tired constant mix tape of severely disruptive symptoms made me realize how toxic this drug gas been & the claims assured me these drugs had no WD!!!! The weight loss was 17 lbs. It’s now 3 months since I last took it & I despite the pain, sickness, cycles of symptoms that keep coming back in waves. There are days where when I do feel good I know it is the right move for me.

    I reduced benzo meds in 1/2 in under 4 months 8 months ago & had none of the intense issues as I feel still in a crumpled heap, energy low but I know it will be much better getting back to nature. Maybe short-term use would have been helpful for me but all these yrs later it’s time for the change. Eating well helps…do whatever you can when you feel better days. Do not get frustrated as I can tell through the haze of the moment it is worth it for me.

    I’ve still got pain meds & remaining benzos to reduce as I get this over with…but I am encouraging that you talk to your Dr about all you go through as they’ve not been in many cases trained in any modern way in use & stopping use of these meds & you can help inform. Stick with it. You can get back to health without taking these meds for a lifetime.

  • Kirrin December 23, 2015, 8:44 pm

    I’ve been taking 300mg (6 tablets) for severe depression for over 3 years. My doctor helped me with the initial weaning process and I found I was okay reducing my dosage to half over quite a few months. Reducing further than that took even longer as my sleep suffered horrendously. If I ever forgot to take my medication at night I would wake hourly if not more frequently.

    My body told me if I was weaning too quickly because of how badly I slept. I’ve slowly weaned down to one tablet a night and was on that dose for a couple of months. I went down to one tablet every second night and it’s now been a week since I’ve had any tablets. I didn’t even realize the side effects (other than sleep) until now I’ve stopped completely. I have constant nausea and muscle aches for 6 days.

    I’ve taken pregnancy tests to make sure that’s not the reason I’m so nauseous but now I’ve stumbled onto this site I realize it’s probably withdrawal! If it’s no better in a week I think I will be going to the doctor to see if there is anything he can do to help with it. My depression is under control, but I’m now worried of it does return that I don’t want to use this drug again! I tried about 6 other antidepressants before finding this worked for me, I don’t want to have to go through that again either!

  • Sharron December 27, 2015, 7:00 pm

    I tapered off over 4 weeks, lots of side effects, but the worse is the itching. Been off it 2 months now and still itching. Anyone know if it will ever stop?!

    • Ian March 30, 2016, 11:57 pm

      I am in the same situation as you Sharron. Regarding the itch, it is driving me crazy. I stopped Amitriptyline 3 weeks ago, after taking it for 17 years, and the itching is driving me mad. It is worse in my legs and arms and keeps me awake most of the night. Did your itching eventually settle down?

  • David January 17, 2016, 7:55 pm

    Only on 10mg of this drug for tendon pain for 10 days before bad side affects. Ended up in A&E with head pain, confusion, unable to talk properly. Stopped Ami and side effects got worse and after 10 days admitted to hospital with heart rate of 109, sweats, shivers, headache, increased tinnitus, stomach pain, high BP and just a little paranoia. Medics can’t find any physical reasons all bloods fine, X-ray of chest and abdomen, ECG all fine.

    Waiting for CT and ultra sound scans. Looking at this site shows similar symptoms. I’m So peed off as the ortho specialist said that this drug wasn’t suitable for the pain I was suffering. My GP gave me no warning of what lay ahead in the 7 minutes it took him to decide what was wrong, examine my ankle and write a script.

  • Sunny January 20, 2016, 6:16 pm

    I am still fighting to get off this drug. I am in the middle of my 3rd attempt to reduce from 5 mg to 2.5 mg (such a stupid amount, I know), but I can’t get past it. I have had 10 migraines so far in 2016. My imitrex does work for the headaches, but you are not supposed to take it so often… most things I read say not to use it more than 2-3 times per month.

    I’m using that much each week (and the RX only gives a 9-pill pack each month). I do take xanax to sleep (just .25 mg), but that lets me sleep. I have had brief flashes of “normal”, but only flashes… still zombie-like most of the day (happy to keep to myself at work). I am going to stick with the 2.5 mg dose through the month of February, then I’m not sure how to reduce further (cutting the 10 mg pill into 4’s is challenging enough with a pill cutter), how will I cut it into 6ths?

    I do know this is a tough drug to kick; what makes me so angry is that it never worked for my migraines, anyway, so now I still have migraines and a slight amitrip addition to deal with. Good luck everyone!!!

    • Phil January 24, 2016, 12:32 pm

      Hi. I’ve been on varying doses from 10mg to 50mg for around a year. I managed to get down to 10mg relatively easily but going down from ten has been the most difficult. I started off trying to split the pills myself but it was impossible to get the dose completely accurate each day. These slight fluctuations made the symptoms worse.

      I spoke to my Dr and ordered some Amitriptyline Hydrochloride Oral Solution and a small syringe. This way you can accurately measure your dose each day and move down by a smaller amount. I’m currently experiencing really bad withdrawal symptoms though so I’ve clearly moved down too fast.

  • jenifer love January 24, 2016, 7:41 pm

    Ok, I’m so flippin pissed! I asked my pharmacy if running out of this medicine for just a few days would cause my any issues. I’m disabled and was having issues getting someone to pick up my medicine. Well they hung up on me and after several attempts of calling back to a busy signal, I gave up. I am sooooooooo sick!

    Nausea, vomiting, intense sweating, diarrhea, very moody easily angered, the side of, and every other one of the stupid side effects that I wish I would have known prior ever even taking this medication. This stuff is awful if you run out of it. So don’t ever run out of it and I suggest tapering off if you decide to ever stop it. One more time the medical professionals have failed me.

  • Vanessa January 29, 2016, 2:30 pm

    I have been on 35 mg for 4 years. I stopped cold turkey and have been going through a myriad of symptoms for the past two months. Some days I feel normal others I wake up with incredible muscle and joint pain. Sometimes the pain is so bad it hurts just laying in bed. I have been taking Epsom salt baths for 20 min at the very least which helps relieve some pain for the moment until it passes.

    I’ve also been very anxious and depressed with no explanation other than I’m experiencing withdrawal. Every other symptom listed on this web page I have experienced as well. The symptoms vary day to day in intensity and length of time. I keep telling myself I have made it this far (2months) so I’m just having courage and holding out. You can make it too!

  • Sunny February 1, 2016, 1:32 pm

    Well, I just started week 3 at 2.5 mg. (I cut the pill in 4th’s) and last night was the 1st night I could not sleep. I even take .25 mg. xanax for sleeping, and still I laid awake. My elbows hurt, my shoulder hurt, my knees hurt, and I kept having panic attacks and sitting bolt upright gasping for air… when I finally drifted off, I had some weird dreams.

    I didn’t realize what was happening until this morning and I remembered this site. I am sooo tired today, but I can’t give in… the fight is long and hard. I will stay on 2.5 mg. for the month of February and then drop to 2.5 mg. every other night for the month of March. Believe it or not, it is taking longer to get off this medicine than the amount of time I took it.

    • Sarah February 15, 2016, 2:00 am

      Sunny, you will probably need to go to a liquid titration now, to get a more accurate dose and reduce by smaller amounts. Fortunately amitryptiline disolves in plain water quite quickly and well. Then use a 3 ml syringe to draw up your dose. I would definitely not recommend going every other night–that would be dreadful and hard on your system (I know doctors often recommend this–ridiculous!).

      You could even try micro-tapering, which involves diluting the medicine quite a bit, and dropping by a teeny dose every day or so, many have good results with that. Benzobuddies has a lot of information on tapering, liquid titration and microtapers for anyone that is interested. I still haven’t started my taper–I developed a mild benzo dependence and am still tapering off that before I start the amitriptyline.

  • Christine February 11, 2016, 1:52 am

    Wow, I can’t believe you all have to deal with this too. I’ve been on 50-75mg for years, for migraines and diarrhea caused by maintenance chemo drugs. I got scared a few months back when I was given the drug by another manufacturer and had a serious reaction. Also the weight gain is a killer, I need to feel good about myself, being on this drug is making that hard.

    I begged my doctor to take me off of it, so decided to do it on my own, cut down to 25mg. I fear I will never sleep again, although going to the bathroom again is nice. Has someone made it to the other side? Please tell me this is all worth it.

  • Scott February 12, 2016, 6:17 pm

    Have been on 50mg daily for over 2 years. During Christmas I ran out and decided to quit cold turkey… 3 weeks later I felt itching all over my body like bugs are crawling in my skin and strange tingling in random places. I decided to get back on them and have been for 2 weeks now, but still suffering the itching. It’s a nightmare.

  • denise February 14, 2016, 12:43 pm

    Hi, I started on 10 mg of Amit and over 2 years it as been increased to 50 mg. I decided I had had enough of this drug as my migraines were still there and pain. My doctor said he was glad I was coming off it as I am on Prozac as well for anxiety and depression. It’s been about 3 weeks now since reducing it from 50 mg to 5 mg and I have had all the withdrawal symptoms from upset stomach to insomnia. But the worst one of all is depression!! Any one else suffered from depression coming off this vile drug? Thank you.

  • Maggi February 14, 2016, 4:31 pm

    Hi. I too am reducing my dose from 40 to 10mg /0 right now. I itch a lot too and am having headaches and am scared if a migraine comes along as I was on amitriptyline to prevent migraine but was reduced to ten mg while in hospital recently and thought now is the time to come off this drug once and for all after twenty years.

    I wonder how you are all coping with work as you go through these withdrawal symptoms? I am off work right now on sick leave for something else but I dread not sleeping and having to get up for work. I gave in last night and took another ten mg pill but reading the blogs here has given me the strength to continue to get down to zero and feel normal again.

    I feel this drug deadened me and my emotional response to things over the last few twenty years but I hope I can cope at work . So I say ‘Be brave we will make it.’ Thanks everyone who posted here. Success stories would be really great to read .

    • Katie February 23, 2016, 9:12 pm

      Hi Maggie, Have been on Amitriptyline for around 15 years and am swapping to another as it is no longer as effective. Unlike a lot of other posts, I see no reason to slate this drug nor the withdrawal effects. Like any other drug, it works for some and not all. Yes the side effects are hard but so are the conditions that people are using the drug for.

      I have had severe headaches and insomnia and dizziness. Not at all pleasant but I am determined to approach them positively – the depression I have lived with for years is million times worse than the withdrawal symptoms. Perhaps I am fortunate because my doctor has moved me across to another effective medication so I am able to tolerate the withdrawal.

      My only suggestion for insomnia is that sometimes you have to accept it. Get up and do something not too challenging and this occasionally helps to fall back asleep even if only for a short time. Good luck.

  • Sunny February 15, 2016, 3:52 pm

    Still on 2.5 mg every night. Some difficulty sleeping (I take .25 mg xanax for sleep)… it’s not really working right now. On the weekends I take .5 mg–that works). What I find is that I can keep going well past my normal bedtime. I’m still awake, but I know I need to sleep in order to stay awake at work.

    I do feel my normal personality returning in drips – brief flashes – I’ll take it. The 10 pound weight gain is gone, yay. 2 more weeks at 2.5 mg, then I’m reducing to 2.5 mg every other night in March. I have all the symptoms, but they are manageable because I am tapering super slow (6-8 weeks on each lowered dose).

    I am still getting migraine headaches, pretty much every other day, but the Imitrex does work. Can’t take it for every headache though… I try to limit it to 2-3 per week. Some headaches I just have to ride out. Progress is slow, but it’s still progress. Good luck everyone!

