Effects Of Long Term Amitriptyline Use On The Heart

veraj Says:

After 20 years of taking amitriptyline for headaches I would like to find people who have had any heart related side effects after long term amitriptyline use.

105 Replies (6 Pages)

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Verwon Says:

Very little is known about the long-term effects of most drugs for depression.

The biggest problem reported currently is relapse, when the medication is discontinued.

You can read more about antidepressants here:



As to any cardiac effects, I am only finding warnings that problems may occur if it is used with some specific other medications.

Does anyone else know anything about this?

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Debra Says:

I have been on Elavil for 20 years and 100mg at bedtime and I don't recommend anyone taking it long term. I have heart palpatations every day which was determined from Dr. that it was hormonal, but I don't believe it. I tried to decrease dosage twice and cannot do it without months of terrible withdrawal pains!! I would have to go to a drug rehab to get off this drug. Don't know what I can do?

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meena Says:

Am taking amitreptyline for fouryears for my depression anytime am try to reduce it am facing withdrowal symptoms

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Joseph Says:

I have taken Elavil for 5 years now @ 100mg. at bedtime. I have tried to get off of this drug several times with no success. I use this medication for severe migraine head ache. The withdrawal was very bad,severe body pains & my mind spun out of control My head aches also returned. I can see where this drug could have some short term benefits but as a long term fix definitely not the way to go. Now I'm stuck with the big problem of addiction to this drug. I truly regret taking this medication long term. My Dr. never told me that this medication was addictive, if I would have known that Elavil would do this to me I would have never took the Medicine long term. Any one with any tips to get off Elavi? Please!

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Parvosufferer Says:

I have been on Elavil (20mg at night) for over two years and for neuropathy following parvovirus infection. I am also taking bisoprolol for tachycardia. Tachycardia came at the same time as the parvovirus and has continued ever since. Don't know if there is a connection to the Elavil or not. After two and a half years (and a few unsuccessful attempts to wean off the Elavil) I have started getting persistent headaches and dizziness. I forgot to take the Elavil one night and they were better the next day - so we are trying to wean off again. Trying my best to keep myself occupied to forget about the withdrawel symptoms that I have gotten in the past (flu like symptoms, brain zaps etc).

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wend Says:

I have been taking amitriptyline for 3 yrs. Starting with 10mg. Im on 50mg now. I suffered severe neck pain which then gave me severe head aches.i have gained nearly 3 stone in weight. I really want 2 come off them. I am now seeing a cranial chiropractor 2 help me which I am paying for.

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Angus Says:

I have been on 200mg of amitriptyline for twenty five years now, it was origonaly prescribed for the releif of ME. I am now trying to get of the medication, down to 75mg now. No one told me it was additive either I have tried to get of it on several occasions without success, The only way is to reduce the amount very slowly or you will have problems with feeling quit unwell & quite a bit of pain, I reduced it by 25mg for several month to get used to it then reducing it by another 25mg till I have got it down to 75mg. It won't be easy & you have to perserver to get of it. good luck.

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andrea moore Says:

I am on 20mg of Amitriptyline. My question is, is it safe to go on the sunbed when taking Amitriptyline.

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Shonna Says:

I have been on 10 mg of Amitriptyline for 12 years (started at 5 mg) for migraines. I have suffered from heart palptations throughout this time. Four months ago I tried to reduce my dose because of memory loss. I cut the dose in half for a month then quarters. I DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING THIS. I began to have severe panic attacks that would wake me up in the middle of the night. My memory got worse and was confused constantly. I gradually increased my dose back up to 15 mg but am still experiencing daily anxiety and panic attacks (arms tingling, heart racing, difficulty breathing, narrow vision). I am 51 years old and never had panic attacks until now. It is hard to carry out daily activities now. Also, my heart has now started fluttering for very long periods. My brain is no longer functioning like it was before I did this. I am a mess!

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NoMorePlease Says:

I have been on this medication for so long it's hard to count. It's been over 15 years, closer to 20.
I was given this for sleeping. I take 50mgs nightly.
I was going to take an antacid as I ran out of my stomach meds, so I thought...look it up.
I didn't know about all these side affects. Not in detail.
My HEART. I never had any issues. But the last few years when I get vitals done, my pulse is high. Not my BP, just my pulse. So now I'm also on metoprolol. I also have c spine and L spine problems along with neuro issues for years. I saw that this medication can help for that. But I didn't KNOW it.
After seeing how addicting it is...even in lower doses....I am feeling concerned and want to stop taking it. I have no idea how I'll fall asleep after taking it for so long!
I also, as stated above have stomach issues. And now have pains in my stomach area. I also notice I don't just have spasms now, I also am shaky sometime. I have had terrible constipation for years and quit taking my pain meds, thinking they caused the constipation. It helped some, but not all the way. I am now, all at once having major dental issues also. Decay in a short period of time, like I've never had in my whole life.
I'm beginning to attribute all of this to the damn medication.
I'm also afraid I may be close to back surgery, and wonder if this is helping me some with delaying the back surgery.
All I know is reading this just scared the you know what out of me. And I want off!
I'm sorry for all of you on even higher dosages.
I was out of amitriptyline for a week, just last week....I picked them up and (didn't have $) am back on them. And I'm not depressed or but I was flying off the handle when provoked.
Okay, I think I covered most of it.
What say you?

