amitriptyline withdrawal

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Hi all, i have tried unsuccessfully to withdrawal from amitriptyline twice.  every time i get down to 5mg i start with awful symptoms, bad headaches, nausea, belching, abdominal cramps, back ache and  my bowels get so upset they feel like they are swollen i get bloated have wind and abdomen feels bruised. has anyone experienced this also?   

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  • Edited

    Hi I too am trying to come off this evil little drug, I was put on it to help with Valium withdrawal well now I have two evil little drugs to come off. I have come down to 3mg v from 30mg, but thought it would be wiser to come off the amitriptyline first as the cuts take so long to feel with me it is about 11 weeks before I feel any effects and then if I reinstate it takes too long to feel stable.

    The side effects for me are terrible anger, plus I have a weird almost like high voltage wires buzzing through my brain I have had that for over a year now it did start to subside which was great and I felt quite normal but have since made another cut so I have come from 25 mg down to 10 mg now, although I have been on it for about 5 years. Hard to find people out there in cyber world that are taking this drug so I am glad to have found your group. I am now at 17 weeks since my last cut and having a really hard time in dealing with all these head issues.

    look forward to sharing experiences with you all xx

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Sammy

      I've tried to respond several times but I'm travelling at the moment and my phone is having major problems. Anyway, it looks like it’s going to behave for a few minutes now. I'll keep it brief anyway just in case.

      Yes, there are a few of us here at various stages of getting rid of amitrytyline. So, you're in good company.

      I'll send this off now before I lose it and will write more later.

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    • Posted

      Back again.

      I started on 50-75mg of Ami in roughly 1994 and stayed on an average of 50mg per night until 2010 when I did a reasonably slow taper and came off completely. Within a very short space of time (without seeing how it all crept up on me) I ended up on Valium, Olanzapine, Seraquel, Norspan patches and Tramadol. These were all to combat what I now know to be withdrawal symptoms from Ami (which none of the medical professionals involved seemed to make a connection to at the time). I spent 2 years coming of that lot with Tramadol being the worst. Anyway, long story short, I ended up back on 50mg of Ami about 5 years ago and have started trying to get rid of it again slowly over the last couple of years.

      I know what you mean re the brain zaps, I had them for months with the tramadol withdrawal. I try to look at it as the brain rewiring itself back to normal.

      I'm going to sign off now as I'll be losing my Wi-Fi in a minute. I'm currently on day 12 on 15mgs. I've been cutting down very slowly over the last 2 years. At thw moment I'm cutting down by 2.5mg every 6 weeks. My main withdrawal symptoms are not sleeping and my various body pains get worse. So far this time, I'm doing ok and the sleep was still pretty good at 17.5mg. Now at 15mg it's not as good but good enough.

      Anyway, as you'll see everyone is coming off at their own pace and experiencing their own wd symptoms. The main thing is we are not alone in this and we are heading in the right direction.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sheena

      Thankyou so much for replying. This is the first time I have actually conversed with someone who understands the awful effects of this so called medication makes me feel happy in a sad kind of way.

      i know what you mean about the medical profession not recognising that these awful symptoms we are having are in fact withdrawal, that happened to me last year no effects coming from 25mg to 15mg but once I got below 15mg they started. I asked my Dr but said that it definitely wasn't from the ami so after extensive tests to rule out MS, Brain tumor or any other horrendous disease it was just a shrug of the shoulders and all put down to anxiety and since then I don't mention anything about getting off this drug so the dr is under the impression that I am still willing to stay on it. I just decided that I will get my scripts made up and not say anything.

      My plan is to wait until this bout of noise and zaps in my head go away and then I will titrate and literally go so slow that hopefully the body and brain won't feel it too much. I did this with the v and it was so much kinder to the body to do it this way. It will,take a lot longer but I think it is better to be able to function and go slow than to go quick just for the sake of getting off but suffer the whole way down.

      I totally agree with you I also look at it as my brain is very busy rewiring itself. 

      i have found that by slowing the taper my sleep pattern is slowly rectifying itself so I sleep a little better than say the month before. 