  • Kristin February 23, 2016, 9:03 am

    I was taking 70mg a night for over a year. Felt no positive effects for my insomnia and fibromyalgia pain. I have now taken 5-htp and it helps wonders so I went cold turkey from amitriptyline. Very sweaty and sick feeling. Hope it leaves quickly.

  • Marnie February 23, 2016, 3:58 pm

    Thank you for leaving all your comments. After reading them I realized it was better not to quit instantly. After using Ami 10 mg for 4 years I quit 4 weeks ago. First week I took one day one tablet and the other day a half. Second week I only took half tablets (5 mg). Third week one day half a tablet and the other day none. And from the fourth week on none. So far so good. Some minor sleeping problems and some headaches, that’s it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it will reduce after time. Best of luck everyone.

  • Sunny February 25, 2016, 7:15 pm

    This is my last week at 2.5 mg. (I cut the tiny pill into quarters (‘ish)). My sleep has recovered (I do take .25 mg. xanax for sleep), my headaches are still every other day (‘ish), but I have periods where I feel normal, a little hopeful and sometimes even happy. Next week I am dropping to 2.5 mg. every other night.

    I suspect this will be the ugliest battle so far, as I will really be depriving my body of it’s constant supply. I will probably cry often, have headaches even more frequently and be unable to sleep, but it will be progress. For the month of March, I will keep at 2.5 mg. every other night. I manage at work by drinking hot tea (decaf) and listening to books on tape at my desk or music on my phone.

    I do exercise – DVD’s (walking and strength bands) in my living room every other night or every night if time permits and I think it helps. I also gave up meat…if I’m not willing to kill it, I have no right to eat it, right? My giant goal is to actually care about something. That’s what this drug did to me…it made me stop caring about things. (I do love my puppies.)

  • Stacey February 26, 2016, 12:48 pm

    I was on 75mg of this stuff for over 13 years for migraine prevention. It worked at first the. Turned against me. I quit it cold turkey because my neurologist out me on topamax (which has been wonderful). My last amitriptyline was 2 weeks ago. At first I felt amazing!! Then everything hit the fan. All the withdrawals happened. Yesterday the headaches started. My husband has been wonderful and friends and family have been supportive. I’m a dog groomer so I can’t call out sick to work.

    I’m taking it day by day. After work I basically go home and lay in bed with my dogs. They definitely know I’m not feeling well. I’m hoping o feel relief in a few weeks. I refuse to let a drug withdrawal take over my life. Reading that everyone else has gone through the same thing has made me feel not alone. It definitely helps. I hope you all get better soon. Stay strong. We are all above this drug!

    • Howard Marvin March 2, 2016, 5:18 pm

      Stacey, I would suggest you try taking Calcium d glucarate. It is a detoxicant and that is what you need for the problem you are having. It works!

  • Sarah Lee March 8, 2016, 4:23 am

    My Neurologist recently prescribed 10mgs of Ami once a day at night before bed for my terrible insomnia. It was working but the 10mgs was too high of a dose because it was making me feel sleepy during the day so I decided to cut them and half and this was working better BC I was sleeping and felt well during the day.

    However, two weeks into taking this drug had flu like upper respiratory symptoms and then lost my sense of smell and taste. I went to ENT to have him check out my ears, nose and throat and he said everything was clear and he asked if I was taking any maintenance drug and told him I was taking Amitriptyline and he said that this drug can cause loss of smell and taste. So he suggested that I taper off – which I did.

    I dropped to half of a half and then stopped altogether last Saturday. My insomnia came back like a vengeance I experienced some itching and rash on my chin. My sense of smell hasn’t come back, but my sense of taste is slowly getting better. I go see the Neurologist tomorrow to talk to him about this issue. Now after reading all of these comments I don’t want to go back on this drug.

    I may cancel my appointment altogether because all my doctor wants to do is throw drugs at my problems. I do have trouble sleeping so I tried half of a 3mg Melatonin last night and it helped me sleep so I will take again tonight. I want to thank everyone for their helpful comments on this website. It gives me hope to know I am not alone in this fight. Hope everyone gets better!

  • Jenny March 16, 2016, 9:45 pm

    Hi all – thanks for the tips and suggestion. I’ve been on 25mg for about 6 months. It was prescribed to me after shingles as I was experiencing severe post-herpetic nerve pain – my rash appeared on my face and scalp. The pain and tingling was unbearable… I read up on the possible side effects and knew the risk of withdrawal – but I thought it was worth it for the benefit of restful sleep at night, lessened stress during the day and minimized nerve pain.

    Now that I’m 20lbs heavier and experiencing a slew of other side effects (including severe sun sensitivity, even with high SPF) – I want off! Any and all suggestions are appreciated – can I cut my 25mg pill in half? Should I ask my doctor for a lower dose? Can I get melatonin at any OTC location (CVS, grocery store)? Thanks in advance for any advice.

    • Mini March 21, 2016, 5:45 pm

      Jenny I am cutting my pills in half. I’m on day 5.

      • Jenny April 2, 2016, 9:44 pm

        I stopped cold turkey a week ago…so far I’ve noticed increased sweating, headaches, nausea and decreased appetite. I’m hoping these symptoms are mild and short lived… we’ll see. How long do you plan to take 1/2 pills?

  • Bella March 21, 2016, 8:14 am

    I was on amitrip for 27 years for pain, increasing dose to 70-100 mgs until bad reactions in Dec 2015 so had to quit cold turkey. After 2 months the nerve pain is intolerable and constant, other side effects nothing compared to the pain. My sudden reaction to the drug meant that I can not take other nerve pain drugs either (gabapentin, pregabalin) or codeine. I’m having regular acupuncture and TENS machine help a bit.

    I’m now 2 months into withdrawal and have no idea how long this nightmare will last. I am 72 and realise the body is not so efficient ar dealing with problems at my age. My acupuncturist assures me tthe nervous system will calm down in time. But how much time? If anyone has any ideas or advice I’d be pleased to hear them. Bella

    • Sunny March 24, 2016, 3:14 pm

      Hi Bella: I can’t believe they made you quit cold-turkey…when you say you had a bad reaction, after 27 years, what happened? I do know they recommend you taper off very gradually…cutting the current dose in half, is not considered gradual. I can’t imagine what you must be going through.

      I have only managed to get down to 2.5 mg each nite (I cut the 10 mg pills into 4’ths), and can not get off this drug. I was hoping to start skipping every other day, but, can’t right now…a few upcoming family obligations require me to be stable:).

      I do have a TENS machine (I never thought to try it) and I can say that taking the lowest dose of xanax (.25 mg.) each night does help me sleep. I hope your symptoms subside, soon. Be well.

  • Mini March 21, 2016, 5:43 pm

    I am so thankful to have found this site and thankful for all the info. I was put on 25mg seven years ago for Fibromyalgia. I’m on day 5 of cutting the dose in half. It’s been horrible; panic attacks, dizzy, flu-like symptoms, nausea, fatigue, severe dry mouth, body aches, etc. This stuff is horrible.

    My Dr said just stop taking it. Dr’s are not educated on medications they prescribe. I’m fighting through it, but very hard. Thank goodness for my husband & family. I’m doing yoga, praying, walking and gonna start soaking in our hot tub to help detox more (I just read body cleansing & detoxing helps). Thank you to everyone & prayers for healing to all.

    • Sunny March 24, 2016, 3:24 pm

      Hi Mini: They do say the taper should be gradual…very gradual, I think I read 10% per month, so your cutting your current does by 50% is not gradual, but I admire your determination…you go girl!!!!! I have had some success tapering the dose, very slowly… was on 25 mg. now down to 2.5 mg…over a 6 month period, so far, and still not off the drug completely (taking for migraines–didn’t really help).

      I turned into a zombie. I lost interest in family and work friends, and was perfectly happy, by myself…still am. Hopefully my personality will return…if not, oh well, I really don’t care. What a horrible medicine! Take care.

  • Diandra March 29, 2016, 5:00 pm

    Hello there, I’m so glad I found this site. I have been on 10mg of Amitriptyline for 1.5 years now for IBS but I have decided to come off it, I don’t think it is helping much, my IBS has improved but I don’t think its from the Amitrip, it mostly makes me feel exhausted. My doctor said to cut down to 5mg for a week, and then I can stop. I’m cutting my 10mg pill in half but it is not coming out perfectly even, will there be a problem if I’m not cutting it perfectly in half.

    It has been 3 days since I cut my dose in half and yesterday my stomach felt so sensitive, I had diarrhea and I felt very weak, like I had the flu, I also felt super anxious, all this while I was at work. I’m not sure if I should go to my doctor and asked to prescribed 5mg pills instead, I’m determined to get off of this stuff as I know the longer I take it the more difficult it will be to stop in the future.

  • Mini March 30, 2016, 5:12 pm

    Hi all. Still hanging in here. I’m still on the cutting in half dose. It’s not been easy, but as Sunny said… I am determined to get off this horrible medication. I have had every single symptom plus tingling in my fingers. I’m drinking lots of water, flushing my system. Total brain fog and forgetting a lot.

    I cannot wait to be off this stuff and have my life back. Lots of Praying and so thankful for my husband and kids/family. I spoke to a pharmacist and another doctor and they both said they were not aware of such horrible withdrawal symptoms… I was like really… You prescribe this junk.

    It amazes me how fast medications are prescribed and filled. I will never take anything again without lots of research. Keep the Faith everyone and thanks for sharing your story.

  • Sunny April 6, 2016, 3:15 pm

    Ok. I am in week #2 of cutting my dose to 2.5 mg. every other day (I cut the 10mg. pill into 4ths’ish and skip every other day). What a rollercoaster. I am seriously not stable; not dangerous, just a little mean and moody. I am having trouble falling asleep (and I even take .25 mg. of xanax every night to help me sleep). I am a zombie at work and I am in constant motion at home (my house should be cleaner, really).

    I have caught myself “zoning out” while I’m driving–not cool!!!! How can such a small dose affect me so much? I’m not a sissy, nor a lightweight. I will stay on this dose for the month of April and probably May…it seriously takes that long for me to adjust to a small dosage reduction…I have been trying to get off this stuff for months (6+, at least). I am still determined!

  • Pam Lowick April 8, 2016, 5:48 pm

    I was put on this medication many years ago. When I approached the doctor to ask how to come off it he said “We know how to put people on, but we don’t know how to take them off.” (Cheers.) The intelligence it requires to write a name on a piece of paper appears to be the intelligence it requires to be a medical doctor…

    Oh yes, and the empathy. I have tried to come off it, but the symptoms are too severe. The doctors now demand a monthly visit to prescribe one months drug that they got me addicted to… legal drug lords? I copy and alter the prescription, which is not illegal, but they are unethical and immoral.

  • Richard April 11, 2016, 8:06 am

    14 months ago I had a car accident causing damage to vertebrae and discs in my lower back. 7 months ago I developed sciatic nerve pain which was caused by disc fluid leakage irritating the sciatic nerve. My doctor prescribed a number of medications of which one was amitriptyline. I have recently stopped “cold turkey” and finding it difficult to deal with the withdrawals.

    These consist mainly of fatigue, low mood and anger. I have not been myself since I have been taking this medication and I am pleased to be off it even with current issues which I am sure will dissipate over time. In hindsight there are better alternatives to dealing with sciatic pain and this type of medication should be a last resort.

