Amitriptyline side effects and withdrawl: can anyone tell me their opinion?

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Hello,I was wondering if anyone who has any experience with Amitriptyline could give me their opinion on my situation. I was placed on Amitriptyline at 10mg back in October 2017 by my Gastro dr for irritable bowel syndrome and anxiety.  He then increased the dosage to 25mg in January of 2018. I noticed shortly after the increase I was hearing auditory hallucinations in my sleep and that they just kept getting worse. I called my Gastro dr in May of this year and told him I wanted to go off the drug and asked what the best way to go off of it was. They told me just quit the drug cold turkey because it was a low enough dose. Very shortly after quitting my symptoms got much worse.  Most of my symptoms happened right when I was falling asleep which were brain zaps ( I didn’t even know what those were at the time), dizziness, sleep and sensory disruptions, tingling in my body & my jaw area. I also experienced symptoms in waking life also such as tingling & burning in my feet, headaches, diarrhea, feeling light headed, crying spells, anxiousness, and nausea. I called and told the gastro dr that I thought I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms  and he basically blew it off and said I didn’t need to taper off such a slow dose and that that the drug should be out of my system by now, as if I shouldn’t still be experiencing these symptoms weeks later. I also talked to my primary care dr who basically acted about the same about it. It has been about 6 weeks since my last dose of quitting cold turkey. It seems that there are some nights I sleep ok, but I am still experiencing these symptoms. I have never experienced such an array of bizarre symptoms before getting involved with this drug, and I feel my symptoms are definitely related to my nervous system. (Doesn’t this drug alter your brain and nervous system?!) Anyways these dr’s scare me and make me think I am crazy or have some other type of physical underlying cause and I can’t figure out what else it could be besides of this Amitriptyline experience.  I have had anxiety and still do but NEVER in my life has anxiety caused me such bizarre symptoms such as these ones I am experiencing. Can anyone shed any light on this? The doctors have been no help at all

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  • Posted

    Hello again Melody, I have posted a reply to you in another thread and wanted to add, that the auditory hallucinations is something I experienced alot and it didnt occur to me that it could be the meds until I read your post. Yet another symptom to add to my ever growing list. All my symptoms have either improved or disappeared.
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    • Posted

      THank you for replying again. Yes the auditory hallucinations are awful and disrupted my sleep constantly. Did you experience yours during sleep or in waking life?  So you think your auditory hallucinations were from the Amitriptyline also? How long did it take for your symptoms to improve and/or disappear?

      I was also shocked to hear it can be harmful to the eyes also. You said you had experineced eye flashes in a previous post--are those totally gone now too?

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    • Posted

      Re Eyes, they have not completely gone but only happen occasionally now.  Its your post that has made me think of the auditory hallucinations, I used to hear loud bangs and talking in the middle of the night and used to get out of bed to make sure we were not being burgled,  Its only reading what you wrote that I have realised it hasn't happened for quite a while now.

      Please also note that I am still taking citalorapram, which I should also not be taking.  Doctor gave me amit for sleep and cita for hot flushes.  How crazy is that!

       

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    • Posted

      just read up on the noises when asleep and yes there is evidence that it can be caused from meds, they mention hypersensitivity to noises, I definitely have been so it all makes sense now.
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  • Posted

    Hi Melody, i came off of 10 mg Amitriptyline in dec 2017 it took 11 months. I like you was told by my Dr just stop it BOY were they so wrong. I had awful symptoms nausea , pain, gastic issues, anxiety,  dizzy spells and such a period of feeling low. I went back on 10 mg and started my slow wean off of this drug. The Drs  think i have health anxiety issues and told me it is not the cause of my symptoms. I was back on 10 mg  and 8 days later all my symptoms were gone so they are very wrong. x 
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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for your reply, as its about the only help I get since the doctors don't seem to be of much help.  So to get this correct, you are saying your dr's told you that they did not think amitriptyline caused your symptoms and that your symptoms were caused by health anxiety issues? That is what they are basically  telling me too. I don't believe it tho because I have a history of anxiety and never in my life has my anxiety caused me such horrible physical symptoms and its too much of a coinicidence that all my symptoms started shortly after I started amitriptyline.  Can I ask how long of time passed from when you quit cold turkey to getting back on the 10mg? My dr told me quit cold turkey too and I've been off it for about 5 weeks now. I still get the symptoms but some seem a little less intense then they were weeks ago.  I thought about asking my dr to go back on it and then starting a taper but I kinda feel its too late for me to taper now plus I hate to put it back in my system if I don't have to. Yet, I don't want to have these symptoms forever! Not sure what to do but I keep waiting to see if my symptoms continue to become less intense and less often. All  my dr's said "oh that is such a low tiny dose that you do not need to taper and that I've been off it long enough that it still shouldn't cause me these symptoms, but I believe they are of course all withdrawl symptoms! I wish I never would have touched this evil drug! 

