Want to taper off amitriptyline

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Hey first time posting. I have been on 50mg of amitriptyline for anxiety since December 2016! I have decided I would like to taper off as they haven't helped my anxiety and I feel like I have given them enough time. As I don't want to be on meds at all! I have committed to a healthy lifestyle and have seen great improvements in my mental health. My question is can I taper down from 1 50mg tablet at night to 35mg or even 25mg? I didn't suffer strong side effects when starting these pills will that help when tapering off? I feel like carrying on with the 50mg is just prolonging the inevitable and will make harder to come off. My anxiety means I hate going to the drs and can never get appointments anyway! I have lower doses of these pills so don't need a prescription. Just need to know how low to taper. Thanks for any reading if you made it this far.

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  • Posted

    I have only taken this drug in very low doses for pain and only for a few weeks.

    That you have only been taking this for a short time is good and should make withdrawal easier. I found info on the mentalhealthdaily website. I won't post a link to avoid this reply going into moderation but find it if you can. It says:

    "To be on the safe side, experts recommend tapering by 10% of your current dose per month. If you feel this is too slow and/or you don’t notice any extreme withdrawals, you can tweak the percentage to suit your needs."

    "It should also be noted that personal habits such as: diet, exercise, social life, productivity, etc. can also play a role in influencing how a person is able to cope with their withdrawal. Additionally if you are on any other medications, it may make the withdrawal process easier."

    It goes on to list a lot of potential side effects of withdrawal but hopefully you won't be too affected as you have not been on the drug for long but anxiety is one so watch out for a potential increase in that as it is something you are prone to.

    It's good that you have committed to a healthy lifestyle. What kinds of things are you doing? I find walking is great for my mental health. I try to go for a deliberate brisk walk every day even if I can fit in only 30 minutes or so. I find it clears my head or if I am feeling worried by something, I listen to a book or a podcast for distraction.

    Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for reply. I have been eating clean. I don't drink alcohol anyway so that is a bonus. I've been trying similar to you. 30 mins a day. I jog/walk with some small sprints, also YouTube has been great for fitness inspiration videos and workout routines you can do in the living room if I feel my anxiety is very bad and can't get out of house. I also like to draw or just try and be productive if I'm having a anxious day again like you said for a distraction. I think I'm going to try 45mg tonight then as I have boxes of 25mg and 10mg. I started straight on 50mg as prescribed and had no side effects apart from dry mouth. A lot of people I spoke to said that was quite a high mg to start on, so hopefully it will be as smooth for me when withdrawing. Again thank you for replying

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    • Posted

      That sounds like a good programme. I like to craft. I knit, crochet and sew and I can get lost in an interesting project. A lot has been written on the therapeutic benefits of knitting in particular. Something about the rhythm of the work calms the mind and I imagine drawing is the same.

      The dosing info on drugsdotcom says:

      Usual dose: 75 mg orally per day in divided doses; this may be increased to a total of 150 mg per day if needed

      Alternate dose: 40 to 100 mg orally as a single dose at bedtime; this may be increased by 25 or 50 mg as needed at bedtime to a total of 150 mg per day

      Maximum dose: 150 mg orally per day

      So it sounds like you are at the lower rather than high end as other have said. Hopefully that and the brief time you have taken it should make it easier to withdraw. I took only 10mg for a very short time for neck pain that was preventing me from sleeping so fortunately I did not have to go through withdrawal.

      I hope this goes well for you.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    It's good to find a current amitriptyline thread. There are quite a few out

    there but most are a few years old.

    Anyway, I'm attempting to come off amitriptyline for the second time.

    I started on it in 1994 and had 16 years where I was on 50mg for the

    majority of the time but up to 75mg at one stage. Around 2010 I spent

    a few months weaning off slowly. I just didn't want to be taking them

    anymore and was curious to see what I was really like underneath the

    medication. I can't remember too many details but over the following

    months I ended up being prescribed Tramadol, Seraquel, Olanzapine,

    Valium and Norspan pain patches. It was a nightmare. I thought that

    was just 'me' without amitriptyline and needed all of those other horrors

    of meds to deal with it.

    Not one medical professional explained to me that all of these new

    symptoms were due to withdrawal from amitriptyline. I thought it was

    just how I was. After the 2 year roller-coaster ride juggling and eventually

    getting rid of all of the meds I remembered that I never had any of these

    problems when I was on Amitriptyline so, I went back on it 😔.

    If someone had told me at the time that it was actually withdrawal

    symptoms I would've persisted and worked through it and, hopefully,

    come out the other end in much better shape and medication free.

    I've gotta go to the physio now but will write again later about where I'm

    at now with the tapering.

