Update-MiL and Amitriptyline

flowerpot

Registered User
Jul 27, 2010
2,450
61
Rural North Northumberland
Over the last three months we have seen a massive downturn in MiL. We thought that it coincided with FiL going into the CH and her feeling depressed about it. None of it seemed right though. She lost the will to walk and wasn't interested in anything. Back in November we celebrated her eighty ninth birthday but she wasn't really with it. She was very easily confused and anything that was said to her she didn't seem to understand:confused:

The week before Christmas the physios had started coming in again to do some exercises with her. This was through the doctor who had been popping in occasionally to see how she was and thought that some physio may help her.

Christmas just seemed a blur to her. By the Friday of New Year weekend she took a turn for the worse. When I got her up in the morning she couldn't wee. I rang for the doctor to come over that day. In the meantime the two physios came and said that they thought she may have a UTI which is what we thought.

The doctor came and said the same thing but also told us to stop the Amitriptyline which she had been prescribed to help her sleep and ease the pain in her left arm that she had been suffering from for a few months.

That night we didn't give her the Amitriptyline and by the time she was in bed there was a marked difference in her. By the Saturday morning she was like a different person (the person she had been prior to Amitriptyline).

She enjoyed New Years Eve as usual and stayed up until 2am.:eek:

The following week the two physios arrived and couldn't believe the difference in her. That was the last week of them coming as MiL was doing so well and was walking with help and basically back to where she was three months ago.

I'm absolutely horrified that this drug had caused these symptoms. The doctor also feels awful as he knows the consequences of it. When he explained this to us I couldn't breath I just wanted to scream as I'm sure that is what killed my Dad and no one knew:eek: He had been on Amitriptyline for years and was still being prescribed it in hospital:eek: His problems all started the same as MiL ie: not being able to wee. Then in hospital he started having seizures. But unfortunately I can't do anything about that now and I'm trying not to think about it.

I've read a few things about this drug over the last few days and I'm now adamant that MiL will never be given anything like this again.

I know there have been threads about this drug on here before but I've never taken any notice or read them:eek: I so wish I had. When she was first prescribed it I thought 'oh that's fine Dad was on that for years without any problems'........how wrong was that:(

Anyway she's fine now and we're kinda back to normal.

As usual another long thread but hopefully if it can help anyone else then it's been worth sitting here writing all of this.
 

cragmaid

Registered User
Oct 18, 2010
7,942
North East England
Hi, I've been taking Amitriptyline in various dosages for the last 4 years, to help with pain from nerve damage in my back, neck, hands and arms and, although most of the time I take the minimum dose, I can increase the dosage if I feel it is needed. As yet I have suffered no side effects and it does get me a few hours sleep with less pain. I can express the need for more or less pain relief and I am supervised by my doctors, however this may not have been the case for your MIL. I know from Mum's medications that, although she has them reviewed each year, this generally takes the role of " how are you managing on x or y? Any side efects? No well just keep taking them" and Mum, of course, knowing how perfect Doctors are, says Yes, Thank you.
I'm sure that you may well be correct in thinking that MIL was taking, at best, too high a dose, and at worst, an unnecessary one, and this may well have been enough to sedate her.
Hope it lasts, good news is rare at times, Take it easy, love Maureen.x.
 

flowerpot

Registered User
Jul 27, 2010
2,450
61
Rural North Northumberland
MiL was on a very low dose but from what I've learned in the last few days it can increase the risks of both cognitive impairment and death in older people. Very scary if like us you don't already know this at the time.
 

rajahh

Registered User
Aug 29, 2008
2,794
Hertfordshire
My daughter has been on that drug for many years at least 18 and does not seem to have any of the side effects you are talking about. It obviously affects people in different ways, however I will mention it to her so she can make her own judgement.
 

Towdlad

Registered User
Dec 4, 2011
2
Selby, England
Towdlad

Having read your report I feel that it is important to tell you about my wife's recent experience. She has been on 2 Amitriptyline tablets every night for the past 2 years. When we saw an article in the Daily Mail that said that there were posssible links between Amitriptyline and memory loss. Not only that but it said that there is a possibillity that there was a 50% chance of this drug causing Alzheimers. This was based on a study carried out in Canada. We decided to come off this drug immediately. 2 days later she was taken into hospital with chest pains and it was suspected that she had had an heart attack. Fortunately this was not the case but After subsequent conversations with her Dr. It was thought that the pains were caused by coming off the drug too quickly.
What was noticed immediately she came off the drug was that she brightened up and was more aware of what was going on for the first time in years (she had been suffering from memory loss and was diagnosed by a Psychiatrist aqs being in the early stages of Alzheimers.
My wife is now back to her normal with it self and thank goodness we saw the item in the newspaper. Is it not time that this drug is withdrawn from general use?
By the way our Dr. said that my wife had been put on Amitriptyline because she had experienced sciatica but that was 2 years ago.