      My body pain got so bad, I had given up smoking and thought it was that lol but after reading a few people's experience I now know it wa the ami it lasted for over 10 months before it started to subside for quite a while there I could not sit cross legged on the floor as my leg muscles were so stiff and sore it was impossible thankfully that has mostly rectified itself. Sorry this post was so long just overwhelmed that there are others out there just like me.

      Feels good not to be alone in this all the best and thank you for replying and yes we are all heading in the right direction.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Sammy, firstly your not alone and we can do this. Sorry for the delay but i have not been well i have and still have a bad cold and feel rubbish. I am having head pains and a kind of light headedness unsure if its this heavy cold or the ami. On my first attempt to come off i got down to 10mg then cut my tabs in half so was on 5mg but, day 3 horrendous symptoms gp said to go back on 10mg for a week or two and try again.  I waited longer and again bad withdrawal so back on 10mg. I now am on 5mg over 3 weeks, funny head pains light headedness, dizzy spells which are linked to motion ? why. i was planning to reduce further in a week or two but need to start to feel better befor i cut down again. Some people have very little problems but, there are many like us who are much more sensitive to this dru. so, yes slow and steady is the key. Keep us posted. x 
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    • Posted

      Hi Sammy, what do you mean re leg pain? My legs are feeling stiff but my neck has been stiff  since i went down to 10mg so a few months now. Do you think the stiffness is a withdrawal too? x 
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    • Posted

      Hi Amanda thanks for replying, re the leg pain was actually more leg stiffness and felt like you had done a massive workout where you feel really stiff after, weird I know but so glad that has gone but I definitely think it is withdrawal. Lightheaded dizzy feeling that has anything to do with motion that is what I have now I am now on week 17 since my cut from 12.5 to 10mg felt the cut at about week 11 waiting patiently for it to pass which is so frustrating I actually thought it was my ears so had then syringed but that didn't help much. It almost feels like you are tipsy all the time (I don't even drink)lol.

      once I feel normal again I will try titrating it in water and come down by 0.25of a mg every month just to see if that makes it more bearable.

      it is really nice to connect with others out there who are sensitive to these drugs and to have some validation that it is definitely not out imagination, makes the journey a little easier to get through. Xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi Sammy,  my ears are also funny it is like they are blocked but not sometimes i get tinitus noises then its gone it is weired.  My neck stiffness is like a pulled muscle. Keep in touch, its not in your imagination or mine it is real. x 
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    • Posted

      Hi again Sammy,

      I'm travelling at the moment so not a lot of Wi-Fi time but I'm still floating around.

      Yes, it is going below the 15mg mark that is my concern too. My sleep has definitely been worse in the last 17 days since dropping to 15mg but I've also had a couple of really good sleeps in that time which gives me hope.

      I know this time around that the withdrawal symptoms (especially if you've been on ami a long time) can last from 6-12mths and I'm prepared to stick it our this time.

      I'm guessing, like Amanda, you're in the UK and can access liquid Ami. As far as I know it’s not possible to get hold of it in Australia. So, I'll just have to keep cutting those pills into 1/4s.

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    • Posted

      Hi Amanda and Sammy, I'm just catching up on posts now and hope that you are both doing well. I've also got an abnormal amount of general body pain and stiffness. Have had most if it for years but no idea what causes it. It will be interesting to see what happens to that once l get completely off Ami.

      Also, one funny thing was that I was in my accommodation on Naxos the other day and had a wierd feeling that the very solid house I was in was shaking and rolling. I immediately put it down to a withdrawal symptom from Ami until I found out later that we'd actually had an earthquake. So, that has shown me that I can't blame everything on Amitrytyline.

      I hope you are both going well.

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    • Posted

      Hey Sheena & Amanda

      Not doing too bad the anger/rage that I felt has finally subside so that is a relief, wow I was one nasty biatch lol. Yesterday arvo had a reprieve from the blocked sensation on the right side of my head felt great but sadly it is back again, still gives me hope that it is finally beginning to break up I am at 18 weeks since my cut and it was only a cut of 2.5 mg.

      Body aches and pains that you mention are subsiding a lot lately which is great.