    All the best 😊

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    • Posted

      hi Sheena, i have had 2 failed withdrawal attempts from amitriptyline and am currently on my third and final attempt. i know have it in liquid form to help with the slow taper as, cutting tabs into bits is tricky. this medication is so addictive and has such an effect on  our bodies. are you still on it Sheena?
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    • Posted

      Hi Amanda, We have to keep in touch for sure. Too hard to do this alone. I am doing it VERY slowly this time and I'm still on 20mg now. I'm due to go down to 17.5mg tomorrow night but I'm away travelling at the moment and sharing with a lady who snores like a train and I've had 2 bad nights already. So, I might stay on 20mg for a few days yet 😔. I'll let you know how I go. I might try the 17.5 tonight as I should be so tired I'd sleep anyway.

      Where did you get the liquid form? I've never heard of it. My pill cutter is quite good at cutting 10s into 1/4s.

      I've got to head out now but I'll update you when I can.

      What's your plan of action at the moment?

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    • Posted

      Hi Sheena, thanks for getting back in touch. I spoke with my GP re the liquid amitriptyline 10mg / 5ml and she agreed to allow me to have some but, it is expensive in this form and only lasts one month once opened. She only allowed it if i use tablets when i can. I am currently on between 8.5mg and 9mg as its hard cutting the pills into more than 1/4. Im not too worried re the amount at present as i have sucessfully been on 7.5mg last time. I did experience some  abdominal / gastric problems when i dropped from 10mg to 7.5mg last time and am now keeping a journal so to monitor all this. i plan on dropping to 7.5mg next week and stay there for 3 or 4 weeks. i will then use liquid and drop to 6mg for 4 weeks before dropping to 5mg. Thats my plan so it will be a few weeks yet. I am a little anxious about 5mg as have experienced my worst withdrawl symptoms twice at this point so fingers crossed the liquid will help me wean to this level with less symptoms. xxx 
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    • Posted

      That's a good plan. I will look into the liquid form and see if we have it here. I can't remember what mgs I got down to last time before I started having problems. It was over 8 years ago now. I'm due to go down to 17.5 now but as I'm currently travelling and sharing rooms with others it would be a nightmare if I wasn't able to sleep properly. I don't sleep well sharing with others at the best of times. Also, we're heading inland South Australia today and will be out of phone range for the next week. I'm not sure if I'll get any wifi anywhere as I'll be on a small boat along the Murray River but I will email if I can. Otherwise I'll be back in civilization on the 13th April. Talk to you soon.

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    • Posted

      I know this is a bit old but I wonder if you ever weaned off of the Elavil?

      How long and how much tapering did you do?

      I want off of mine too-its doing nothing for me!

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    • Posted

      Hi Maureen

      I'm weaning off Endep and, as far as I know, that's the same as Elavil and they are both Amitriptyline. So, have a look through all the posts in this thread. There are a few of us here and we are all weaning off in different ways as Ami effects us all in different ways. Typing on my phone here so can't type much but I'm now down from 50mg to 2.5mg. It's taken a year to get from 25mg to where l am now. I've just started skipping every 3rd night now and in a couple of weeks l will go to every 2nd night. The key is to take it slowly. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Me again. I'm back from the physio now.

    After being back on 50mg for a couple of years I slowly tapered down to

    25mg where I've been stable at for the last 2 years. Ready to take the

    next step I worked out that I would reduce by 2.5mg every 6 weeks.

    I've got a pill cutter so I can cut the 10s into 1/4s. As for the 6 week

    time-frame, I chose that only because it is supposed to take us 6 weeks

    to learn a new habit and so, I thought I'd give my body and mind 6 weeks

    with each reduction to get used it before I moved on.

    I know it will take months doing it this way but I figure after after all

    these years what's a few more months. I'm sure you could taper as

    quickly as you wanted to as long as you were not getting any of the

    nasty side effects.

    So, I've done 6 weeks of 22.5mg and now it's been 2 weeks on 20mg. It's all

    going quite smoothly so far. My sleep is still ok which is great as I do

    remember last time once I got down to 20mg there were many nights

    where I was awake for 2-3hrs in the middle of the night. So, so far so good.

    This time I feel like I have more information and a much better chance of

    doing it right. I don't think I'll be able to avoid withdrawal symptoms

    completely this time but at least I'll know what to expect.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sheena, we could be taper buddies. im curently on 8mg of amitriptyline, following my 2 failed withdrawal attempts.
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  • Posted

    hi, im currently on 10mg i have tried to wean off this drug twice this year, its horrible hence being back on 10mg, i have done it over  several weeks but i agree it needs to be 10%. ive been on it 14 months good luck and keep us updated.
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  • Posted

    Hi

    Just wondering how tapering off is going great?

    I will need to do this due to liver test results,don't fancy going cold turkey!