Over the last three months we have seen a massive downturn in MiL. We thought that it coincided with FiL going into the CH and her feeling depressed about it. None of it seemed right though. She lost the will to walk and wasn't interested in anything. Back in November we celebrated her eighty ninth birthday but she wasn't really with it. She was very easily confused and anything that was said to her she didn't seem to understand:confused:

The week before Christmas the physios had started coming in again to do some exercises with her. This was through the doctor who had been popping in occasionally to see how she was and thought that some physio may help her.

Christmas just seemed a blur to her. By the Friday of New Year weekend she took a turn for the worse. When I got her up in the morning she couldn't wee. I rang for the doctor to come over that day. In the meantime the two physios came and said that they thought she may have a UTI which is what we thought.

The doctor came and said the same thing but also told us to stop the Amitriptyline which she had been prescribed to help her sleep and ease the pain in her left arm that she had been suffering from for a few months.

That night we didn't give her the Amitriptyline and by the time she was in bed there was a marked difference in her. By the Saturday morning she was like a different person (the person she had been prior to Amitriptyline).

She enjoyed New Years Eve as usual and stayed up until 2am.:eek:

The following week the two physios arrived and couldn't believe the difference in her. That was the last week of them coming as MiL was doing so well and was walking with help and basically back to where she was three months ago.

I'm absolutely horrified that this drug had caused these symptoms. The doctor also feels awful as he knows the consequences of it. When he explained this to us I couldn't breath I just wanted to scream as I'm sure that is what killed my Dad and no one knew:eek: He had been on Amitriptyline for years and was still being prescribed it in hospital:eek: His problems all started the same as MiL ie: not being able to wee. Then in hospital he started having seizures. But unfortunately I can't do anything about that now and I'm trying not to think about it.

I've read a few things about this drug over the last few days and I'm now adamant that MiL will never be given anything like this again.

I know there have been threads about this drug on here before but I've never taken any notice or read them:eek: I so wish I had. When she was first prescribed it I thought 'oh that's fine Dad was on that for years without any problems'........how wrong was that:(

Anyway she's fine now and we're kinda back to normal.

As usual another long thread but hopefully if it can help anyone else then it's been worth sitting here writing all of this.
 

lin1

Registered User
Jan 14, 2010
9,320
East Kent
Hello Towdlad
Welcome to TP
I am so glad to hear you have got your wife back

but am sorry to hear her Alzheimers symptoms were caused by this medication
 

jan1962

Registered User
May 19, 2012
721
bedlington northumberland
Hi there,

i found this rather alarming reading as i myself take this medication, i too was prescribed it for pain relief. i have been taking 50mg for 2 years now but as a result to reading this i am going to make an appointment with my GP.


thanks

jan1962
 

Saffie

Registered User
Mar 26, 2011
22,506
Near Southampton
I was pescribed this for pain in my neck and head but although a low dose, it made me so sleepy during the day that I gave it up after about a week. Isn't it prescribed for depression on a higher dose too?
 

velo70

Registered User
Sep 20, 2012
177
Devon
Amytriptilene

My wife had Shingles in her left eye which caused her immense discomfort and tingling nerve pains over the eye. She was diagnosed with early ADS not connected with the Amytriptilene. To allow some relief from the nerve pain, she was prescribed a smaller dose of the drug, but we were warned by her GP to carefully read about the side effects, and to only take the drug as a last resort and sparingly, to avoid dependecy. I have followed the advice carefully, and am alarmed to read the foregoing on memory loss and disfunction. I have spoken to the GP and he advises that used as he directs, should not add to my wife's problem. I have to say for targetting the pain relief when needed, they seem effective in allowing some sleep. Seems you can be damned if you do and damned if you dont. The Shingles, though dimished, still causes discomfort after 20 months.She still has odd good days, which we treasure, but the bad ones (disfunctional) are awful and seem more frequent.
 

jan1962

Registered User
May 19, 2012
721
bedlington northumberland
I was pescribed this for pain in my neck and head but although a low dose, it made me so sleepy during the day that I gave it up after about a week. Isn't it prescribed for depression on a higher dose too?
Hi Saffie,

you are correct that this medication is used for depression. the main purpose of this medication was one of pain relief then it was discovered that it had a benificial purpose for people suffering from depression.


jan1962
 

JPG1

Account Closed
Jul 16, 2008
3,396
Was it not the other way round, jan? I was told that Amitryptiline was originally used to treat depression. Then, later it was used as a form of pain relief. Also used for pain relief in people with dementia.

