Strange twitchy feeling keeping my awake at night. Is it an amitriptyline side effect?

Posted , 5 users are following.

I have been taking Amitriptyline for back pain for about a week, and from the first day and every day since, I’ve been getting a strange sensation in my lower abdomen and down my arms.

The best way I can describe it is that I feel itchy on the inside. Its as if I’m hyper-aware of the nerves in my body.

It’s particularly bad at night, and I’ve struggled to get to sleep and have woken up during the night (I am usually a pretty good sleeper).

I really don’t know if this is a side effect of the medication, or if the timing is a coincidence, so I’m wondering if anybody else has experienced it?

The reason I’m not jumping to the conclusion that the drug is causing it is that I have taken Amitriptyline previously for a month, and had no issues. I also have a pretty high tolerance in general for medications, and rarely experience noticeable side-effects, especially on small doses.

My next doctors apt is in 3 weeks, so, in the mean time, I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    That's a strange one. I have never experienced anything like that but I'm on a very low dose of 5mg.

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  • Posted

    Hi Alicemc, those strange feelings is it similar to what pins and needles feel like when it starts to wear off?  I used to get parathesia down the whole right side of my body on amit, very scary.  This drug affects our nervous system, so any type of wierd skin feelings can be involved, including hot legs, skin crawling to name a few.
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    • Posted

      Hi Paula,

      Thanks for your reply. I wouldn’t so much describe it as pins and needles, but a crawling feeling is a good way to describe it.

      When I first started taking it, I felt it a lot in my arms and stomach. It’s worn off in my arms and is mostly in my stomach now. It’s sort of like a shuddering feeling, but it doesn’t pass like a shiver down your back; it’s constant.

      It’s not painful, just sort of feels like I’m very aware of my nerves (as you said, Amitriptyline affects the nerves, so I suppose this makes sense?).

      It isn’t unbearable, but it makes it difficult to fall asleep, and stay asleep, and also makes it difficult to sit still in my chair at work.

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  • Posted

    Hi Alice,

    I have been on Ami for over 10 years to help manage my migraines and have recently reduced my dose from 125 mg to 100 mg. I have in the past tried to come off Ami two times - without success and had those same symptoms, a funny tingling sensation down through my arms and in my hands while reducing the dose as well as major anxiety. I find that the sensation and the anxiety very unsettling. So far, the 25 mg reduction hasn't been too bad, though I find I have a hard time getting to sleep on some nights. However, I have weird dreams if I forget to take my medication and usually sleep very well while on the meds. If I find that I can't get to sleep at all, I will take a few puffs of medical marijuana (Indica) which seems to do the trick. Fortunately, my husband has just retired and I no longer have to be up early to feed our horses and this has taken a lot of pressure off of me. I will try to be patient and reduce the dosage slowly. I hate to be tethered to any medication, it can't possibly be good for you. 


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