    Any advice? I'm on 7.5 just now and have been for 6months for migraine.

    Thanks

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    • Posted

      hi lynne im also currently on 7.5mg of ami,  tried twice to reduce got to 5mg and had to increase due to symptoms of withdrawal.  i plan on staying on 7.5mg for another couple of weeks and am going to taper to 7, 6 them 5 the following month using the liquid amitriptyline. do it slow x
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your response. Im just very worried about doing it and managing to get to work etc if anxiety gets bad. I had anxiety before taking it,they said it wasn't a big anough dose to affect anxiety so no point to talk g it for that, then my.migraines went crazy so they gave it as a preventative, and for that it's been ok, but i feel less anxious on it until now when iv read so much about how hard it is to stop it and I'm so worried about elevated liver results. Would see if a lot of people coming of it already had anxiety and that's why they feel it so much,just a thought.

      Anyway thanks for reply, i I my have tablets so will just try chopping them as much as i can to wean dose down very gradually until Dr says def stop them.

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    • Posted

      Not sure if my reply posted to you Amanda, if not sorry, not sure what happened. Basically said i o my have tablets so can't do liquid to drop down, I'm worried re liver results from go and will try to taper as much as i can until Dr says def stop the tablets. I'm a worrier and have anxiety, which i felt these tablets helped although Dr says too low a dose to help that but i feel it did until now as it's health anxiety so with results has me so so anxious again. Worried about feeling that way and making work etc.

      How do you manage that?

      I would see if a lot of ppl who get anxious when trying to stop were already anxious to start with, just a thought.

      Thanks for reply,keep me posted on how your doing if u can/want to.

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    • Posted

      Do you have a pill cutter? I've been using one to cut my 10s into 1/4s. I wish I could cut them smaller than that for when I taper down to less than 10mg. I will check with my GP but I don't think we have the drops here (Aust).

      I have been taking ami for depression, anxiety and general body pain from spine damage in a motorbike accident. I have been taking 50-75mg since 1994 but have been weaning down very slowly for 2 years now. I'm going ok and don't see any increase in those things but it might be a different story when I get lower (on 17.5mg now). Will continue to decrease by 2.5mg every 6 weeks. After 6 weeks on 2.5mg I might even go to 2.5mg every 2nd night for 6 weeks then every 3rd night and so on. It's a very slow way of doing it but hopefully it will retrain my body along the wayGood luck

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    • Posted

      Hi again. My last msg sent before I was ready.

      I just wanted to add that from memory (I tried to come off ami about 7 years ago) the main withdrawal problem I had was not sleeping. There must have been other problems but that to me was the biggest.

      All the best

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, tbh if it wasn't for the liver results i wouldn't even try to come off this low dose as it has calmed my migraines down a bit but i have health anxiety so now i have the liver results stuck in my.mind and can't stop worrying about that and withdrawel symptoms as as soon as i feel anything wrong in my body i panic, i know they say 7.5 is too low a dose to help anxiety but i really feel it does help it. Anyway I'm going to go to see my GP and discuss it and see what she says again as i need to make work or il lose my job, no pressure eh!

      Thanks again, good luck reducing further

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    • Posted

      Hi Lynne, i take it for something called Vulvodynia which is basically pain in my lady bits. Yes i am anxious it will come back as i do not want that again but, i cant be on this drug forever. I feel for you as many take it for migrains and it helps. You say your Dr says its too low a dose to help with anxiety, but Drs also say 10mg is a low dose which you can just stop. YEAH right what do they know i wish i could just stop it but like many i cant i have to wean even a tiny 10mg dose.

      Im still on 7.5mg and i too have a pill cutter so can cut into quarters  but for me even 7.5mg to 5mg is too big a drop hence needing the liquid to do an inbetween dose xx 

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    • Posted

      HI again, i know its very very hard but try not to fixate on the anxiety thing. Try to be positive, i too become anxious and the more you worry the more anxiety will set in. You need to take each day as it comes and remind your self nothing bad is going to happen, you can get other meds to help with anxiety and headaches. Try  distraction techniques, focus on a new hobbie, crafting anything. Remain positive, take exercise maybe yoga which is good for anxiety and relaxation. xx

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your response Amanda, i know you are so right to about fixating on the anxiety, its just in my nature. Right now i am so anxious about my elevated liver results, which tbh is the only reason i am considering stopping this just now. It has helped me so much these last few months as my migraines were so severe every day, and then i got hit by a car and had bad concussion so think it helped with pain from that too. If i could hety Dr to retest liver and it had came down I'd try to go more slowly,i am going to try to get an appointment when they open again on Tues and seek some reassurance, or at least see what they say! Thanks again for support. I hope u manage it, I'm sure i will.

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