      Sheena not in the U.K. I live in the great Down Under as you do so like you our smallest tablet is 10 mg no liquid but I have learnt that you can crush them and suspend in water that way you can make your doses extremely small which is handy when you get lower. I did this with Valium in milk (v is not water soluble need fat in milk,for it to bind to) Great to hear from you had to laugh about the earthquake 😂 we have the right to blame ami for everything, have fun on your travels hope your sleep continues to get better.

      Talk soon 

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    • Posted

      Hi Sammy how are you doing coming off ami? im at 2.5 mg and having withdrawal sypmtoms and was thinking of just stopping completely as im sick of feeling ill and will feel ill anyway. x
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    • Posted

      Hi there, just reading through this thread. I was taking 100mg of amitriptyline for around 6months for chronic migraines. I decided to come off it due to weight gain and it exacerbating some of my migraine symptoms. I came off it cold turkey. Since stopping approx 5 weeks ago, along with a lot of other migraine symptoms returning, some nasty withdrawal symptoms (well I think that is what they are) - the thing that is bothering me most still is the aching pains in my legs and they feel so tense all the time. Also most of my joints ache, does this sound similar to you? Just after some reassurance really. 

      Thanks in advance 

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    • Posted

      Hi Emma, You can probably say that whatever you are feeling is more than likely due to amitriptyline withdrawal. It could take months to feel normal again. We are all at different stages here and coming off in different ways after being on different amounts for different lengths of time. I was on 50mg for over 20 years and I'm tapering very slowly. I've been down to 15mg for about 11 weeks now. I'm overdue to drop down to 12.5mg but will try that in the next few days. My sleep has already started to become messy so I'm reluctant to go down any further. However, l am determined to get off amitriptyline completely by March 2018 and hopefully get a chance to lose some weight in the process.

      Good luck and stay in touch. There are a few of us floating around here.

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    • Posted

      Hi Emma and Sheena

      Emma last year I dropped my dose from 15mg to 10mg and had the same aching legs as you are experiencing at the time I had started walking 5kms a day and thought it was that but it went on and on for like 8 months I couldn't even sit on the floor little alone crossed legged. I asked the Gp if it was side effect and they said no, but it definitely was but it has all gone now. Amitriptyline affects us all differently it's a horrid evil drug.

      Sheena sorry to hear about the sleep I am down to 7.5 mg and my sleep is all over the place as well up and down all night drives me crazy but I will endure I figure as long as I am getting some sleep then that is ok with me. 

      How is the holiday going? Envious would love to be somewhere with warm weather ?? 

      best to everyone

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    • Posted

      Hi Amanda

      How are you doing? I'm on night 2 of 12.5mg. I'm still travelling but in one place for 2.5 weeks now so a good opportunity to try reducing again.

      I hope you are feeling better

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    • Edited

      Hi Sammy I stumbled across your post. I was on amitryptyline 50mg for 20 years. My doctor did a straight swap on to mirtazapine 12 weeks ago. The doc basically told me to cut 50 mg amitryptyline down in 5 days which I now know was a mistake. Wanted I wanted to ask you is could I still be experiencing withdrawals 12 weeks later from stopping the amitryptyline. As I'm feeling so unwell I'm trying to work out if it's from stopping the amitryptyline or its the mirtazapine doing it. Asked my doctor this same question 4 weeks ago and she said the amitryptyline will be gone. I'm not so sure she seems to think swapping one pill to another should have no ill affects. Told her I wanted off the mirtazapine so she told me her version of withdrawing. Come off it and had 4 days off hell. She didn't even know how for me to taper safely. Went back to see her told her I couldn't stop it dead like that my nervous system was jumping around like playing table tennis. I've lost all faith in doctors giving out but he correct information. Anyway any reply off you I would be most grateful.

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    • Posted

      Hi Ninjawarrior

      So sorry that you are suffering so much, I wish Drs would listen more to their patients and learn from them. If you have never been dependent on any medication how can you possibly know what it is like to just stop a medication over a couple of days when you have been on it for so long, this I can say makes me so angry to me it is arrogant of drs not to listen. Plus if drs would do a little research they would find a multitude of information out there to support the facts that patients are giving them. 

      In my opinion, and speaking from experience with this medication most people especially if you have been on it long term cannot and should not come off quickly I think with any medication a symptoms based taper is the best and safest course to take. This is what I have been doing since feb 2016.