    It deals with the symptom but not the cause or long term solution. In my case it has caused more issues than it has prevented. Fortunately I was able to find a solution for my pain by a series of stretches and exercises focused on core strength. I hope my message can help someone else get through the side effects and withdrawals of amitriptyline.

  • Ness April 12, 2016, 5:10 am

    On low dose for a fortnight. Gave up cold turkey 4 days ago. Initially vertigo, nausea and tremors. Now just have severe tremors. Is this normal? And if so, how long is it likely to last?

  • Paula April 15, 2016, 5:24 pm

    This is an update: After trying to taper off of Ami for 10 months, I just couldn’t continue, I had to start taking it again. I had been on it for 14 years for migraines. 10 months of severe insomnia, total brain fog, severe hair loss and beginning to feel suicidal, getting migraines every single day for three weeks. I’m back on 25 mg and can live my life again. This stuff is horrible and I commend anyone that is able to come off and stay off of it.

  • Josie April 16, 2016, 8:56 am

    I am so pleased to find this site and realize I am not alone. I’ve been on this drug 10mg on and off for 10 years. I am now down to .25mg. I still wake up feeling very down but not every day, my head feels clearer but I still get panicky especially in the mornings. I’m not going to give up and hope you all find the strength to carry on. Good luck.

  • Ruby April 18, 2016, 2:42 pm

    I am currently on day 8 of being without the drug. I have been on 150mg for about 11 years for migraines. We reduced my dosage by 25 mg every 2 weeks, the last 2 weeks having been messed up because the pharmacist didn’t give me enough pills – ‘I was so out of it that I thought I had miscalculated my dosages, not the pharmacist, and have been suffering.

    This is the worst! Headache, insomnia, nausea with vomiting and therefore lack of appetite , hypersensitivity, dizziness, fatigue, losing weight, and diarrhea. I had to call in sick to work that I am still on 3 month probation, can’t sit in a car or smell off-putting things, can’t brush my teeth properly or hold long conversation with someone without gagging and/or vomiting.

    I haven’t even mentioned the anxiety or the depression! I just want to be able to cry out “make it stop!” And just have it stop…

    • Ruby April 18, 2016, 2:45 pm

      Sorry, to clarify, the pharmacist had given me the wrong dosage, but I was so out of it that I thought I had made the mistake and didn’t speak to anyone about it, which may have made everything worse.

  • Cindy L Fischer April 22, 2016, 11:22 pm

    Been on 20mg for 6 months, and I’m tapering off. Weight gain, and constant fatigue. How long do I need to be off of it before tanning? Miss sleeping good at night, but cannot continue to feel like a zombie. Melatonin here I come.

  • Samantha April 25, 2016, 11:50 pm

    I have been taking this medication for about 4.5 years, originally for restless legs at night but then in combination with Cymbalta for depression; I take 100mg at night. Last year I felt that I was ready to start coming off antidepressants and so I started with amitriptyline but after about 3 weeks of cutting the dose in half my depression relapsed and I immediately went right back to 100mg at night.

    Fast-forward to present time – I met with a sleep specialist 2 weeks ago to sort out my lifelong history of nightmares, terrors, sleep paralysis, and falling asleep at inappropriate times and she recommended I titrate off amitrip as it is a REM-suppressant… I started with 75mg for 1 week and now I’m down to 50mg and my depression is getting worse by the day. I feel extremely flat, lifeless, lethargic, unmotivated, and defeated – just like how I felt a year ago when I tried a more drastic taper.

    My point to the story is that I hate how I am feeling and I’m afraid it is going to keep getting worse. How long with this go on before I feel “normal” again? The depression is beginning to interfere with almost every aspect of my life. I’m going through almost all of the withdrawal symptoms listed in this article, it is unbelievable!

    Somebody please give me advice on how to stay strong and endure this psychological torture without completely relapsing and wishing myself away into the shadows!

  • Sunny April 27, 2016, 6:17 pm

    Hi Samantha: I thing you are moving too fast in the step-down process. I have read much and it appears the taper should be super-gradual, like 10% per step-down. I started this medicine in September 2014 for migraines and have now spent more time trying to get off of it, than I spent on it. I have had all the withdraw symptoms, too and I even spend a few days actually crying (alone), each time I reduce the dose.

    I know it is my central nervous system trying to adjust to the change. I am fighting to give my body some control back…this medicine alters our body’s natural reactions. Knowing why I feel horrible helps me keep going. I am currently taking 2.5 mg. every-other day and am terrified to stop. I also spend about 6-8 weeks at each reduced dose, which helps. I still have the side effects but I’m sure they are less severe than if I were to make a drastic cut.

    Try to be patient and find something you enjoy… I like reading and I even listen to books on tape at my desk and in my car. I also use exercise tapes and try to follow a 30 minute workout routine several times per week. I think it’s better not to dwell on how we are feeling every minute of every day. I have a “to-do” list and I try to stay on task. Good luck and hang in there. Please be kind to yourself… this drug is tough to kick.

  • jessica mamnoliti April 30, 2016, 11:58 am

    Hi I have been taking Endep 10mg for the last year and half then went to 5mg for the last few months with my doctor’s guidance. Then a few days he said I can stop taking it and I have but the thing is lately I’ve been feeling as if I’m “high” and cannot stop laughing (don’t know why). Is this a normal withdrawal symptom? Please help!

    • josie May 4, 2016, 8:30 am

      Hi. I’ve decided to finish my ‘slither’ of Amy as I missed a couple of days. I feel depressed, especially in the morning, crying nausea, very sore muscles, anxious and also want to be left alone I new this would happen as I have tried to come off it before. I have lots of friends some know how I feel and are very good but I still feel totally alone.

      I get out every day which does help but I am going to do this and be patient as I’m sure time heels. Good luck to everyone, hang in there and I’m sure we will make it. Thank you Sunny for your comments they are a great help to me and I’m sure many others.

  • Sarah May 12, 2016, 3:22 am

    Just giving an update on my progress. To recap: I was on amitriptyline for 35 years, usually a dosage of 12.5 to 25 mg. I did a cold turkey jump off 12.5 mg. then had to reinstate at .5 mg. due to stomach issues. I’ve been doing a slow taper and am currently on .25 mg (titrating my dose in water). I’m doing very well and my sleep seems to have finally normalized after a couple of months. I expect to be off soon, but no hurry…

    I highly recommend reinstating at a low dose (try 1-2mg) if you are having terrible withdrawal symptoms. Even that low dose is often enough to head them off, and you aren’t losing much ground. You can cut a 10 mg. pill in 1/4s with a pill cutter for a dosage of 2.5 mg. Any lower will probably need a liquid titration or a custom compounded liquid medication.

  • Shannon May 14, 2016, 5:34 pm

    I couldn’t figure out why I was so sick when suddenly I decided to google the question and now it all make sense. I thought it was the flu except it would come and go. When it goes I feel like I was never sick but it returns without warning and with a punch. Advil takes the edge off the headache but does not completely fix it.

    I’m on zofran for another medical issue and it does even touch the nausea but has slowed down the actual throwing up part but oddly it felt kind of better when I was. I have slept 1 hour & 15 minutes in 3 days and I’m definitely not hungry. I was on 100mg for over a year and gained 60lbs that I’ve already lost 3 of but not surprise with how sick I feel.

    Just missing the diarrhea at this point but I also have IBS w/ C currently (I feel gurgly tho). I will be so glad when I feel well again and even happier when I get this weight OFF!!

  • Carol Ward May 15, 2016, 12:54 am

    I have been on amitriptyline for chronic migraines for over 20 years, 150 mg for most of them then tapered down to 75 mg in last 10 years. About 10 years ago it seemed to stop helping the migraines so my journey began to try and find something else to replace it. It has been total hell for me. I lost my job, stay inside most of the time, suffer terribly with migraines & have all of the withdrawal symptoms & more.

    The lowest I got down to was 30 mg & I was in the hospital at the time & they couldn’t help me with the withdrawals so I had to go back up. I can’t find any other migraine drug combination to help me with my headaches & amitriptyline barely helps. I hate the way I feel on amitriptyline & I can’t tolerate not being on it. Has anyone found a good crossover drug?

    • Sunny May 17, 2016, 5:36 pm

      Oh, Carol, I feel horrible for you…you are really struggling. Amitriptyline will make you feel horrible, emotionally and physically. I, too, suffer from chronic migraines, sometimes 5 in a week. The amitriptyline knocked that number down to 4, big whoop, right? For me, the most important thing was to find the trigger for the migraines.

      Everything has to be fragrance-free. I gave up caffeine, cocoa, alcohol, beans, meat, citrus, yeast breads, bananas, red plums, dried fruits, aged cheeses, whole milk, artificial sweeteners, anything pickled, and the list goes on. It works! I now get maybe 2 headaches per week and there have been entire weeks where I get none.

      The weather (barometric pressure) also affects me, as does my workplace (12 women/12 different perfumes/all floral). I shove Vick’s vapo-rub up my nose, I have a fan at my desk and I have earphones in with books on tape. You have to find your headache triggers, you just have to!

  • Carole May 16, 2016, 11:46 pm

    I actually had an operation came out of hospital and lost my pack of amitriptyline 25 mg. I had been on these tablets for 2 years due to painful hips. The chemist got it wrong to so it ended up 4 days cold turkey. I’ve had really bad itching, short tempered, sleeping at weird times except at night.

    But now I have gone 4 days I may as well keep going cold turkey. I’m also on Morphine for pain to and I’m going to stop that but gradually to stop all my drugs and be drug free. It is hard but I’m going to do it, I’m determined!!!

    • Sunny May 17, 2016, 5:19 pm

      Be careful, Carole; the withdrawal side effects don’t hit their stride for 2+ weeks. If you find yourself really struggling, remember, it’s just the withdrawal. Maybe you will get lucky and the morphine you are taking will dull the withdraw symptoms from the amitriptyline… fingers crossed.

  • josie May 22, 2016, 1:50 pm

    Hi I’m now on my 3rd week of no Amytriptyline. Not feeling so nausea but very spaced out, don’t want to do anything and very down in the mornings. Have been ringing the Samaritans in the mornings and found that helps. Hope I will feel better soon hate all this. Good Luck to all of you.

  • Hamish May 23, 2016, 10:44 am

    I have found this website discussion very helpful. I had been on a daily dose of 25 mg on and off for 25 years or so, then three years without a break. I stopped taking it when I moved to a less stressful occupation. I don’t blame my doctor for prescribing it because I definitely needed something to help me cope with a very demanding job.

    I didn’t like taking it because of the side-effects, principally panic disorder and other symptoms like blurry vision and dryness of the mouth, but it generally helped lower stress levels. What I think is important to know is that the withdrawal symptoms can go on for a lot longer than you might imagine. I would say you need a good six months.

    Initially I had nightmares for a couple of weeks but then things seemed to be OK for six weeks or so – I can see now that that was the ‘honeymoon period’ that people have mentioned on this website. Suddenly in the third month I was hit by a number of severe symptoms much worse than the symptoms I had had in the first place – splitting headaches, retching, vomiting, and stomach cramps, and these lasted all day and into the night, which was plagued by insomnia.

    Total lack of confidence and inexplicably high stress levels. I was traveling at the time, which did not help matters, and my doctor had retired. Perhaps I should have returned to amitriptyline at that point and tapered off the dosage, but I decided to battle it out. I dealt with the headaches with panadeine, as I found aspirin had no effect. I did try valerian capsules as suggested here but didn’t like the feeling of being drugged.