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Shannon Says:

They had me on Neurontin along with Amitriptyline and I was just as your saying...but worse. I would forget what I was talking about in MID sentence, then came the frustration of that constantly happening. Or I would head off driving to a destination, and realize I was going to the wrong destination (example: my son was going to 3 school to get caught up to graduate with his class, and I would be heading to the wrong school and not figure it out until I was almost there).
I never cut my pills though, I previously read not to cut amitriptyline. I quit the Neurontin, thinking that was the only problem...now I read all of these things here...I just want off of it now

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Shannon Says:

Could you please expand a little? It caused more pain to get off of it than you already have on a normal basis?
What kind of pain?
I'm scared from reading all this and I want off but I have loads of pain already with back and neck and a lot of other stuff like DDD (degen disc disease) calcific tendonitis, carpal tunnel, SI joint issues, nooo I don't want more pain but I don't want this drug anymore. I can't believe I just take it to sleep and now I'm addicted? It's been 15-20 years And taking 50 Mgs. I'm so glad I'm not on a higher dosage.
Thank you for your post, it was the most inspirational one I found. I'm glad your finding success in recusing your dosage.
I do wonder how any of us will ever fall asleep again.
I also take Xanax, and maybe that's why I don't get anxiety as much as some of the people who posted.

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Angus Says:

In reply to the person who has written in & has been on Amitriptyline for 15 to 20 years, yes it does cause dental issues & will cause you to feel stomach pain quite bad when you try to go off it, It does cause bad constipation I used Sennatabs to control that problem, Shaking sometimes especially if under any stress. I lost the feeling in my lower legs & feet & came to the conclusion after reading through some of the write up's on the internet that it was amitriptyline causing the problem. I have my dose down to 12Mg now but it hasn't been easy, If you can do without this medication (ask your doc first) get yourself of it. Long term effects aren't good 25 years in my case.

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Shannon Says:

I quit taking this medication after I wrote the first post. My dental issues are terrible, it has cost me thousands of dollars already and I can only attack one tooth at a time, and make payments.

I did take, and am taking, a bit more Xanax than usual, but it's prescribed "as needed" so i am still within the prescribed amount. I have been doing sleep meditations, while laying down, listening thru earbuds while you tube videos play and it's helped me get to sleep.

As far as pain goes. I'm always in pain, I have ddd and calcific tendonitis and neck and back disc issues, along with arthritis in my back, and a vacuum disk, carpal tunnel. I had worse abdominal pain a few weeks ago, went to doc, got CT scan. And they found so many things (and I actually go for a physical annually, so I was and am shocked at results).

The pain is always there for me. And I try not to take pain meds unless I really can't stand the pain any longer. I don't find that my pain got much worse as I quit the Amitryptyline, but I also take Ibu 800 and Norco when needed. And I take flexeril daily. Keeping the spasms at bay, helps me personally, with keeping the pain less.

So now I take daily: Prevacid, flexeril, metoprolol, Xanax. My pulse was normal when I went to doc visits lately. I'm hoping to get off metoprolol soon. I really think my pulse was high because of the amitriptiline. I do not have high blood pressure. Or have I ever had it...just pulse was high, just like other people here have posted.

The additional pain I felt actually has causes. CT showed gall stones, a periumbilical hernia, either ovarian cysts or a mass. CT and US did not match on this, so I was sent for my first ever cancer diagnosis, via old test CA125, which has a lot of false readings, but when negative is quite accurate, from what my doc has told me. I have a week or two, to wait for these results. So I do have two surgeries and maybe more, in the very near future. But my teeth are causing me so many issues, I hope I okay to go into surgery. As I've also heard you can't go I to surgery with an outstanding infection (tooth pain).

Oh, one more thing. I was more easily irritated while getting off of the Amit. But the Xanax really helped that.

I hope your all doing better. I would NOT take this medication if it was not absolutely necessary, that's my advice to anyone reading this. I was told that (at the time it was initially prescribed), that it caused very few side effects. Now it's been long term. I don't think the info was available as abundantly then, as it is now.

