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Amitryptaline for tension headaches

Hi! I have recently discovered that I get many episodic tension headaches (which have potential to turn into migraine attacks which are why Triptans work 10% of the time). Only an NSAID and occasionally if lucky, Tylenol 8 hour works. A neuro has recommended Amitryptaline. It mentions drowsiness and possibility of suicidal thoughts. Starting at 10mg. Has anyone else taken this for tension headaches? Ty!

  1. Hi MK2019,

    Thank you for reaching out to us. I used amitriptyline right after I fell and hit my head in 1996. It worked for a bit, but then not so much. I've heard from others who have success with this medication, taken a night to help with sleep as well.

    It's so true a tension-type headache can trigger a migraine attack. Have you tried heat and/or cold when you feel tension creeping up in your neck and/or shoulders? Sometimes I can relieve a tension-type headache this way. I also use a TENS unit on my shoulders and upper back that helps as well.

    I'm sure others will be along shortly to share their experiences with you.

    Have a good day!

    1. Thank you so much! I am considering not taking Amitryptaline. I use the TENS on my neck when the pain starts and heat! It helps for about an hour or two. Then returns. I hope I will get other suggestions. Feeling so discouraged when only NSAIDs work. I get tension headaches quite often. 6-8x month.

  2. Hi MK2019,

    Thank you for sharing that. Will you keep me posted?


    1. Absolutely. Have you ever tried acupuncture, massage therapy, trigger point injections? I have done trigger points once and am considering trying these things. I’ll try just about anything to reduce headaches. When I’m in a bad tension cycle it is very hard to get out of.

  3. Amitriptyline 50 mg works very well for me. Side affects of constipation and dry mouth are still a problem though, and I’ve been on this dosage since August. I might drop back down to 25 and see if I can faint the right balance between headaches/side affects.

    1. Hi momnoll,

      Thank you for sharing that, although I'm sorry to hear about the unwanted side effects. I don't recall that when I took it, only that I craved sweets!!

      Please keep us posted,

      1. hey i was just prescribed 10mg of amitryptaline and a medrol pack.. i have had severe migraines/tension headache every single day since September 7th 2020 i am so happy that you were able to find relief. did the medication take months for you to notice an effect?

      2. I started on 25 and didn’t notice much difference, but when I upped dosage to 50 it worked very quickly. Side effects were bad though, so now I take 35 mg.

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