Getting off amitriptyline and what's next?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

luv2ride
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 8/24/2011 8:32 AM (GMT -6)   
I haven't been here for a while. I was feeling great on amitriptyline and the addition of tramadol. Then they stopped working. The sleeping stopped. The pain returned and life sucked. Saw another rheumatologist who said to quit amitriptyline and get on trazadone. He swore there'd be no weaning off amitritpyline, stop it one night, take the trazadone the next. Boy was he wrong. I was on 50mg. So now i have nausea, vertigo, aching, insomnia, hot flashes, headaches, diarrhea, etc... It's horrible.

One rheumy said to start Cymbalta - start on 50mg, double after a week to 100mg. I read the side effects and withdrawal info and was too afraid to start.

With the nausea, vertigo, dizziness, the dr tells me it's not withdrawal, it's the trazadone - stop that. The other says stop the tramadol. I took only a muscle relaxant last night and didn't sleep more than an hour at a time... too much pain.

Where the heck do I go from here? I obviously do NOT want to go back on amitriptyline (though when it worked, it worked so well)... but not sure about trazadone either... Does anyone have any suggestions on what to avoid or what to try?

My last rheumy wrote me a script for getting a therapeutic spa! Said it would be tax deductible if he recommended it. Too bad I'd have to come up with the money first!

Heather Lynn
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 283
   Posted 8/24/2011 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   
luv2ride, I'm sorry you are having a hard time getting off the amitriptyline. I can't believe your doctor says it's not withdrawal. What dose of trazodone did you get switched to? It seems very likely that you are having your symptoms from getting off the amitriptyline, and that you should probably taper off it instead of switching to trazodone.

Trazodone has not been well tested in fibromyalgia, although there is one study showing a modest improvement in symptoms, especially sleep quality. But I really don't think it should be a first or second choice for fibromyalgia. The treatments with the best evidence are amitriptyline, Lyrica, Cymbalta, gabapentin (Neurontin), and cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril). These drugs have different side effects and different symptoms they are most effective for.

If you switch to Cymbalta, it should stop the amitriptyline withdrawal, since it works in a similar way in the brain. But if you are concerned about side effects and withdrawal, you might be better off with one of the other fibromyalgia medications. I would find a doctor who listens to your concerns and is willing to make a plan with you. You shouldn't have to feel awful!
Fibromyalgia, low back pain/SI joint dysfunction, anxiety, obstructive sleep apnea, endometriosis, asthma

luv2ride
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 8/24/2011 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Was switched to 50mg Trazadone to sleep. Haven't taken it the last few nights as I'm still dealing with this stupid amitriptyline withdrawal mess.

What med works best for most fibro patients? With the least side effects. I now realize that the drowsiness/fatigue I had on the amitriptyline might have been more the drug, not the FMS. Argh.

ak angel
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 3026
   Posted 8/24/2011 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I use to be on trazadone. Trazadone use to be used as an old antidepressants, until the new ones came around. DR's like to use it for sleep now. It's less addictive sleeping pill. Most sleeping pills are bens. that are so addictive. It really help me sleep, but I had to stop it because it started to interact with another med. of mine. I dont use anything now. I don't work, so if I don't sleep it's not so bad. I just catch up in the morning. Lol.

chanterelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 8/24/2011 4:18 PM (GMT -6)   
None of the 20 some pain meds have done the slightest thing to help my pain. Amitriptyline was the worst for me in terms of awful side effects. Ami, Trazadone, Flexeril, Gabapentin, Oxycontin, Neurontin and so on kept me up at night instead of put me to sleep. I take Zopiclone (sleeping pill) once a week but could easily take it almost nightly because my insomnia is very bad due to pain. It is the only thing that has ever helped me with sleeping. I, too, am still looking for some pain medication to alleviate at least some of my pain! Hopefully my doctor and I will come up with something that works for me.
Back injury 2007 with 3 herniated discs, IT band syndrome, myofascial pain, DDD.
Rotator cuff injury both shoulders.
Rheumatoid arthritis back.
Diagnosed with Celiac Disease February 2011.
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia April 2011.
Insomnia forever but worse the past few years due to pain and discomfort.

