Pain relief... little confused.

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 10/17/2011 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry if this becomes a very long winded message.
Ive had swelling in my right hand/wrist for at least the last 5 yrs. Ive been bk and fore the doctors bout it. but up until recently the gps has just been giving me anti-inflam tablets.

I was recently referred to see the consultant at the local hospital. i had xrays, bloods and then last week had an echo heart scan done. My bloods had come bk saying there was some sign of inflam disease. some levels were slightly raised. The consultant said he didnt think it was arthritis but cudnt rule out something called Hypomobility syndrome, which effects the tendons and ligaments in the body..... Blah blah blah. when i asked bout pain relief he said continue with the tablets the GP had given me.

These tablets how ever have stopped working, so on friday i went bk 2 my gp, who then looked over the referal letters, and he then said it was no good giving me anti inflam tablets cos its not an inflamatory problem but a chronic pain problem, so he gave me tablets called Amitriptyline. which is noramally precribed as an anti depressant. Im a bit worried bout taking it, due 2 the side effects it says u may have.

Has anyone else had these tablets, for the same sort of problem ??

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 10/17/2011 3:34 PM (GMT -6)   
The medication that he gave you is also commonly used these days to treat nerve pain. Have you had xrays of your wrist? Have they ruled out osteonecrosis of the wrist? Have you taken steroids previously?
Depending on the conditions, some of us also take nerve pain related meds and surprisingly, they do work. It can't hurt to give it a month to see if the meds do help.
I would also ask the doctor for an xray and if necessary, an MRI of the wrist may help you find out what is causing the problem.
Good luck,
Motorcycle accident 1992, Back problems from 92 to 2005. August 2005- early 2006- Chiropractor care
March 2006- consult with surgeon -PLIF/TLIF L4-5, spondylolysthesis, canal and foraminal stenosis, multiple herniations
Post Op Cauda Equina Syndrome
Revision August 2007- salvage op
March 2011- 2nd onset of Cauda Equina Syndrome
Needs surgery to prevent paralysis

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 10/17/2011 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
When i saw the consultant he ordered some xrays and bloods. I had xrays of Hands, wrists, and feet and also chest. then he ordered an echo scan of my heart. cos he thinks i may have hypamobility syndrome . which effects the tendons and the cartlidge in the body. but he didnt give me any different pain relief, only now when i went bk 2 GP to get some more tablets did the GP say he wud change it.
Ive taken my first tablet 2nite, so fingers crossed. Do u have any problems ?

Monty's Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 10/17/2011 4:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I am on an antidepressant to help with depression, but there are many who are on them strictly for pain relief. I do know what my anti-depressant helps me feel better, which leads me to deal with my chronic pain issues.
Sorry I don't know more about it, but I would like to say you have found a great resource for help, support, and a place to go to be understood. I have not seen your posts before, so if I am late on welcoming you I apologize.

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw
Pelvic adhesive disease, IBS, SI pain, arthritis, kidney stones, depression, 10 pelvic surgeries for pain, ovarian cysts, adhesions, endometriosis, adenomyosis, and possible ovarian remnant syndrome. Unexpectedly growing ovary #3 on right side.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 10/17/2011 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank u Mindy. Im new 2 all this. But since friday and the GP giving me different tablets, i have been 2 scared 2 take them due 2 some of the side effects i have read about and was told bout. At first it seemed a lil odd, the meds he was giving me the option of. these ones i have or something they normally give 2 epileptic ppl. Lol. where as i thought it was being classed as an inflammatory problem it now emerges that it isnt. He said 4 me to give the tablets a good 6/8 weeks 2 work b4 i notice a huge improvement. So i take my 1 tablet b4 bed, which hopefully will give me pain relief throughout the nxt day aswell, as my pain is mainly during the day.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 10/17/2011 4:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Many medications have been found to treat more than what they were originally developed for.

When it comes to list of side effects a person needs to take them with a grain of salt. While it is good to know potential side effects of any medication you have to keep in mind that they are POTENTIAL side effects and that it does not mean that any one WILL experience them. Also due in no small part to the litigation happy society we live in drug manufacturers are listing side effects that may have only been noted in 1 out of 1 million people.

Anti-depressants and anti-convulsants (seizure meds) that are used to treat pain do not work like analgesics. These meds are cumaltive in nature meaning that the longer a person is on them the better they work and also they don't work for a short time frame only but continue to work for long periods of time....for as long as the medication is in your system, and these type of drugs have a relatively long life in body.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 10/17/2011 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks 4 ur comment Jim

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 10/17/2011 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   

Some times I think it is better not to read the papers that come with the medications, the list of side affects, is often just a way for the manufacture to clear themselves, from of any possibe reaction a person taking their medication might have. Allot of times antidepressants are prescribed to treat pain, usually it takes a period of time before the relief is felt. Often it will take several weeks before a patient will notice any change in their pain levels. So please be patient and take them as prescribed. It might take awhile before you notice any difference in your pain levels. These meds also have to be taken every day as prescribed for them to work.

Welshkim I do want to Welcome you to the Healing Well Chronic Pain forum, I do hope that you like it here, I think you will find that we have some of the most compassionate and caring people that you will find anywhere on the internet! Anyway this is a great place to come not only for advice and support, but also to vent your frustrations about your pain issues. The people understand what your going through, they really do!