    I thought that was too much like being back on amitriptyline again. Bananas at breakfast time helped, as did ginger in various forms, but the most useful thing was exercise, like brisk walks in the morning. The worst month was definitely the third. In the fourth month the retching symptom was reduced, though the annoying feeling that there was something stuck in your throat, as has also been mentioned here, largely remained.

    Waking up in the early hours (2 or 3 am or even earlier – I’m lucky I have a wife who enjoys early morning discussions) gave way to 6-hour sleeps in the fifth month. Somehow though all of this I forced myself to do everything I needed to do and kept all my appointments – the lack of sleep didn’t have as great an effect on me as I had thought.

    I would say the main thing is to be patient – it’s a good 6-month process. And it’s important not to confuse withdrawal symptoms with a relapse. I originally thought I’d gone back twenty-five years but to much worse symptoms.

    It must be tempting to return to taking amitriptyline because the withdrawal symptoms seem so much worse than the side effects, but I’m convinced that once you’re through the worst you’re much better off without it. I have to be careful with caffeine carbonated drinks – they tend to trigger the retching symptom. But apart from that there seems to be a big improvement in the fifth month.

  • Patti May 23, 2016, 4:13 pm

    Hi, I am 67 years old, been on this drug for 30 years, I have had insomnia since I was a child. I was taking 50 mg for the last 10 or so years at night, my doctor told me to take 100mg for I was still having sleep problems. Little did I know that he higher dose would cause me extreme chapped and painful blisters on my lips along with very dry mouth.

    I was going to go cold turkey and I am on day 4, it is very hard. No sleep for 2 nights – headaches, heart beating fast and my blood pressure is up so I am going to take a half a dose today and try to wean off soon. I also had weight gain. I think I am going to pretend I am in the 1970’s and start smoking weed again…

    I got my license, so let’s see how this works-I also will try some Melatonin some nights as well. Thank you to all of you for reading all of this has really helped me to try harder and understand what I will go thru. Sincerely Patti

  • Erika May 26, 2016, 2:08 am

    I was on 225 mg for 2 years. & I found it to be helpful. I recently suffered a nervous breakdown & was hospitalized @ a mental hospital for a week. The Doctor at the hospital threw out my meds & lowered my dosages drastically. I haven’t been feeling like myself. Sick, suicidal, & I’m really afraid that by messing with my meds they made my situation worse! Idk what to do?

  • Josie May 27, 2016, 8:06 am

    Thanks for all your comments it is reassuring to know that these horrid feelings will eventually pass… I was about to go back on the tablets after a few really bad days but now I will keep positive and look forward. Thanks to everyone for their stories.

  • Susan May 28, 2016, 2:56 am

    I was on 50 mg. at bedtime for about 3-4 years to prevent chronic migraines and for insomnia. I went off because I read about a study that it may cause dementia in older people. My short-term memory was getting bad, not sure if that’s why. Doc had me cut down to 25 mg. for one week, while starting neurontin. The neurontin gave me sort of mini-strokes, so I stopped it. Half a week after ending the Amitrityline, I got the runs.

    Imodium would only help for a day, and then it would start again. I lost my appetite and stopped sleeping. I was chilled but felt feverish. My nose runs a lot. For two days and nights I was only able to sleep from about 5-9 a.m. I couldn’t stand to feel the touch of skin-to-skin, like had to wear pj’s instead of a nightgown. I’ve been very nauseous off & on, and have lost about 10 pounds.

    I did a stool sample to see if I had geardia or something, but it was negative, so I thought it must be viral. The scariest part was what this article calls “depersonalization.” It was like the dementors in Harry Potter. Thank goodness that only lasted about 2 days! It’s been two weeks now. I had diarrhea 3 times this morning and felt nauseous. The doc gave me ondansetron for nausea (not sure if it helps) and diphenoxylate for diarrhea.

    Feeling better this afternoon & evening. I FINALLY googled the withdrawal symptoms today. Bingo. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I had really bad headaches. My triptan drugs usually helped, or sometimes Advil.

    • Susan June 9, 2016, 4:18 pm

      Update: The diphenoxylate doesn’t work any better than the Imodium did: still have diarrhea & feeling nauseous every morning. Still have nights of no sleep till morning, feeling like a zombie. Still very little appetite. Still have restless legs and skin sensitivity. One night I slept after taking a time-release 6 mg. melatonin, but I read how melatonin is a hormone and best avoided, plus it made me groggy the next day.

      Regular melatonin did nothing. One other night I slept after taking the dog on a very long hike, so maybe I’ll have to do that more often. Got a sleep sound machine, which helps a bit. Considering canceling vacation plans for July. Boo! At least I’m retired! I can’t imagine going through this while working!

      • Susan June 20, 2016, 2:54 pm

        I’m all better! Yay! My doctor figured out that the magnesium I take to prevent migraines was what was causing the diarrhea. The Amitriptyline was constipating, it seems, so counteracted the magnesium effect. I cut way back on the magnesium, and that stopped the diarrhea immediately. I still have trouble sleeping sometimes, but that’s why I took the Amitriptyline in the first place. So far, migraines don’t seem more frequent.

  • Matthew Ives June 1, 2016, 2:48 pm

    Wow cant believe how much your comments resonate with me. I’ve been on 10/20 mg for the past 5 years. About a month ago I cut down to 5mg then 5 days ago came off altogether. Not feeling 100% now, nausea, slight headache and gurgly tummy. I was prescribed them for IBS specifically but like another poster I too have been having issues with short term memory loss and feeling like a zombie most days.

    I can cope with these symptoms but really hoping they done get any worse. Has anyone actually got off amitriptyline completely and no longer suffering side effects?

  • Josie June 4, 2016, 11:45 am

    Hi Been off the tablets for 4 weeks now and still feel very depressed and Zombie like on waking but around lunchtime start to feel a little easier and almost normalish in evening. My back and muscle pain don’t help. Will keep going forwards, as we all are trying to do. It’s hard but we WILL make it in the end.

    • Susan June 9, 2016, 4:24 pm

      I, too, usually feel better in the afternoons and evenings! Isn’t that weird? Wonder why. It’s a wonderful reprieve, an oasis in the misery.

    • Katie June 9, 2016, 5:12 pm

      Hi Josie, Hope you are doing OK. Keep focusing on the positives – there are more and more of them to look forward to as time goes on.

      • Josie June 10, 2016, 8:46 am

        Hi Katie thanks for that. 5th week now and very depressed last few days have been awful. No concentration at all. I’m trying to keep busy and hope this symptom will go very soon! Everyone in the same boat so we all must keep going.

  • Tricia June 5, 2016, 10:03 am

    I start taking 10 mg daily six months ago for migraine. About a month ago I started getting migraines daily and severe joint pain. I could hardly walk up the stairs. I felt weak in my legs, and I thought I had flu coming. I was horrified that such a small amount could cause this. So it was decision time.

    If I went to the doctor, I would probably be told to up the dose, but where does that end? Or I could stop now I decided to stop now! That was 2 weeks ago. The migraines are every day now, but gradually improving. My aches and pains are really getting me down but that is improving. I bought some Jointace tablets to try and help.

    I joined a Pilates class and try to go for a short walk every day, even if I don’t feel like it. This is my body and I will preserve it. I know it will get better. Stay strong everyone out there. You have lived without amitriptyline in your life, you can do it again.

    • Sunny June 16, 2016, 6:05 pm

      Thanks for the info Tricia. It’s nice to hear your headaches are improving a little.

  • Carolyn June 7, 2016, 5:23 pm

    I’ve been on amitriptyline for one month, stopped cold turkey two nights ago. Reason terrible hunger, bad anxiety, gagging, needing to swallow all the time. I was taking 25mg for sleep, didn’t help. Did anyone else experience these symptoms? I’m already having side effects from stopping.

    • Mandie August 2, 2016, 12:16 am

      I just stopped cold turkey about 3 days ago. I was only on it for a few months, and I was also taking 25mg for sleep. I didn’t realize I was having any issues while taking it. I did have a day or two where I had an itchy throat tickle thing, that caused me to clear my throat a lot. And yes, I was ALWAYS hungry, but really didn’t attribute it to the drug until reading this thread. I’m so glad I wasn’t on it very long.

      I have been getting headaches with some nausea for the last couple days, but thankfully, those symptoms go away within a couple hours and I feel normal for most of the day. I hope both of our withdrawals go away quickly since we were both on it for a relatively short time! Good luck Carolyn!

  • Sunny June 8, 2016, 7:20 pm

    Hi All: The family celebrations are over and it is time for me to actually stop taking this medicine. I have cut down to 2.5 mg. every-other night for a few months…waiting for the celebrations to end. I know the side effects will take 2 weeks to show and I am dreading them, but I can’t wait to get my life back. I took my last dose on Tuesday…very scared…fingers crossed.

    Remember, exercise will help with the withdraw and don’t sit around thinking about your symptoms. Stay busy. Make lists, clean stuff, take the dog for a walk, and when you feel like you are going to lose it…check back with this site and read…you are not alone!

  • Mitch June 12, 2016, 7:18 am

    I was taking 100mg a night for about 4 years. After talking to my doctor I weaned myself off completely in 2 weeks. This is the second night without the meds and it is somewhat unpleasant. I am already noticing most of the withdrawal symptoms.

    I’m a 26 year old male weighing 289lbs and was taking Amitriptyline for my chronic migraines. I will try to update as things go in hopes of providing others with the information they want.

  • Gerri Pidgeon June 13, 2016, 5:55 am

    I was on amitriptyline 300mg at night, for 24 years, because I was very depressed, I had lost a lot of weight, and I couldn’t sleep, due to personal issues, and injury, causing chronic pain. I’m at present on tapering off, I’m down to 100mg at night, I chose tapering after having tried cold turkey, and only becoming very ill. I chose to reduce by no more then 25mg per month. This is working, tho I still am getting a lot of withdrawal symptoms, I will get off them. I encourage everyone to persist. Thank you.

  • Sunny June 16, 2016, 5:30 pm

    Hi Everyone: I took my last 2.5 mg. piece last Tuesday, June 7 (remember, I was taking 2.5 mg. every-other night for a few months)…side effects so far… low-grade migraines every day…tolerable; increased irritability… I don’t mind it:); nervous stomach some days…maybe I’ll lose the last pesky pound or two.

    It has only been 1 week. I know things will deteriorate next week…week 2 seems to be the start of the ugly period. I am doing yoga every night (in my living room with a DVD) and I am stopping at Dunkin for a decaf iced coffee with cream and fake sugar on my way home from work each day… a cigarette would be better, but I gave those up 3 years ago… still miss them terribly!!!!

    I am still listening to books on tape in my car and at my desk…it helps to focus on something other than myself and how I am feeling. I am still making lists of things that need to be done. I tackle a few of them each evening.

    I’ll check back next week…hopefully doing better than expected! Hang in there!!!

  • Josie June 17, 2016, 8:39 am

    Hi. I’m into week 6 now and feeling easier in some of the evenings which is good to get a few things sorted at home! The mornings are a different matter, depressed, unable to think straight, or at all… very painful muscles in my back which stop me doing too much walking, which I love. On a good day and not too much pain I think the `tunnel` is showing just a tad of light. Please everyone continue to press on however slow, and we will get there in the end. Best wishes to all.

