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Amitriptyline Hydrochloride Oral tablet

What is this medicine?

AMITRIPTYLINE (a mee TRIP ti leen) is used to treat depression.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a drink of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take the tablets with or without food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. If you have been taking this medicine regularly for some time, do not suddenly stop taking it. You must gradually reduce the dose or you may get severe side effects. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice. Even after you stop taking this medicine it can still affect your body for several days.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • abnormal production of milk in females

  • breast enlargement in both males and females

  • breathing problems

  • confusion, hallucinations

  • fast, irregular heartbeat

  • fever with increased sweating

  • muscle stiffness, or spasms

  • pain or difficulty passing urine, loss of bladder control

  • seizures

  • suicidal thoughts or other mood changes

  • swelling of the testicles

  • tingling, pain, or numbness in the feet or hands

  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • change in sex drive or performance

  • constipation or diarrhea

  • nausea, vomiting

  • weight gain or loss

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • arsenic trioxide

  • certain medicines used to regulate abnormal heartbeat or to treat other heart conditions

  • cisapride

  • droperidol

  • halofantrine

  • linezolid

  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate

  • methylene blue

  • other medicines for mental depression

  • phenothiazines like perphenazine, thioridazine and chlorpromazine

  • pimozide

  • probucol

  • procarbazine

  • sparfloxacin

  • St. John's Wort

  • ziprasidone

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • atropine and related drugs like hyoscyamine, scopolamine, tolterodine and others

  • barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating seizures, like phenobarbital

  • cimetidine

  • disulfiram

  • ethchlorvynol

  • thyroid hormones such as levothyroxine

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • an alcohol problem

  • asthma, difficulty breathing

  • bipolar disorder or schizophrenia

  • difficulty passing urine, prostate trouble

  • glaucoma

  • heart disease or previous heart attack

  • liver disease

  • over active thyroid

  • seizures

  • thoughts or plans of suicide, a previous suicide attempt, or family history of suicide attempt

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to amitriptyline, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. It can take several days before you feel the full effect of this medicine.

Patients and their families should watch out for worsening depression or thoughts of suicide. Also watch out for sudden or severe changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of antidepressant treatment or after a change in dose, call your health care professional.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may increase dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or allergies without asking your doctor or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients can increase possible side effects.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water will help.

This medicine may cause dry eyes and blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses you may feel some discomfort. Lubricating drops may help. See your eye doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar more often than usual, especially during the first few weeks of treatment with this medicine. This medicine can affect blood sugar levels. Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you notice a change in the results of blood or urine glucose tests.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 8/1/2011
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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