What is Amitriptyline Used for?
Amitriptyline is the generic version of a medication sold under the brand name Elavil among others, which was discovered in the 1950s by scientists at the multinational pharmaceutical company Merck. It is on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) list of essential medications and is widely used globally with millions of prescriptions each year. Amitriptyline tablets have a wide range of uses which we will go into more detail about a little later. It is approved for use in the UK by the National Health Service (NHS) and usually only available when it is prescribed by your GP or specialist consultant depending on the condition it is being used to treat. If you are struggling to get a prescription however, you can buy amitriptyline online from our pharmacy based here in the UK.
As we mentioned earlier, amitriptyline has a variety of uses which is one of the reasons it is so widely prescribed across the globe. It is used for major depressive disorder but much less commonly these days since the development of safer and more effective antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and noradrenalin reuptake inhibitors (SRNIs). It is a second-line treatment option for depression and usually only used when other antidepressants have not worked. People more commonly use amitriptyline for pain and for the prevention of migraines. There are several types of migraine with the most common being migraine with aura and migraine without aura. They are both severe headaches which are usually felt on one side of the head, above the eye.
The only difference between the two types is that the former has visual warning signs about half an hour before the headache develops such as a blind spot, bright dots, or flashing lights. They can last all day with the most intense pain lasting for 1 to 2 hours, and people often feel nauseas or vomit and are sensitive to light. The most common types of pain that amitriptyline tablets are used for is neuropathic (nerve) pain such as diabetic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, and fibromyalgia. It is also used as a second-line treatment for the management of non-chemotherapy induced pain when other medications such as opioids have not worked, but this is usually managed by a specialist oncologist.
Amitriptyline 10 mg has proved to be beneficial for insomnia and can be used as a long-term treatment option without the risk of addiction or increased tolerance to the medication. Many people also use amitriptyline for anxiety disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety. Again, this can safely be used as a long-term treatment option, without the risk of physical dependence.
How Amitriptyline Works
Amitriptyline has a tricyclic chemical structure and strong anticholinergic properties. The exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, but it is thought to inhibit the re-uptake of noradrenalin and serotonin, meaning their concentration is increased and stays in the brain for longer before being removed or taken back up by the synapses. Synapses are microscopic gaps in between neurons which are brain cells, and the messages they send pass via the synapses. The signals which are sent are called action potentials and chemicals called neurotransmitters can regulate the rate of action potentials.
Amitriptyline tablets are also agonists of some serotonin receptors, which means they increases the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin that is produced. The medication also inhibits certain ion channels, including voltage gated sodium and potassium ion channels. Ion channels are found in the membrane that encases each neuron, and each neuron has an electric charge. When the voltage reaches a certain level, this causes an action potential to be fired, so if the ion channels are inhibited, this will reduce the firing rate. This is thought in part to be due to the gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA) agonist action, which is a receptor which produces the neurotransmitter GABA. It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter which has anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and analgesic (pain relieving) properties.
How Long Amitriptyline Lasts
Amitriptyline 10 mg is absorbed quickly via the gastrointestinal tract where is enters the cardiovascular system and then crosses the blood brain barrier into the brain where it exerts its effects. It has a bioavailability of between 30 and 60% due to first pass metabolism, which means that some of the medication is metabolised before it reaches the brain. After it has been absorbed it reaches peak plasma concentration after 2 to 12 hours, and this variation in time is thought to be due to genetic differences.
The average half-life is 25 hours, which is the amount of time it takes for half the amount of the medication to leave your system. As it has a long duration of action this means you can effectively use amitriptyline for sleep, pain, and anxiety, without the need to re-dose throughout the day. As it takes time to build up in your system, you may not feel the benefits for around two weeks. You can buy painkillers in the UK from our online pharmacy if you are looking to manage your condition at home. For more anecdotal information regarding how this medication feels you can read amitriptyline reviews on our site.
Amitriptyline Dosage for Pain Relief
Amitriptyline dosage will vary depending on the type and severity of the disorder you are using it for. Amitriptyline 10 mg is the usual starting dose regardless of your condition and it may be titrated up over a number of weeks to a maximum of 75 mg per day. Even though it isn’t used specifically for the treatment of a migraine when it comes on, higher doses can be prescribed for migraine prevention, however this should always be managed by a specialist doctor. The amitriptyline dose for pain is started at 10 mg per day, however this can be increased if you need further pain relief. It should ideally be taken at night because it can make you drowsy. Tablets should always be swallowed whole with a glass of water or juice, ensuring that you do not crush or chew the medication. Amitriptyline dosage for sleep also starts at 10 mg and can be increased to 50 mg, titrating up by 10 mg each week. It should be taken about an hour before going to bed.
