Amitriptyline Facts: Dosage, Overdose & Side Effects

Amitriptyline finds many applications within the healthcare field. In this article, I explore the optimal dosage of amitriptyline and the associated side effects.

I also explore how overdoses can be lethal. Amitriptyline comes in several quantities, namely 10mg, 20mg, and 25mg used for an array of health issues.

What is Amitriptyline?

Amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, is a commonly applied drug that is only available to people on prescription.

In other words, we are only allowed to have and make use of this drug upon the recommendation and advice of the doctors or any other certified healthcare giver.

Amitriptyline brand names

The common brand names on the market are Levate and Elavil.

Amitriptyline Uses

This drug has numerous uses, but the most emphasized ones that have been proven by medical researchers are:

Reducing sharp pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis

People who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis usually experience sharp joint pains, which if uncontrolled can affect their normal lives.

For instance, a student suffering from this condition may fail to attend his or her lectures, if the pain is unbearable.

Thus, using the drug as prescribed by a physician can help in eliminating the pain, and hence, those suffering from that condition can have a pain free life as those who are not sick.

Treating Neck and Back Pain

Are you experiencing sharp neck or back pain? If so, or you know someone experiencing such pains, then the application of amitriptyline is the optimal remedy.

Usually, such pains can be caused by several factors, including physical injuries during a game or oversleeping while facing one side.

Well, this drug has been demonstrated to interfere with the transfer of pain signals that are being sent to the brain. When that blockage happens, then you are relieved of your back or neck pains, and that is why this drug is effective.

READ: How does Amitriptyline work for Pain Relief

Preventing or healing long-lasting tension headaches

Tension headaches can be irritating and can make one fail to accomplish his or her daily work or personal objectives.

Therefore, when you experience such a condition, you should visit the nearest licensed healthcare facility to receive Amitriptyline that can treat your condition within a few hours.

Healing peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that occurs when your nerves that carry information to and from the spinal cord and brain are diseased or damaged.

It is a condition that can be caused by diabetes, infections, injuries, and exposure to toxic products.

The use of amitriptyline as prescribed by a trained healthcare giver helps in the total healing of this condition.

Healing depression

If you have tried all other depression medications and you are yet to be healed, then you can use this antidepressant.

The drug has been tested, and medical researchers have established that if an individual adheres to the instructions given regarding its use and completes his or her dose, then the patient can be healed much quicker than when other medications are administered.

Amitriptyline Dosage – 10mg, 20mg, & 25mg

Based on the seriousness of your condition after a physician’s examination, you will be issued with a specific dosage of this antidepressant to treat or aid in restoring your normal health.

Amitriptyline 10mg

10mg tablets are the least dosage of this antidepressant. It is commonly found in the form of a tablet.

This specific drug contains several inactive compounds such as lactose monohydrate, polyethylene glycol, sodium starch glycolate, polysorbate, titanium oxide, magnesium stearate, Hypromellose, and colloidal silicon dioxide.

While all the above-stated compounds are also found in all the other dosages of this drug, the 10mg tablets contain FD & C Blue #1 Lake.

This last unique component for this dosage is an FDA – certified color that is frequently used to specify this tablet.

Identification of this dosage is easier because they are usually of blue color, film-coated tablets, unscored, round, debossed ‘2101’ in the front side, and the other side is debossed ‘v’.

These tablets are also commonly supplied as bottles of 30, 90, 100, and 1000.

Additionally, you should note that this is the starting dose for most individuals suffering from anxiety and tension.

Amitriptyline 20mg

It is recommended that after starting with a 10mg dosage you increase it to 20mg to benefit fully from this drug.

According to the FDA, individuals suffering from depression or anxiousness can take up to 20 mg dosage of this medication, specifically because no monitoring is required when under this dosage.

Before you start taking any dosage of this particular drug, it is highly recommended that you consult your nearest medical officer to avoid the repercussions if you accidentally take the wrong dosage.

However, if you are a medical doctor, you can increase your dosage to 20mg based on your experience as a medical officer.

Amitriptyline 25mg

This is a tablet with a higher active component compared to the previous 2 quantities.

They are used in cases where higher doses are needed, and the patient doesn’t have to swallow many tablets with small amounts of the active component.

The dosage of amitriptyline for fibromyalgia

If you have fibromyalgia, you can always use amitriptyline to help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with this condition.

The doses would have to be as prescribed by the physician. I can assure you though that they would still be within the limits highlighted in the chart below.

Dosage of amitriptyline for Dogs & Cats

Want to give this drug to your pet? Well, I would advise you to visit a vet first. The vet should be able to assess the condition of your cat or dog before recommending the amount of drug to give to the pets.

As you should note, this drug is powerful and may easily harm your pets if care is not taken.

