Is amitriptyline any good for insomnia?

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My GP has prescribed me amitriptyline 10mg for my insomnia, it's a bit hit and miss with it, i always feel groggy the following day and when I do sleep it's very broken but better than none. Should I really be on this, what else could I try?

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  • Posted

    To be honest any medication that helps you sleep will make you woozy in the morning, often leaving you with a dry mouth and other side effects.

    Amitriptyline is used a lot for insomnia and also for calming nerve pain in the lower dose.In much higher doses it is used for depression.

    If you are not getting on with it you need to go back to the gp and have a chat about an alternative. Unfortunately at the moment there isn't one that will knock you out and have no side effects in the morning, if anyone manages to invent one he will be a trillionaire overnight!

    Sometimes hypnosis can help, other people have tried accupuncture, the herbs Valerian and Passiflora, lettuce sandwiches, warm baths and a boring book. It's one of life's very frustrating things insomnia.

    I have it myself and just live with it, reading into the night and even sometimes doing the ironing!

    Go back and see your gp, you can ask to be reffered to a sleep clinic, it's a long waiting list but eventually you'd get there.Also tell him/her that it's the side effects that put you off and specifically ask if there is something without them. Some people try muscle relaxers like Baclofen but these also have side effects too.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.

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  • Posted

    Thank you for your reply, my insomnia started when I started having problems with my sinuses (still ongoing). I get so worked up and stressed about not sleeping. I tried zoplicone and zolpidem last year and had really bad reactions and shakes. I think I need something that calms me. Even alcohol doesn't work that well and will give me about 3 hours sleep. Sometimes when I fall asleep I wake up quickly as if I am short of breath.
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  • Posted

    You really need a review and proper chat with the gp. They dish out pills but don't always get to the bottom of the problem.

    You mention the 'stressed' word. Biggest thing to stop us sleeping. My hubby has sinus problems and it drives him mad at times. Both the stress and the sinuses need to be sorted out. Alcohol is not the answer I'm sad to say....

    It sounds as if something like a low dose SSRI, anti-depressant would benefit you for a while, then you could taper off.

    My mum started taking Citalopram, only a small dose, last year after my dad died. It calmed her amazingly she sleeps very well now. A dear friend of ours also started taking it last year, after becoming very aggressive and depressed. He is now the lovely chap he used to be.It may be worth talking to the gp about and giving a try.

    You need to destress. It's a hard task. Do you have a family? a dog? do you go for a walk everyday? Have a hobby? read books? whatever makes you feel content, happy is not the word you need to attain but contentment is..

    Think about your life in general and see if there's anything you can work on to help you feel calmer.Even deep breathing can help.

    I hope you can get some help and find sleep comes with it soon, Fanny Jane.

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  • Posted

    hiya nigel,

    im afraid i disagree with fanny entirely on her suggestion to go on SSRIs, i think suggesting nigel does that is totally iresponsible of you fanny, stick to nice grandma homely advise fanny plz hes playing with fire if he starts down that road, you mention your mother fanny, c'mon how old is she, your a grandma yourself arent you, that makes her what age ?? and as you said your 'dear' friend was depressed and aggressive ??? for goodness sake whats that got to do with insomnia !!!!

    i know you mean well fanny, but your messing with psychotropic drugs here not aspirin, please refrain from suggesting stuff you know absolutely nothing about, you should know better at your age.

    oh in case you were wondering what makes me such an expert, i am male, 64 years old, have a life long history of major depressive episodes (its genetic im stuck with it) and 10 years ago did a single honours degree in psychology, please put your brain in gear before opening your mouth fanny.

    thanyou,

    Ken ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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  • Posted

    I' m married with a 9 month old. I started having sinus problems in August 2011 where I kept getting head and then body sweats and loss of appetite which went on and off for a few months, it felt like my nose had dried up. I have suffered ever since. My nose still doesn't drain properly and builds up at the tip above my front teeth and I can feel it pushing into the front right tooth area. I've recently had a sinus op at the Yorkshire clinic which hasn't improved anything and I have an awful post nasal drip. Tried citalopram briefly earlier this year and it made my chest really tight and scary dreams. Another thing what was weird is that I had a course of doxycycline early this year and I slept brilliantly for 2 weeks after but then it started again. I have no infections. I find it hardest to fall asleep but when I do manage to its broken sleep and sometimes I wake gasping for breath?

