Starting on amitripyline for depression & insomnia

Posted , 4 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Can anyone give me any advice or success stories on amitripyline? 

I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety & insomnia around 10 weeks ago, it’s a long story so I won’t go into it fully but it’s been a complete nightmare. Sleep & low mood have been a huge problem.

I’ve tried both mirtazapine & trazadone with no luck (both didn’t help me sleep at all & my mood was still severely low, in the past I’ve also tried sertaline & citalopram)

My doctor put me on amitripyline yesterday.

Last night was the first night in 10 weeks that I didn’t take a 7.5mg zopiclone as well as an antidepressant.

I took 40mg of amitripyline, I woke up this morning feeling dizzy, not with it & still feel horrible now.  Although it did help me sleep for a few hours without the need for zopiclone (which I’m trying not to use anymore) 

How long will this last & do I need to reduce the dose? I know I need to take a higher dose to treat depression though.  

I was on amitripyline a few years ago for anxiety & insomnia & was on 120mg at night & functioned normally in the day over time.  

I ended up going to a&e a few weeks ago because I couldn’t cope with the sleepless nights, anxiety & low mood & was suicidal, it just feels like it will never end or get better. 

I have a hugely supportive partner & a good life but I feel in a daze all the time & am unable to go to work or enjoy anything. 

Thank you, Katie xx

0 likes, 5 replies


5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Katie.i was on amitryptyline for about 15 years. Started on 100 mg for sleep and whittled my way down to 5mg. On all the years I was on this I never felt well. But did help me sleep but the negatives outweigh the positives did for me anyway. Side effects was worn out all the time and irritable with it. I have tried most other medicines with no luck. Anyway went to the doctors about 3 months back and told her the amitryptyline stopped working. So she put me on mirtazapine. In the 6 weeks of being on 30"mg I had about 10days of

    feeling really well. But then I felt unwell again. Felt like my nervous system was jumping out of my skin I felt horrendous. So I went back down to 15mg and still don't feel well on this even though this dose us sedating I'm struggling to get off to sleep at doctor seemed to think coming off one tablet straight on to a different one would be easy. I don't think so I think maybe I should have had withdrawal off amitryptyline before going on to mirtazapine. I'm going to try and start to taper of the mirtazapine as soon as I can because I feel like a zombie. I feel distant and everything seems to be going in slow motion. I know a lot of people are suffering being on this pill.

    • Posted

      I was on mirtazapine for 6 weeks & it made me feel awful & completely like a zombie! I felt much better not taking it xx

  • Posted

    Sorry to hear what you are going through. It is god awful I know.

    I have been in the same boat really. Depersonalisation is very difficult to deal with.

    Amitriptyline has helped me tremendously in the past. I only took 10mg and worked up to 25mg found any higher was to strong for me.

    At 25mg it helped me sleep great, within a week my tension headaches had gone and leg pains (restless legs at night with anxiety) and migraines dropped dramatically. It was the neurologist who actually prescribed it as a preventive for chronic migraines and tension headaches. Nothing to do with anxiety.

    Within about 2 weeks I'd say my anxiety dropped as well. Not loads but the better sleep quality made it easier to cope with. It didn't help my depression or depersonalisation much but I had more energy to finally do stuff like start exercising more which I suppose helped. It took around 7 days for the zombie grogginess to wear off. No real side effects other than morning hangover and dry mouth but I was a mess before that and felt much worse on a good day so it was progress.

    I found that 50mg (upped dose) just KO'd me, I was spaced out, dizzy, confused had insomnia and just well sick to my stomach. I couldn't stand it at all and didn't want to entertain the "give it time" to settle jargon.

    Happy to stick with 25mg for now though I have been asked to think of switching to Sertraline as its a newer med with less side effects apparently. We'll see.

    Hope your okay.

  • Posted

    I totally empathize.  I went through basically the same thing about 20 years ago - was almost non-functional and sleep deprived.  I was put on 25 mg amit and also a low dose of sleeping pills.  Also discovered my hormones were very off so was put on hormone treatment.  Between all of that, in a few weeks, I felt better.  Still had some down times, but nothing I couldn't control.  Eventually went off the hormones b/c of the cancer risk, but continued on the other.  Never went up in dosage.  Now I have decided to come off the amit which has been difficult, but I believe it will be doable over the long haul.  It did take a couple weeks when I first started to begin feeling better. It seems like your initial dose is fairly high and I'm not surprised it leaves you in a fog.  From what I have read, 10 or 25 is a usual starting dose and then you build up.  However, they were probably concerned about getting you help asap.  I would check with the doctor, maybe lower your dosage to start and gradually build up.  Also, there are newer anti-depressants that you might consider instead that don't have some of the bad side effects and risks. Good luck and prayers for feeling better.  Glad you have good support - don't give up, there is an answer out there!


  • Posted

    Thank you everyone for the replies 💜 

    Mine started off with severe anxiety that lead to 11 nights of no sleep then depression hit. 

    So last night I had 70mg of amitriptyline (I think it was a too higher dose straight away) & I had severe restless legs, to the point I was crying & couldn’t sleep. 

    My partner ran me a warm bath & I ended up having a 7.5mg  zopiclone. 

    I slept the best I’ve slept in 10 weeks but woke up feeling severely dizzy, sick & completely out of it.

    My brother in-laws a pharmacist & he suggested I start at 50mg then up it every few days by 25mg. 

    He also seems to think I need to try a newer antidepressant with lower side effects and for the gp to deal with the insomnia separately. (Sleeping tablets for 2 weeks while the new antidepressant starts to work)

    Sleep is a huge issue for me & I think If i could sleep I would feel a little better in myself but the gp won’t give me anymore sleeping tablets. 

    Just praying the amitripyline will work for sleep tonight at 50mg although it didn’t last night at 70mg ?? 

    If I can’t sleep tonight or have restless legs again then I’m going to go back to the gp tomorrow with my partner.  

    I know I need a higher dose of amitriptyline for it to be a therapeutic dose for depression but if it’s not helping me sleep & if I keep getting bad effects the higher dose I take then I don’t know what to do ??  xx


Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up