Welcome to the Elavil Forum
Welcome to the Elavil Forum
By Diana Lee
Had a great appointment with my primary care doc today, and we decided it only makes sense to taper off the Elavil. I might stay on a low dose since it’s been helpful with getting to sleep at night, but this dose of 100 mg is just too much. And it’s on to the next thing.
Good luck Diana. Elavil didn’t help me either, but it did help with sleep which was welcomed for a while. I hope you are able to find something that works better for you.
By Diana Lee
Thank you, Ellen. I may stay on a very low dose for the help with getting to sleep. Hopefully I can tolerate it at a lower dose. Never a dull moment with these migraine brains!
I had the same problem as you, I gained 40 pounds while on it.. we got the dose eventually up to 150 mg, I was happy to be sleeping because my migraines have led to terrible insomnia but the sleep was so good I woke up several nights having HORRIBLE hallucinations from the medicine. I immediately got off it, the weight gain, while I wasn’t happy about it was one thing.. but I was away at school calling my mom in the middle of the night telling her all of the stuff I was seeing, and while I knew that I was hallucinating after talking to her.. it couldn’t calm me down!
It’s so hard with these medicines. We take them to help us, but then the side effects can be worse sometimes than the Migraine themselves. Honestly, the pain of Migraine is about the worst thing I can imagine (next to only a few other things) but we need to be able to hang onto our mental faculties as well. We shouldn’t be forced to exchange one huge problem for another.
Were you able to find another medicine or are you still taking it?
I have tried several medications since the Elavil, and with no success unfortunately. I will be trying an MAO Inhibitor next week. But I hear that has more side effects than anything! You almost can’t win!
I’ve been taking Elavil for over 15 years to prevent migraines. It’s worked for me all this time and haven’t had a single migraine, but the dry mouth and sensitivity to sunlight are the worst side-effects for me. It helps me sleep better too.
Elavil works for many of my family members. Since it worked for me, I recommended it to my Grandmother and some Aunts and Cousins. It works for all of them, but all have some side-effects. None worse than a migraine though:)
This medication has helped me tremendously. I have been on this for about 9 months and, not by my doctors direction, but my own, took myself off this medication cold turkey! Well, since I’ve done that (about two weeks and it’s been two weeks of pain and suffering. I’m back on this again, just started up again tonight at 10 mg, which my usual dose is 30 mg.
I too was worried about weight gain, and I’m already overweight, but like Ellen had mentioned, the pain of the migraine is also one of the worst things I’ve constantly endured and anyway I can avoid that, I’ll have to do it. I just have to stay away from the fridge… Easier said than done.
This really helps me sleep, keeps my mood up and stops by headaches by 3/4, so right now I just have to focus on being healthy.
But, everyone is different. What works for one doesn’t work for
All so it’s always good to try something else if you feel this isnt right for you 🙂
I’ve struggled with this drug a lot too. It’s alway me vs myself,’but now after much suffering I have made up my mind 🙂
Rosie – I’m so glad you’ve been able to reconcile yourself to working with Elavil. I hope you are talking to your doctor too. Most medications for Migraine shouldn’t be stopped abruptly, so discussing how to do it with your physician may be very helpful in minimizing side effects should you ever want to try a “holiday” again 🙂
I am on 100 mg of Elavil for my migraines. The side affect that bothers me the most is dry mouth, but increasing fluids greatly relieves that. When it is bothersome I use dry mouth mouthwash and sugarless cough drops. My eye doctor also told me to use dry eye drops if needed.
After hearing about weight gain, since I so badly wanted this to finally be something that works, after trying so many other meds, I increased exercise a lot and watch my diet more, so far have lost about 6 lbs.
RRKD – AWESOME!! Lots of people want to keep their weight down with preventives, but it can be really super difficult. You’re sounding like you’re on the right track!!
Yes Ellen, I have to agree with you. It’s never a good idea to abruptly quit any drug. I have been talk g 30 mg and feeling good! Good sleeps, head feels good “oh glorious day” (that’s how I feel when the headache is gone). Life is good.
Rosie, Oh, I am so happy you’re feeling so much better! I love it when a treatment plan comes together like that 🙂
I’ve been on 150 mg of Elavil for a few years now. I tried several other preventatives before settling on this one. I find that the stability it brings to my moods, migraines and sleep cycle out weigh the side effects.
I’ve only had a slight weight gain – 5 pounds, and that’s hard to attribute to the medication since I am almost 25 and my body has changed a lot in the past few years.
I have dry mouth, so I actually have a pretty bad gum habit! I also have constipation and sensitivity to sunlight but those things are pretty easily remedied or avoided.
I also feel safe taking it since it’s been around for a good while.