Amitriptyline Lethal dose

A lethal dose occurs when amitriptyline is used in amounts extremely higher than the recommended dosage. This is handled in detail under the overdose section below

Amitriptyline HCl normal dosage

Well, the standard dosage of amitriptyline varies according to the car described here below. As already indicated the doses vary over time according to the patient’s status.

Amitriptyline dosage for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

You can use amitriptyline for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, we do recommend that you visit a physician first.

It works by reducing the rectal pain-related activation of the anterior cingulate cortex in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

Amitriptyline Dose Charts

In case you want to make use of this drug to manage the symptoms of your condition, you can follow the following chart for you to obtain optimal results.

However, if your physician has given you a specific chart, please adhere to it, because it may differ based on the seriousness of your condition.

Chart 1: Adult dose for persons suffering from depression. Generally, this is also the same dosage issued to the individual suffering from anxiety, and back and neck pains.

However, consult your specific physicians for further details on the dosage of this particular drug.

Amitriptyline Overdose

The main reason for the rising cases of drug overdose across the globe is due to the presence of several people purporting to be healthcare givers yet they are untrained and unqualified to administer any medical care to anyone.

Also, several people tend to go against the issued prescriptions on how they should take a particular drug.

Amitriptyline overdose symptoms

In case you have taken this antidepressant and you feel agitated, you are shaking, vomiting and you are experiencing seizures and a fast heart rate, it is recommended that you contact your healthcare immediately.

These are the primary indicators of n excessive consumption of amitriptyline drugs.

If you want to go to the healthcare facility, specifically the accident and emergency department, it is advisable that you do not drive. Request your friend, family member, or neighbor, or call an ambulance to take you there.

Amitriptyline Overdose Effects

An overdose of this tricyclic antidepressant has anticholinergic effects like coma, tachycardia, and respiratory depression.

The anticholinergic action can decline gut flexibility. Additionally, patients start displaying life-threatening cardiovascular events and may go into a coma within a few hours of taking the drug.

It is recommended that if you are a victim of a drug overdose or you know someone who has taken excessive drugs more than the recommended dosage, you take immediate action to salvage their lives.

For instance, you can call 999 or any other helpline number you may be having or rush the victim to the nearest healthcare facility.

Amitriptyline overdose amount fatal

There is no specific amount to indicate that you have taken the excessive drug, but instead, a fatal amount is any amount of medication that is above the recommended dosage.

Nevertheless, the risk of experiencing the effects of overdose increases with the number of times you consume an excessive amount of this antidepressant.

In other words, if you take an overdose once and you stop, the effect may not be fatal as opposed to a case where you take an excessive dose over two times.

Amitriptyline overdose treatment

Instantaneous and aggressive medication is primary to reverting the life-threatening indicators of an overdose.

Sodium bicarbonate is effective in treating an individual who has taken an excessive amount of amitriptyline.

Other kinds of therapies that can be applied to lessen the symptoms of an overdose include activated charcoal and gastric lavage, which are specifically meant to lessen the rate of drug absorption.

Note that the symptoms of an overdose can last up to two days and therefore, the patient should be monitored constantly until he or she is completely healed.

Amitriptyline Side Effects & Interactions

Just like any other compound, amitriptyline contains side effects, which can be present in some people and absent in others.

The following are some of the side effects that are commonly associated with this drug. The amitriptyline interactions listed below may vary from one person to another.

Swelling of your breast

Breast swelling in both genders, especially after you have taken this drug is an indication that your body is not comfortable with this drug.  Therefore, you should stop using it and seek further advice from your doctor.

Decreased desire for sexual intercourse

If you discover that your mood for sex is declining, particularly when you are on amitriptyline medication you should lessen the dose of the drug.

It is an indication that the drug is interfering with the efficient transfer of sex hormones in the brain.

Stomach upset, nausea and vomiting

When under this antidepressant medication and you experience excessive stomach upsets, vomiting, or nausea, it is recommended that you stop using the drug with immediate effect and seek medical further medical advice from the nearest hospital.

Excessive Itching

To some individuals, the drug can result in excessive itching, which may worsen if left untreated and one continues to make use of the drug.

Therefore, it is recommended that one stops using this drug immediately he or she experiences extreme itching.

Loss of Appetite

Amitriptyline can interfere with your appetite for food. For some people, the problem can last for a day, but for some, it may last for over three days.

If your appetite is affected for more than two days avoid using the drug and contact your doctor.


In some individuals, the drug may affect the normal digestion process, hence resulting in constipation and diarrhea.

Black tongue and mouth pains

If you notice these signs after consuming this antidepressant kindly stop using the drug causes the effects may worsen and affect your normal health.

References on Amitriptyline dosage

  • 1: Amitriptyline Uses, Dosage, and Side Effects – NetDoctor
  • 2: Elavil (Amitriptyline): Side Effects Interactions, Warnings Dosages and Uses – RxList
  • 3: Amitriptyline Dosage –
  • 4: Amitriptyline for Depression – NHS

READ: Can I take Amitriptyline for sleep insomnia

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