Tapering off low dose of Amitriptyline

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I have been on 10mg for almost 2 months. My doctor said to just stop but I was very concerned that it would be to quick. So he suggested 25% each week. On Dec 10th I reduced to 7.5 mg and did not have any issues except taking longer to fall asleep. Then on Dec 18th I had SEVERE nausea, anxiety, very upset and scared as I had no clue what was happening. Finally on Dec 24 I could not take it anymore and decided to go back on 10 mg. Within 2 days I was feeling better, not normal but better. Was this the Amitriptyline?? From such a small decrease? Is it normal for the withdrawal to set in a week later?? I asked my dr and he said that going off 10 mg you should have no issues especially not a week later. Had anyone else experienced a delayed withdrawal or had issues tapering even a small amount? I do not want to go down quickly if what I experienced was withdrawals even though my doctor disagrees. Please help, thank you ❤

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  • Posted

    Hi Tiffany

                    Have you read one of the other threads here called 'Amitriptyline Withdrawal' started by amanda59745?  There are quite a few of us there who have been following each others progress coming off Ami.  Amanda who started the thread was also on a low dose for a relatively short time and has had lots of trouble coming off.  Happily she is now on about day 8 of no Ami after weaning super slowly by about 0.1mg at a time.  So, yes what's happening to you is most likely Ami withdrawal and you will just need to take it really slowly to minimise the symptoms.  I started weaning from 50mg about 2 years ago (I'd been on it over 20 years) and I'm now very happily at week two on just 2.5mg and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  So, slow and steady is the way to do it.

    Good luck with getting rid of this horrible drug.

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    • Posted

      That's amazing Sheena I'm so happy for you. I did read the thread 😊 which was what made me go back on 10 after going down 7.5 and not knowing what was happening! After taking the 10 again once my symptoms improved within 2 days! I had no clue what was happening very scary and ruined my christmas😔 what percentage did you taper by? And when you went slowly were the withdrawals less severe? The nausea was so bad dropping 2.5mg I struggled to drink water. I thought I was doing great as I had no withdrawals when I first reduced (except it was harder to fall asleep) then a week later I woke up with horrible nausea that lasted until I figured out it might be the withdrawal. I know everyone is different but have you heard or experienced withdrawals setting in a week later??? I'm just trying to mentally prepare for my next attempt. I think that will help the anxiety if I know what is happening to me. Thank you for responding it's nice to know I'm not alone.

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    • Posted

      Hi Tiffany, l tapered by 2.5 each time and stayed on that for 6 weeks before cutting again. 2.5 is the smallest l could cut a 10mg tablet as we can't get the drops down here in Australia. That seemed to work OK for me but my symptoms are different (insomnia, increased pain levels and anxiety). They have all been pretty good although I did have a lot of trouble sleeping last night. I have also noticed wd symptoms kicking in more a week or so after a cut once the higher dose half life has worn off.

      Amanda has very similar wd symptoms to you and she needed to taper extremely slowly. You sound like you need to do the same. It will take a while but every cut is less Ami in your system and a step in the right direction.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response. We do not have the liquid here in Canada. But my doctor suggested I contact a compound pharmacy they can change the pills into a liquid. If you are struggling going lower perhaps that would be an option for you too 😊

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    • Posted

      I will check that out too. I'm on such a low dose now compared to where l and have managed so far but getting rid of the last 2.5mg could be the hardest.

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    • Posted

      I hope it is not too horrible for you. This drug sucks? I am so happy you are almost there!! ? I cannot believe how long it takes. But what's the point in hurrying to get of the drug and being sick with withdrawals for weeks or months. Thank you for all your help today it really made me feel better and not so alone.

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    • Posted

      Hi Tiffany, l'm still in 2.5mg but started skipping every 3rd night a week ago. It's been going OK but last night was a skip night and here I am at 4am having been awake since 2.30am. So, not sleeping too well. As long as l get a reasonable sleep most nights I'm not too worried.

      Did you get to the compounding pharmacy? How's it going?

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    • Posted

      Not yet I have it all organized though. Being that I had to get off pantoprazole twice because one dr took it away then I was so sick then they put me back on then took it away again slowly I suffered two bad withdrawals Oct and Nov. Then Dec I tried to cut back on the Amitriptyline and was so sick the doctor I now see who actually listens 😁 said we should wait a month to make sure it was a drug withdrawal issue and make sure nothing else is going on being that every month I got really sick for a week. I am convinced it was the drug withdrawal. She agrees but wants to just make sure just in case we are dealing with something else too. I'm glad to hear you are almost off of it 😁😁😄

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    • Posted

      You a right, it is a horrible drug and I wish I'd never heard of it, I've been on 100mg of Amitriptyline for 25 years, I was prescribed it after leaving hospital following a serious accident I had when I was 23, I'd been in hospital for 11 months and was soaking up large amounts of opiate pain medication, I actually was on the couch for 18 months stoned, eventually a doctor turned up at my house with my mother and basically said ''get in the car'' your'e going to hospital.

