I have come off amitriptyline and my IBS symptoms have reappeared

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Hello there. I have been on amitriptyline since October 2014 following a dreadful time that was never properly diagnosed. I had IBS symptoms but violent loose bowel movements would wake me in the night and I was in constant pain and used to feel generally very ill all the time.

After so many tests and 2 colonoscopies and no diagnosis, my Doctor decided to try amitriptyline (only a 10mg dose). My symptoms improved slowly over a few months and for about a year I have been relatively back to normal with the odd 'upset' stomach. It has been marvellous.

I have gained a fair bit of weight that amitriptyline could be contributable to and suffered in the mornings with an amitriptyline 'hangover'.

I recently thought I would see how I was now without amitriptyline. I weaned myself off slowly and have now been off completely for only one week. Almost immediately urgent loose bowel movements have returned. I have no associated pain and do not feel ill as before. I will continue to try without the tablets for a while but I wondered if anyone else has had similar experiences and what the outcome was?

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  • Posted

    I am so glad you posted this message as i was considering coming off amitriptyline myself - albeit slowly, as i wanted to see if my symptoms would be ok without it. Plus i have discovered rumours linking amitriptyline to dementia. (I was wondering if any other members could shed some light on this please)!

    Like yourself i have been on this drug since oct 14 as i was experiencing headaches, sleep problems & was diagnosed with IBS. Since taking amitriptyline i have noticed a great improvement with all my conditions. But following your post i may indeed remain on it incase i suffer flare ups again.

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    • Posted

      Stephen after reading your comment I looked up for dementia relation to ami. My mother has dementia after suffering from Parkinson disease. It seems that no mental medication is safe. I had used klonopine for years and it was very very hard to get off it.
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    • Posted

      Oh I don't want to put you off, I suppose we would all react differently. Amitriptyline has been my saviour but I was just interested to see how I was without out it after using it for so long.

      I am going to try to keep going as I haven't got exactly the same symptoms as before. I will keep you posted.

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  • Posted

    I have cfs and ibs and all the symptoms realted. My ibs was less tormenting than yours but I was always careful with what I eat. I take amitriptyline 25mg. It helps me with the terrible anxiety. I know if I stop (I have been taking it for 6months now) it will all come back probably worse than before. Ibs wise I think ami is very similar to Imodium. you can get it from the shelf at a phamarcy. I eat nearly anything with ami. Yet these medication will never cure me. I don't know how long I will go on and when the efficacy will slow down and I need to increase the dose. I think this is the dilema we face and there is no kings way and doctors can't do anything. We have to make our own decision.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying. I think you're right, there is no cure and ami masks the symptoms. I have just always hoped the this awful 'thing' would disappear one day as it came out of nowhere....

      I was nearly back to normal, I don't think it would ever be like it was 'before'. I took 10mg for roughly 18 months with no increase in dosage required so I wouldn't necessarily think the efficiency will slow down for you.

      I will keep you posted as I intend to stay off for a while unless the symptoms get too bad.

      Take care.

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  • Posted

    Hi helpneeded123

    I stopped taking amitriptyline 7 weeks ago and even if you taper slowly there are some withdrawal symptoms. An upset stomach is one of them. I was taking it for cfs symptoms and have never had ibs, about 4 days after stopping taking it completely I began to suffer from stomach cramps and diarrhea. At first it was daily now it's a few times a week. It may not be ibs but the symptoms of stopping the medication. Some of the symptoms are mentioned here:

    http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/09/11/amitriptyline-elavil-withdrawal-symptoms-how-long-do-they-last/

    If it is from stopping the amitriptyline it will clear up. The duration seems to be related to how long you took the medication and at what dose. I was on 200mg every night for many years so my body had quite an adjustment to make when I stopped. Stick with it for a while to see if it eases up.

    Hope this is of some help. I wish you well soon.

    Take care

    Diane

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    • Posted

      Diane b

      I wonder why you stopped taking Amitrityline after using it so long and how do you find it with cfs now?

      In my case my doctor insisted that he has seen people get better with ami.

      Cheers

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    • Posted

      Hi brotherhood

      I was told to stop on medical advice. I had a seizure (I'm not epileptic), which amitriptyline can cause and then began suffering from intermittent heart arrhythmia and anyone with heart problems is advised not to take amitriptyline. My resting heart beat had been 105bpm, without medication it has dropped to 70bpm and the arrhythmia has stopped. In terms of the cfs I haven't noticed it getting worse. Perhaps I took it for so long that my body was so used to it it wasn't being very effective anyway.

      Best

      ​Diane

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    • Posted

      Hello Diane

      Thank you so much for your very helpful message and the link.

      I will continue to see how I get on and keep you posted.

      I do hope you are doing well now.

      Best wishes to you x

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    • Posted

      Hi Diane

      Thank for sharing your experience: 

      That a long term use of ami may reduce its efficacy.

      So you had to have the dose increased, and it may have caused the palpitation.

      Without the meds I get an extremely foggy head, which is understatement of the agony it brings. Strangely my previous doctor gave me 

      antibiotics. Doxy was helpful, but he no longer can prescribe antibiotics. So my new hospital doctor gave me amitriptyline. It is helps me with sleep and pain and the foggy head.

      I wish you best of luck on your new path without the meds!

      cheers

      Brotherhood

       

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  • Posted

    Get tested for SIBO it can be awful!  I had it bad for 3 years and had evey test imagineable.  It is a chronic condition, but antibiotics initially help alot.  Would not recommend to continue taking them though.  Remove lactose, onions & garlic from diet.  Gluetin too if you can...
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your message. Can you just ask your Doctor to test you for this? I have heard of it before but they have never mentioned it.

      Would ami have masked those symptoms do you know?

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