    My front right tooth feels raw, I'm waiting to see a specialist about this though, it's like something is obstructing the mucus flow.

    I also have a problem with my left leg which doesn't help, every time I do anything physical on it, it starts to tingle and get pins and needles so waiting to see someone about this too, could be a vascular problem after someone fell on that area last year. I was referred to Dr Spilker a neurologist who refused to do any tests or scans

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  • Posted

    Well Ken I touched a nerve there. I didn't realise it would be me prescribing medications to NigeI I thought it would be his gp who would discuss with him any further treatment and concerns that he has.

    I am also a great deal younger than you and my mother is 73.

    I merely answered Nigel's question. As it happens I agree with you abut SSRI's and many other medications that our NHS system throws at us. I am also very sorry to hear of your own battle with health issues but I thought this forum was for open chat and hopefully helpful advice .No one has to take any of it and I am sure Nigel is grown up enough to read and assimilate his own reaction to whatever is written.

    I'm not here for tit for tat stuff but assure you I am more highly qualified than you are.

    Dear Nigel, really sorry if you think I over stepped the mark I really was only offering suggestions.

    I am also very sorry to hear that you have been refused an MRI scan for your leg and pins and needles problem. I hardly dare say it in case Ken jumps down my throat again but at least you have seen a neurologist as he is the expert in this field..

    You have a great deal on your plate it is no wonder you have insomnia and are finding all your symptoms hard to live with.

    All I will say is that I hope you get to the bottom of your health worries soon and can move forward with a decent nights sleep behind you. Fanny Jane.

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  • Posted

    Me too, it's been worse since the sinus op. the pressure that builds up is loads worse. I used to get some sleep now I struggle to get any.
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  • Posted

    Hi Nigel, as you have answered I will reply too. I was going to bow out of this one due to Ken's reaction. My replying to your post was out of compassion for your situation, not to be verbally abused in such a personal way by someone else.

    It does sound as if the root of your insomnia problem is your underlying health problems. At least you have been referred to see someone about your painful tooth, which is a positive move.

    You say you've had a sinus operation that obviously wasn't as successful as you'd have hoped for. Do you think it would be worth asking your gp if you could go back to the hospital and get checked over? Procedures don't always go as perfectly as the text book says. It may be that the department could offer you something else or at least talk through your expectations to help you deal with your sinuses.

    As to the amitriptyline it may be worth perservering with them. I know that the earlier in the evening you take them the better, as the wooziness will then wear off in the morning quicker too. I took them myself years ago for nerve pain, taking them at 7pm instead of 10/11pm. Also it takes a while to get used to any new medication. It is not for me to say what medication you should take to help you sleep but you clearly need some support and help with the debilitating insomnia.

    I hope someone else will come along and offer you some more specific advice, it's a miserable thing to have to live with.

    My very best wishes to you, Fanny Jane.

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  • Posted

    oh and nigel, try not to worry, kick the psychiatric meds into touch, when your health matters are resolved your sleeping pattern will return, i guarantee it, no sleeping meds required, simples

    thank you,

    Ken ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ cheesygrin

    Emis Moderator comment: I have removed my post and Ken's reply in this post. As he pointed out I should have messaged rather than posted in here so apologies for that. The point remains though that it is an open forum with individual's opinions and even if comments weren't meant to be offensive they can be taken as such. If anyone does have any concerns please send me a message.

    Thanks, Alan

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  • Posted

    Try DALAY I can only find it at Walgreens With one I sleep all night with 2 it really knocks me out I don't know nothing till I wake up in the morning. Not even the one that the doctor prescribed me that has drugs work don't work on me I keep Waking up but I still do get sleep some sleep and it helps but these that I bought at Walgreens boy do they work Unbelievable. Sometimes They have them where they have all the other tablets for sleep but most of the time they have them where they have all the stuff that comes out on commercials on the TV and says sold at Walgreens just ask someone where are the items that come out on TV commercials not what they sell on T V but what comes out on the TV commercials  for sleep. The manager didn't even know what  delay for sleep was I had to look from them myself. Send Me your email and I'll send you a picture of exactly what they look like. There in the blue box in the The  tablets are blue. 
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  • Posted

