Amitriptyline: Considerations and Side Effects

What is Amitriptyline for?

Amitriptyline is an antidepressant. It is mainly used to treat mental depression but can treat children who do not stop wetting the bed over the years. Doctors prescribe amitriptyline in patients with multiple sclerosis to treat pain and paresthesias in the arms and legs. Amitriptyline has some risk of side effects and dangerous interactions with other medications.


Some medications are taken in conjunction with amitriptyline, depressants such as alcohol, antihistamines, without limitation, and muscle relaxants may increase the effect of drowsiness in the induction of both drugs. Patients should always inform their doctor about all medications, prescribed or not, including the nutritional supplements they are taking before starting amitriptyline treatment.


Amitriptyline can cause dry mouth, contributing to the risk of certain mouth diseases. Patients treated with this medication should inform their dentist about it since, in this way, preventive measures can be taken if necessary.

Effects of Amitriptyline

Treatment with amitriptyline can leave the skin more sensitive to light, resulting in sunburn, irritation, or itching after sun exposure. It can also affect the blood sugar level, particularly in patients with diabetes. Other common side effects include weight gain, headache, nausea, bad taste, heartburn, and constipation. Most of these complications go away since the body adapts to the medication. If these symptoms persist for more than two weeks, the doctor should be informed.

Not enough is known about the effects of amitriptyline in studies on pregnant women to determine its safety. However, studies on animals seem to show an adverse impact on newborns. Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, pass through breast milk, so breastfeeding women should consult their doctor to determine if the benefits to the mother outweigh the risk to the baby.

What happens if the medication is stopped?

As with most antidepressants, patients should not stop taking amitriptyline without consulting their doctor. A gradual reduction in medication can relieve withdrawal symptoms.