Amitriptyline Users: would you start this drug if offered it now?

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I have been offered this drug on a low dosage for acute back pain.  I have a damaged lumbar facet joint trapping my sciatic nerve in my left leg.  To my horror a physiotherapist and a GP have suggested I might try this drug for pain relief as the physio and painkillers are not working.  I just can't sit down because of the nerve pain in my leg and I have to travel 215 miles in a week's time for a serious family health commitment.

I use the word "horror" as it has taken me 10 months to be totally free from mirtazapine withdrawal side effects.  And as most AD users will know, there is no support for any patient when trying to stop taking these drugs.  You are out there, alone.  

Now that I feel free at last from the insidious side effects of mirtazapine, I'm offered amitriptyline. ??

It would seem that antidepressants are the cure all for everything these days except depression.

Is anyone taking this drug for back pain and does it work?

Thank you

 

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  • Posted

    Hi Christine, poor you and painful. 

    Sadly amitriptalyne did work for me and my back pain but know your feeling well as I came off a heavy dose of amitriptyline a year ago. It’s been a hellish journey and one I’d rather not have to do again. Have you thought about trying a local lidocaine injection directly into the painful spot. It’s a local anaesthetic and can work wonders. Would keep you away from the dreaded pills!! 

    Can last for up to 3 months and numbs the pain. Won’t fix the damage but would give you time to find other solutions.

    Hope this helps.

    Ed

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    • Posted

      Hi Hope or Ed

      Thanks for your insight.  I did ask about a steroid injection.  I got a lukewarm response ftom the GP. The physio said the nature of the injury would require an injection into the spine and that would require a spinal consultant.  I naively thought I could just have a jab in the muscle in the left buttock.  And I have  to make this journey as my mum has just been diagnosed with leukaemia.  She's 82 and on her own.  I dont think I will agree to amitriptyline.  I went cold turkey off mirtazapine and that was sheer hell.  Amitriptyline and mirtazapine are one and the same from what I've read; the devil's own hand. 

      Thanks for your input

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    • Posted

      Hi Hope or Ed

      Thanks for your insight.  I did ask about a steroid injection.  I got a lukewarm response ftom the GP. The physio said the nature of the injury would require an injection into the spine and that would require a spinal consultant.  I naively thought I could just have a jab in the muscle in the left buttock.  And I have  to make this journey as my mum has just been diagnosed with leukaemia.  She's 82 and on her own.  I dont think I will agree to amitriptyline.  I went cold turkey off mirtazapine and that was sheer hell.  Amitriptyline and mirtazapine are one and the same ftom what I've read; the devils own hand. 

      Thanks for your input

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    • Posted

      Hi Christine,

      Good luck and wish you well but not sure what else to suggest.. hopefully there is a solution that can help you that doesn’t involve the meds.

      Ed

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  • Posted

    NO! I was given amitrytiline for pain & to help me sleep. I was on it, & Lyrica, for years but last spring began having severe cognitive issues. Couldn't remember what I did 10 minutes prior, was word searching, off balance, driving erratically. Dementia runs in my family & at 57yo I was terrified. Tests given by my Dr showed severe mental deterioration & I was labelled "demented" in My medical file. My Dr set me up with a neuropsychologist but suggested I discontinue my meds. Lyrics detox was rough but didn't help my mental issue. Detoxing from amitrytiline was *horrible*!! I was in bed in a fetal position for 2 weeks. BUT my brain fog cleared. All mental issues were gone. I 100% passed all cognitive tests & cancelled the neuropsychologist appointment.

    I do know others who have not had such issues with amitrytiline (yet). My advise is find something else. The med didn't help pain much but I did sleep better. I strongly urge you not to take it. I've read in other threads how many others also went through horrible withdrawals.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Lala for your answer.