    Try DALAY I can only find it at Walgreens With one I sleep all night with 2 it really knocks me out I don't know nothing till I wake up in the morning. Not even the one that the doctor prescribed me that has drugs work don't work on me I keep Waking up but I still do get sleep some sleep and it helps but these that I bought at Walgreens boy do they work Unbelievable. Sometimes They have them where they have all the other tablets for sleep but most of the time they have them where they have all the stuff that comes out on commercials on the TV and says sold at Walgreens just ask someone where are the items that come out on TV commercials not what they sell on T V but what comes out on the TV commercials  for sleep. The manager didn't even know what  delay for sleep was I had to look from them myself. Send Me your email and I'll send you a picture of exactly what they look like. There in the blue box in the The  tablets are blue. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Nigel,

    I'm on 50mg Amitriptyline which is for both neuropathic pain and the hopes of making me sleep.  The lower doses weren't effective for me.  I have found that taking them about 8pm suits me better than at 11 as it takes about 5 hours before I get drowsy.  As this is different for everyone it is a bit of trial and error.

    I see you've tried zopiclone, nick-named zombiclone by myself. I found that they got me off to sleep but I didn't stay asleep.  I don't think that there is anything that can keep you asleep that won't have a sedating effect through the day.

    All I can offer is the advice to have a good 'getting ready for sleep' routine.  Oh, that word routine...it's one i'm not happy with but unfortunately in order to prepare you for sleep it's useful.  I tend to turn all screens off, the type of light emanating from the screens can trick the brain into thinking it's still day time.  I have a warm milky drink and, if i'm not sleepy, find something fairly boring to do to occupy me.  I have found that Sukoku puzzles help me.  I don't suppose it matters what you do as long as you are comfy and ready to sleep at the first little nod.  I also think this is useful as focussing on one thing helps quieten any unwanted or worrying thoughts that may be whizzing around your brain. 

    As I mentioned before it took a while for me to find the dose that suits me best.  I have Fibromyalgia so have high levels of pain throughout my body, the Amitriptyline does help with the pain and I consider it helpful in getting me off to sleep although I do wake a few times in the night.  I make a point of not looking at the clock as it doesn't really matter if I iknow how much sleep I've had.  I take the attitude that I will be mindful and whilst I might not have had a great sleep, tonight's another night and perhaps I will be tired enough to pass out ha ha ha...I meant to sleep.

    I hope you find what works for you soon Nigel.

    Kindest regards,

    Ginny :-)

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  • Posted

    Hi Nigel

    I have the same problem like yours. I started waking in the middle of the night in 1985 and starting to panting and panic. I dont know whats going but I called the local hospital emergency what to do. The nurse told me to get a hot warm bath or soak in hotub then drink warm milk and a slice of bread. She said carbs help the body fall asleep. Did not work! Its about 2am and I could not sleep feeling restless and afraid. I called my boyfriend at work to come home. When he came I just hug him and wont let him go. I told him I was feeling scared and shaky. I went to the doctors office in the mornng and he told me Panic attack mixed anxiety disorders. They gave me a ativan but i found out they are addicting so I quit. Then they gave me zolpidem  but sleep quick and keep on waking up every hour. Right now i am taking Buspirone/Trazadone/seroquel/amitripline.  The trazadone take it with seroquel gets me very tired in 30 mins. So I take them 30 mins prior bedtime and my mind will rest till I get tired. I can relate to all the insomia, panic attack and anxiety disorders. I have them all and living with them for the past 20 yrs. 

    Last year my younger brother told me he could not breath. He said hes heartbeat is ranging. He said he feel scared and ask me to take him to the ER. The ER told him he was running anxiety/panic attack. Now he has been living with them. 

     

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  • Posted

    I have trouble with insomnia, anxiety and jaw clenching which results in headaches and earaches my GP wants me to try amitriptyline I feel like I've tried everything but am a little scared of antidepressants

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  • Posted

    I have trouble with insomnia, anxiety and jaw clenching which results in headaches and earaches my GP wants me to try amitriptyline I feel like I've tried everything but am a little scared of antidepressants

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