Old 05-30-2017, 08:18 PM #1
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Question Amitriptyline - does it help?

Hello all,

I'm 20 and have very recently been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, although have suffered from it for around a year now. Alongside this, I have two shoulder conditions separate to the Fibro troubles, which I have been treated for for around 5 years now.

After failed methods of treating the pain of my shoulders, I was given Codeine 4 years ago to help to make it all manageable. Whilst Codeine made me feel rubbish (sick, dizzy, etc), it allowed me to get out of bed in the morning. I took a break from it for a while until the Fibro troubles started, and soon after this it became the only thing to make me feel half human and be able to tackle the day.

Over the duration of that year and a half I have lost 13kg in weight, and now my usual dose of Codeine (60mg, sometimes twice a day) has me in a state, and even reducing it right down to 15mg never got rid of the rubbishness that followed from it. So recently my Dr and Consultant both decided it was time to give Codeine a break, and gave me Amitriptyline to have a go at. I'm on quite a low dose, and I take it once every evening before I go to bed.

With Codeine, I rarely had trouble sleeping, even on really bad pain days, and I was told this would be the case with Amitriptyline, I would sleep off the drousy-ness and feel pain free (as free as we can be) during the day, then repeat. However, it has had the exact opposite effect on me, I struggle to sleep deeply, and for anything more than 4-5 hours a night. For me, if I have a disrupted nights sleep, my fibro really kicks my butt the next day and it can almost be unbearable to get out of bed. Now add that on top of the Amitriptyline doing nothing(!!) at all to treat the pain, I am barely coping. I am approaching the end of week 2 on the new drugs now, but I'm not sure how much longer I can keep on keeping on without the pain relief Codeine gave me.

I understand new drugs take time, and not all suit everyone, but has anybody else experienced the same with Amitriptyline, and did it ever get better for you?

Thank you for reading!
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Old 05-31-2017, 06:03 AM #2
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Default Re: Amitriptyline - does it help?

I was twice prescribed amitriptyline as well, but because it is a tricyclic anti-depressant I refused to take it. I have many mental health issues and I simply have to be very careful about taking tricyclic antidepressants. But I also want to, one day, give it a try, as I have heard many fibro patients benefiting from it.

It has only been 2 weeks for you, so I think it is too early to tell whether it is the right medication for you. Your body is also in the process of weaning of another drug and making sense of this new drug, so give it another 2 weeks try. In the meantime, try different things for help with your other complaints. You can try taking some over the counter pain meds, try heating pads on your sore areas. I find breathing exercises quite helpful at night time, also some basic yoga/stretching moves help me throughout my day. I also suffer from different shoulder problems, and know how bad they can get at night.

Then together with your doctor, you might choose to increase the dose, or maybe add another medication into the mix. It sucks, but often it can take months to find the right medication and/or the dose. Good communication with your doctor is essential. And taking real good care of yourself - physically and mentally.

All the best...
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:15 AM #3
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Default Re: Amitriptyline - does it help?

Thank you very much for the advice, I guess with other meds having an immediate affect it is easy to forget that not all of them work in such a way!

This was really helpful, thank you again.

Best wishes
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:51 AM #4
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Default Re: Amitriptyline - does it help?

Ami does take longer to work on the pain...i didnt have any success with it and also take cocodamol ( codeine and paracetamol 30/500) for my pain.

It doesn't take my pain away but sometimes it reduces it a little..you know takes the edge off but know miracle!

Vicky is right maybe try another couple of weeks although usually ami does help people with sleep straight away...but we are all so different..its a bit of a lottery. I personally dislike the feelings ami gives me..all zombie and spaced out but i know this wear off for many.

There is also Tramadol many people find helps their pain better as opposed to codeine..you can google and read about it.

I know this illness is such a downer..i too have bad shoulders and very rigid so I sympathise. i hope you find something to help you..good luck.
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Old 06-06-2017, 01:52 PM #5
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Default Re: Amitriptyline - does it help?

Hiya. I've been taking Amitriptyline for months now. I started on a low dose, either 5 or 10mg but my rheumatologist increased it as it was helping me to fall asleep initially but I would wake frequently every night. I now take 30mg at night or sometimes 40mg & it definitely helps at night time. I also take Codipar (similar to co-codamol) during the day for pain, especially at work. I'm not sure if the Amitriptyline helps in the daytime or if it's the combination of both that helps.
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