Heather Lynn
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 283
   Posted 8/24/2011 6:41 PM (GMT -6)   
It's hard to say which meds will work best for which person. I went to a fibro education workshop, and the doctor there said that all of the meds studied work about the same, which means they reduce pain by at least 30% in about half of people who take them. The other half do not respond or have less than a 30% reduction in pain. The only way to figure it out is to try them and see which one works for you.

All the meds also have side effects, but many of them go away in the first few weeks. Most are considered "well tolerated", which means they have few side effects or the side effects are tolerable.
Fibromyalgia, low back pain/SI joint dysfunction, anxiety, obstructive sleep apnea, endometriosis, asthma

Annaliesa
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/25/2011 12:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi...
This is my first time posting here. I have been looking for a forum thay actually deals with the disease and does not wander off into personal conversations. With some other forums I always felt like I had joined a club and I didn't know the secret password. I hope this is the group I'm looking for.

It is the amitriptyline! How many mgs. were you taking? I was on a 100 mgs.

I quit taking amitriptyline after being on it for 12 years on July 3rd and I am still going through withdrawal. Google 'withdrawing from tri-cyclics'. The symptoms are pretty scary and awful. The choice was mine and I went cold turkey. Vitamin B-complex and lecithin are supposed to help, I've been taking those. You have to remember that this stuff changes your brain chemistry and even tho' it has a short half-life in your body your brain chemistry has to change back from its dependency. That's a lot of work. I can't sleep. I have lots of sometimes mind-bending pain and a headache that hasn't gone away for two months. Then there is the sweating, the chills, the electric skin etc... The truly horrible, vivid nightmares are done, thankfully.

But....on the plus side - I am losing weight, sugar cravings are gone, am no longer constipated, pee easily, have no more edema in my legs, my thoughts don't feel like they are swimming through syrup, have lower eye pressure and am waking up earlier and with a clear head, my dry mouth is only about half as bad. And my friends don't have to finish my sentences for me. More pluses than minuses.

My doctors all want me to go back on it at a lower dose, but we have agreed on a 6-month dryout trial period. Oddly I feel less depressed off the stuff. Have you ever heard the saying "been down so long looks like up to me." ? That's how I was on the Ami...

Now I am in the beginning stages of getting off Halcion. Wish me luck. I mean I already feel so cruddy I might as well go for it. It is a lovely medication, but oh so bad for you.

I'll keep this first post short. I've been diagnosed for a long time so it seems like I've tried everything.

Thanks for letting me join in. Annaliesa :-)

Post Edited (Annaliesa) : 8/24/2011 11:48:15 PM (GMT-6)


luv2ride
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 8/25/2011 8:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Annielisa,

Wow. So I'm not alone. I swear, I was starting to think I was going crazy. My dr said yesterday that the side effects/withdrawal should be DONE by now. I think she's wrong. I too feel so much more awake off it, dry mouth improved too. But the pain at night is so bad. And I wake with pain too. I noticed too the peeing difference, but it seems I'm going all the time. I guess it helped the interstiial cystitis I forgot I had.

I hate the drugged feeling though. I wake still with nausea and vertigo. I have to change something so am going to start Cymbalta today. I was only on 50mg for just over a year. I forgot how active my gut was too.

Hang in there too. I was really hoping it wouldn't last 2 months or more.. this sucks. What I don't get is that drs are so uniformed about it. They say sure, you might feel weird for a COUPLE OF DAYS! One suggested taking the 50mg every other day for a few days before stopping. I actually went back to it twice just to try to sleep. Only helped the first time.

Hell. Now here I go with another drug.

Did being on ami change your vision too? I swear, mine is so much less focused and just doesn't work as well anymore. Arrgh.

grandmaroses
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1355
   Posted 8/25/2011 9:11 AM (GMT -6)   
The problem you are having with Ami are very concerning for me, I only take 10mg but my Dr said to take 1-2 and there have been 2 times I took an extra one but I simply felt horrible. I did ask if I could come off totally but he said to continue.
Take care
Rose



Insulin Dependant Diabetic, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, IBS, Sleep Apnea, COPD, Spondylolistesis, Diabetic Neuropathy, Fatty Liver, High Cholesterol

Femangel
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 174
   Posted 8/25/2011 9:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm on Amitriptyline at the moment (25 Mg Redomex) but i'm still very new to it (i'm in my 2nd week of taking them)
I have no experience yet in beeing wheend off, but my rheumatologist did warn me to NEVER just stop taking them because they are known for giving people severe withdrawal symptoms. As far as side effects go i experienced a dry mouth & eyes, difficulty getting up (zombie-like feeling), and dizzines and also what i call "sweaty episodes". I do notice that my body is starting to get used to them bcause the side effects are slowly going away. Sad enough thats all its doing at the moment....
So far i am NOT sleeping any better (the opposite actually i'm back to waking up 5 times a night), and i do NOT feel any improve├╣ment what so ever in the pain department. However i haven't been raking them long enough i think to feel the difference.

