Amitriptyline HCL, often known as Amitriptyline, is a sedative tricyclic anti-depressant used to treat depressive symptoms. It affects specific chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) that communicate between brain cells and aid in mood regulation.
Anti-depressants are one of the several approaches to treating depression. Some lifestyle changes can help maximise the benefit of Amitriptyline. Adopting daily habits, such as following an active routine and eating a healthy diet, can also make a significant difference in recovering from depression. Other therapies such as thinking positively, meaningful discussions and practising yoga are other ways to reduce stress.
The following must be considered when administering Amitriptyline:
- Amitriptyline should be administered as prescribed by the doctor. Taking medicine may take up to 4 weeks before the symptoms improve, and it should be stopped for a short time when surgery is scheduled.
- When initially taking the medication, suicidal tendencies are observed in some individuals. The patient’s family or caregivers must observe the mood changes and thus consult with the doctor regularly. Sudden stoppage of Amitriptyline may lead to withdrawal symptoms.
- Amitriptyline is best stored away from moisture and heat, at room temperature. The lid of the bottle should be tightly closed when not in use.
Precautions and Warnings
The following must be considered before the consumption of Amitriptyline:
- Amitriptyline should be avoided if there is a recent heart attack, allergy to the medicine, or any monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAO) such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine is observed.
- The doctor should be told in case any of the following conditions persist: Schizophrenia, psychosis, any liver or heart condition, stroke, heart attack or seizures, glaucoma, diabetes or any problems related to urination.
- Aside from these chronic illnesses, children under 12 and pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid using anti-depressants. When alcohol is mixed with Amitriptyline, severe adverse effects, including death, might ensue.
- The initial dosage is typically 75 mg orally daily and may be increased to 150 mg/ day if needed. The maximum dose limit is 150 mg per day.
- As taking Amitriptyline produces a sedative effect, the medicine is preferable at late afternoon or bedtime. It takes as long as 30 days to develop the therapeutic effect. To avoid a relapse, maintenance dosages should be decreased to low levels that give symptomatic relief and may be sustained for three months or longer.
On taking Amitriptyline, some common side effects observed are constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, weight and appetite loss, less urination, and others.
Apart from the above, some severe side effects may be seen. These may be sudden numbness, speech or vision aberrations, sweat breakouts, hallucinations, convulsions or seizure can appear. In case these symptoms are evident, immediate medical help should be beckoned.
Amitriptyline administration may cause sudden mood changes or behavioural demonstrations. So, when the medicine is commenced, or the dosage is changed, the patient should be kept under close medical supervision to prevent further delirium or depression.
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Shubham Pharmachem’s blog posts have been written with the information gathered from approved medical journals and websites online. Our research and technical teams strive to provide relevant information through such articles. We strongly advise readers not to consume or administer medication without their doctor’s prior consultation.