I have been taking elavil aka amitriptyline since September 2011 I have gained 25 pound at last count and really don’t want to see how much more I gained. When I first started it I took 25mg for alittle over a week then started two pills a day 50mg. When I first started it I noticed my migraines went down and my headache cut in half in November I went back to the doc because my migraines came back and with force I pointed out to the doctor my weight gain and he told me it wasn’t the meds i also expressed my concerns of having trouble passing urine he also said this wasn’t due to my meds. Hhmm but both are side effects of the med. He raised my dose up to 100 mg that day I have been to the er 2-3 times q week for the last 2 months. My doctor has given up trying to help me with my migraines and just tells me to go to the er and the er tells me to go to my family doctor. I’m suppose to be getting referrals (two weeks ago) for the headache clinic at the u of I and also the pain clinic at a local hospital. I prey I can find a doc willing to work with me to find the best treatment plan for me. cause right now I’m sick of the pain, I’m sick of being treated like a drug seeker, and sick of being passed along because no one will help!! This isn’t my idea of fun, I don’t enjoy the 5hr visits to the er and really don’t wanna spend have my week in bed!
I am wondering if anyone has experienced a low sex drive over an increased period of taking Elavil?
I’ve been wondering what is going on and which medication might be the culprit.
I have been taken off topamax. and now im on Elavil to treat my severe migraines and my depression as well. I’m just really concerned about one side effects that I just realized…TREMOR…both hands and fingers, baqsically my whole body. I don’t know what that may mean. did anyone else had that side effect or is it just me?
44_Maggnum – have you talked to your doctor about the tremors? Do you think it is a side effect of the Elavil or maybe something else? What is your physician saying about this…?
Ohh he said that it is too low of a dose to be having tremors. And that I shouldnt worry about it. Of course im worried. Im having a hard time typing this because my hands are shaking so much. I had to erase so many missspellings and correct them. More problems happening instead of fixing the problm 🙁
44_Maggnum – If he says it isn’t a side effect and doesn’t know what it is, can you ask him to investigate it? Shaking like that can be a symptom of many other things, often very treatable.
I have been shaking like that as a result of my Graves’ Disease and Dystonia, so can understand the frustration. I still shake some – enough that doing my stained glass is difficult. But it is better after I was diagnosed and got treatment.
Ellen, he said that there is nothing to investigate about. You are fine.
:'( Im just feeling really hopeless at this point.
44_Maggnum – Have you considered finding a new doctor? Sometimes doctors and patients don’t mix well – it’s a fact that we’re all human and sometimes it just doesn’t work. The fact that he made that statement to you was – in my humble opinion – unfeeling and untrue. If there is a symptom, you should know what is causing it, even if that means ruling things out to see what it isn’t. I’m so very sorry, this is very sad (non)treatment.
Well im back and been taking elavil… I have really starting to get migraines here and there but severe enough to the point that I spilled drink on 3 business men while working at olive garden. I had zig zag lines in my eye sight and at the same time a full blown migraine that scared me . I just am scared the fact that if it keeps happening I might lose my job but I was being honest to my manager and she feels and also the trainer that trained me for the job, that I should do hostess position just because they feel my frustration and struggle with this disease and that I cant do anything about it. They were understanding enough to change position for me so if it ever something happens they will be there for me.
Cont. So I have never had a workplace to be more understanding. Id rather be honest they even witnessed the whole thing and they felt really sorry for me. I hate having someone to feel pity for me but its a damn disease that I am not proud of having. I only wish for the better than for the worst. I felt disabled that day and struggled. Im sure anyone on this forum has had a situation where they couldnt function and feeling really disabled. They thought I had a seizure but that is when I told them about the disabling migraines and the symptoms I get. They know when I will be getting the attack. Whdn I constantly stutter and forget certain assignments and when I start shaking and see me tense up and nauseaous look. I hate to have people around me who work with me to see me like this. They probably think that im faking and that Im trying to get out of things. I wish people could understand this disease and what we all go through. I apologize for rambling on and on but I felt the need to vent and maybe someone can relate to what im going through. :'(
44_Maggnum – Does your doctor know how much this is disabling you? I find it discouraging when a disability score isn’t factored into treatment decisions. Maybe it’s time it was for you…
I had my first neurologist appointment last week. The doctor was incredibly nice and listened to my concerns, talked about different medications with me, and put me totally at ease. After listening to my symptoms, she said that she believes I have combination headaches, migraine, tension, and vascular. She prescribed Elavil as a preventative (1/2 a tablet for two days, then a full tablet nightly) and Fioricet as an abortive. I’ve only been taking the Elavil for two days, but haven’t had any side effects so far! I had a slight frontal lobe headache yesterday (not a migraine) due to not having any caffeine all day. I’ve had a little bit of scalp tenderness, but no full blown headaches for several days. I’ll be starting the full dose of Elavil tonight, fingers crossed! I’m going to consider myself very, very lucky if Elavil works for me, since this is the first preventative I’ve tried.
