Amitriptyline is actually a tricyclic antidepressant which is also referred to as TCA.
It is important to follow instructions of your doctor when it comes to taking this medication as a slight increase or decrease can cause trouble. Never discontinue this mediation suddenly as it can cause unpleasant symptoms due to sudden withdrawal.
It is important to take special care for storing Amitriptyline. Store it at room temperature but keep it away from light, heat and moisture. Do not forget to discuss about your medical issues before taking Amitriptyline, especially if you are suffering from heart diseases, diabetes, urination problems, glaucoma, bipolar disorder or any other such issues.
Always take this medication with water. There is no harm in taking this medication without or with food.
Individuals who are on antidepressant must be monitored carefully for any changes in behavior. This anti-depressant must not be used by heart patients or those who are allergic to Amitriptyline.
What is Amitriptyline used for?
There are number of medical issues that can be dealt with this medicine but mainly, Amitriptyline works on chemical unbalance that may occur in the brain. This medication can elevate the mood of depression patient from sad and gloomy to happy.
One important care that should be taken by the users of Amitriptyline is that it must not be taken with alcohol as it can block its effect.
Other medical conditions that can be easily managed with this medication are disorder of anxiety, eating disorders, laryngeal sensory neuropathy, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, bipolar disorders, insomnia, male chronic pelvic pain syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder etc.
Some other conditions that can be treated with Amitriptyline include carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), chronic pain, chronic cough and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Bed wetting, which is also known as nocturnal enuresis, can also be controlled with the help of Amitriptyline.
It was May, 1983 when FDA approved the usage of Amitriptyline.
Common Amitriptyline side effects
Patients who take Amitriptyline may experience some of common side effects such as dizziness, confusion, increased sweating, headache, taste problem, weight gain, blurred vision, restlessness and drowsiness. Dry mouth is also very common side effect among the users of Amitriptyline which can be so bothersome that sometimes the patient feels like discontinuing this drug. The best part is that this side effect reduces with time. There are some common cardiac side effects as well which include tachycardia and palpitation. Some GI related side effects include vomiting, nausea as well as skin reactions in the form of photo sensitivity, itching, rash and hives.
Urinary frequency, urinary retention, erectile dysfunction as well as low sex drive are some other common side effects that the users of Amitriptyline may experience.
As a result of increased appetite after using this medication the chances of weight gain are high which is quite problematic for the users of this medication.
Amitriptyline side effects on children
It is advised that any individual under 12 years of age must not take Amitriptyline without taking advice from doctor. As this medication can have harmful impact on the physical and mental health of the child, children under 12 must not take it. In case of children, the common side effects of Amitriptyline can be unbearable as their immune system is weak or fragile. Children who use this medication may develop psychological disorders. Some common side effects in children include inability to express and speak and reduced muscular condition. Dizzy feeling is another common side effect in children and in some cases they might fall suddenly. In young children as a reaction of this drug some other problems can arise like jaundice, photo sensitization as well as disorders of blood, there are some fatal side effects of Amitriptyline in children which includes liver dysfunction, anemia and constipation. They can also gain weight or become extremely weak after using this medication.
Amitriptyline side effects on men
Men who use Amitriptyline may also note some side effects. As per some researches done, the increase in the volume of the semen has been noted in the men after treating them with Amitriptyline. This shows that there is a strong relation between the sperm count before and after treatment. In other words, the use of Amitriptyline has a positive side effect in some patients who were included in the research.
This drug can also cause premature ejaculation in men which may further give rise to strange responses to sexual experiences. In case of men who use this drug the tendency of suicide is low as compared to women. Men who use this drug must lower their workload as they may suddenly fall or faint due to weakness. In men, breast enlargement can also result due to the use of Amitriptyline. In some cases, this drug can affect the memory as well.
Amitriptyline side effects on women
When it comes to side effects, they vary from one person to another and even these are different in case of men and women. I case of women, the side effects of these drugs are more or less common which includes fluctuation in the level of blood sugar, dry mouth, dizziness, convulsions and seizures, imbalance, hallucination, tremors, palpitation and many others. There are some side effects of this drug that are limited to women only such as disturbed menstrual cycle and decreased sex drive. Weight gain is another side effect of using this drug which may occur due to irregular periods in women.
Insomnia or sleeplessness is also a common side effect in case of women,
Girls and women who use this drug are prone to commit suicide as well and the ratio is higher in women as compared to men. This happens due to extreme mood swings that the user experiences after using this drug.
Amitriptyline side effects on pregnant women
When it comes to side effects of this medication on pregnant women then there is not much research done.
As per FDA pregnancy category C it is still not confirmed whether it is safe to use Amitriptyline or not. In other words, its harmful effects on an unborn baby are still not known. It is best to consult your doctor before using this medication especially if you are pregnant or even if you are planning to become pregnant while you are on this medication. Avoid breast-feed when you are using Amitriptyline. This is because Amitriptyline can be passed into breast milk and this may be quite harmful for a nursing baby.
As safety of Amitriptyline use among pregnant and nursing mothers is still not established, it is important to take special care in this regard.
If your doctor allows you to use this medication then you may start it but do follow the dosage as per the instructions of your doctor.
Amitriptyline side effects on elderly
This drug is not commonly prescribed to elderly individuals as it can cause heart related issues such as arrhythmia as side effect.
In other words, it is not suitable for an individual who is 60 or more to take Amitriptyline for treating depression.
No matter what your age never use anti-depressant or any other medication without consulting your doctor as side effects can cause further complication to health or it may give rise to other health issues.
Patients using this drug must not operate heavy machinery or drive as he or she might feel drowsy. Their performance at work can also be affected due to the use of this drug. This advice is for individuals of all age groups.
In case of any severe side effects like difficulty in breathing, hives and swelling on face or throat, the patient must contact their doctor immediately.