How long did they take to kick in when you started taking them?

I hope u get rid of all the withdrawal symptoms soon, on top of the Fibro, we don't need any other trouble....

Fiona
"Live in the present, remember the past, but fear not the future, for it doesn't exist and never shall" (Christopher Paolini - Eldest)

Fibromyalgia, Scoliosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Parasomniac.

luv2ride
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 8/25/2011 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
I started at 20mg, went to 30, 40 and finally 50. I was actually prescribed it for the IBS but within a few days of being on the 30mg dose, I started noticing a major benefit for pain. I started sleeping better around 30-40mg. I asked to go up to 50mg because I wanted MORE pain relief.

I am so mad at drs for never telling you about the difficulty of getting off the drugs..and those ones who think it's nothing. I was told that I was on such a low dose, that it should be easy. Not like 150mg... grr.

I want to start the cymbalta today but having read more on it about it being the only AD to cause liver damage, I am afraid. Hate this.

The nausea and vertigo are the worst side effect of getting off.

Annaliesa
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/25/2011 1:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi luv2ride....I'm taking cymbalta 60mg. in the morning. After going through so many different anti-depressents my insurance finally gave in. I'm thinking of asking for 30mgs. more to take at night like I took the amitriptylene. Here is a run down:

Lyrica - gained 30 lbs, stopped working after 6 months

Wellbutrin - had a seizure after 6 weeks

Neurontin - no noticable difference except that every once in a while I would just topple over for no reason. Boom.

Celexa - took for a few years, didn't realize that it was what was making me sweaty and clammy 24/7 until I was off of it. Tho' all of them make you sweat to some extent.

Deseryl (trazadone) - could not remember thoughts long enough to finish sentences.

Now Cymbalta works for me. I'm sure it lessens my pain as much as any of them do, but the biggest bonus is that it has made me a lot less angry about the whole fibro situation. I've become interested in finding answers for myself again instead of just being pissed at the docs because they won't give me enough pain meds and can't fix it.

Last week I was positively diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis so right now I am having trouble deciding where the pain of that and the pain of the fibro begin and end. Which is which and what is which, if you know what I mean. My doc asks me if I have pain here or there and I can't tell which illness it might be from.

This is going to sound kind of callous but it seems like everything either causes liver damage or cancer these days. Ibuprofen has been proven to cause liver damage and it is sold otc. Your liver is your body's filter. Drink lots of water to keep it flushed clean. I hate water so I have to put a pitcher of it on the counter and make myself finish it off that amount during the day every day.

I'm not trying to make you try Cymbalta but keep an open mind. It is also one of the reasons I am trying to eliminate other drugs from my not-so-long-anymore list of what I take every day.

wink Annaliesa

I forgot to say that off the Ami.. I don't snore like a chainsaw any more according to my husband. And my head isn't stuffed up every morning when I wake up.

And rememeber this stuff is altering your body chemistries...it takes time!!

Post Edited (Annaliesa) : 8/25/2011 1:06:57 PM (GMT-6)


luv2ride
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 8/25/2011 2:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Annaliesa,

Thanks for responding.. I just called my pharmacy and the script will be $400 until I meet my $3000 deductible. Not sure if I can do that at this point. I have a free month's samples but not sure if I can pay it next month...

You're right. I should just do it. I'm happy to hear that it's worked well for you. How long have you been taking it? I have heard that it can decline in effectiveness after a certain amount of time...

I'm waiting to hear back from my dr - I left a message this morning about it and hoping he can offer me more info or more samples so I can afford to do this.

Did you notice an improvement on 30mg to start? Or only when you went to 60mg?

Thanks again.