  • Sunny June 22, 2016, 7:56 pm

    Hi Everyone. It has been 2 weeks since my last 2.5 mg. dose. I don’t notice anything awful. I lowered my dose super slowly over a period of several months. I did spend 6-8 weeks at each reduced dose and finally made it to 2.5 mg every-other night for 2 months and now…NONE!!!! I am a little irritable at times, but it passes. My migraines are more frequent, but most are low-grade.

    I finally stopped craving ice cream…looking for my waistline. Exercise makes me feel better (walking DVDs and yoga DVDs in my living room). I do sit at a desk for my job, but once I get home, I do not sit down…I am constantly in motion. The only way I sleep is by taking .25 mg. xanax. I know its because of the withdraw. Many have said their sleep is interrupted. I could easily stay up all night.

    I am still waiting for the “ugly period”…maybe it won’t happen. I believe the key to getting off this medicine is to taper the dose ridiculously slow…I was at 25 mg, I cut them in half (12.5 mg.) for 2 months, then I stepped down to 10 mg. for 2 months, then I stepped down to 5 mg. for 2 months, then 2.5 mg. for 2 months, then 2.5 mg. every-other night for 2 months.

    I can’t believe how long it has taken to get of this medicine, about 10 months. I’ll check back next week. Stay determined if you can.

  • P. Temple June 26, 2016, 6:01 am

    This drug, was given to me 26yrs ago for fibromyalgia, migraines, and insomnia. Do not quit all at once!!!! If on this for so long at 150mg a night! Humana stopped my med, a and I began to get sicker and sicker, terrible zaps and dizziness in my head, painful muscle aches, nauseous, unbalanced, diarrhea, and horrible insomnia!!! I got an emergency supply, and my doctor gave me 10mg tablets try to slow or bring up the dose, and lower at a slower pace, but still have all the symptoms. Having problems with my balance is the worst, for my husband, no fancy cooking right now. BE CAREFUL GETTING OFF THIS DRUG!!!!

    • Sunny July 19, 2016, 7:59 pm

      I’m not sure if the medicine is expensive…I don’t think so, it has been around forever. Maybe you can afford to pay for it without your insurance, at least long enough to properly reduce your dose. 150 mg is too high to quit cold turkey. I would think it is inhumane to deny someone the medicine they need or to cut off the supply of a medicine that requires weaning, not cold turkey. Hang in there and ask questions.

  • Lorna June 28, 2016, 6:57 pm

    I have been on 25 mg for about 10 years for interstitial cystitis. About 18 months ago I began having some blurred vision. I went to my optometrist and then to an ophthalmologist, but they could see no evidence of any eye disease or problems. I am now considering stopping the amitriptyline to see if that helps. Has anyone ever experienced blurred vision, and does it go away after stopping the drug?

  • Sisyphus June 29, 2016, 2:21 am

    I am taking 50 m.g. Mental Health Daily advise titration should be: 10% less per month. How is that possible with a coated pill, i.e. I should take 45 mg the first month of titration, 40.5 mg the second month, 35.45 mg the third month of titration, etc.? The next lower dosage apart from 50.mg. is 25 m.g.

    • Sunny July 19, 2016, 7:54 pm

      I have heard it does come in a liquid, but I think you can be a little creative and loose with the 10%…I was taking 25 mg, I cut to 12.5 mg, then to 10 mg, then to 5 mg, then to 2.5’ish mg, then 2.5’ish mg every other night, then done. (I actually cut the tiny 10 mg pill into quarters). The key is to stay at each reduced dose for a longer period… I stayed at each reduced dose 6-8 weeks, sometimes 10 weeks, never less than 6 weeks.

  • MiNDYaBiZiNeSS July 5, 2016, 12:55 pm

    I never realized just how popular this medication was until reading all the comments here. I was first given elavil 30 years ago and it was part of a combination pill that contained amitriptyline (elavil) in fixed doses but the main medication/ingredient was called pherphenazine, AKA Etrafon, which is sometimes sold under the brand name Triavil. It can also be branded as Trilafon. I found the combination of these 2 medications extremely helpful but I hated the stigma that accompanied using medications like this.

    People who knew me also looked at me as someone who was not mentally well. Suffice to say, reputation was affected by this. I’ve come to the conclusion that during the time this medicine was becoming increasingly popular, in it’s beginnings, it was a time when pharmaceuticals in general were also becoming the answer when it came to the health and well being of Americans overall. I believe it was always the intention to find suitable medications but to keep people taking medicines regularly was being promoted as a way to properly maintain good health both mental and physical.

    However, the idea that only short term usage or a much lower consistent dosage was not as profitable so I still think the pharmaceutical revolution has made drug addicts out of a large portion of the population. I was one with severe issues that medication was the only way to tame the beast within me. Etrafon, a combination of elavil & trilafon, was the miracle drug for me at the time but daily usage caused a lot of problems. Sedated at work, sleep was more induced and waking up feeling so heavy.

    Dosage was strong for me even at 25mg but later I began to notice that if I just took the medication at the onset of symptoms, I was able to get my relief. I know it’s not helpful to everyone this way, but I do not like the way doctors push medicine for depression these days since it requires that we take it repeatedly as if it is designed to ensure we need more, and continue using it. Here’s my point.

    If I have a headache 11 or 12 times a month, and this is a consistent thing where daily stresses and life along with lifestyle lead to a headache more often for me than lets say, the average person. So I take something like ibuprofen and, the headache goes away. Now, what if a pharmaceutical company invents a pill that if, taken every day, once or perhaps twice daily, these headaches are prevented from even taking place. Is anyone getting where I am headed with this? Some have accused Pharmaceutical companies of many things over the years, mostly from a conspiracy theorist mentality, but I for one will support claims that they would push for the ongoing usage of medications daily as opposed to something taken AS NEEDED because it is more about the bottom line than anything else.

    The fear of dealing with the withdrawal symptoms from even non-narcotic medications is a real thing and I too had the worst time kicking 50mg of the Etrafon, which was 50mg amitriptyline and I think 8mg trilafon. The 25mg amitriptyline had 4mg of trilafon. I have to be honest, the trilafon was an amazing medicine even by itself in the 4mg and 8mg dosages for someone with extreme anxiety and for someone coming off of opiates. Anyway, I sit here today, 30 years later, with no ability to get etrafon anymore as I am told they do not make it.

    But I can get trilafon by itself and a amitriptyline by itself. I like having both of these medications on hand. It creates a certain level of comfort that actually eases my stress. These medications treat my anxiety and depression symptoms quickly. Not like all the so called miracle drugs that doctors claim we must take for 3-5 weeks before noticing the effects. How on earth does it make sense to do that? What if the medicine they are pushing ends up not working?

    SO I just wasted 3-5 weeks of my time and my money to end up with a dud? No thank you. Taking amitriptyline and/or trilafon will either work or it won’t, it is very cheap to buy and if it works for you, it is known rather soon after beginning treatment with it. None of this 3-5 weeks crap. These days I never take the trilafon but I will resort to elavil from time to time. But still, not every day. Only when I feel related symptoms that indicate I am about to have a panic attack or if I notice gradual bouts of depression that are creeping in over time.

    It’s not always easy to do it this ay and doctors are not able to baby sit us to see how we change day to day or if we are stable. So, most times I find we must be in tune with our own mental and physical health, which most people like us are. We see comments talking about the woes of taking medicines and our experiences how it affects us. We are aware of what it is or is not doing whether taking it or trying to stop taking it.

    So I will just say it… Taking medications daily is a money making agenda and there are likely other options both natural and medical that can treat and manage mental and physical health concerns without having to fall into that agenda. I take elavil as needed. I break my 50mg tablet into 4 pieces with a pill cutter and rarely do I need to take more than 1 of those 12.5mg pieces. Furthermore, I rarely need to take it more than a few times monthly.

    Sometimes I’ve taken it 2-3 times in the same week as situations do vary. But my point is, maybe looking at the whole picture with the understanding that maybe doctors are not always the best at choosing a regimen as they are part of the circle that is operating within the pharmaceutical arena. They will make sure to follow guidelines that prevent risk to our well being while prescribing our treatment but you can bet their agenda also involves money and pharmaceutical companies have a strong influence over these things.

    I have even read where doctors will be prescribing a specific blood pressure medication more often than other options to their patient base because the company that made that medication was giving them big kickbacks. I was inpatient at a hospital once because I took a break from all medications and it caught up to me. I needed treatment for my depression and anxiety after not taking any medication for a long span of time and the doctors that came to the room were not even willing to give me the medications I knew worked which were amitriptyline and trilafon.

    They were forcing me to change to these stupid new medications like lexapro and I freaked out after the first dose. These so called newer type mental health agendas are trying to push us away from medications like elavil because we an get it so cheap and it just works. They want the money and getting 1 pill of the Lexipro at that time worked out to be over $7 each pill. I can get 60 pills of elavil for $4 as long as the doctor says I need 2 pills daily.

    It’s basically a 30 day supply of elavil costs $4 but I cannot get Lexapro or other similar types of medicines for a low price like that. This is the point that bothers me most and I am sure it bothers others too. I know a lot of comments here talk about the amitriptyline, side effect, and withdrawl etc. Of course I am an advocate for anyone who would be able to stop taking these meds as this can be the best answer if it does not create worst problems.

    But the fact we have amitriptyline as an option is something to be grateful for when you think about how pharmaceutical companies have been selling newer medicines for 10 times the cost. And the fact that they claim these new medications are better is not even something they can prove since amitriptyline has been around since the early 1960s with a proven track record. If we could reduce gradually and eventually stop taking these meds, thats the best scenario.

    But if we have to take them, the least amount possible to do the job is sometimes better than having to take a dosage the doctor says wem ust take every day. We might know better than the doctor and trying to adjust our dose to suit our own personal situation is likely going to reveal that we know what is best for our own mind/body

  • Betty July 10, 2016, 4:03 am

    I want to thank everyone for sharing your withdrawal experiences. I started taking 25 mg about 10 years ago for anxiety associated with my hypothyroidism. At one point I was taking 50 mg, but decided to get off it for good this summer. I have tried to go off of it several times over the years, but nobody ever told me what withdrawal was like.

    When I would start experiencing anxiety again, I thought I needed to go back on the medication and did, not realizing that I was probably suffering withdrawal symptoms. Recently I discovered this site, and all your comments have helped prepare me so that I have been tapering off, but now realize the headaches, dizziness, anxious feelings, muscle aches and insomnia are all normal experiences of withdrawal.

    Although I don’t like the feelings, I think I am handling it well thanks to what I’ve read here. I’m able to step back from what my body is feeling and use positive self talk and prayer to get through. Thanks again, everyone.

  • Josie July 12, 2016, 5:08 am

    Hi I have been off the amitriptyline for about 10 weeks now and have had some good days, lately, feeling like my old self but this last week depression has hit me like a brick. I have no interest in anything and crying most of the time. If this is normal after this length of time can someone tell me if this too will pass? Good luck to all who are trying to get their lives back again, I’m sure we will get there in the end.

  • Sunny July 18, 2016, 7:58 pm

    Hi Everyone: It’s been 6 weeks since my last dose of Amitriptyline…I am still getting migraines a few times per week, but I can deal with most of them, without taking Imitrex. I do have mood swings, but they are slowly diminishing. I am still a zombie most of the time, but there are breaks in the fog. Maybe I just don’t feel like participating in everyone’s drama, maybe?

    I just don’t have the energy to care or even offer an opinion. The meds definitely made me very “trancey”, and that still remains. If I sit still too long, my head drops…what’s up with that? I do notice that I still don’t wind down for sleep in the evenings. As long as I keep moving, I don’t need sleep. I have to force myself to get into bed. I do take .25 mg. of Xanax, but it doesn’t always work.

