Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterby, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I know some others here take it or have taken it in the past. What was your dosage?

    My doctor rx'd 10mg for headaches. She did such a low dose because 1) I won't stop taking lexapro because it works for me, and 2) I'm sensitive to medications.

    I took it the first time, 2 nights ago. OMG. It knocked me on my hiney. I'm not exaggerating. I couldn't keep my balance, my body was so was an effort to raise my wrists to type. If I had stairs, I would have needed help getting to bed (thinking back to one time on Ambien...poor easy child). I slept for 11 hours.

    I took it again last night and it wasn't as bad, but it still put me down. I slept for 8 hours and all I want to do is go back to bed. This feels different than the normal fatigue I get.

    difficult child was rx'd 25mg of amitriptyline for headaches and insomnia. She hasn't taken it yet because she hasn't decided if she wants to take anything on a regular basis. But, now I'm worried about the dose for her. If it has this kind of effect on her, I *know* she won't take it a second time.

    According to what I read, 25mg is the typical starting dose.

    Any experience?
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    difficult child 1 was on 50mg and it had no. effect. whatsoever.

    It may be the combination of that and lexapro. I'm on lexapro and accidentally took one of difficult child 1's seroquel a few weeks ago. I was lethargic for almost 24 hours. THE NEXT NIGHT husband accidentally gave a seroquel to difficult child 2 and it helped him sleep but no other effects.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Are your headaches migraines? You are already on the BiPolar (BP) medication. Amitriptyline is Elavil isnt it? I think it is which is used at low dose for sleep and fibro. I hadnt heard about it for headaches. Hmmm. I can see the connection though. Are you having them every day or just every so often. Elavil (easier for me to spell) is sedating so I can see why it would knock you out especially with your other medications. Its kinda like trazadone which is why they use it for sleep.

    If you dont like this, why not ask for either...fioricet which is really good for migraines and doesnt cause sedation in most people even though it has a little bit of barbituate in it or my new love...Frova. I didnt have a huge problem with migraines most of my life...had a few (maybe 20 in my life) but after the meningitis I started getting them. They put me on Frova which is a new migraine medication and it works great. It is not sedating at all and works very well. I feel nothing except the pain goes bye bye.
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I don't know if they're migraines. I have them everyday during a flare and they get worse as the day goes the point that it hurts to move my eyes, light hurts, any noise just reverberates in my head.

    I was taking phenergan at night for the headaches because it works as a headache/migraine medication, too. But, it wasn't cutting it anymore. So, my doctor is trying amitriptyline. It seems to have many uses. Fibro, sleep, headaches, neuropathic pain, etc.

    It's just that 10mg is such a low dose that I wasn't expecting it to effect me so strongly. I'm sure it will get better as time goes on. But, now I'm worried about difficult child and the 25mg dose. Except, though, she doesn't seem to be anywhere near as sensitive to medications as me.

    And, yes, it's Elavil. It only comes in generic form now, though.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    by the way, Janet, this is why I didn't call you back the other night. I was a little out of it. :tongue:
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thats ok...why dont you cut the pill in half and see if it helps
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I'm sorry you are not feeling well.
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I took 10 mg Amitriptyline for a couple of years for migraines, IBS, stress and insomnia. That low dose targeted all four symptoms very, very well. The sedation was bad at the beginning, but it wore off after a week or two, although I slept very well every night I took Amitriptyline and woke up feeling rested.

    I stopped taking Amitriptyline because I gained 10 pounds on it. That was a lot for my little 5-foot frame. I switched to Nortriptyline, and the weight gain was the same. I'm now trying Cymbalta, but it's only been 8 days so I can't tell yet how it's going to be. But I'm hopeful.

    In your shoes, I'd give the 10 mg dose a couple of weeks to see how you adjust. And I'd recommend starting your difficult child on 10 mg as well. You can always go up if it doesn't do the trick, but she may be spooked if you start the dose out too high.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I asked my doctor for Desipramine, which is a similar medication (in the same family), but I had heard didn't have as many side effects. I take 25 mgs. for my migraines and find it to be helpful. I also take a small dosage of Topamax and some vitamins (CoQ10, calcium, magnesium, B50). I think, but don't know for sure, that Elavil might be hard to take along with- another antidepressant. You might want to talk with- the doctor about experimenting with lower dosages of either the amitriptyline or the Lexapro. Also, if coffee doesn't bother you, you can have a little bit of coffee in the morning for awhile to help you wake up. I never have more than a half a cup. I love Folgers 1/2 and 1/2 coffee. I take 50 mgs. of Imitrex (and sometimes add Naproxen) to stop a bad headache or migraine.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I knew phenergan was an antihistamine, but never have I heard of it for migraine help. But I end up taking it every migraine anyway.

    For about a year I took doxepin for the fibro and migraine prevention. A wise doctor prescribed it in liquid form. I had an eyedropper and used 7-20 DROPS in a dixie cup of water. The doctor gave me the range so I could adjust the dose. Not just to get used to it, but also because many fibromites need more some days and less others. She discussed how to decide how much I needed to use, and the maximum dosage.

    By doing this it was much easier to keep myself on an even keel, there were fewer side effects and it didn't cause weight gain.