      Even going slow some of the effects of withdrawal were terrible, buzzy/spacey weird feelings in my head, aches in my legs that continued 24/7 for 10 months, itching, dry flaky leaking ears and so many more, however they have all just about gone by slowing my taper. The ones that come and go now are bearable.

      Can you ask your Dr to be reinstated on ami and then once you have a bit of stability then try to decrease your dose to see how it goes, everyone's makeup is different so you can only try.

      In my opinion you are paying your Dr for a service and it is your body therefore you should have a discussion and explain that you are not happy or comfortable with this change in treatment and try to come to an agreement that suits you both. Drs can be put off and offended so easily. 

      Or just say it isn't working go back on the ami and try doing it in a way you feel comfortable.

      My Dr didn't believe that my symptoms were from ami either and I was sent for every test known MRI Ultrasounds etc nothing showed up, then the matter was just dropped so I haven't told my dr what I was doing. 

      Another person good to get an opinion from would be Sheena as she has been on high dose like yourself.

      Why did your Dr change your medication in the first place?

      Hope this helps keep us posted and you have come to the right group for support.

      Cheers😁

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    • Posted

      Hi Sammy the amitryptyline had stopped working. So I was struggling with sleep at night. Doctor did a straight swap onto mirtazapine.ive Been on the mirt 12 weeks now and it did cross my mind to go back on the amitryptyline. I just thought by doing that it might get complicated again. Feel so unwell being stuck like this. The chances are the amitryptyline withdraeal is giving me insomnia and why the 15 mg mirt are not working. It's probably fighting it if that makes sense.

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    • Posted

      Hi Ninjawarrior,

      I have been reading. Sorry that you are facing difficulties, I know what you feel. I wonder what was the main problem for which Ami was prescribed. 

      For my case, I had a panics attack due to work issues and I couldn't sleep due to fear and Ami was prescribed. I was on Ami for just 3 months and at some point, I couldn't sleep again, then I saw my Ami moving from 10mg to 25mg. Then again still within the 3 months, I could not sleep again and doctors asked me to just stop taken Ami, and he prescribed mirtazapine and lorazepam. I took mirtazapine just during 2 days and I could sleep at some point but with a lot of side effects. 

      Been a Scientist, I had to take a decision (based on Yes or No), but I regretted after. I decided to stop all these medications given that I was not having all these problems before in my life. Oh, Ghost wrong decision and thanks to this group, I do not write a lot but I read. My withdrawal was bad, I didn't even know that it was withdrawal at the early stage. I was thinking that I am going mad. Yes mad, I did not have more than 1h sleep for 7 days and found my self twice at the emergency. When I got to learn about withdrawal, I started getting better and better. I stopped all these medications on the 12 Feb 2017. I can not say I am completely fine now, but I can sleep again well, just having headaches sometimes. But I am fine now, not 100% but 95% as I was before.

      Ok, this is my advice, if you are taking Ami for a  sleep problem then you have 99% chances to stop all these medications and stay fine still. If this is the case, then I will try to go back to my normal dose of Ami (stable dose) and get stable, then try to taper it down very slowly. 

      I stopped everything without telling the doctor. Dr told me that I will stay on med all my life, I am 31 now. I did not accept it, and I stopped cold turkey, and I am fine now. My headache is getting better and better, I do not take any painkiller and I can still work well. So I am on the right side smile. Good luck.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi armandolev. I was put on amitryptyline 20 years ago for sleep . I started at 100mg but for the last 10 years was down to 50mg. Anyway it stopped working.doctor told me to drop the 50mg in 5 days because she was swapping with the mirtazapine. And I wouldn't suffer with withdrawal. Went back told her how unwell I felt. I thought about going back on the amitryptyline but as said in my previous post thought it might complicate things more. The doctor has a lot to answer for. As I can't start to taper off the mirtazapine until I feel more stable.

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    • Posted

      hi Sammy

      I tried the liquid system and it didn't work. I was filling a 10ml syringe with water and mixing the 10mg tab into it and then squirting out 1 ml. After 4 days I'm a wreck again and back to square 1!

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