Significant weight gain taking amitriptyline :(

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I have been taking amitriptyline for nearly 4 months for yet unexplained nerve pain. I started at 10mg and am now taking 20mg. Since I have been taking it I have had constant cravings for everything sweet that are totally uncontrolable.

I am due in hospital for an Mri of c spine and head tomorrow so hopefully I should have some answers soon and be able to come off the tablets but I am so miserable.

I spent all of last year dieting and exercising 5 times a week to lose weight as I was experiencing bad joint pain and I lost just over 3 stones. since starting the tablets I have gained 20lbs and am still gaining despite cutting down on my food and doing a combination of cardio and weights an hour a day, 5 times a week.

I spoke to my g.p and she gave me a prescription for gabapentin, but when I looked into the side effects they are the same as amitriptilyne.

Although my pain is almost under control, it is now being replaced by depression and self loathing at the way I am starting to look. I tried to wean off them a couple of weeks ago for this reason alone but my symptoms came back with a venegence so I had to start up again.

I really do feel trapped by these meds, docs suspect that I have some kind of nerve damage in my spine, which will be made worse by my increased weight so what do I do.

Any info would be greatly appreciated sad

1 like, 6 replies


6 Replies

  • Posted

    I have heard of the weight gain problem with these drugs and from what i understand its a problem with the Thyroid hormone T 4 , that hormone gets into the cells and instructs them to release energy , during that process the hormone T4 is converted to T 3 and its the T3 which enters the bodies cells , the drug your on interferes with that process and stops the T4 - T3 conversion , hence the weight gain , no amount of exercise is gonna help , or calorie restriction .

    Change the drug , dont add in others .

    I have only heard this i dont know if its reached the medical community yet , i doubt it .

    Although i dont have any proof of this , it does make sense . An ordinary Thyroid test will not show thus problem up as its working normaly , like i said it seems to be a problem with the T4 - T3 conversion

  • Posted

    I've had my dose increased to 50mg and have put on 8lbs in 2 weeks , I cannot fill myself. I'm back at my gp on Monday but have taken the decision to stop them tonight. I too lost weight to ease my joints and now I'm putting it back on and feel rotten.

    I'll let you know what my gp says on Monday about an alternative 

    • Posted

      Please, do not stop them without your GP's help. You have to cup up the tablet first and go down little at a time, leveling out for maybe a month or 4, depending on how long you have been taking them. They are addicted. I was led to believe they were not addictive and I was told no they are not, but I have come down to a half of a quater of a 10mg tablet. I was on 50mg. It is dangerous to cut out this table all of a sudden. I am getting side effects from been on them for 13 years. I get very tired, blured vision, and I have had weight gain that I could not get rid of. I am now loosing weight since coming off for 2 and a quater years.2012 was when I lear'nt that a panic attack I had when I was weaned off these tablets that I was on for maybe 6 months, in fact it was a side effect of coming off to quick. I have never had a panic attack before.
  • Posted

    I have been on them for over 12 years, I weighed 11 stone back then i take 150 mg every night i have tried to come off them but if i dont take any i just dont sleep at all. Once i could not rember if i had took them at night so as could not take more, i realised about 5am that i could not have. Now i weigh so much i have both the  osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, so its hard to exersize, i am so fed up with the whole problem
  • Posted

    Hi, i have been prescribed amitriptyline also after taking pizotifen for 3 weeks and gaining over a stone, my doctor has assured me that amitriptyline will not make me gain anymore weight. is this not the case?? can anyone advise please?


  • Posted

    Hi all,

    I started on 10mg of ami in March of 2014 for migraine prevention but I ended up not having migraines but an anxiety disorder (panic attacks) with chronic headaches. From March-May, I still got headaches but was finally sleeping as my anxiety would not let me. However, I felt very tired all day. From May-July, my dosage was put up to 25mg and then 50 mg. The all-day tiredness went away and I slept like a rock, and the panic attacks waned but I still got daily headaches. Aug-October my dosage was put to 75mg and in December, 100mg. My panic attacks are now only 1x a month, my chronic headaches still come but aside from dry mouth, the weight gain has been horrible.

    10-50 mg I did not notice much of a difference, about a 5 pound flucuation (128-133 pounds). Since taking 100 mg, I have jumped to 145, now 150 pounds. I do have worse cravings but have not been giving into them. I exercise and watch what I eat but the weight keeps going up and my clothes do not fit. I am going to see about going back down to a lower dosage. The panic attacks were ruining my life and it has helped, but I hate the weight gain.


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