      Im not going to take this amitriptyline.  I had felt suicidal at times withdrawing from mirtazapine and the withdrawals from both these drugs seem identical.  I did everything I could to help myself when stopping mirtazapine and sadly there was no support from my GP surgery.  I'm still very angry about it.  In fact I don't believe GPs should be able to prescribe mind drugs at all, as they know very little about them

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    • Posted

      I agree with you about GPs. Glad you're staying away from amitrytiline. I felt suicidal when I thought I had dementia and when going through withdrawals. Good luck finding an Rx that works.

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    • Posted

      When discussing the withdrawals from mirtazapine on another post somebody said that these mind drugs/ADs should only be prescribed by psychiatrists, and I agree.  I'm amazed at just how many medics give out cavalier and careless advice, things like "just stop" or "there are no withdrawals or side effects". I have chatted with many people on this patients forum who are really struggling and close to the edge trying to stop drugs such as amitriptyline and mirtazapine.  I have reported Mirtazapine to a  medical regulatory health and safety body.  And written to a professor of psychiatry about the dangers of ADs, so getting support/advice from people such as yourself is greatly valued

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    • Posted

      Oh my god Lala. I too suffered terribly on these meds and its taken me a long time to convince my doctors and am due to see my nuerologist soon, and am looking forward to telling her that apart from side effects there is nothing wrong with me. Am so angry with them. Am sorry to read what you have suffered and want to wish you well.
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  • Posted

    Good for you!! Have you tried natural remedies or any other tools to help you.

    Gp’s today prescribe meds like they’re candy and can’t be asrsed to offer any constructive advice.  

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    • Posted

      I was so desperate I saw a counsellor and went on a 10 week mindfulness course.  That wasn't easy because I'm not a "group therapy" person but I completed  the course.  I did a lot of walking and running when I could get some sleep.  That was the thing that was the most torturous; the crippling insomnia night after night.  On many occasions I would stay awake the entire night and then my anxiety was off the scale.  This went on for 10 months on and off and the cruellest thing about mirtazapine was the small windows of normalcy when you believed you had kicked the drug into touch.  Then BANG the insomnia was back again and I'd be awake all night or just getting 3-4 hours sleep a night.  I just felt removed from anything resembling normal life

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  • Posted

    Hi Christine, NO i would not go on this drug again unless i had very very bad nerve pain. But i would try other things before a went near it.
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    • Posted

      Not even for nerve pain. Took heavy dose of amitriptyline ( up to 250mg ) and sisntnhelp my nerve pain.  In most cases hese pills are more harm than good. 
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    • Posted

      Thank you Amanda for your input.  I would rather listen to the patients on here, that have had experience of this drug, than believe what comes out of the GP's mouth.  I'm shocked to discover that a multitude of medical problems rely on drugs such as this and here's me naively thinking they are just for depression.  I believe the medical profession have got a great deal to answer for plugging these drugs at every opportunity 

       

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    • Posted

      Hi christine, i am not against drugs but believe pharmaceuticals are big big money and therefore push medications. i dont know  but do  these companies pay money to the government ????? anyway yes we need drugs and medicine has come such a long way in the last 40/50 years . People live longer  with drugs. But amitriptyline is not a kind drug to some people, i had a terrible time getting of 10 mg, but, it works great for some people. I will always look up drugs now before starting them x     
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    • Posted

      I agree and have said in other posts that ADs do have a use and a place in society, I found Prozac very helpful at a very difficult time in my life.  But I don't like the generalisations and sweeping opinions from many medics that these drugs are relatively harmless and easy to stop.  In my experience doctors refuse to acknowledge serious withdrawal side effects and patients are left hanging with no support when they want to stop them.  Like you, I had an horrific experience trying to stop 15 mg of mirtazapine.  And like you, any future medication I might need, I shall do thorough research on first x

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    • Posted

      What I have found Christine is that the medical profession are not given any information about these apart from saying all meds have side effects. Being in the uk I ended up seeing lots of doctors and their advice varied., as well as them not recognising my symptoms as side effects., so they upped them Unbelievable!
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