    I can only assume the longer I go without the meds, the better I will feel…so far, there has not been a big change. Hang in there everyone. Sunny

    • Nancy July 28, 2016, 11:56 am

      I was on elavil 50mg for 15 years. Quit cold turkey. Horrible dreams and sleepless nights going on over 30 nights. Wake up scared. Not normal for me, at all. Praying for relief.

  • Sunny July 26, 2016, 1:45 pm

    Hi Everyone: It has now been 7 weeks without the Amitriptyline. I am not having any horrible side effects, but I am still a zombie and I am still moody. It’s weird really… sometimes I look at my husband and wonder “what was I thinking:)”. I look at my grown children and wonder “are they always here?”… and the dogs… why do they feel the need to throw up grass on my floors?… and the big dog – he actually threw up on my couch… are you freakin kidding me?

    I’m a little sick of all of it… that’s the medicine talking. I know I love each of them, truly, madly, deeply. I am just less tolerant of their presumed helplessness (except the pups… they are very dear, 10% of the time). I’m sick of cooking, cleaning, working and listening to everybody’s crap… (a little moody?). I am proof that you can get past this medicine.

    It isn’t pretty and I don’t know if I will ever be myself, again, but at my age (55) who am I trying to impress, right? What’s next for me?…everyone is coming to my house on Sunday for a pool party/cookout (not my idea), and I can’t wait for it to be over! Hang in there… don’t go back on this medicine! I have read the withdraw symptoms can last 6 months after you stop taking the drug. WOW!

  • Pete July 26, 2016, 4:07 pm

    I have been thinking I was seriously ill. Been on this drug… wait for it… 26 years. Started for many years on 100 mg. Took it down to 85mg where I stayed for many years. Doctors said it was going to be impossible to come off this yet as I age it is dangerous for heart health. So I started to lower from 85 mg down to 50 mg about 5 mg every month.

    Without thinking about it I started to feel very tired, could and still having trouble concentrating sometimes, feeling so fatigued and tired all the time. Kind of lost my mojo yet not flat nor tearful. I am so glad to read the other posts as I now know having had lots of tests as negative it must be the lowering of this drug. I will not give in to the reduction, and will stay on 50 mg for a few months then carry on slowly lowering again.

    Yes I will tell my GP what I am doing, yet wont be a slave to this drug. Exercising a lot, must say very relaxed mostly about life, only way forward for me is to rediscover my old self without drugs… P.S. to everyone. I was badly depressed in the past for a couple of years so this drug helped keep me going, I guess helped me stay alive. I don’t need it nor have for so many years now. Never say never… Pete :>)

  • Shelly July 27, 2016, 12:31 pm

    7/27/16. I am so angry at my dr right now. She told me to lower my 50 mg dose of amitriptyline to 25 for a few days then just stop taking it. She never told me when she prescribed it that there were adverse side effects that would potentially be worse than what was being treated. And she SURE didn’t tell me that I’d be THIS sick coming off of it.

    UGH!!! It’s been 17 days since my last dose. My pain has been worse these last 17 days than it’s ever been, and until reading the above article, I didn’t know that everything I’ve been experiencing was because I’d withdrawn the amitriptyline. I’m so ready to feel better. I was only on it for 4 months.

    I can’t imagine being on it for years and having to come off!! My heart goes out to all of you! God bless you!

  • Jay July 27, 2016, 10:00 pm

    I have been on elavil for a while now I lost count I was taking it for headaches but it would make me really tired so I just stopped taking it. I really didn’t do any calculating on how long I have been off or anything but here recently I have been having stomach problems a little bit of itching I am now going through CT scans and ultrasounds to see if there is something wrong with my stomach BC I’m just so nauseous and my bowel movements have been everywhere. Do you think this is from discontinuing the medicine BC I didn’t slowly decrease?

    • Sunny August 1, 2016, 4:50 pm

      So, 8 weeks without and counting…the pool party/cookout was a raging success. My headaches have ramped-up a bit in the past week (3 so far) and I have had to take Imitrex because they will not go away. That’s a little disheartening. I’m still “trancey”…staring off into space a bit and still sleepy during the day. 2 months without…4 more to go? Sunny

    • Sunny August 11, 2016, 2:13 pm

      Hi Jay: How did all the tests go? I stopped taking the meds about 9 weeks ago and this week my stomach is a mess and my back won’t stop itching and my bathroom trips have increased. Sunny

  • Mandie August 2, 2016, 12:07 am

    I am so glad I found this article and comment thread now! I’ve only been taking 25mg of Amitriptyline for a few months now. Nerve damage and joint pain make it hard to sleep and the Amitriptyline helped. But I loathe taking prescription drugs, and accidentally forgot to take one one night. Decided not to take one the next, and then a third night… I’ve come down with a headache two days in a row now, with some nausea included.

    Reading this thread has me super scared, and I am so glad I have only been taking if for a few months now, and that it was a fairly low dose. Never again, will I allow any doctor to talk me into taking an anti-depressant, or quite possibly any other drug! Good luck to all! I hope everyone is successful at leaving this crap behind, and with as little difficulty as possible!

  • Bessie August 2, 2016, 5:20 am

    I have been on amitriptyline 150mg/day for a year or so, for depression. I’m switching to another drug as it was causing terrible hot flashes and night sweats (I’m post surgical menopause, already on double dose HRT as I’m only in my 30’s). I’m delighted to say it has taken just 3 weeks to taper the amitrip down to zero. Withdrawals have been vivid dreams, mild irritability and taste changes.

    No big deal. Having previously spent 2 awful years weaning off paroxetine and 18 completely hellish months getting off venlafaxine, this has been a doddle by comparison. As a rule with antidepressants, the shorter the drug’s half-life, the worse the withdrawal kicks you, as drug levels in the body drop very sharply. Fluoxetine is easy peasy (half-life 20 days or so), venlafaxine horrendous (half-life just a few hours).

    With that one, I would feel rubbish if I was a couple of hours late on one dose! I have tended in the past to have bowel trouble on withdrawal, swinging one way then the other, itching, panic attacks, insomnia, fluey symptoms, crying jags and a general feeling of what I can only describe as aversion… That horrible sense of ‘oh no, I can’t bear this, get me my tablet RIGHT NOW!’

    That said, going very slowly, you do get there in the end and these hard-to-get-off medicines are also some of the most effective -and severe depression and anxiety can, in themselves, be a lot worse than the withdrawal. At least you know that withdrawal will end! The only thing I’ll miss about amitrip is the lovely feeling of going to bed being certain you’ll sleep.

    Wasn’t much cop as an anti-depressant for me personally. It was worth a try, failed that trial, but not a disaster as easy to stop, now onto something different. Ah well!

    • Robin Michelle Mackay August 20, 2016, 12:51 am

      Do you know what the half life of amitriptyline is?

  • Veronica August 6, 2016, 6:37 am

    Started on 20mg for depression/insomnia/anxiety. Being sexually harassed at work will do that to you! Upped to 25mg and I could finally sleep. Put in a formal complaint and eventually quit the job. After that I felt better mentally, though a little sedated and slow physically – a lot of fatigue. I have been on 25mg for nine months. I can sleep 12 hours straight if I let myself, though this is mainly at weekends when I don’t have to work.

    About a month ago, I switched Drs. I commented to her that I was putting on weight and she said it could be this drug. I decided to stop taking it since I’m not depressed at the moment. Thank goodness I googled this website and learnt about tapering off. Cut down to 20mg for a month weeks and have been on 15mg for a week or so.

    I can still sleep, though not as profoundly as before. I have been a little dizzy and it feels as though it’s coming from the center of my brain. I’ve had some headaches, but not migraines. Still feeling slow. Will try and walk a bit as suggested here. I will stay on 15mg for a couple more weeks, then drop to 10, 5 & finally 2.5 then 2.5 every other day. Have decided to allow 2 or 3 weeks for each new dose.

    Will report back after I’ve been completely off it for a month or two. I hope it’s good news and not side-effect city.

  • Sunny August 10, 2016, 1:37 pm

    So, 9 weeks without Amitriptyline. 2 migraines so far this week…had to take Imitrex for both. Super tired during the day… I am cutting my .25 mg xanax in half at bedtime, which is affecting my sleep, but I am so tired. I am a little moody, stomach a little upset… I feel like I am still on the medicine. I did read the side effects could last 6 months, so I guess they will last 6 months. Hang in there everyone.

  • shaw August 10, 2016, 2:32 pm

    Reading the comments here scared me. I was prescribed a very low dose of this medication for headaches and found that it made me cripplingly drowsy for the first few days and its headache prevention effects wore off in a few days with the drowsiness. I started taking half pills on July 3 and doubled my dose to the full pill on the 17th at the direction of my headache doctor (I think my dose was 10mg).

    I became annoyed when I researched and realized that this drug contained antihistamine because when I started taking it I had just finished weaning myself off of my OTC antihistamines, complete with withdrawal nightmares. I moved to every other night with the ami and became frustrated with the extreme nausea and migraines I was experiencing on the “off” days so I went cold turkey after 4 nights.

    It’s been 4 days now and I’m re-experiencing the antihistamine withdrawal symptoms. Severe nausea and skin crawling. thankfully the migraines disappeared and the itching/crawling seems much less severe than when I stopped my zyrtec and benadryl. I’m also lucky that I haven’t experienced any mental withdrawal symptoms, although I’d almost rather have mental symptoms than this physical agony that’s keeping me from enjoying myself at all.

    I’m hoping the effects will wear off sooner rather than later since I was on a very low dose for only 4 weeks, but for now it’s a waiting game.

    • Sunny August 16, 2016, 2:52 pm

      Be careful Shaw… the withdraw side affects do not usually show until you have been off the meds for 2-3 weeks. If you start feeling ill or “off”, remember it may be withdraw.

  • Roberta August 15, 2016, 4:13 am

    I tried to decrease the amitriptyline again for the past week and ended up having another horrible result and unsuccessful attempt. I decreased the dose from 200 mg to 175 mg. After a few days I started to have what I thought was an asthma attack; extreme shortness of breath that was unresponsive to my asthma medication.

    I felt so overwhelmed, anxious, tearful, fearful and didn’t connect the extreme shortness of breath with the amitriptyline taper. Then last night I increased my amitriptyline back to 200 mg and this morning the shortness of breath which had been totally overpowering was vastly improved. I now make a connection and am even more frightened. I don’t believe I can ever get off amitriptyline and think it will kill me.

    • Sunny August 18, 2016, 2:54 pm

      It sounds like you may need to taper your dose even slower. Maybe cutting it from 200 mg. to 175 mg. is too much. Talk with your doctor and try cutting it by 10 mg. instead of 25 mg., at first. The pills I have had were 10 mg. and 25 mg. I’m sure there are other dosages. I have read there is also a liquid available.

      Maybe the initial shock will be less if the reduction is less. It is also important to realize there will be side effects and they will be noticeable. If we remember we are going through withdraw, that helps. It also helps to try not to focus on every single feeling. Acknowledge it, but don’t obsess about it. I always have a “to-do” list.

      I add to it many times every day. I also cross things off as I complete them. I do not sit and worry. I try to stay busy and moving. It took a very long time to wean off this medicine, close to a year. Obviously your shortness of breath is worrisome. You should probably check with your doctor to make sure it is not something serious.

