Using Amitriptyline to treat Fibromyalgia
Amitriptyline is a medication that has various uses, in larger doses, it is often used to treat depression but smaller does are commonly prescribed to help treat Fibromyalgia and other conditions like Arthritis. Today I’m going to talk about my experience before using it and also whilst using it.
Before using Amitriptyline
So, let me take you back to life before the Amitriptyline was prescribed. Or in particular night time as this is the part of the day that the effects are really felt.
I would go to bed and be in pain, just lying down was painful, it could take me ages to get to sleep and when I did get to sleep I would have less than a whole sleep cycle before I would wake up in pain. If I did not wake up fully I would certainly come partly awake. I could not get comfortable at all and would practically be doing gymnastics trying to find a position to lie in. Michael would be often disturbed by me whimpering in my sleep when I did manage to get to sleep. It was really hard.
As you can imagine, my sleep deprivation built up until I was completely exhausted totally running on empty.
Starting to Use Amitriptyline
When I discussed this problem with my G.P. back in 2015 I was prescribed the Amitriptyline, initially a 10mg dose. They painstakingly explained that I was being prescribed it for pain management not because they thought I was depressed. You can see further information about the relationship between Amitriptyline and Fibro here. I am not exaggerating when I say the difference was noticeable the very first night. Sleep came to me quite easily that night and then I stayed asleep.
I am not saying this sleep is wonderful, it is not the great sleep I used to have before the Fibromyalgia arrived in my life. When I used to wake up feeling like I was refreshed from going to sleep. It is nearer really to having a general anaesthetic if I’m honest when I wake up or stir it is like I have simply been missing, I don’t feel properly rested but equally, I don’t feel completely exhausted and drained either.
18 Months On
Now I take 30mg a night, it has gradually increased over time but I think I have probably reached my upper limited. I am aware that other people with Fibromyalgia have worked all the way up to 80mg plus. But, as the larger doses are primarily for depression rather than pain control I am not entirely convinced there would be an awful lot of value in continuing to increase my intake.
The side effects of Amitriptyline
Like many medications, there are side effects that can cause problems. For me, the main problem is night sweats. Doing a quick search engine check I can quickly see I am not alone suffering from this problem. To put it into context I can wake up in the night and the bedsheets are literally saturated. I’ll admit this is no fun, especially in the colder weather when you have to get back into bed after getting up.
I am planning on speaking to my G.P. in the coming weeks when I have the chance to see if there is another medication they can give me to help deal with this. That is one of the frustrations of living with a chronic health condition that you can end up taking medication simply to counteract the side effects of other drugs.
I would love to hear from anyone else who takes Amitriptyline for Fibromyalgia how it is for you, please do comment below and let me know your thoughts.
Gentle hugs to those who need them,