Amitriptyline made me dizzier

Hello all, my first post. This is an amazing place! Thank you all for contributing.

Have been constantly dizzy for about a year and a half, but able to maintain a relatively normal lifestyle. On my 2nd RX (Amitriptyline) with Dr Ishiyama (UCLA) I got DIZZIER a week after increasing to 20 mg day. Almost home bound now. Dr hasn’t returned calls or emails for 2 weeks. Will call today for an appointment with Dr Baloh.
I discontinued AMI hoping to return to my previous state, but I haven’t. Diamox was my first RX which took a small edge off my dizziness, so I started taking my last refill the other day.

My first of many questions to come, Can the AMI be a possible good thing if I stick it out thru several weeks? I have read arguments for and against on this forum, so I guess I know the answer is “maybe”, but I woke up with worry and it feels good to post this, join in, and maybe get some positive input.

thanks for listening

John I have tried Amitriptyline several times over the years. The first time I took it for 3 months and within 2 weeks was feeling less dizzy in the mornings, but had a hangover head (always the way, swap one for the other!) It has always made me sleep a lot. The first time round wasnt too bad.

Second time I tried it I suffered bad depression on it for 5 days, so stopped.

I kept it for sleep, but just half a tablet the other night, made me dream all night, wake in a sweat with dizziness and drugged up, then got up and had a vertigo attack, today, a day later I still feel like I am being pulled to one side.

When it worked for me, I felt the benefit within 2 weeks.

I posted on a board with doctors ages ago and they said, the side effects should wear off in two or 3 weeks and you should feel the benefit.


I took it for about 2 months, and while it did help my mood and sleep a bit, it increased by dizziness as well. Not horribly, but worsened it and it wasn’t till I added Cymbalta to the mix that things started getting better. Then I tapered off Ami with no trouble, and still take Cymbalta.
Did your Dr. rx Amitrip over Nortriptaline for a reason? Most doctors prefer the latter since it usually has less side effects…

thank you Christine and Kelley!

Christine, Is Hangover head just what it sounds like? A pressure filled cloudy head as if you’ve been drinking too much the night before? If so I have that off and on constantly, med or no meds.

Kelley, Dr never mentioned Nortriptyline, will ask about it the next time I can.

thanks again,

Nort is the metabolite of Ami…it has less sedation and weight gain…most people prefer it. However, if insomnia and/or anxiety a problem, the Ami is usually tried first. It was a fairly easy med and the hangover stuff stopped after a week or so. My doctor said it doesn’t make you tired right away, so take it around 6:00 at night and then by the morning you won’t be so tired. just FYI…that worked for me.

Thanks for the explanation Kelley. Just went back on Ami last night, took it at 10pm. Guess that’s why I felt exhausted and weighted down this morning. Took forever to have any energy. Will take it earlier tonight. I do have anxiety and don’t always sleep well. So Ami seems the right choice at the moment.


Jon, yes I describe it as hangover head, as its a thick heavy head like you have been drinking the night before, felt drugged and didnt want to get up. I have that on and off as well, but on the amy, it happened every morning, but I get that with any drug that knocks me out. I was only on three quarter of a 10 mg tablet a night, but I only weigh 9 stone 3 lbs.

I found and still do, that it takes approximately 2 hrs from taking the tablet before I go to sleep.


I am currently on a mix of meds, one of them being amitriptyline. It did NOT make me any dizzier when I started taking it. I have trialed many meds and have generally found that if they cause me to be dizzier they tend not to work out in the long run. I currently take 125mg. The first few time I increased my dose I was heavy headed and lethargic for about a week. However my last increase only left me groggy for a few days and then my body seems to adjust.

Hey Sarah
What other meds are you on?
Do you have relief with your current “cocktail”?

I currently take…
50mg Topamax
125mg Ami
180mg (I think maybe 120) extended release Verapamil

I tried effexor, propranolol, and one other… the name is escaping me at the moment.

I am MUCH better then when I first started experiencing symptoms, but there is still a list a mile long of things I can’t do. Anything visually cluttered send me over the edge for days. I have trouble walking any real distance inside or out, but can manage to make it around the block and down the hallway a few times at school (I teach). I try to focus on the things i can do : )