Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

amitriptyline anyone?

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i started taking this "old school" antidepressant drug about a week ago to try to solve one or 2 issues that i have been fighting with for some time.

issue #1) depression
issue #2) chronic daily headaches for nearly 2 years.

i think the depression stems from the daily pain and not the other way around.

these new pills knock me out (to sleep) within 30 minutes and keep me in bed for an additional 2 hours.
i still end up usually needing a 1 1/2 hour nap in the afteroon.
the headaches actually seemed to improve a bit so far.

hate to trade one problem with another.
very frustrating.

was wondering if these side effects might go away over time or am i most likely stuck with this option?


Mitch, has your doctor investigated what is causing your daily headaches, or is he just throwing pills at the problem?


--- Quote from: Ann on January 24, 2013, 10:45:48 AM ---Mitch, has your doctor investigated what is causing your daily headaches, or is he just throwing pills at the problem?

--- End quote ---
My headaches began March 1 2011.
Have only had about 5 headache-free days since.
They usually start between 3-6pm and last until I fall asleep.

Saw my PC doc in June 2011.
He gave me a couple of samples of "Maxalt" (sp?)
they made my headache worse.

He then sent me back to my neurologist that I went to the previous year for numbness in my left arm that lasted a year and that 2 previous neurologists couldn't figure out.
After an MRI of the head and neck, it was clear the issue was 2 bulging discs in my neck.
3 months of physical therapy helped to return my arm use to 90%.

He thinks that my headaches are related to the disc problems.
So, here is the list of treatments to date for my headaches:

physical therapy for 3 months
chiropractic adjustments for 6 weeks
acupuncture treatments for 8 weeks
2 different anti-siezure meds
botox shots in my head and neck (not where I would have chosen ;))
depakote which didn't work and elevated my liver enzymes
I also tried to change my diet to see if food could be a trigger. no help.

He then refers me to the only headache specialist within a reasonable drive. (her office was a 45 minute drive each way)
10 days after the referral, I called her office and was told be the dingy receptionist that she (doc) doesn't see patients that have had botox within the past 6 months.
SO kind of her to make my neurologist aware and SO kind of her to call me as well! Grrrr.....
Anyway, I told my neurologist that she (the headache specialist) failed my basic 3 point test.
Compassion, Concern, Capability.

My ID doc mentioned that he had a patient that also suffered from chronic daily headaches and he told him that they went away after being on Amitriptyline.

My psychiatrist also mentioned Amitriptyline for depression.
So, after my liver enzymes returned to the normal range, I decided to give it a go hoping that it might help one or both issues.

It is too early to tell but I am not liking the side effects.
If it does prove helpful with my headaches especially, I am hoping the side effects dissipate over time.

Sorry for the long reply. :o

started a headache diary last August.
based on a pain scale of 0-10 i've consistantly been having about 12 severe headaches per month, 17 moderate, and 2 or 3 minor.

when the pain level gets to a "6" i reduce my conversations.
when it gets to a "9" my head is pounding and i have awful nausea.
(have not had a 10 yet but that would send me to the emergency room)

after almost 2 years i am still at square one.

It's good to know that some effort has been made to get to the bottom of what's going on. No need to apologise for the long post.

Have you tried any migraine meds? While "classic" migraines are generally on one side of the head, they're not always.

I go through periods of having migraines (sometimes lasting years, then they disappear on their own for years) and while they're often only on the right side of my head, sometimes they are more across the back of my head and sometimes all-over. I've had migraines so bad that banging my head on a door-frame actually felt good.

I can dig out the name of the migraine med that worked wonders for me, if you're interested in running it past your doc. I haven't needed it in the past few years (touch wood), but I think I have a box of it squirreled away somewhere.

Chronic headaches are horrible, so you have my sympathy. :'(


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