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Medications & Prescription Treatment

Amitryptaline for tension headaches

  • By MK2019

    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!

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    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!
    Nancy

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    • By MK2019

      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.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi MK2019,

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

    Nancy

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    • By MK2019

      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.

      reply
  • By momnoll

    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.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    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,
    Nancy

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