      You may need something to help with your nerves while you are weaning off this medicine. I know it sounds like trading 1 poison for another, but not every drug is addicting. If you taper more slowly and have something to help with your nerves, it may make the withdraw more bearable. Good luck.

  • Yvonne King August 16, 2016, 12:02 pm

    After starting Shingles November 2015 & the ending up with PHN have been on many drugs last one being Amitriptyline which helped get good nights sleep but felt horrible in the mornings. I was only on 10mg daily and against Doctors advice have gone cold turkey but can’t stop sneezing & have runny nose hope these won’t last long.

    I have been given Versatis patches for the PHN & they are very good best relief for PHN. But withdrawal symptoms are making me feel lousy but as a week since I came of AMY don’t want to go back again . I’m 87 now & was so fit before all of this but wish I had follow Docs advice & just cut down slowly. Good Luck to you all.

    • Sunny August 18, 2016, 3:02 pm

      Going cold-turkey is rough…I have read many posts on here and it seems to be nightmare’ish. Remember the real side effects take a few weeks to ramp-up. If you start feeling worse in a week or so, try not to panic and remember, it may be withdraw. Please be careful and if you are frightened by any of the symptoms, please get medical attention. You will hopefully bounce back, soon.

  • Frances August 24, 2016, 12:45 am

    So glad I found this. I have been on Endep for 5 years for chronic spinal nerve pain. Awesome drug for that but have had surgery and decided to go cold turkey. The amount of withdrawal symptoms that I did not even realise were withdrawal are listed here. Worst part is the headaches. I never suffer headaches. At least now I know what to expect and for approximately how long. Thank you everyone for posting.

  • Sunny August 31, 2016, 5:27 pm

    So, 12 weeks without Amitriptyline…it’s going to be ok. I am still a zombie during the day, ready to drop off to sleep at any moment, at my desk. I have even re-introduced caffeine back into my diet (iced coffee and hot tea). I have tons of energy in the evenings and cannot sleep without taking a low-dose xanax (.25 mg.). It really is shocking how grand an effect this medicine has, even at a low dose.

    I am getting migraines a few days each week, but I was getting those before the amitriptyline (that’s why they put me on it). I powered through a migraine on Monday without Imitrex… I won! Little victories. My stomach upset is gone, pretty much, but I still crave sweets and I do have a few pesky pounds to lose (about 5 would be super).

    I really need the zombie effect to go away. Hang in there!!!!!!

  • Josie September 2, 2016, 8:11 am

    Hi I came off these tablets for 10 weeks and had some very good days then I had a really bad one and went back to Dr. He was very good and sympathetic and suggested that I go back on one half a tablet every other day and see him in a week. I have been spaced out, forgetful and panicky most of the time. Is it just me or can such a small amount make you feel so bad? I just don’t know where to turn! I’m seeing him later today at least it’s nice to talk to someone who does listen. Good Luck to everyone here.

  • Mark September 4, 2016, 7:56 pm

    Sleep apnea can cause fatigue and many of the other symptoms being attributed to amitriptyline withdrawal. Weight gain caused by amitriptyline increases the risk of sleep apnea. Amitriptyline can also mask sleep apnea.

    • Sunny September 16, 2016, 7:43 pm

      You are an idiot… I gained 5 pounds, hardly enough to suddenly develop sleep apnea.

  • Madeleine September 12, 2016, 10:15 pm

    I had been on this drug four years after prescribed by pain clinic to aid sleep during periods of back pain. After four years of gaining weight, feeling at times depressed, fatigued and generally not myself! I cut them down over a two week period and haven’t taken any at all for two weeks now. It has been the best thing I could have done, apart from joint pain, feeling like I have flu and not having a good night sleep for a month.

    I am beginning to feel myself again, I am happier and have even got my seance of humor back! Today, I even painted the garage and front door, an activity I just couldn’t have managed on the medication. My partner has noticed a remarkable difference in my well being and the increased energy levels are so welcome after dragging myself around for four years believing I had a serious illness. Two years ago I went cold turkey after traveling to Holland for a weekend and forgetting my medication, I ended up crying all weekend and having suicidal thoughts.

    When I mentioned it to my GP they insisted the amitriptyline wasn’t addictive and couldn’t possibly have caused my depression! I was really concerned about withdrawing and decided not to visit the GP before coming off them, instead I mentioned it to the pharmacist who was brilliant. It appears that withdrawal symptoms are not documented anywhere and anyone who tries to tell you this drug is not addictive doesn’t know what they are talking about.

  • Nicola September 15, 2016, 11:26 am

    I was only on 10mg for 8 months, this is my second week off them. I feel horrendous, nauseous, tingling crawling feeling on my skin, itchy legs, dizzy, headache, feel like my head is going to explode, fast heartbeat. I wish I never took them. Why do they even prescribe these? I am never taking pills again, I think it’s far too easy nowadays for docs to hand pills over regardless of the consequences.

  • Jim Grondin September 21, 2016, 1:53 pm

    I have been on amitriptyline for 20 years. Between 150 and 300 mg at night for sleep. Side effects of coming off r terrible. Went down from 150 mg a night for past 10 years to 50mg 4 days ago. I will stop very soon. I mean within a few days. Anxiety and no or little sleep. I can take little or no sleep but anxiety is terrible.

    Headaches I have normally have are worse since cutting down. I need help to get rid of ANXIETY attacks. I feel like I’m coming off of cocaine or something. Not that I’ve been on cocaine. I will beat this but I just need help with Anxiety attacks for now. I’m taking one Pro Biotic pill (30 billion active cell) a day. It may help but not enough. Anyone know what else I could try?

    • Sunny September 30, 2016, 2:13 pm

      Jim, please don’t taper from 150 to 50…that is not gradual. Gradual is 150 to 140, then 130, then 120 and so on…it take months at each reduced dose for your central nervous system to adjust to each lowered dose. I know…it took me longer to get off the medicine that the time I was taking it. The medicine alters your body’s reaction to things, so it will take a long time for your body to adjust to it’s own natural reactions, again.

      It will happen, but it takes a very long time. If you are having anxiety attacks, it’s because you have reduced the dose too much, too soon. If you reduce the dose too much, too soon, your body does not handle it well and many people end up in the hospital and the hospital puts them back on the medicine. You need help to wean off correctly. Please ask a professional for assistance.

      My doctor was not aware the medicine is addicting…it isn’t really addicting, but your body becomes dependent on it and cannot function correctly without it (addicting?). Headaches, anxiety, depression, itching, insomnia, upset stomachs, etc. are all side effects of lowering the dose of this medicine. Anxiety is a tough one…many people go back on the medicine because they can’t deal with it.

      I lowered my dose by tiny amounts and stayed at each lowered dose 6-8 weeks (I was cutting the tiny 10 mg. pill into quarters). I have been off the medicine for a few months now…I am still a little zombie-like, still not sleeping well, having a few migraines each week (normal for me), but I am functioning. I have read it can take 6 months to feel normal again. Good luck to you.

  • Tim September 24, 2016, 6:21 am

    I’ve been on 50mg per night for insomnia for 10 years. Tried to quit several times but each time I’ve failed. Tried the tapering thing over several months but failed. I’m now determined to quit cold turkey. Really irritable and strong headaches. I’m taking sleeping pills to help me sleep. God help me – I’ve had enough.

    • Sunny September 27, 2016, 1:52 pm

      Hi Tim: Cold turkey does not work; 50 mg. is too high a dose to just quit. You could land in the emergency room and they will put you right back on the meds. The weaning has to be super, super gradual…months at each lowered dose and months at the next lowered dose and months…believe me. The effects of this medicine are dreadful. Be careful. You took the medicine for 10 years, it will take more than a few months to wean off.

  • Tracy Lamperti September 26, 2016, 3:16 am

    I found this because of my work with a client withdrawing from this med (not prescribed by me). These testimonials are breaking my heart. Keep seeking health. We have so many natural possibilities now that are backed by research.♡

  • Rachael October 2, 2016, 1:40 am

    1/10/2016. Wow I feel blessed to have found this website… I have been unwell for 2.5years with an undiagnosed auto immune disease. my Neurologist put me on Amitriptyline 10mg 2 years ago for nerve pain.. which helped slightly and did help me sleep… 3 weeks ago because of my chronic illness I developed anxiety for the first time ever in my life… which put me in emergency having a panic attack.

    My doctor then decided I should quit the amitriptyline and start Sertraline which I did… but this ended up with me having an allergic reaction and back in emergency again. Doctor said to stay off all meds… 2 weeks on I am still having withdrawals from amitriptyline… dizziness, vertigo, headaches, no energy, fatigue, feel sick like I’m going to throw up, teary and anxious, leg feel like jelly, loss of appetite, eye problems, etc.

    How long will this go on for? I haven’t been able to drive.. let alone walk very far… this is horrible… never would have gone on this medication if I knew how hard it is to get off. Does anyone know of any natural ways to help with withdrawal symptoms? Please help. Thank you.

    • Sunny October 19, 2016, 7:56 pm

      Every symptom you list is accurate for withdraw from this medicine. It takes longer to wean off the medicine that most people think. It took me longer to wean then the amount of time I took it… that sounds wrong, but it’s true. I have been off the meds completely for 20 weeks and I am still a zombie during the day… I can actually doze off at my desk and I still don’t seem to need sleep at night.

      Hang in there and remember not to sit around thinking about all the symptoms…try to find something you can do (read, exercise, stretch) if you are up to it, to get your mind onto another thought. Weaning takes time…knowing the reason why I felt so lousy and that I wasn’t alone made it easier for me to power through. Take care of yourself and get extra help if you need it.

  • Natalie October 18, 2016, 9:18 pm

    My doctor did not tell me to taper when going of amitriptyline so I stopped cold turkey after taking it for 5 years. I stopped taking it at the end of July and started feeling sick in August. September I was more sick than I have ever been in my life – fatigue, headaches, heart palpitations & racing heart, insomnia, hypersensitivity, depersonalization, sweating, joint pain, muscle tremors and anxiety.

    Now mid way through October I am still feeling awful – the anxiety, insomnia & depersonalization are the worst. I just feel so terrible in general. It is day by day. I am clinging to the hope that these symptoms will eventually get better and then go away!!!!

    • Bill November 14, 2016, 9:05 am

      I also had the same experience in going cold turkey from amitriptyline but I was a very low dose and felt horrific withdrawal symptoms. I advise if you were on a dosage of 10mg or more to go back on the medication and wean off slowly over a few weeks to months by cutting in half then quarters. This way your nervous system will get accustomed to the drop in dose and doesn’t get the gigantic shock by dropping to 0mg.

      However, if you don’t want to go back on the drug the only way to feel better is wait a few months. You will definitely feel like the drug is still in your system for a couple of weeks. The headaches, anxiety, aches and pains will slowly disappear but its a long process which can take months. I suggest you take time off your work schedule to properly detox and treat yourself well.

      You definitely need a good diet, sleep and light exercise whenever possible in the sunlight or at the gym. Take a Vitamin B Complex, Lecithin and a quality Omega-3 fish oil to replenish your brains neurotransmitter balance for better focus as it has been thrown out of wack by the medicine. As the drug is a potent anti-cholinergic you will need some multivitamins to help facilitate acetylcholine production to make you feel well and functional again. All the best and stay positive!

  • geri October 20, 2016, 12:15 am

    I’ve been on amitriptyline for at about 12 years. Until recently, I had no idea that my horrible leg aches were from the drug. Tried stopping several times, but started crying all over the place. Thought the crying was because I must be depressed. Aha, no, it’s a withdrawal symptom! I have been off this drug for three weeks–haven’t cried.