The side-effects of Amitryptiline, especially in older people with dementia, can be devastating, unless monitored very closely. It is an enormously powerful drug, and sometimes, in my view, it is prescribed almost in the same way that anti-psychotics are sometimes prescribed. To keep the person controlled; rather than to control depression or pain.

In our case, it caused the most horrible decline in someone who had never before taken much other than aspirin or paracetamol, and who certainly wasn't suffering from depression. Just backache.

Please talk to the Pharmacist about this drug, or to whoever prescribed it.
 

jan1962

Registered User
May 19, 2012
721
bedlington northumberland
Was it not the other way round, jan? I was told that Amitryptiline was originally used to treat depression. Then, later it was used as a form of pain relief. Also used for pain relief in people with dementia.

The side-effects of Amitryptiline, especially in older people with dementia, can be devastating, unless monitored very closely. It is an enormously powerful drug, and sometimes, in my view, it is prescribed almost in the same way that anti-psychotics are sometimes prescribed. To keep the person controlled; rather than to control depression or pain.

In our case, it caused the most horrible decline in someone who had never before taken much other than aspirin or paracetamol, and who certainly wasn't suffering from depression. Just backache.

Please talk to the Pharmacist about this drug, or to whoever prescribed it.

hi JPG1,

you are correct just got it the wrong way round silly me. will be having a chat with my GP as i take this medication every night for pain. i have back problems along with cyatic nerve problems in both legs.


jan1962
 

Polly1945

Registered User
Oct 24, 2012
261
Hereford
Hi Flowerpot and others

When I took Mum to the Memory Clinic, the consultant told me that it would be better if I could stop the Amitriptyline as it could lessen the effects that the Aricept would have (or words to that effect) At the time my Mum had been on amitriptyline for about 7 years, I think it was 50g or 25g but now she is taking only 10g at night. I did try to cut out the tablet completely but Mum became very anxious without it.

I've often wondered if this drug caused Mum's Alzheimers, and I don't even know why she was given it in the first place. She wasn't depressed at any time :eek:

I hadn't seen the newspaper report on this, I'll try to find it.

Many thanks for bringing this subject up.

love
Pauline
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,562
Ireland
Oh ****! Now I'm worrying! I take amitriptyline (25mg) as a migraine preventative - as well as topirimate (Topamax). I have to say, I have found it a great help - I do still get headaches regularly (couple of times a week at least) but on a scale of 1 to 10, they are now down to about between 1 and 2, whereas they were up between 5 and 6 when I was on the Topamax and just 10mg of amitriptyline - and without any amitriptyline, I was getting really bad headaches with vomiting and sensitivity to both noise and light, which was making taking care of Wm. very difficult. The topamax I've been on for about six or seven years. This is my second time on amitriptyline. I came off it before, because I thought my migraines were just spontaneously getting better, and the drug wasn't making any difference - but it was just that it takes about a month for it to start having a noticeable effect apparently, and after I stopped it, it was about a month before the headaches got really bad again. Can't say I've noticed any side affects really. Maybe I'm lucky - I know of other people who had really bad side affects from Topamax too, but I haven't noticed any.

Hope I "outgrow" my migraines before I become elderly though, and can come off all these medications!:eek:
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,562
Ireland
Oh no Saffie! I only started getting them at 41, and by the time I was about 43 was spending 3 or 4 days a week in bed throwing up and in agony! At a migraine clinic, they said they thought it was probably caused by approaching menopause, and once I was over that, they should diminish and then disappear. Well, I'm 4 years over it, and they haven't! But the doctors told me that it's rare for elderly people to have migraine - so I'm living in hope!
 

Saffie

Registered User
Mar 26, 2011
22,506
Near Southampton
Well, I've had then since I was a teenager so I would have hoped that they would have worn themselves out by now! Perhaps your's are different, so here's hoping for your sake. X
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
My wife, when is was already clear that her dementia was well-established, was prescribed amitriptyline because it was thought that she might be a bit depressed. Knowing that she has always been very sensitive to all drugs, I was advised to 'start low'. I gave her 5mg, the lowest prescription mentioned, last thing at night.

She woke up raving. It was the most horrific experience I've had (so far).

It has taken about a year to get to a point where I can be fairly confident that she will wake up calm.

If any drug can produce this effect with a singe small dose, it needs to be treated with great caution.