      I was told Amitriptyline was an antidepressant that had pain relieving qualities in ''some people'' and no one knew why it just was, i came home opiate free, on 100mg Ami and pretty much pain-free (to my surprise).

      I got lazy quickly, run out and was in no real hurry initially to get another script filled, after a couple of days with no Ami I became much more motivated to replenish the supply.

      Symptoms were and in no particular order, chronic upset stomach, diarrhea, restlessness, insomnia with crazy dreams at night and sleepwalking where I got myself into all manner of predicaments whilst semi-conscious, one night I came too tangled up in a barbed wire fence in my underwear.

      These days I just do not run out, this drug or the lack of it terrifies me, it's bigger than everything.

      Don't touch it.............    

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  • Posted

    Oh Yes Tiffany i have been there and got the T shirt . Yes it will be Amitriptyline anticholinergic effects you have experienced.  If you read back on a blog i started many months ago you will see i did the same i went from 10 mg to 5 mg then on day 3 awful pain, nausea anxiety, went back to 10 mg and it took me days to get better. I then reduced to 7.5 mg again symptoms so back to 10 mg.  My Gp was not helpful he sort of said it was health anxiety and sort of in my head !!!!! Anyway they prescribed me Amitriptyline in liquid form and it took me around 10 months to get off 10 mg. I still had  some effects like nausea and bloating and belching when i had some of my drops but it is a bad idea to  go back up, apparently confuses the brain.You need to make smaller drops and stay there for a few weeks until these symptoms go away. I know this seems so very long winded but, some of us are a little bit more sensitive to medication than others. Keep us in the loop and we will support you. xx Amitriptyline has a half life so just when you think things are good WHAM the symptoms get you.  
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    • Posted

      Hi Amanda

      Thank you for responding. I had no clue what was happening to me considering the bad withdrawal effects did not hit me until a week later is that normal? Did you taper by 1 mg each month? When you did get withdrawal symptoms going slower were they as bad as your 10 to 5 drop? My 10 to 7.5 was horrible. The nausea was so bad I could barely drink water and eat a cracker. The chest pains scared me too as the doctor said there is no withdrawals with this drug so I had no clue what was happening.

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    • Posted

      Hi Tiffany, everyone is different and yes a week later the withdrawal can hit you, for me it was always 3 days i got where i would dread the 3rd day after i reduced. My withdrawal  effects were never as bad as the first time when i went from 10 mg to 5 mg that was horrendous. OMG Tiffany my nausea was also that bad i could only eat dry crackers and drink water lol. My GP also said that he  did not think it is withdrawal as Amitriptyline in not addictive. It is NOT addictive but it is the anticholinergic effect that we experience, it changes brain chemicals and that's what we experience.  I kept a diary of my weaning off this medication. I have just looked back my first attempt was 19th January 2017 when i cut the 10 mg tab in half. I went back on 10 mg  the day my pain , nausea etc occurred 22 nd Jan, and stayed here  for 3 weeks as was frightened to cut again.  I then did 10 mg one day and 7.5 mg ( cut some tabs into 4) the next day for  3 weeks and only experienced  bloating slight nausea and belching.  3rd March just went onto 7.5 mg every day , Day 3 on my new regime  again head pain , cramps more nausea but stayed here  and it settled after 2 weeks all good. I then did 5 mg one day and 2 days of 7.5 mg , this regime i did only for 9 days as  my nausea, belching and cramps all getting worse so went back to 7.5 mg but still 4 days later the symptoms persisted i panicked and went back to 10 mg 5 days it took for the symptoms to stop. I then spoke to my GP as needed help and this is when  got prescribed liquid. 1st April went to 9 mls , 3 weeks later went to 8 mls all fine, 3 weeks later went to 7 mls all fine. Again 3 weeks later dropped to 6 mls, i then started to get slight headaches. So dropped less and went to 5.5 mls for 2 weeks then to 5 mg. I stayed at 5 mg for a month as the slight headache persisted. I started Omega 3 fish oils as  read on (point of no return website good for  the symptoms). 3rd of July i dropped to 4.5 mls for 2 weeks then to 4 mg for 2 weeks. I increased the drop as felt ok.It is now August but i was too eager with my reducing as suddenly felt dizzy, nauseous,  anxious, had neck pain sinus issues. I increased to 5 mg again and reduced much slower and all ok again.I stayed at 5 mg for 2 weeks then dropped to 4.5 mg for 3 weeks then 4 mg for 3 weeks all way down to  1 mg by the 4th December. I experienced some nausea and bloating at different times but nothing like before. I then obtained a very small syringe and took 0.8 mg  for  3 days then 0.5 mg  for 7 days then 0.25 mg for 4 days and took my last dose on the  20th December. I am fine no symptoms. Just go slow Tiffany is my advice, i know it is a pain but for me having few symptoms is worth the wait. If you look back on here Sammy made her tablets into liquid form, if you are unable to get the drug in liquid form as it makes it much easier. xx  