    I will never take this RX again. It kept me in some sort of fog. And, oh, yes, I am chubby. I am 69, work out 3-4 x/wk., am a vegan and my health is pretty darn good. All of your comments were so validating. Thank you. PS: Maybe the weight will come off, too.

  • Charlise October 27, 2016, 4:51 pm

    I stopped cold turkey, I couldn’t take all of the side effects any more. My mouth was always dry and I was always in the bathroom peeing, and only wanting to go #2. I had to take medicine to go number #2 and they didn’t always work either. So I was always bloated, and constantly gaining weight no matter what. I had no sex drive and that isn’t the best when you are married.

    What made is worse is that it didn’t alleviate all of my nerve pain, so I said why take them. The trips that I have been on since being off is wow, powerful and scary. Feeling sad and depressed for no apparent reason, feeling angry at the smallest thing.

    So instead of giving in to these feelings I have to remind myself that its withdrawal from the meds and I have to tell myself that I am ok. It’s been two weeks since I have been off, I have lost 4 pounds so far and I look forward to not having this in my system anymore.

  • CaliSunshinegirrl October 31, 2016, 11:41 pm

    For people having trouble sleeping, try Natural Calm. It’s a magnesium supplement you add to water or juice. I take 1 tbs in OJ before bed and sleep like a baby with no issues in the morning. It’s super sour, but OJ seems to make it more palatable, along with chugging it with a straw. Melatonin tends to make me depressed – hopefully that goes away once the amitriptyline is out of my system.

    I’ve been taking 100mg of amitriptyline for 5+ years and it’s taken 18 months to taper off. I didn’t realize it was withdrawals making me feel so horrible, so it was really slow going. I was taking it for chronic migraine/headache (copper toxicity), and the migraines were replaced by withdrawal headaches. Now I have depression and difficulty concentrating, but I’m close to the end! Yay!!

  • Joanna November 7, 2016, 5:13 pm

    Was placed on this medication for close on 6 years to supposedly help with lower back pain. Long story short? Weaned myself off gradually – it’s been almost 2 years now since my last dose and I feel totally *broken* by this medication. I can barely walk. It feels as if my muscles have totally wasted away. I can no longer do my own shopping – have to be wheeled around the super market by a helper as I can only go out in a wheel chair now.

    I am anxious 24/7 with the most horrific nightmares *if* I can get some sleep. All of that started after coming off the drug. So the doctor suggested I gradually go back on it, gradually increasing dosages. I was *so* desperate to feel like my old self again – back ache included!

    But the higher up I went on the Trepiline again, the worst I got to the point that I once again tapered myself off this miserable medication but after doing a whole lot of research, all the long lasting side effects I now have are mentioned on many of the professional medical sites as possible long lasting side effects regarding the use of Trepiline. This medication is EVIL – it has totally changed me into someone I can no longer recognize physically or emotionally/mentally.

  • Sunny November 7, 2016, 9:00 pm

    Hang in there everyone. I have been off the meds for more than 24 weeks… I still have periods of depression, but who doesn’t, am I right? I still get migraines, some I can power through, others I have to take an Imitrex.

    I think it is natural to feel sad sometimes. I think it is natural to feel lazy sometimes. It is only a problem if it interferes with the things we need to do and if we have feelings of hopelessness…that is probably not ok and we should ask for help.

    Withdrawing from this medicine makes our bodies have to adjust to living without it. The medicine changed the way our bodies reacted to things. This takes time, more than a little time.

    We should be kind to ourselves and our bodies… our systems will catch-on and tune back in, when they can.

  • Gab November 10, 2016, 12:26 pm

    Hi. I am not even an adult yet and was prescribed these pills to be taken for bad headache and nausea for a concussion. I had only been taking a low dose, little over 30mg for about 3-5 weeks. I stopped because I was experiencing severe dizziness.

    I was weaned off it but it has now been a few days since I stopped taking them and I feel so terribly sick. I have never felt this nauseous in my life! I also feel dizzy and have a headache. DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYTHING THAT WILL HELP THIS?!

    • Bill November 15, 2016, 2:41 pm

      Nausea is a common side effect and is normal to feel nauseated when you stop the medication because of the histamine and cholinergic rebound effect. There are a lot of natural remedies you can partake in to reduce your symptoms if you don’t want to take any OTC drugs. Things such as drinking warm room temperature water (with or without lemon) will settle your stomach to reduce this feeling.

      You can also drink Chamomile or Licorice Tea to calm the stomach nerves and settle your inner gastrointestinal ecosystem. Ginger tablets 400mg can also relax your nerves and aid digestion to help nausea. Try not to eat large meals and only eat in moderate quantities preferably a low fat diet. Another important way to beat nausea is get walking outside of home in the sunlight for a few minutes, it will make you feel more relaxed and minimize nausea sensations. Getting plenty of rest, warm showers and sleep is crucial.

      There are also prescription medications you can ask from your doctor to lessen nausea. One good example is Zofran (5TH3 antagonist). You can also ask for Ativan, a less potent benzodiazepine which contain anti-nausea properties to ease your condition. 1mg is enough to do the job. Please do not begin another drug dependency and only take these Rx drugs when you strongly feel nauseated.

      You can also try Phenergan (Promethazine) which is a strong anti-histamine/cholinergic drug which many people use to lessen withdrawal symptoms like nausea. Do your best to take the natural route and use non-drug remedies to cure your nausea unless it becomes unbearable then see a doctor and talk to him/her about the meds above. Your only young and your body is strong and fast enough to recover from a short-term use of amitriptyline. Cheers.

  • Mika November 13, 2016, 5:11 pm

    I took 25 mg of amitriptyline for migraines for almost 2 years. My doctor took me off cold turkey (craziest thing ever) the first of August. In the last month my symptoms have gotten horrible and gradually worse. I’ve had all the above symptoms plus mainly feeling like I can’t breathe (heavy, congested feeling). Has anyone else had the breathing symptoms? I recently requested my doctor to put me back on the medication so I can be weaned off properly.

    • Bill November 15, 2016, 2:59 pm

      Yes, shortness of breath is a very common withdrawal symptom when you stop cold turkey. What happens is your body and nervous system goes into shock mode by dropping to 0mg without weaning off and your brain is trying to find the drug but you are not feeding its constant supply so your body goes haywire with many of your bodies processes disrupted. One of these disruptions is breathing.

      Because you have been blocking the choline neurotransmitter for such a long period of time (2 years), it will take your nervous system a long time to produce this in normal quantities for you to breathe better and freely again. The lack of this hormone is one of the many reasons why your short of breath as there is a current lack of supply of this receptor to feed your respiratory circulation system. Therefore your involuntary muscles which you don’t control such as your breathing and digestion will be majorly impacted.

      Another reason could be because your sinus is able to run freely again and your mucosal membranes in your nose is trying to return to a moist state rather than a super-dried state which the medication has done to your nose. This will make you feel congested and breathing heavily. You can try some OTC antihistamines to combat this. Trust me there is nothing wrong with your lungs or other organs.

      The best way to go about this is to resume your previous dosage and wean off slowly over a few months from 25mg to 0mg and you should feel like your breathing is more stable. Good Luck!

  • Susan November 19, 2016, 3:27 am

    I have slowly gone from 10 mg a day up to 75 mg a day to control vestibular migraines. It’s stopped working to treat the migraines, so I’m trying to wean myself off it. It’s going in fits and starts. My patience with students is at a low ebb, I feel like I have a large rock in my stomach, and I’m dizzy.

    I’ve also had unexplained itches, and periods of High Emotion. Glad to read that others have had the same and worse withdrawal symptoms, so I know I’m not crazy. It worked pretty well for almost 2 years, but it needs to go away now.

  • Mikayla November 20, 2016, 7:18 pm

    I am on week three after tapering off amitriptyline. I was on 50-25 mg for 4 years for migraine prevention. DO NOT take this drug unless it is a last resort! I wish I would have switched to something else a long time ago. I started Topamax before tapering off because amitriptyline stopped working for me after a while and made me tired constantly, and I couldn’t handle taking anything higher than 50mg because of the side effects.

    The withdrawal has been horrible for me, I have had terrible headaches every day, dizziness, flu like symptoms, and trouble sleeping. My face feels itchy which I didn’t realize could have been caused from this, and I have also dropped 10 pounds and now weigh 115 at 5’7″. I am just waiting to feel good again – mostly for the headaches/migraines to stop as the topamax was helping before I started tapering off this.

    I have been taking my maxalt when I get a migraine almost every day lately which I know isn’t good either as that can cause rebound headaches when taken too often. Has anyone else had a similar experience with the migraines??

  • Kathy December 6, 2016, 10:13 pm

    I was weaning off amitriptyline very fast going from 50 mg to 25 mg instantly and totally in three weeks. I had been advised to do so learning that more recently the side effects are worse than previously thought. I had been on amitriptyline for more than eleven years. I just turned 70 and was given amitriptyline for migraines to reduce frequency and severity.

    The first thing I noticed was the whooshing in my head. I had not expected any side effects. I have experienced almost all now except suicide thank goodness. I have been off a little over a month. The worst is the muscle pain and heart palpitations. I went to ER with the abnormal heart beat and checked out okay. I was also offered Trazodone and after two nights the palpitations were worse and will take that again.

    The hardest part for me is hoping this all ends. I have to sit down often because of muscle pain and I feel anxious and so frustrated. I really feel doctors do not believe there could be these side effects to the extent I have read here and feel they have nothing to offer in help.

  • Della Hicks December 6, 2016, 10:24 pm

    I have mobility issues, resulting from an MVA many years ago. My knee needed replacing, but due to my age, was left too long. This, from what my doctors can gather, resulted in Chronic Pain. I have taken Morphine for years for the actual pain, and because the doctor feels I am now developing nerve issues, placed me on 75mg. of Amitriptyline at bedtime.

    It did not matter how early I would take it, I could not physically get out of bed, until noon or later. Some nights it would work within an hour, other nights, I would still be up at 6:00 a.m., when my husband would come home off night shift! I am no longer able to work, haven’t in several years, however we have a 17 year old son, in his senior year of high school, and very involved in sports. Football has just wrapped, and we are into hockey full swing.

    He had a tournament an hour away this past Saturday, December 03, so after having gone down to just 25mg. of Amitriptyline over the past two months (with no side affects), I decided to come off the last 25 mg. I took my last dose on November 27th. Reason being, I knew I had to be up at 6:00 a.m. on Sat., just so we could get there on time, and had hoped that the few days span would at least begin to turn me around.

    After a couple lousy hours of sleep Friday night, I sat between games outside the rink in our vehicle, with a bucket under my chin. I am dizzy, nauseated, and cold to the bone all the time. The only let up, is when I first take my scheduled dose of Morphine. Otherwise, I am living on Gravol & ginger-ale!

    I have nothing even started for Christmas, as it quickly approaches, and am still not able to get up until noon or later. The only consolation out of this, is my appetite is back. Most articles/message boards I have read, talk about weight gain on this medication. In my case, I had no appetite, which is not my natural tendency! So much so, that my husband was worrying about me, and I was often only eating one meal a day, and then only after remembering I hadn’t eaten all day!

    Everyday I wake up hoping this day will be better, and I know that it will be eventually. I just wish I had known how difficult this would be, or I likely never would have agreed to start it in the first place. Stay strong everyone!

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