I’d been on Elavil 50 mg for 4 years now and it has helped my sleep cycle and helped prevent migraines for me. About a month ago, they started coming back so I went back to the neuro and he started me on Topamax and we stuck with the elavil as well. I tried to go down to 25 mg but didn’t sleep well so am back up to 50 mg and feeling better on both meds.
RILINSKI – I am so glad your doctor is thinking a bit outside the box here and not eliminating one med before starting another. Sometimes it really takes a concert of different treatment modalities and medicines to keep Migraine attacks to a minimum.
I haven’t been on here for awhile because there has been so much going on…but, I just saw a “floating” Dr. as my usual Dr. is out on FMLA. I’ve been on Topomax for my migraines for 4 years and also on Citalopram for depression. I was diagnosed in September with Fibromyalgia on top of everything else. I don’t sleep well, my depression has been worse and my migraines have even been creeping in through the Topomax, so I was prescribed Elavil today. She’s starting me out on the lowest dose and tonight will be my first night, so here’s hoping!
Melisa71 – Please keep in touch and let us know how everything goes. Remember, side effects will often diminish with time… I hope this is your answer!
Well, so far so mostly OK. I’ve had a really hard time staying awake during the day and wind up taking 3 hour “naps”, but haven’t had any other major side effects! The dry mouth that I’ve read other people mention hasn’t been too bad for me. Last night I had a hard time sleeping again, but not as bad as I did without the Elavil.
I tend to get a migraine trying to creep through for a few days every month with hormone changes; I noticed a little bit of a headache trying to start but it never really took hold thankfully. And even with my Citalopram, my mood swings can get out of control (for me) every month, but I didn’t notice any of that this month either. In fact, I was surprised when “that time” crept up on me and I didn’t even notice.
Overall, Elavil seems to be a success for me! The Dr. has started me on the lowest dose so IF I have to go up over time I’m able to, but so far so good!
Melisa71 Thank you so much for the update! I know this will help others who will be starting Elavil soon.
Did your doctor tell you that your side effects may lessen with time? That is often the case.
*Fingers crossed* for you!
Ellen, Thank you! I am really happy with the results thus far! I’ve gotten through today without taking a nap, even! I’ve certainly felt like I could lay down and sleep, but I’ve been able to fight it off today and get some things done.
The doctor did say that the side effects could lessen with time; I really didn’t expect it to be this quickly though.
I think this could be the answer for sleep, migraines and it takes a little edge off of the fibro pain 🙂
Melisa71 – Yay! That is awesome news!!!! Congratulations on finding something that seems to be helping you! And, thank you for sharing your experience – it’s so valuable to the community <3
After a month on Elavil, it’s helping me to sleep but not doing anything for my migraines or for fibro pain. I’m having a lot of odd dreams that I can’t explain, too. I’m still napping during the day for anywhere from 2 to 4 hours and sleeping anywhere from 7 to 9 hours at night. I’m tired ALL the time!! I don’t think it’s the Elavil though, I think that has more to do with the Fibromyalgia than anything else. The weather changes we’re having in Oregon haven’t been helping with my migraines or fibro either. I had a pretty nasty migraine break through the topomax and Elavil last week that I had to take an Imitrex for and spent half the day in bed, and the other half with a migraine hangover. I feel like a walking pharmacy…
Melisa71 – I know it’s so very hard when we’re so terribly tired, but have you considered that it could be the sleeping schedule you’re keeping that might be contributing to your Migraines? Believe it or not, sleeping too much, or napping can be a significant trigger for some people. Here is a link that might be helpful: https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-triggers-sleep-1/ There are a few parts to the series, so try reading them all and see if it might ring a bell. Good luck. I know the Elavil made me really tired too, but with everything else going on, who knows if it was just the drug or everything together. *sigh*
By Jo MFadden
I took 50mg of Elavil for ten years and have had no migrains (I had chronic severe migrains). I am now on just 10mg daily and doing great. jojo
By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator
Thanks for sharing what is working for you. I wish everyone could have such success like you!
My GP has changed and the Elavil seems to have stopped working. We tried upping my dose from 10mg to 20mg…and I felt like I was on fire and couldn’t sleep to top it off! So, I saw the Dr. this morning and he’s trying me on Remeron for sleeping. I’m hoping the 200mgs of Topomax/day keeps the migraines away.
I just started on Amitriptyline at 10 mg than 1 week later 20 and now 30. I have not had a migraine in a week or so. My sleep is much better I just hope I do not the side effects of nightmares and or weight gain.
I’m currently on Elavil, now up to 30 mg at night, with no change in migraines. However, a gold ring, good quality, which I’ve worn for years, is now leaving a gross grey ring on my skin like cheap jewelry would. Has anyone heard of this?