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Amitriptyline, also known as Elavil, is a prescription medication commonly used to prevent migraines and to treat post-herpetic neuralgia, as well as eating disorders and symptoms of depression. It belongs to the tricyclic antidepressant family of drugs, along with other medications such as desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), and nortriptyline (Pamelor). Amitriptyline was originally released in the United States in 1961 under the brand name Elavil.
✓ Relieving symptoms of depression
✓ Migraine prevention
|Price with Insurance||Out-of-Pocket Price|
|As little as $0 per month for the medication||As little as $25 per month for the medication|
Ongoing medication management costs $55/month
- What is amitriptyline?
Amitriptyline is a prescription medication used to treat a variety of conditions, including major depressive disorder, eating disorders and chronic pain. It’s a tricyclic antidepressant that affects norepinephrine and serotonin levels in your brain. And, if you have a depression-related condition that isn’t responding to lifestyle changes or more common medications like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), amitriptyline might be right for you.
- How does amitriptyline work?
Amitriptyline is part of a class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. It influences serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain. These are chemicals that help you maintain focus, sleep better, have positive thoughts, and improve your mood. Tricyclic antidepressants are typically used for depression. They may also be used to reduce pain.
- What are the side effects of amitriptyline?
The side effects of amitriptyline include drowsiness, constipation, fatigue and dry mouth. Since amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA), other common side effects include nausea and headaches. In addition to these possible adverse reactions from taking amitriptyline, there may be risks for people who have certain medical conditions or take other medications.
- How do I take amitriptyline?
Amitriptyline comes in pill form and is usually taken one to four times per day. Take amitriptyline around the same time(s) every day, and do not take more or less than prescribed by your doctor. If you’re taking amitriptyline long-term, your doctor will likely start you off with a low dose to make sure there are no negative side effects. Once things settle out, they can increase your dosage if it seems appropriate. If you plan to stop using Amitriptyline let your provider know as this medication should not be stopped abruptly and you may need to taper your dose to discontinue it.
- Can I take amitriptyline with other medications?
Before you take amitriptyline, be sure to talk with your provider about all of your current medications. Certain substances are known to interact dangerously with amitriptyline. If you are currently taking any medications or supplements, discuss them carefully with your provider before adding amitriptyline to your treatment plan. The provider who prescribed amitriptyline will likely have some recommendations for combining it with other medications.
- Are there any risks when taking amitriptyline?
Like any medication, amitriptyline does come with some risks. Talk to your provider about the risks of taking this medication if you are 65 years of age or older. Tell your provider if you have recently had a heart attack, are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are currently breastfeeding. You’ll also want to limit your intake of alcohol if you’re taking amitriptyline, and avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while taking this medication.
- How quickly does amitriptyline work?
Within a few days of starting on amitriptyline, you may notice improvements in your mood and energy levels. At first, most people taking amitriptyline notice that they have fewer physical symptoms related to depression. However, it can take several weeks or longer for your emotional symptoms to respond to treatment.
- How does Nurx work?
Nurx is a telehealth platform offering easy online access to doctors and seamless delivery of medications. No more time-consuming trips to the clinic and no more frantic pharmacy runs. We put you in control of your own health, empowering you to get the care you need, when you need it. From diagnosis to delivery of prescriptions, we make every part of getting healthy and staying healthy, better.
For more information and to signup, visit www.nurx.com and follow us @nurxapp on Twitter and Instagram.
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