Amitriptyline withdrawal

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I have taken amitriptyline (25mg) for around 3 months. It was prescribed as a migraine preventative. 

The first few weeks were great, sleep was brilliant (especially for someone with high anxiety and poor sleep anyway), side effects none, but slowly but surely more developed. 

Honestly, I have just not felt any benefit to taking these tablets. My headaches and migraines were significantly worse, I was getting pins and needle sensations in my head (very disconcerting), and despite sleeping better, I felt so tired on these, even after 3 months! I also had a very high heart rate, increased anxiety and felt oddly tearful.

I have decided to come off these tablets and done 2 weeks at 15mg, then dropped to 7.5mg for a week, then to 3.5mg for 4 days and then off completely. 

I know I am on a low dose compared to some people but my god, the withdrawal has been awful!!!! It's so slow and drawn out!

It's been 3 weeks off them now and the withdrawal it is still going! I am not taking another tablet to prolong it, so just going to ride it out.

My stomach hurts and feels kind of swollen, tender and cramps a lot. I am really gassy constantly, appetite gone and find it hard to manage whole meals (I could eat for the world before these tablets).

Sorry to be grim (might want to skip this bit), but going to the loo is also difficult, and scarily I have also had blood in my stools a few times which only came on during withdrawal (2nd week). It's not bright red, but more dried. I have spoken to my GP who doesn't seem concerned at the moment, he wants to give the tablets longer to clear and see if it persists. Before stopping these tablets I have had perfect stomach health. I am 26 and perfectly healthy diet and exercise wise, so not too concerned yet. Taking probiotics and drinking a lot of ginger tea to try and help my digestion and stomach

I am vomiting 2/3 times a week, had shakes, sweats, massively broken sleep. Racing thoughts and just generally not myself.  I can only get around 5-6 hours now, yet I don't feel tired which is good. A lot of brain fog and just general haze. And finally worse migraines! Gah

After 3 weeks, I am finally starting to see some progress in getting back to my old self (migraines included sadly). Hoping in 2 more weeks time, i will be free. 

Wish I honestly never tried one of these tablets. 


1 like, 4 replies


4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Thomas

    ?Yes it can be grim coming off this drug but you should soon see the light at the end of the tunnel and feel the brain fog easing soon. If not I think you have a sensitivity to Amitriptyline and it may take longer for the withdrawals to go. You were not on a high dose but 3 months of taking it may have made your body dependent on it. You were wise to taper slowly. A word of caution, you would probably try other drugs to ease your migraines but please think twice about taking Gabapenten or Pregabalin if they are offered to you - they often are the next step when Amitrip proves unsuitable. The side effects and withdrawals on these Gaba drugs are similar but much more invasive. If offered either please do as much research as you possibly can before agreeing to try. 

    ?I do hope you start to feel better soon and the withdrawals really do 'withdraw'. 

  • Posted


    I take this drug and been on them for over ten years, I was on 75mg then reduced to 50mg I had no problems however we are all different.

    All I can really suggest you follow the pathway you have decided to take, this medication is an old one as far as AD are concerned and I use them for nerve pain caused by PsA I will need to remain on them now for the rest of my life.

    There are alternatives I understand, your GP may have new ideas to help you with your Migraine.25mg is not a very high dose so hopefully given time you will be ok.


  • Posted

    Hi Thomas, sorry you are experiencing this withdrawal, i have been reducing from 10 mg since january. I am on 0.5 mg liquid and every drop makes me experience some withdrawal mainly nausea, bloating and cramps. I originally cut 10mg to 5 mg and then stopped  boy that was a mistake so was back upto 10 mg twice then got it in liquid to make smaller drops which, has helped. i will still have to withdraw when i stop but hopefully the withdrawl will not last weeks. x take care  
  • Posted

    Hi Thomas,

    I hope that you are progressing well in your journey. I started taking AMI about 3yrs for insomnia. It was great! Little did I know that this hasn't been a widely used drug since the 60's&70's. Worst mistake was ever placing this pill on my lips. I was taking 150mg for sleep and I stopped cold turkey 3wks ago. I've had the extreme nausea,vomiting,restlessness,fevers,nightmares,and complete loss of appetite(good thing). I have lost 10 pounds in this short amount of time,mind you I gained 40. Don't give up just hang in there. It does get better.


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