Amitriptyline for migraine prevention - withdrawal after a few years

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I've been taking Amitriptyline for a few years and would like to come off of them. They have been great for my migraine prevention - just 4-5 in 4 years or more. I would like to come off of my low dose of 10mg (2x5mg) each evening. Since around Christmas I have reduced to 5mg with no ill effects so I tried cutting the 5mg in half. The tablets are coated in a film which I'm wondering is to make the drug release slowly so when I cut them I'm upsetting that system. However, I took 2.5 for a week, was ok so I stopped completely on Saturday. Not too bad first night. I was wakeful but went back to sleep easily enough. The last two nights have been awful. Not able to go off to sleep so when morning comes I'm exhausted. Has anyone else withdrawn from Amitriptyline? Should I take the half tablet for a lot longer before stopping? Thanks for any input.

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  • Posted

    Hi, i am currently  reducing my amitriptyline dose i am currently taking 7.5mg and 5mg alternate nights. I reduced from 10mg to 7.5mg  for 2 weeks then stayed on 7.5mg for 4 weeks as this medication is terrible to come off.  previously i had tried to come off by cutting down from 10mg to 5mg and experienced horrible side effects, my whole body ached, head aches, eye pain , stomach cramps , nausea. i contacted my gp who suggested going back up to 10mg for a few weeks then reducing again. So i suggest you go back on it to a level you where ok and stay there for longer and maybe then take meds then miss a day for a few weeks. i have read many forums and the longer you are on this medication the longer it takes to come off it. You will still probably get some symptoms but not as bad, i take omega 3 capsules as these are believed to help with the head pain and brain zaps. 
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    • Posted

      Hello Amanda, thanks for sharing your experience. Last night I went back to half a tablet (2.5mg) and slept ok. I'll remain on this for a good few weeks before trying again and I might do the 'miss a day' method then. Thankfully I don't feel as if my migraine is returning. Thanks again.

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    • Posted

      Hi Ecsuee, sadly i have had to go back on 10mg as the withdrawal symptoms have once again been terrible when i got to 5mg. i will have to try and withdrawal 10% which will take longer but i need to try. 
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  • Posted

    Ecsuee

    Amatryptalene acts in part as a Sleeping Tablet, the dose of 5mg is very little and if you are halfing a tablet as you say it could damage the tablet and how it is presented to your body. I would go back onto 5mg and talk to your GP, you have been on 10mg for quite a time so possible reduction of dose over the short t medium term may cause withdrawal

    Take some advice from your GP. I take 50mg at night and have been on them for uite a time. After my sixtysix Birthday I reduced down from 75mg I have not had any problems as I reduced because of my age

    Make sure talk to your GP, you seemed of at 5mg, see how you go over a longer period. Even if you are on a lower dose you have halfed you script.

    BOB

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    • Posted

      Hello Bob, thanks for your reply. Yes, I've decided to stay on 5mg for much  longer. The halving of the tablet is something that I have to do with another drug that I take but the trouble with Amitriptyline is that, depending on the manufacturer, some types have a film and others do not. It doesn't say, on the filmed ones, that they are slow release, and the ones that don't have the film are definitely not slow release. I may ask the pharmacy next time I'm there. In the meantime I'll stick with 5mg for quite a few more months. Thanks for sharing.

      Sue

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  • Posted

    Hello everyone, I just thought I'd let you know that I went back to 5mg at night and decided to try to come off by the method of miss one night then take for a few nights then miss 2 nights etc. I actually missed one night then took the 5mg for about 2 weeks because circumstances meant that I couldn't miss. Then I intended to miss 2 days. However, I was feeling good and have actually not taken any Amitriptyline for 2 and a half weeks now. I have not had the awful withdrawal symptoms that I had before. I'm so pleased and I haven't had any migraines or headaches. I just had  a weird dream at the weekend but I'd had some wine the previous evening. Happy. Thanks for the input by others on the various Amitriptyline lists here. Don't give up hope - reduce dose very gradually. All the best to you all.

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  • Posted

    Hi all, I just thought I'd let you know how I'm getting on now that I've been off for 3 months. I am definitely more wakeful than I've been in the past but I can usually get back to sleep quite quickly. Occasionally I've had insomnia and just can't sleep but this is now very rare. My migraines have not returned, hurrah! I've had one or two minor headaches but that is all. I hope others find this encouraging. 

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