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    • Posted

      Thank you for all your info Amanda it really helps ease my anxiety about tapering. After my last experience a part of me says nope we will just stay on this forever but I know that is just the fear talking. When you were tapering slowly how long on average did you experience withdrawals for? A couple days or weeks? I'm so happy you are off of them that is such a big achievement!! People don't understand my brother took 30mg of Nortriptyline for 3 months and tapered himself off within a month. Not one side effect. He said it is all in my head and 10mg is so low just stop even if you have a bad week of nausea. No thank You!! I'm not sure how different his med was I think it is the same class as amitriptyline. I will go very slowly I want to make sure I succeed. Thank you for all your help and congratulations on beating this drug ????? I hope your original issues did not come back. Have a wonderful New Year 2018 and Amitriptyline Free😂😄😉

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    • Posted

      Yeah, I have a test at urologist ( amitriptyline urine retention) coming up and my neurologist said to stop my 10mg 3 days before test for accuracy. He said such a low dose shouldn't cause a problem . I don't know what I'm going to do yet. I'm leaning towards just staying on it.

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    • Posted

      Hi Tiffany, Nortriptyline is same family of drug and i too know people who have come off them with ease or few symptoms. My symptoms  sometimes lasted a couple of weeks and sometimes days. It is not in your head at all just do it slowly and try not to worry about it but, please dont go back up like i did as it takes so much longer. Amitriptyline never actually took all my symptoms of nerve pain away but, helped a little  just did not want to be on this drug for years and years. take care. x
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    • Posted

      A couple of weeks for withdrawals ugh😔 no fun. Hopefully it was not as bad as your first attempt. I can not imagine living on crackers and water for weeks if the nausea is bad for weeks. I guess I will just take it slow and listen to my body. What would your recommend based on your experience 10% less every couple weeks to start And see how I cope?

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    • Posted

      No Tiffany with smaller drops the nausea was never as bad so did not have to live on crackers and water. I would just do a mg every 3 weeks , if you have no symptoms after 2 weeks then drop again but, always wait 2 weeks. If symptoms persist wait before you drop again they will pass. Listen to your body it will tell you xxx good luck xx 
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    • Posted

      Hey Amanda

      How are you doing? Now that you are off of this drug. I'm about to start another attempt at tapering quite nervous but I will be going MUCH slower

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    • Posted

      Hi Tiffany, i have been ami free for 4 weeks tomorrow. I am still experiencing anxiety but, also pangs of abdominal cramps 2/3 x weekly followed by diarrhoea then back to normal  These pains i never experienced before so am sure this is due to the anti cholinergic effects of ami i hope it stops soon as makes my anxiety worse x Start your taper just go slow but dont go backwards xx 
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    • Posted

      I am so happy to hear that you are off 😁 4 weeks is amazing congratulations and hugs. I ended up being so dizzy I fell again and had body shakes. The doctor thinks we should wait for the 6 month mark but I cannot keep being dizzy and nearly passing out it is dangerous! I am going to start tapering again slowly now that is know what to watch for so it is not so scary. Did you experience any withdrawal when you finished your last dose? Congrats again??

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    • Posted

      Hi Amanda,

      I am starting my tapering and having a lot of anxiety which I am 99% sure is me. After my last attempt I'm terrified. I am wondering how you are doing now? I hope things have gotten better?

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    • Posted

      That's awesome. I wish I had that experience ? I know some people have a HORRIBLE time. I'm pretty sensitive to meds in general. I'm happy for you though 😊

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    • Posted

      Yeah I have some medical testing in a couple of weeks after that I have to decide whether to go back on it or not, I really haven't had too many problems with it. I also have anxiety but I can't really tell if it was helping or not

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    • Posted

      Hi Tiffany things are better i am 39 days post Amitriptyline still experiencing some nausea and cramps, i sleep well but, anxiety is a problem for me. We are all different and have different demons to face but, i am doing self hypnosis on youtube and mindful meditation to try and combat this. Be strong you can do this if i can anyone can xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Tiffany, no the nausea is nothing like before it is more a feeling , i can still eat. I t is not constant some days it is fine xx hope all well with you?
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