I do wish you well, good luck to you!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1059
   Posted 10/18/2011 8:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I am having problems with joint pain following taking Humira for Crohn's. My GP has prescribed amitriptyline and gabapentin. The amitriptyline I take 30mg at night and in those doses (usually up to 50mg) works as a nerve blocker and so helps with the pain, it was originally developed as an anti depressant but those are used at doses about 150mg upwards per day, but they found it is useful in block nerve pain at much lower doses. That is how my GP described it cause like you I was concerned about taking an anti depressant as not depressed and especially with all the bad press about the old style side effects. I also now on gabapentin and this is an anti convulscant, ironically my dad was on it for epilepsy but again they found it useful in blocking nerve responses. I found that the amitripyline works only at 30mg as a minimum and did stop my sciatic pain and allow me to sleep. Give them a try, it takes a few weeks to find dose that is right for you.
Crohn's, antiphospholipid syndrome, Crohn's arthritis, very low blood pressure, low kidney function, ezcema, asthma, ileostomy, numerous surgeries for abscessses & strictures. Humira - very bad permanent side effects incl joint pain, hair loss, fatigue & nreve damage. Azathioprine, immodium, simethicone, fludrocortisone, oxycodone, gabapentin, tramadol, amitriptyline, Folic acid, vit d & calcium.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 10/20/2011 4:26 AM (GMT -6)   
stripey thank u

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 10/25/2011 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Ive been taking my tablets for about a week now/ week hlf..... and so far so good, well almost. lol
I seem 2 b in more pain :( or if not more pain, i can feel the pain more. Not sure if its cos of the horrible weather, or if mayb i shud b taking a higher dosage. The doc did say 2 me if i felt the need 2 increase i cud go up 2 20mg. But dunno wot 2 do. sad

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 10/26/2011 10:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Welshkim. Sorry you're still in pain.

Anti-depressant/-convulsants can take some time to build up, as others have mentioned. That time waiting for a medication to really start helping is very frustrating, and it's very hard to know if it's just not working for you or if it just hasn't reached full strength yet. Many of us have been there. I took a similar antidepressant for a short while, but I was one of those one in a million side effects and had to switch to an anticonvulsant. I remember waiting every night wondering if it would be the one where I would finally feel the benefit of the medication. I also worried about the side effects, although less so once I got past the first bad encounter. One thing to remember is that most if not all of the scarier side effects only happen to a very limited number of people and usually at the dosage that the medication was prescribed at for it's original purpose. When taking these medications for pain, we often take a much lower dose, especially for the antidepressants.

Bad weather of course just makes things worse since it can increase pain and make it more unpredictable, which only makes it harder to tell how well a new medication is working. We just got our first snow storm here. A few inches, but not enough to close the office. Unfortunately they don't make a pill to get rid of bad weather tongue. A nice vacation to the coast during the winter is such a welcome reprieve. I haven't figured out yet the permanent answer to bad weather. While it's nice that these antidepressant/convulsant medications build up in the system and then give a fairly consistent coverage of pain prevention, their downside is that they don't really have a way to boost up for temporary setbacks.

As far as what to do, I would recommend giving your GP's office a call. I don't know how all offices work, but with my doctor I can call and leave a question with the receptionist and they'll pass it on to the doctor and call me back with an answer. I would suggest telling them exactly what you told us. That it's a week and a half in, that if anything you're in more pain now than when you started (although maybe that's the weather), and that you'd like some advice as to what makes sense to do about it. Your doctor will know your medication well and can give you the best advice. Most of us CP patients have a tendency to stay to quiet and not talk to our doctors about what's going on enough. I know that I do it too. Maybe your doctor will tell you to increase your dosage or make a new appointment, or maybe they'll say to wait a little longer to see if the medicine will kick in. But at least you'll have a good plan from someone who knows you and the medication you're taking very well. That always puts my mind at ease. Also, your doctor will then know that you're still having trouble and doctors like to know these things so they can plan ahead a little and not have to be on the spot when you show up to your next appointment.

Best wishes that your pain improves quickly!

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 10/26/2011 4:17 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks 4 ur reply. turn where abouts r u from ?

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 10/28/2011 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
They did the same thing to me the amitryptiline seemed to work on the problem but gave me nerve twitches in my whole body. I had to quit taking it.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/28/2011 3:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hiya !

I'm also new here (this is my first post LOL)

I was also recently dx'd with hypermobility syndrome.
My GP also offered my the Amitriptyline or the anti-epilepsy
one -Neurontin a.k.a. Gapapentin.
I went with the Neurontin, because apparently the anti-depressant
can render the BCP useless.

Anyway, just wanted to say that I'm at the same stage as you.
I took two tablets when I first got them, then read the leaflet and got
freaked. I didn't continue taking them.

Right now I've been in excruciating pain (sciatica which sort of goes through
cycles of bearable and where I want to amputate my own leg -ugh)
for 4 days straight and am re-considering the Neurontin !
It's got to be better than THIS !
(TBH I've also been suspecting the weather!)

Sorry about the rant.
I do feel that 'masking' the pain and not dealing with the origin is pointless,
but at the same time I can't go on living like this (feeling completely crippled
and unable to walk with 2 kids to take care of...)

I'm considering asking for the Amitriptyline TBH because I reckon I could do
with an anti-depressant (though my GP may give me something else for that
-just wondering if I could catch two birds with one stone so-to-speak).

Hang in there! And I'd be interested to read any updates if you choose to go
ahead with the pain meds you were given.

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