Amitriptyline KO'd me flat

So I finally did it and round one was for the Amitriptyline…

25 mg was enough to put me in zombieland…

Short story (again), now even longer ;).

Started the year with a Polyneuropathy which caught me out of the blue, no apparent cause (as is usual with this stuff), but combined with the killer tandem of anxiety, which may not cause it but it sure complicates it A LOT… not even MAV in it’s worst gave me this, so I didn’t understand why so many SSRI posts, issues, and stuff, that many people like Scott, were posting back in those old forums days.

Well I started treatment with clonazepam because my doc looked me so bad in the anxiety front, and kind of mild on my neuropathic symptoms… that he believed that Lyrica (first drug prescribed to me for my condition) was too much to handle for me in that state, because of it’s side effects, and also because how long (weeks) can take the body both to adapt and to get results from the drug.

He also combined this with B-vitamins treatment (several shots), to handle the neuropathic stuff, but it didn’t seemed to work until 4 or so weeks after I started with the Rivotril.

You might wonder why this guy is so goofy to leave what worked well to test something new?

Two reasons: first because when I was on week 3 and a half, and the treatment didn’t seem to have any positive effect on me, pain got even worst than in the beginning (where only numbness and tingling were my main symptoms), and last because I always feared to be addicted to drugs, so I don’t take any, unless it’s completely necessary. I even hold on with the clonazepam precisely because of this reason, until I found myself in an ER room with a “fake heart attack”, an episode which clearly told me that I wasn’t in control anymore, and needed help.

And the reason why I went to the fibromyalgia expert is because I made the appointment right on that 3 and a half week of my apparently useless clonazepam treatment, useless in terms of Neuropathy I must specify, because thanks to the drug I was able to sleep better, and avoided to return to ER in fear of an non existent disease, that’s why I kept on going with the treatment.

So two days before my appointment, and during it, I went almost clear of all the symptoms, up to a degree, where even my EMG/NCV results (Leftovers or a pure motor self-limited neuropathy) was seriously questioned by the doctor, which also said I didn’t have Fibromyalgia, but did agree in my severe anxiety case, but he only was against clonazepam, saying “You’re too young to use this, and you might become too dependent on it”, and that was enough for me to give it a try to SSRI’s, but he wanted me to just change one drug for the other, at once, and I feared the well known clonazepam abstination syndrome, so I was dubious about this(that’s when I posted here).

And because I felt so good, I was clumsy(and cocky) enough to think I was so much better, that I could start by lowering clonazepam drops from 6 to 4, to make the migration to the SSRI smoother, but it backfired me badly.

Right on day two of the “experiment” I went back to my symptoms, specially pain, but now they came back with a vengeance, more intense, and my bad night sleep episodes also came back too.

Still in fear of the quick migration, I left the week to end to take my first 25mg ami(yesterday), and this happened:

  • Slept like a rock, not even an earthquake with sirens could have woke me up, and that was the only “pure” good result I got, because, even as the pain was gone(yesterday I was really suffering it), it seems like every else was gone too. With this I mean that I felt no pain, or it feels like it’s in the back seat, I had no sensations, I felt like I was drunk and high at the same time, sleepy, drowsy, foggy, I was in a zombie like state that lasted for hours after I woke up, and it was really hard for me to wake up, I almost felt asleep on my feet.

  • On top of being like a zombie-robot, for the first time in weeks, I even got a quick(few seconds) but strong, spinning vertigo episode. This is why I couldn’t handle Lyrica(the first drug prescribed to me for this), and even in my drowsy state, I feel nervous(jumpy, edgy). No I feel you Scott, now I do know what SSRI’s can do.

  • Called the doctor which suggested me to cut ami’s the dose to a half, or a quarter, until I get the desired effect…

And this is where I am now. I know that I could be having both some withdrawal effects from clonazepam, combined with how my body starts to handle amitriptyline, and it might get better with half the dose, and some week or two under treatment, I don’t know… Hope Scott or any of you guys can help me with this… at least with words of advice or support ;).

The thing is that, it’s not very reassuring, to feel like I do today after being great a week before… i hope I’m doing the right thing, because, I don’t want to feel like yesterday(with the pain) or like today(like a zombie-robot), but surely I don’t want to steal people for clonazepam in an addictive future of mine ;). I just want to find the right balance, like I did with MAV, to return to my normal life, as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading, best to all.

I started on ami at 5mg and worked up to 20. It helped with mood and sleep, but didn’t rid the dizziness. I was told to add Cymbalta, and after about 2 months on both, I dropped the Ami. It wasn’t helping
me sleep. It was easy to get off…never felt much of anything. Maybe just start low and go slow like most of us do. Good luck!

Thank you Kelley.

I’m taking it both for anxiety/depression and mostly for Neuropathic Pain, which combined kept me from a good night sleep, amongst other nasty effects. I overcame dizziness(MAV+Vestibular Weakness) both by time(took me 3 years) and working out on an elliptical bike(began last year and made wonders), I strongly recommend as a VRT workout.

I took it as it was prescribed to me , never knew it could be taken little by little, and I thought this was the lowest dosage possible. I had to call my doctor which, said me exactly what you say, to start lower, and to find the right measure for me…

Even with that in account, I would have started with maybe half a pill or less(pills are 25mg) from the beginning, but since I was switching drugs from clonazepam, I thought this could be the way, but it really wasn’t, I knew what being a zombie feels.

I’ll see how I do with 5 mg today.

Thanks again for your post

I am very med sensitive and amy is one of the few that I can tolerate at a very low dose. I was on half to three quarter of a 10 mg tablet and stuck with this for 3 months, but I couldnt seem to higher it. I love it for sleeping (I suffer terrible insomnia and this is the only thing that will make me sleep). I woke with hangover feeling which lasted till 3 in the afternoon and this didnt go away so I knew I couldnt up the tablets, but I noted that the dizziness was improved in the mornings, headaches remained the same.

Also, tried it again twice recently and for some reason, woke very irritable and depressed for the 5 days I took it, but it is still one that I might try again sometime.


I cut the dose to half, an it worked.

At leas I’m not a zombie right now.

Still I have some headache stomach upset, dizzy feelings, and some pain here and there, I feel a little bit nervous/jumpy, and such. I believe this is still caused because of both the withdrawal from clonazepam, and also from whatever stress/neuropathy, you name it, that I’m dealing with.

I believe, just for the indications of amitriptyline that is the exact right choice for what I’ve got, because it covers all the way from neuropathic pain, to anxiety/depression, to somatization, you name a symptom and my mind will reproduce it ;).

The real trouble is all the side effects, that as it is usual between different people, it’s not the same for everyone.

Christine, had a great experience with it(thanks for your post, by the way), and I’m still in ruckus mode, I hope this will eventually stabilize, like clonazepam did, I hope so.

I’ll keep you posted.