    The liquid form is available for children, so your pharmacy may have to order it. Doxepin is very close to elavil in chemical makeup and in how it works.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I was put on it 20 years ago, for pain management. I thought I was taking 5 mg, I do remember breaking the tablets in half, and then into quarters. But despite taking them down as small as Icould, I was still boombed out of my skull.
    At the time we were in the city organising our passports to travel overseas with mother in law & father in law, I was so bombed out that husband had to push me in a wheelchair and I was a zombie. mother in law said to father in law & husband, "If she's this bad, we won't be able to talke her with us. This is appalling!"
    I went back to my doctor and told him that despite taking the least amount possible, I was getting more zombified each day; maybe I should stop taking it? Besides, it wasn't doing anything for my pain.
    "You would need to scale up to ten times the dose you're on now, for pain," the doctor said. "Then you'd need to be taking it for at least 6 weeks before you could get benefit. Looks like no way could you tolerate it."

    The weird thing is - easy child 2/difficult child 2 has been put on it to deal with her over-reactive stomach, she feels nauseous after eating as if she's eaten too much, even when she hasn't. It's been marvellous for her, it hasn't fixed the problem but it has eased it enough for her to actually gain a bit of weight. It's also calmed her down a bit (thank goodness) and eased some of her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) symptoms.

    So some people can handle it and some can't.

  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This is the medicine that caused the all-over tremors that Jessie had. There was no way she was faking it (one nurse diagnosis'd that over the phone and almost got fired) and the tremors were accompanied by severe muscle spasms.

    Overall it was very painful. The docs called it a extra pyramidal effect and the only treatment was benedryl and time. It went away about a month after she stopped taking it. This is NOT a common problem, but if you or difficult child start feeling shaky contact the doctor right away.

    I took it or doxepin for years, as did my mother and aunts on both my parents side (and on husband's parents' sides) without this problem.
  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I didn't take it last night. I was so tired already that I just couldn't make myself take it.

    It is causing me to get lightheaded and dizzy upon standing. I used to do that all the time - much worse than what's been happening as before things used to go black - but I haven't done it in a couple of years. I was used to it before. I'm really not liking it now. But, I didn't take it last night and I haven't done the lightheaded/dizzy upon standing so far today.

    It also seems to be activating my restless leg/body thing. I can't stand for anything to touch me after I take it. Even my hair and clothes touching me makes me want to come out of my skin.

    However, I haven't woke up with a headache while on it (except for this morning).

    I don't know if I want to continue and see if these side effects wear off or just throw in the towel. I'll probably try it again, at least, and see how I feel.

    Lexapro is my 'sacred' medication. I won't touch the dosage. It works when nothing else has for my depression and I will not change it. That's a non-negotiable issue for me.

    As far as the Imitrex and Flova - they are triptans. They can cause serotonin syndrome when taken with SSRI's, too. Which might explain why Imitrex would knock me out when it's supposed to be non-sedating.

    I have an ear infection (thank you steroids) that isn't responding to the medications I was given, so I'll probably be back at the doctor's office on Monday, anyway.

    Unrelated, but I have lost 19 pounds since October. I haven't done anything different so I'm assuming it was weight gain related to steroids.

    Thank you sharing your experiences. I'm going to look up doxepin.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    There are several other types of medications to prevent migraines. If this one is causing this much in the way of side effects then you need to push your doctor to find another medication to help.

    Even a different tricyclic antidepressant might help. The "can't stand to be touched" and the restless leg/body thing could very well be the extra pyramidal side effects similar to what Jessie suffered with.

    If the doctor doesn't want to try a different AD, then ask for a beta blocker (most are DIRT CHEAP) or a calcium channel blocker. If one blocker has not worked, try another or even try a different one in the same class.

    The dizzy when standing may go away in time. It took me a couple of weeks, but I did manage to get that one to go away when I started taking propranolol.

    I have never had the restless body thing go away until a few days or weeks after I stopped the medicine causing it.

    I hope you feel better soon!

  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Trust you instinct. Over the years, I have found it best to take smaller amounts of medications and/or less amounts of medications rather than the opposite. This does NOT mean that I wont take medications...its just that I am cautious. In addition, I combine my medications with vitamins, good health practices and good thoughts. I have found these things to be helpful overall and recently, helpful in preventing migraine attacks.
    Lasted edited by : Jun 30, 2009
  16. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I already take a beta blocker - metoprolol. It also helps with my tremors. Propranolol will help with that, too, but there really isn't much difference between the two.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Can the beta blocker be increased or changed to see if that would work better than adding the amitryptiline? Or maybe try a long-acting form of a beta blocker?
  18. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    If I increase the beta blocker, my blood pressure and heart rate will drop too low. I take it twice a day. I don't know about a longer acting beta blocker; I'll talk to my doctor about it.

    I've decided that I'm not taking the amitriptyline again. I was so tired yesterday that I went to bed after only being up for 7 hours, slept for another 12 hours, then took a 3 hour nap today (and I didn't take it last night). Plus, the other stuff isn't happening today either.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sounds like a good choice, in my opinion. I am glad the other stuff isn't happening today. Hopefully the sleep left you feeling a little bit better?

    Sorry the beta blocker isn't handling the headaches. That is rough.
  20. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I take a beta blocker and an ace inhibitor for my blood pressure. Actually, I'd have to take the beta blocker all the time anyway to keep my arteries open. I could try a higher dose and see what happens. When they increased it in the past, my pulse was dropping into the low 60's, high 50's and my blood pressure was dropping really low. But, that was also before I had high blood pressure. (Isn't that odd, I get high blood pressure AFTER - a year after - a heart attack.)

    What are some of the long acting beta blockers? I'm not familiar with any other than metoprolol and propranolol.

    Thanks, Susie. :)