Amitriptyline...use for sleep problems?

Posted , 45 users are following.

My mum was recently prescribed Amitriptyline by her GP. She told me it was to help her sleep, but I have looked up info about it, and it looks like an andtidepressant, that is also sometimes used for migraine.

Q: does anyone else know of it being used for sleep problems? Does it help? What side effects, if any, have you found, and do they improve over time?

2 likes, 44 replies


44 Replies

  • Posted

    hi there I take 20mg of amitriptyline every night for tension headaches/migraines. years ago it was only used as an anti depressant but now its used for other things. its affective with headaches because it relaxes you like depressant drugs do. it can make you drowsey so maybe that's why she was prescribed it. I haven't personally experienced any nasty side affects. been on it for two years so any questions just ask
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  • Posted

    Hi, I also took them, for migraines and to help me to sleep as i was suffering from stress at the time i was prescribed them. They are really good but did have one side effect which was that they made me a little drowsy so if shes a driver or operates heavy machinery (which i think it also states in the leaflet) to maybe maybe a careful about how long it is between her getting up and driving the next day or operating heavy machinery .
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  • Posted

    My doctor recently prescribed me 10mg Amitriptyline nightly to help with sleeping. My nights were disturbed by hot sweats, associated with the menopause and this low dose (20mg is also a low dose -I believe up to 150mg is prescribed as an anti-depressant) has helped. I still get the night sweats, but find I am able to get back to sleep more easily after I've woken, whereas before I would find my heart was pounding and my thoughts were racing -almost like I'd had a surge of adrenaline.

    I've not had any side effects, but did find I was very groggy in the morning, so I now take the tablet about 8.00pm so that the effects have worn off by the time I have to get up. I was concerned I would get sleepy the minute I took it, but that hasn't happened.

    Incidentally, I initially asked him about Amitriptyline after they had helped a friend with her broken nights and when HRT hadn't helped.

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  • Posted

    I was also prescribed 20mg of Amytriptylene per night to try & help pain management while I waited for a hip replacement. Effects were described to me as "dulling the nerves", allowing the natural sleep response to take over from pain.

    It did work, in that I could go to sleep, but woke up again around 3am every morning. When I did finally get back to sleep, I then found it difficult to function properly before noon each day. I have still been taking them post-op & am fully alert from 7.30ish, so conclude it was disturbed sleep & pain that were causing dopiness, but perhaps worth checking how your Mum feels each morning, just to be sure!

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  • Posted

    I have been taking Amitriptyline for about 8 years now i have neuropathy in my feet from diabetes and i also have restless leg syndrome - i take 100mg per night and find it really helps me sleep. Can't say i have noticed any side effects and it seems to me to be a great allround help for many conditions apart from the one it was developed for.
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  • Posted

    i take 75mg at night due to nerve pain .sadly it does not help me sleep .i wish it did x
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  • Posted

    I'm 25 and iv been on and off amitriptyline for about ten years now for major depressive disorder but mainly for its sedative qualities as I'm a drug addict and I can't be prescribed benzodiazepines anymore as they started me on them at the same time ten years ago and now I'm a full on benzos rug addict through it but I'm clean now as I have been going to NA

    Anyway to answer your questions

    It's a tricyclic antidepressant but these are very old antidepressants and arnt commonly used for this purpose anymore.

    Since then they have realised they have another good use but at much lower doses. They are very good for CNS (Central nervous system) painkillers at low doses.

    I think this is how they help migraine as well as slightly sedating the person.

    From what I have read for this purpose they are generally used in the 25mg tablet form from a dosage of 25mg to 75mg.

    For sleep problems aswell as depression doses tend to be titrated to a higher level. In other words they tend to slowly build the patients dose up to 200mg ish

    Iv just started retaking them again and iv slowly built up from 25mg-75mg but will go up to 175-200mg as before.

    Your questions answered:

    Does anyone know of it being used for sleep problems?

    Yes in myself and a few others. Generally if benzodiazepine short term treatment is ineffective or a Causes an addiction like in my case.

    Does it help?

    Iv been on about 30 different addictive and non addictive medications to help me sleep. This one is woot a doubt the most sedating one and iv been on super sedating antipsychotics and iv been prescribed all sleeping benzodiazepines and these KNOCK ME OUT! they don't make me feel "high" like benzodiazepines do they just make you NEED to sleep.

    I'm only on 75mg like I said and I plan to go to 200 and even from taking 50mg they have started to help my sleep.

    Side effects?

    Yes side effects I had are the most common. Bad dehydration which can lead to some pretty hella constipation, it's often prescribed with a laxative. This solves itself after about a couple of weeks after you get to the final dose you are meant to be at. Maybe a month. Plus drinking more water is good for us all!

    The only other side effect I get other than the fact it makes me neeed to sleep I get is extreme night sweats leading to you waking up a few times in the big REALLY sweaty but you can ALWAYS fall back to sleep almost instantly because the sedative qualities.

    Basically the higher the dose you go the more sedating it will become and the more likely it will be to crease your mood aswell.

    What dose are they on?

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    • Posted

      I am taking 100mg for sleep at night but I also take a quarter of suboxn every morning. When I take the amitripty at night my face gets hot and I get really tired. I take it around 8:30,9pm. And I can't get enough to drink lol. Just wondering if your face ever gets really hot?? Thanks😘

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  • Posted


    im 21 and after having 2 miscarriages and a break up with my ex husband and being in a domestic relationship i couldnt sleep at night....

    my mind went in circles... i was stressed and depressed and didnt speak to anyone for months...

    i stopped eating and my doctor was worried she suggested Amitriptyline 20mg to help me sleep.... BUT I STILL CANT I FEEL IT GIVES ME ENERGY INSTEAD!

    i get these side effects:

    -loss of appetite

    -difficulty in focussing

    -feeling anxious and confused

    -unable to sleep throughout the night

    these listed below are side effects after about an hour of taking the pill and they last about 2hrs:

    -uncontrolled movements of shakiness of the hands and body

    -fever with chills

    -fast or irregular heart beats

    -nausea (feeling sick)

    I've only recently started taking these pills i started off with 10mg with some of the same symptoms but i still couldnt sleep and felt depressed still... so my gp told my to double dose......

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    • Posted

      Sorry about the mis carriage, it's awful. My wife had one and my sister has had several.

      Ask your doctor about mertazipine. This is an antidepressant drug which makes you very sedated and its other main side affect is it increases your appetite. I came off it because it was too sedating and weight gain but it sounds like that might be a good thing for you.

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  • Posted

    I have been taking amitriptyline 100 mgs at bedtime for sleeping issues.  The only side effect I have is very very dry mouth.  It does work well but if I do not take it earlier in the evening I wake up groggy and have a hard time making it through the morning.  By noon it has wore off enough to function properly. So I take it around nine pm.
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  • Posted

    Hi Helen182 I've been prescribed 30mg for chronic kidney pain. Despite not having trouble sleeping, I now feel I get 'knocked out' whilst taking amitriptyline smile I'm not complaining as when I'm in pain it can be difficult to sleep.

    Bit of advice advise your mum to take them say 1.5hours to 2 hours before bed and then she won't feel too groggy the next day. A friend of mine told me this 'trick'.

    I wouldn't worry just keep an eye on her just whilst it's getting into her system.

    I hope she becomes pain free soon smile

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  • Posted

    i use amitriptyline to help me sleep.  My current dose is 100 mgs at bedtime.  The only side effect I have is very dry mouth. It does not get better as you get used to the drug.  It is either i don't sleep or have a dry mouth.  I choose the dry mouth.
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