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  • Posted

    I have quit cold turkey 12 weeks ago and still have those weird scary dreams, insomnia and bad body pain and stiffness. The most horrible part is the one muscle or nerve that runs up your leg into the pelvic area causing some pretty bad rectal pain. My leg stiffness has lessened, but my right rib pain has increased and the pelvic pain just drives me crazy.
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    • Posted

      I'm so sorry to hear this Lenny. What dose were you on if you don't mind me asking? And your symptoms have improved somewhat atleast is that right? 

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    • Posted

      I was on 10mg when things got bad with the muscle stiffness and pain so I went to 5mg for a week and stopped it. This is the second time I was taking this and didn't have these bad reaction when quitting it then. First time on for 5 months and second for 1 year. It kind of spikes your anxiety and I have read the withdrawal can last for 3 to 6 months with the muscle pain at around 4 months. I'm at 12 weeks so this has me rattled with the muscle pain especially the pelvic which pushes my buttons and keeps me awake at night. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. Yes I definitely noticed it spiked my anxiety through the roof.  And wow about withdrawl lasting 3 to 6 months, as my dr's all tell me there is no way I could still be feeling withdrawl symptoms after 5 weeks. Do you know where you read that at about withdrawl lasting 3 to 6 months? If not it is ok was just wondering as I am always looking for resources. Hope your muscle pain subsides more.

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    • Posted

      Most people go through withdrawal faster and better when they stay active and positive. Me, I'm on the bad side. my doctor keeps pushing these anti anxiety meds and I keep going off them so this is my 5th drug I withdrew from and have a harder time because I am 69 and not as active as most people and age and activity have a lot to do with the timeline. You will do fine, stay positive and only take this information as just another opinion and not apply to yourself.

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  • Posted

    Hi there I have   Pain and stiffness in my legs just from the knee only to the foot . I took it in my change it helped me so much . My mum passed away 12 weeks ago it helped me then but I only take a half a day but it knocks be out at night sleep like a baby I am going to try CBT oil. As lots if my freinds say it great . Can u stop it or just cut it down in bits sorry to hear that it doesn't help u my other freind has a bad bladder only 30 she loves it she. Says it guess her  much better life before she never had that linda . 

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  • Posted

    Withdrawal symptoms from 10mg to 5mg after 16 years of taking are horrific. I have a tight band around my head with intermittent pins and needles in my head and my whole body aching. I have been cutting down by taking 10mg every other night. Anyone else had this and any idea how long these symptoms last?

    I was told could take for life to control nerve ending in bowels for Crohns disease but could no longer cope with fuzzy mornings.

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    • Posted

      Hi Anne, you may find it easier to cut the pills to 7.5mg and stick on that for a few weeks until you settle.  Doing alternative nights when the meds have a 15 hour half life could mess with your brain more than if you stuck to the smaller amount.  I bought some pill cutters online then had the liquid amit to reduce by teeny tiny amounts a few weeks at a time.  I am extremely sensitive to all meds so my withdrawal was not nice at all.  Am around two months Amit free and despite a few withdrawal feelings I feel great again for the first time in 3.5 years.  I spent about 7 months coming off this and in hinesight I should have given it 9 months minimum coming off 25mg.  I had parathesia too (pins and needles), I would describe it more like pins and needles wearing off.  The who right side of my body from my head down to my foot was buzzing, now I just have it in my right foot which seems to be improving very slowly.  I had aches everywhere, and terrible knee pain plus calf pain.  The calfs are still tight in the morning but after 9 months my knee no longer hurts.  I understand why you cant cope with fuzzy mornings, I really do not miss those.  It does improve, you just need to be very patient and just go with it and if your doctor says no one gets withdrawal on a small amount, its because they do not know, there is lots of proof on this forum and the rest of the internet.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice Paula. I had no idea that there was a 15 hour span. I thought it was always in your system so that was interesting as well as the part about pill cutters. Had no idea you could get them. Really appreciate you responding. Hope you fully recover.    
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