Warning! Amitriptyline withdrawal is VERY scary!!!

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Hi everyone.

I've been taking 25 mg of amitriptyline for about a year for chronic back pain - which didn't actually help as much as I hoped- and have decided to stop at the end of the year.Despite the fact that I had discussed this with my GP who gave me a lower dose of 10 mg, I have not been warned at all about any side effects and wasn't advised to come off it slowly so I decided to just stop my 10 mg tablets cold turkey whilst I was on holiday during the Xmas break. As the medicine made me sleepy I expected that it was going to be a problem for a few nights and might disturb my sleep, but I didn't think of any other possible side effects.

How naive I was!!!

Insomnia was only the beginning. I had severe nausea for a week- I thought I had food poisoning. Then I started to feel dizzy- I thought I pulled my neck. Then started to cry for no reason. And about 10 days ago, approx 3 weeks after I took my last 10 mg tablet, I started to have anxiety and last Friday I had a full blown panic attack and I ended up at A&E and was sure I was going to die. The worst experience ever in  my life.

The anxiety and dizyness keep getting worse even a month after the last tablet. I have never ever had panic attacks before and at A&E they didn't know what was wrong with me neither. I kept thinking I was going to loose my mind and go crazy. It's been a very  bad 1-2 weeks.

Had I known at the start that this drug is highly addictive and messes about your brain and mental well-being, I woudl have never started it on the 1st place. I hope you have been informed by your GP and at least you were able to make an informed decision.

I have no idea why my GP has never mentioned that this medication has very serious withdrawal symptoms and why I have not been given advice on stoping slowly.

I have no idea how long things will take to get back to my normal self again... it is very very scary.

Has anyone recovered safely from these terrible withdrawal symptoms? How long did it take to be back to normal?

Thanks for any advice and I hope you are doing well.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Agnes. That all sounds very familiar. I was on 20mgs for about 10 years for my osteoporosis. In November I decided to stop as thought it was causing my inability to lose weight. Although I stopped fairly slowly I still had all the withdrawal symptoms which were dreadful and a bit scary. I did have some propanolol to stop my heart thumping which helps a lot so that might be worth asking yr doctor for. I think I still have some aftermath effects but they are much easier to deal with now. I won't be going back on it or anything else for that matter, find the cause of yr chronic back pain. Have you thought of osteoporosis? If you fracture a vertebrae it's horrendous but no idea how old you are. Anyway, hang on in there, it will get easier. Hope this helps a little. Good luck
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  • Posted

    Your story is just horrid...and your probably jit aline whuch is scary...just wonder where the professionals were. I Went from a high dose to a low dose when I was first diagnosed about 30 years ago ..took a while to get the dose right, I wen from being a zombie(-too stong)all day every day to it being of no use at all-too week) however I was under the doctors supervision..quite rightly too.. I knew what to expect..so should you have..its an addictive drug..you should have been aware of that...it sounds very negligent to me of the doctor. As a Dr., of course he knew that you would have to go through some very nasty withdrawals, ive been the on thesame dose now for nearly 30 years and wouldnt have a problem going off them under the doctors supervision..i feel very blessed to have a good doctor...be blessed agnes..it took me a minth ir so to get over my withdrawals..i do believe there is something you can also be given to help you come off them too...especially coming off them totally....have a lovely day😘😘

    PS...anti anxiety medication or low dose vallium- not a lot..just enough, help a lot with the jitters and the hightened awareness etc..anxiety...its unreal how you feel...hard to explain.hope you get answers that help...

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  • Posted

    Hi Faith and Christine,

    Thanks for your kind replies.

    I've been back to the doctors- saw a differnt doctor to the one that prescribed me the med though. She was nice enough and sympathetic about how I felt, however when I aksed her why I haven't been made aware of the possible withdrawal symptoms she said that if they told all patients about all the side effects of all the medications noone woudl take anything... To be honest I was especting an apology and not this response.... Disappointing.

    She hasn't given me anything to help with the symptoms, just told me to take some time of work and rest. So in the last few days I slept a lot and didn't venture far from home. To be honest I think just the discovery that I have withdrawal symptoms and not going mad helped a lot to cope with everything mentally. I haven't been feeling too anxious but I continue feeling dizzy which normally gets worse towards the evening. I also have a very strange heavy feeling in the neck like I'm not able to hold my head in place. Do you get this feeling too?

    Faith,

    You said that you stopped taking the med in November, was it towards the beginning or the end of the month? WHat sot of symptoms are you still experiencing?

    I'm 35 so I don't think that osteoporosis has much to do with my pain. I have a bulging disc in my lower spine and sitting in front of a computer makes matters worse.

    Agnes

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    • Posted

      I really cant remember if i had the heavy neck thing..often we have differing symptoms anyway..what a crock.._/$=□♤{ the dr gave you about non informing, never heard of that one..they must know if we feel strange its going to stress us out and make us anxious..im soo glad you went to see a dr though..great news that now you know the its quite normal..your not anxious any more...agnes, keep on keeping on...be blessed, have a lovely day..😍😍XX
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  • Posted

    This worries me. I was on effexor for 5 years and instead of upping the dose when symptoms got worse I weaned off it. "Hell" is all I can say and it took me almost a year to feel normal again. I became very anti meds. My chronic pain has gotten so bad I relented and just started amitriptyline 10 mg 5 days ago. Sleep has been wonderful thankfully as it was a problem for me. I do feel abit spacy and nauseous at times but my mood has lifted. I specifically asked my doc if withdrawal was anything like Effexor. Oh No she says....nothing like it. Now I read this. it is worrisome. I don't want any drug to take over my body like the effexor did.
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