Annaliesa
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/25/2011 2:56 PM (GMT -6)   
My doc was willing to give me samples forever if needed. She is a pain doc, tough cookie but I love her. I believe that there is a program from the company that makes it that helps people with the cost, try looking it up. Also call every pharmacy in town. When I thought I was going to have to buy it out of pocket I found out there could be up to a $75.00 difference b/twn stores. Make sure you tell them it is out of pocket, they have a different prices for insurance companies.

I am big and very tall so I started at 30mg for the first week and then went to 60mg. and am thinking of upping again for that extra 30mg. at night. My doc did ask me if I wanted to go to 90mg. right away but I hung at 60 since it was working.

I have been on it for 2 years w/ less side effects than ami.

I truly think that stage 4 sleep is the answer to less pain.

That is the healing stage of sleep. I forget how long you need to sleep to get there, but I think at least 6 hours.

Last week I was dying of pain because I wasn't sleeping more then two hours at a time, my G.P gave me a strong medicine and I slept like a log for 12 hours. The difference was black and white. I am not going to give out the name of the med. it's a serious drug. 7 of them cost me $40.00 and that was with insurance. So beg your doc to give you some thing that will put you down at least a 2 or 3 days a week. If he'll only dole them out 2 at a time take the offer. In fact suggest that they control your intake if it makes him more likely to give you something that will do the job.
ta-ta, Annaliesa

luv2ride
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 8/25/2011 3:14 PM (GMT -6)   
So does the Cymbalta not help for sleep too? Confused about that.
Female
UC, surgical menopause, sigmoidectomy , endometriosis, fibromyalgia, auto-immune thyroiditis

grandmaroses
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1355
   Posted 8/26/2011 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I also take cymbalta but I take that in the morning and take the amy and sleeping med to sleep. From what I have read about cymbalta is take it in the morning or you will have problems sleeping.
Take care
Rose



Insulin Dependant Diabetic, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, IBS, Sleep Apnea, COPD, Spondylolistesis, Diabetic Neuropathy, Fatty Liver, High Cholesterol

luv2ride
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 8/26/2011 10:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Rose, I had read that you could not take amitriptyline with cymbalta or you risk seratonin syndrome. Is this not a concern for your doctor? I only ask because my GI dr just found out I stopped the amytriptyline (rx for ibs) and wants me to go back on it with the cymbalta. He didn't seem aware of the seratonin syndrome either but it's clear on the drug interaction warnings.

I started 30mg cymbalta this morning. No difference so far, I know it takes a couple weeks but am anxious for results.

grandmaroses
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1355
   Posted 8/26/2011 11:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I have talked to my Dr and he feels I should be fine as the amy is such a low dosage.

It took me a week and I started feeling some small benefits of the cymbalta and after a month my family noticed a big difference. I smiled again and enjoyed playing and cooking with my grandchildren again.

I hope you have good results with the cymbalta.
Take care
Rose



Insulin Dependant Diabetic, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, IBS, Sleep Apnea, COPD, Spondylolistesis, Diabetic Neuropathy, Fatty Liver, High Cholesterol

Heather Lynn
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 283
   Posted 8/27/2011 9:45 AM (GMT -6)   
luv2ride - my doctors are divided on the serotonin syndrome issue with combining amitryptaline and Cymbalta. My PCP is very conservative and doesn't want to prescribe them together. My psychiatrist says they prescribe the combination at their clinic and you just need extra monitoring. I haven't tried it yet, waiting to see if the Cymbalta helps on its own.
Fibromyalgia, low back pain/SI joint dysfunction, anxiety, obstructive sleep apnea, endometriosis, asthma

luv2ride
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 458
   Posted 8/27/2011 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, will keep you posted. Crossing fingers. So far hot flashes and a bit sweaty... a bit of dizziness too but feel more calm...
Female
UC, surgical menopause, sigmoidectomy , endometriosis, fibromyalgia, auto-immune thyroiditis
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Friday, October 24, 2014 6:43 PM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,250,633 posts in 250,354 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 157529 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Sickmommy.
400 Guest(s), 16 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Rrakkma, MissGigi, lymebarthiker, brt4545, Gulfshore, Scots, Park12, Hawaii3654, cairn1, Mississippi Jane, Medaig76, Abilene, jen123, MsWorryWart, johnindallas, marigold33


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest  Follow HealingWell.com on YouTube
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2014 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer