I developed severe anxiety last May and my docs said the amitriptyline wasn't working for me. I began taking it 7 years ago for migraines that wouldn't go away and it worked except for having to increase dosage after trying to come off and couldn't. I got myself down to 10 mg 6 days ago and feel so ill. Anxiety is sooo bad, insomnia, nausea, dizzy, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, flu like pain, chest pain, very little appetite etc. I can't go out nevertheless get out of bed for long. I've been slow tapering decreasing by 10 mg per month until 20, I went about 3 weeks and thought I took the pills before going to sleep and found them on the floor the next morning. So I had 0 in my system for 48 hours then went to 10. My doc said she wants me on generic zoloft and to start taking it now. What about serotonin syndrome! I know it's a possibility and feeling so ill I don't know what to look for if I was to get it. The anxiety has made it difficult to take any pills because of the side effects. I was given a drug in the hospital that was supposed to calm me and I shot to the roof. My question is should I go to the hospital for help getting off the rest of this god awful drug and they can observe and help me get onto zoloft? I can't take it anymore. Please help me
Tapering off amitriptyline, feel so sick, anxiety so bad, flu pain etc, should I go to hospital ?
- 5 Aug 2012 by islgirl
- depression, influenza, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, insomnia, pain, generalized anxiety disorder, amitriptyline, anxiety and stress, tapering
Added 9 Aug 2012:
Hello all. I wound up going to the er after all and yes it's severe anxiety. I've been prescribed to take 10 mg amitriptyline, 25 mg zoloft, and 1.5 mg Xanax daily that can be increased a little. Amitriptyline will be eliminated shortly. Here's my question, does the combination above seem normal? I can't find anything or anyone on the internet stating the use of all three. Btw, still have the serotonin syndrome scare but trying to deal with it. Even though doc prescribed these meds I also have the option to stop the amitriptyline then start the zoloft. I know that gives me no coverage but it's also not doing anything to benefit me now and maybe the xanax will help amitryptline withdrawals until I start the zoloft. Elyssa
5 Aug 2012
10 mg of amitriptyline and zoloft should not cause a problem. You had alot more amitriptyline in your system and did ok. I'm sure he's starting you on a lower dose of zoloft. He wants you to take it that way to prevent all the symptoms you are having. Your doctor has years of education and I'm sure he knows what he's doing.
5 Aug 2012
Hi islgirl & welcome to the site. I have to answer your question with a question because of the support groups you have listed with your question. You say you started taking the amitriptyline for migraines, but you list depression & anxiety as part of your profile. Did you have these issues before starting this medication? Is this totally new list of symptoms or did you have some of those problems before & the amitriptyline helped? We are not doctors on this site only people that have either been where you are, or have similar conditions & have some medical experience. Kaismama is a nurse & I believe has taken this drug. I took it for helping with sleep many years ago, but I don't have anxiety issues. You didn't list the full dose you were taking when it was helping you. Why are you wanting to stop it if it helped? My personal opinon for what it's worth is that you seek the help of a professional.
It sounds like you are having issues that best be left up to a psychiatrist as they are the best professional to seek advice from on taking & getting off of these type of medication. If your anxiety is from withdrawal from amitriptyline, which honestly it doesn't sound like it to me, you still need the best help available to you which is of course a psychiatrist. He will also help you figure out all these others problems & see if you need medication or not. I wish you the best, & please have your PCP or whomever is prescribing this for you get you referred to a specialist right away. For you, It's an emergency situation...
5 Aug 2012
Dear Islgirl, I am NOT a dr or nurse, but I do have some personal experience with anxiety/panic disorder and antidepressants. The very first thing I am going to suggest, it to get in touch with your dr, ask if she will prescribe you a benzodiazepine for right now, to help with the extreme panic and anxiety. Also ask her if she has checked your thyroid and your hormone levels, both thyroid and hormone imbalances can cause pretty severe anxiety. If this has NOT been done, it needs to be done, soon. Panic and anxiety disorder tends to run in families and is worst when the person may be going thru puberty, menopause or pregnancy. It sounds like you do need a benzo for right now, even if it is short term. My understanding of serontonin syndrome, is that it occurs when someone is on major amounts of ssri's or ssnri's. I am going to do a bit more research on this in a few moments and come back.
There are a few people that come to mind on this site, who are great at these these questions. Pledge, JK13, LaurieShay and Psyched are all very well versed at explaining these things. Give us a bit to try and find one of them to help on this one. By adding generic Zoloft to the low dose of amitriptyline you are already on, you still should be ok and I doubt serontonin syndrome will set in. Please call your dr and tell them of the strong anxiety symptoms and ask about the thyroid and hormone panels, these are blood work tests and either of these 2 things being off, would make the anxiety much worse, I know that much. Hang on for us, ok. Patti
6 Aug 2012
Serotonin syndrome is very rare and not likely at all given the type and dosages of these two antidepressants. From what you describe sounds like you are experiencing a combination of anxiety and withdrawal symptoms from the amitriptyline. Don't think it requires a trip to the ER if you can hang tough for a few more days while you adjust to the reduced dosage of amitriptyline. I would do as your doctor says and start the Zoloft immediately. Might help to talk to an understanding friend or family member to help calm yourself down. If the withdrawals don't subside soon, talk to the doctor again and see if she can recommend a solution.
6 Aug 2012
First of all, I currently take zoloft (ssri) as well as tramadol (snri) name brand being ultram. When taken under the care of a doctor, while I would without a doubt educate yourself in what the key symtoms are for seritonin syndrome, I would noetheless not worry to much about it. It is actualy a fairly common practice to combine snri's, snri's, and tca's in order to create a more customized solution to a given problem. If I had to make a guess, once you start takeing the zoloft your issues should go away, afterall, your body is currently starved of seritonin, and is simply out of balance.
Now, if you were to just discontinue seritonin type drugs, the situation would be handled very differently with an extremely slow taper. This of course is not the case, and likely would also be true for me. In many cases such as myself as well as you continuous medication is needed. When switching medications the quickest method is often the best method as going without can be potentialy be very problematic, not even takeing withdrawal into consideration.
I appologize for my poor spelling as my phone's spell check isn't working at the moment! Anyways, I sincerely hope that you fell better soon and that this is of some help!
6 Aug 2012
Hello, I am on and off off of amitiptyline 10 mg. dosis. I known what your feelling,however this lowest dosis of this type of med. You can see your dc. and ask for any benzo dosis for no more than 3 weeks. That what I do when I get off from said med. I do not think your widraw simptons go longer than 3 weeks. The amitrptyline(elavil) is now been use by neourologists for treatment of migrane. So explained your doc. for the sort of comments you receice from the group. Take care.
11 Aug 2012
Pattishan sent me a message a few days ago and I just read it. First of all I want to tell you that you don't have to apologize for your anxiety(ies) here! No matter how strange or irrational they may seem to others, for you they are REAL and you don't owe anyone an apology for that! :)
Second, I think you should take your doctor's advice BUT I completely understand why you feel that you cannot. Now, that being said, I would like to encourage you to seek out a therapist to help you come to grips with some of these anxieties and help you work through them and overcome them. Medications are fine, but personally I think they work even better when coupled with therapy. (And no, as some have asked, I am NOT a therapist... or doctor... or nurse... or psychiatrist LOL).
Finally, I just want to throw this out there because we all have or know someone who has worried about the following: Drugs have warning labels because they are required to. Not everyone will experience side-effects listed on labels but they are there to cover manufacturers' butts. It is really hard not to obsess about them when you have issues; but people should try.
Islgirl, if you don't think you can cope with these feelings anymore, you always have the option of getting help in-patient until you feel that you are better to care for yourself and move forward. There is certainly no shame in doing so and some times, quite honestly, it's the best move. I hope this has helped somewhat and if it hasn't, I am sorry. Whatever you do, do not give up on yourself or those of us here. Someone is always here that can lend and ear and help the best we can.
11 Aug 2012
Hello Elyssa - Do you have a psychiatrist prescribing to you? If not, I wish you would go that route for prescribing things for the mental issues. You mentioned going to the ER but didn't say what type of doctor saw you. I think a psychiatrist would best help you with any dosing issues and also with tapering off medications of this nature as well.
I wish you peace and comfort on this journey toward better health. Keep posting so we can support you, okay? Let us know how you are doing along the way as well... we are here for you if you want help or any kind of support.
5 Nov 2014
I see your post was in 2012; it is now 2014. How are you doing? Wish I could help. I have my own question to post: I started taking 50 mg of Amitriptyline in 2006 for severe insomnia. I had to be hospitalized for sleep deprivation. After several weeks getting into my system, it worked very well for me, and I enjoyed great sleep for 8 years. Then my liver enzyme counts went up, so my doctor weaned me off over about 2 months, and I was doing O.K. But now, when I lie down to sleep, I'm wide awake and hear every sound outside and in the house. I tried taking a 10 mg pill from my "weaning off" bottle and went down really quickly but felt so drowsy and sick to my stomach in the morning. Then I tried the OTC herbal sleep aid, and my heart seems like it's pounding all night. I seem to doze off because I have dreams, but during the day, I'm shaky and feel horrible. Does anyone know of an alternative for sleep? Will this deprivation of the Amitriptyline go away? Thanks for any help you can offer.
27 Apr 2015
Elyssa, I'm right there with you. Sleepless but can't get up. No life. Haven't been out for weeks/months. Wanted to taper off bit couldn't my nerves were sky/high. Had been up to 75mg but tried going down to 10. Not working - caught between hating the evil effects/side-effects, and the impossibility of withdrawal. I'm clearly v sensitive to all such drugs. Inititial problem, insomnia. How ironic. Now can't sleep at all never mind rest. Hormones must be part if the story I'm 48, now actually look about 58, ie menopause. Any good news of you and your struggles would be welcome. At least we're not alone ? Gx
- Amitriptyline Information for Consumers
- Amitriptyline Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Amitriptyline (detailed)
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