Good luck to you all.

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Angus Says:

Hi Joseph. I have posted twice on this forum, I was on 200 Mg Amitriptyline for 25 years now down to 12 Mg at night. I spoke to my doctor about getting off the medication & was told it wouldn.t be easy, I found it caused most of the side effects mentioned in the posts by others on this forum tried to reduce it by 50 Mg at first but it was to much then went down by 25 Mg over for a few months till my body adjusted to it then drop it again till body adjusts to the change, I finally went back to my doctor & asked him to prescribe the medication in smaller Mg amounts 50 & 25 Mg & slowly reduced it till I have it down to 12 Mg I am not feeling real good but it is getting much better I have a lot of lower back pain of a night & taking Panamax & the occasional 5 Mg Diazepam to get through the nights I don,t recommend Diazepam to people because it is even more additive than Amitriptyline I have used it for short periods over the years but you have to be very careful with that one. I will get right off Amitriptyline soon. So persevere with it but it will take you quite a while to get off it take it slow & easy which is what my doctor told me to do,Like any other drug you do get withdrawal effects going off it, you will get off it though. Talk to your doctor they will usually help in any way they can. Good luck with with it.

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Shonna Says:

Hi Angus, Shannon, Debra and all who post to this. I am grateful to hear from others on this drug that are suffering the same side effects yet my doctors are telling me they are not connected to Amitriptyline. I want to congratulate all of you for trying to get off this drug and glad that there are others that can relate as I try to reduce my dosage. I am back down to 10 mg per night (way to go Angus you have come a long way on your reduction of dosage)! I am posting today to let everyone know of the additional side effects I have experienced from this drug so that others may know that it is not just them. In addition to memory loss, palptations, and severe anxiety trying to go off of it, I also have constipation, ringing in my ears that comes and goes, and severe dental issues. Because this drug causes severe dry mouth my gums have receded dramatically. This has caused my entire mouth to become extremely sensitive to hot and cold. Going to the dentist is brutally painful because even the water they use to rinse my mouth and the air to suck the water hurts. My dentist kept telling me it was this medication but each time I asked my neurologist he denied it. Instead of helping me get off this drug my neurologist now wants me to take Pristiq also. I refused to take it and I am now seeing a naturopathic doctor to help with my migraines and eventually help me get off the amitriptyline. I am hoping that Angus (and anyone else who is trying to go off this drug) can give me some tips on reducing the last 10 mg entirely. Thanks!

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maggie Says:

I have been on amitryptiline since 2007 for chronic pain.....iv just had an ECG which has indicated i have had a slight heart attack..........got all the side effects described on leaflet that comes with drug.the trouble is there is nothing like it and it keeps me pain free.......dilemma

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Angus Says:

Hi Shonna. I have been meaning to reply to your post earlier but ran out of time, I had the problems with dental issues & only have six of my original teeth left on the bottom, it has a really bad effects on teeth & gums. As for the dry mouth I found that a big problem my mouth was so dry that my tongue would stick to my mouth & make impossible to talk with out taking a drink of water, I usually sucked on tic tac's if I was in any company, I don't need to do that anymore . Sleeping is the biggest problem for me at the moment because of the back pain caused by degenerative back issues,anxiety can be a big issue & hard to handle but does get better if you can put up with it long enough.You mentioned that you didn't cut your tablets, I do, I find dropping to quickly is very hard to do & I don't find that cutting them causes a problem, You have come from 50 Mg down to 10 Mg which is great to hear. don't try going to quickly to get of it, let your body adjust to the dose you are on which might mean a few months, but remember how far you have come & how hard it was to reach that amount,& then reduce it further I would cut your 10Mg tablet to make it easy-er for yourself. Let me know how you get on.By the way I have regained the feeling back in my lower legs & feet, still feel a little numbness in my toes when I am in bed usually just the weight of the doona on my toes is enough to do it but the feeling will return altogether I think when I get right of the Amitriptyline.

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maggie mckay Says:

i am really glad i found this site, i was doubtful that amitriptyline was causing all of my problems but i can see now that it is .................. i have the feeling in the legs which i could not explain, my gums and teeth are rotten and i have blurred vision along with racing heartbeat...... im currently on 25mg from 50mg. my gp said to stay on as it is great for the pain.....no thanks.

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CC Says:

I am 69 yrs old and have been taking amitriptiline for over 30 yrs for sleeping with ain at night from an accident. I have asked my doctor over and over again if it was addictive and he told me no. I have had a lot of medical problems, and and almost a year ago, a double bypass, bowel bladder, and thyroid problems. I have since changed drs and have my first physical tomorrow. Will see what they say

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