Amitriptyline Side Effects
Unfortunately, all medications have the potential to cause side effects, and this is why the lowest effective dose should always be used. Luckily, most people do not experience any and for those that do they are mild and resolve without the need for medical intervention. Nevertheless, before you buy amitriptyline it is important to be aware of any that may affect you. Some of the more common amitriptyline side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty passing urine
If any of the above affect you, it is not necessary to stop taking the medication unless they are particularly bothersome, in which case you should consult with your GP about alternatives. You should not suddenly stop taking it however, as this can cause unpleasant side effects and can affect your mood. It is very uncommon, but some people experience serious side effects. Stop taking amitriptyline 10 mg and seek medical attention if you experience any of the following:
- Muscle cramps or feeling weak and confused
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Eye swelling, pain, or change in vision
- Tachycardia (fast heartbeat) or an irregular heartbeat
- Feelings of harming yourself or feeling suicidal
Again, this is very rare, but some people have a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylactic shock include swelling of the lips and face, a rash on the face and neck, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. This type of allergic reaction is considered a medical emergency and you should go to A&E or call 999 immediately if you experience it.
Is Amitriptyline Safe for Everyone?
Many people buy amitriptyline in the UK due to its wide range of uses and efficacy, however there are certain groups of people who should either avoid taking it or consult with their GP before they do. It is safe for most people over the age of 18, however, if any of the following affect you then you should speak to you doctor or community mental health or physical health team:
- You are allergic to any of the ingredients listed on the pack
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
- You have liver or kidney problems
- You have glaucoma (an eye problem)
- You have heart problems
- You have a blood disorder called porphyria (this is rare)
- You have epilepsy
- You are having electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
You will also need to monitor your blood sugar levels if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes as amitriptyline tablets can increase blood sugar levels. There are also certain medications that should not be taken at the same time, such as SSRIs, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MOAIs), or thyroxine (a medication to treat thyroid disorders). It is also important to note that amitriptyline and alcohol do not mix well, and you should reduce the amount you drink when taking this medication.
Amitriptyline vs Gabapentin
Although it used off label, you can use amitriptyline for nerve pain, and it has been shown to have a similar efficacy to gabapentin in several double-blind randomised trials. In one study, patients with neuropathic pain were divided into 2 groups and each group was given 1 medication as monotherapy. Although both medications are used to treat similar types of pain, in terms of peripheral neuropathy, both medications had equal efficacy, however gabapentin had fewer side effects. Saying that, gabapentin has habit forming properties, therefore amitriptyline may be better tolerated as a long-term treatment option.
Before You Buy Amitriptyline Online
Before you buy painkillers such as amitriptyline 10 mg, you should consider whether or not this is the best treatment for you. This is not a good treatment option for acute pain, so you may wish to consider medications which start working straight away if you have suffered an injury or after surgery for example. For the treatment of long-term pain such as neuropathic pain, there could be holistic management techniques which could be helpful. Some people find gentle exercises or physiotherapy useful, and acupuncture has been recommended by the NHS for some types of pain including migraine prevention.
Acupuncture has undergone clinical trials for its efficacy and has been found to be effective for the management of several conditions. However, it is expensive, and the cost can build up quite substantially over time. If you have tried it before or you are interested in the benefits of amitriptyline tablets, then it should be up to you whether or not you wish to use them to manage your condition, unless they are contraindicated.
Buy Amitriptyline in the UK
Living with pain can severely impact on your day-to-day life and ability to function. People have differing severities of pain and it can be down to a range of conditions. Whatever the reason, you have the power to take action, and your symptoms do not have to define your life and what you can do. Similarly, sleep problems such as insomnia can also be debilitating and not only affect your quality of sleep, but your home and work life. If you are tired you can become irritable which can put a strain on your relationships. It can also lead to mistakes at work or even cause a road traffic accident. You can go to your GP for advice; however, we understand that not everyone can do this, either due to a lack of time or even because they are embarrassed to admit they are struggling.
Many GPs do not like to hear exactly what medication you know is best for your body and they can be incentivised to prescribe the cheapest option available and see if that works better first, which can take months. We believe you should have the freedom to buy your essential medications at an affordable price. That is why we have made it so that you can buy amitriptyline online in the UK from our pharmacy without the need for a prescription.
Visit www.sleepingtabletsdirect.com to view our complete product range of sleeping pills, anxiety medication and painkiller medication. If you have any questions you can get in touch with our dedicated and friendly team via our site.
While this medication may be consumed with or without food, it is not recommended that patients consume it on a completely empty stomach. Likewise, the effects of this medication will be dulled, or seem weaker, if taken on a full stomach, or after eating a heavy meal.
This Medication Should:
- be consumed in accordance with the patient information leaflet.
- be swallowed whole; do not crush, chew or suck these tablets / capsules.
- be stored in a cool dry place / at room temperature (20°C – 25°C).
- be kept out of the reach of children at all times (minors under the age of 18).
This Medication Should Not
- be mixed with alcohol – even one drink can be dangerous.
- be used if pregnant, breastfeeding (or planning to become pregnant).
- be shared – even with friends or family experiencing symptoms similar to yours.
- be taken when planning to drive or operate dangerous machinery.
NOTE: If you, or anyone you know, have taken too much of this medication, or if you are experiencing any unwanted side-effects such as a rash, difficulty breathing or swelling of any kind, you should contact a doctor immediately.