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Author Topic: amitriptyline anyone?  (Read 2441 times)

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Offline mitch777

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amitriptyline anyone?
« on: January 23, 2013, 07:57:00 PM »
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?

 :-\
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Ann

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #1 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?
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mitch777

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 02:16:21 PM »
Mitch, has your doctor investigated what is causing your daily headaches, or is he just throwing pills at the problem?
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
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline mitch777

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 02:33:16 PM »
ps-
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.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Ann

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 07:22:23 PM »
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. :'(
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mitch777

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 08:13:51 PM »
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. :'(
thanks Ann,
i am having another crappy head night again.
makes it difficult to concentrate.

i tried one migraine med sample (maxalt) but it didn't help.
my neuro doc doesn't think they are migraines but i have my strong doubts.
after what iv'e been through, with no results for such a long time in daily pain...

seems like my doctors have given up. :(

i would love to hear what helped you.

it really is wearing me down.

i applied for disabiliy in May 2012 because my life revolves on having enough energy to live the life i fear will never come back        to me.
thanks.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Ann

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 08:31:26 PM »

i would love to hear what helped you.


Sumatriptan. It was like a wonder drug for me - no side-effects either. I do have to note though that it worked best if I took it as soon as I felt a headache coming on. If for whatever reason I didn't get to the meds until an hour or so into the headache, the effect wasn't as dramatic, but it still helped. I suffered for years before finding this med.

There's an interesting page on a website called RX List that details different migraine meds and how they work. http://www.rxlist.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=104593

Amitriptyline is actually listed as a tricyclic antidepressant that sometimes works for migraine, so fingers crossed it works for you.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mitch777

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 08:45:57 AM »
thank you Ann!
i will keep giving Amitrityline a try for a bit longer.
if it doesn't work, i will mention Sumatriptan to my docs.
(forgot to mention that i also tried butterbur. didn't work)
i will also sometimes use excedrin migraine. it sometimes helps if i take it early enough but not always and i'm fearful of over using it.
i did tons of research on line over the past and it can get discouraging to keep reading how difficult it can be to get rid of these darn headaches.

oh well, another ride on the merry-go-round.

ps-i am planning on getting off of Atripla due to memory issues and perhaps the new regimen might help?? who knows.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 08:50:03 AM by mitch777 »
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline wolfter

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 08:51:18 AM »
Sorry you're dealing with this Mitchypoo.  I don't have any specific suggestions but rather wanted to send my well wishes your way.

Wolfie

Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline Ann

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 08:55:53 AM »
Mitch, I'm trying to remember if you're on pain meds (like opiates) for other problems. Sometimes pain meds can actually cause headaches, particularly if the pain meds are taken regularly. There's a specific phrase used for this phenomenon, but for the life of me I can't think of it.

If you're not taking regular pain meds, ignore me. ;)
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mitch777

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 08:58:04 AM »
Mitch, I'm trying to remember if you're on pain meds (like opiates) for other problems. Sometimes pain meds can actually cause headaches, particularly if the pain meds are taken regularly. There's a specific phrase used for this phenomenon, but for the life of me I can't think of it.

If you're not taking regular pain meds, ignore me. ;)
no pain meds but i think the term they use is "rebound headaches".
(geez, is my memory working this morning?)

thanks for the kind words Wolfie!
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline Ann

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 09:23:13 AM »

no pain meds but i think the term they use is "rebound headaches".
(geez, is my memory working this morning?)


You're right! My memory has been wonky ever since I did the interferon/ribavirin hcv treatment. Some days are better than others - today is obviously one of "those days".

At least rebound headaches are something you can rule out. Hope you have a headache free day (and night) today.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mitch777

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2013, 08:28:32 PM »
ok,
experiment with amitriptyline over!
No headache relief, more of a zombie than ever before, nasty sexual side effects, and the topper was the past 36 hours have had a horrible metalic taste in my mouth that could not be disguised by drinking straight tobasco sauce!!!
(just my experience) :P :P :P :-[ >:( :-[
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline tednlou2

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2013, 11:11:03 PM »
I know my partner took or takes that drug.  I would have to ask him what current meds he is taking.  He has bad migraines.  They have gotten better.  He still gets them a few times a week, but I've noticed they aren't like they were.  Before, he would have to go to bed and close the blinds. 

We've wondered what triggers his.  We think stress.  He does seem to get them after getting home from work.  We've wondered whether he's all revved up at work, and then the release at the end of the day causes them.  We've wondered whether the fluorescent lights at work play a role.  Diet, etc. 

But, they have gotten better.  He does now take pain meds occasionally, so that may be helping.  I will ask him what meds he's on now, as I can't remember.  Something must be working better as I said, because they aren't nearly as bad.   

Offline Ann

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2013, 04:59:49 AM »
Sorry to hear the amitriptyline didn't work. Sounds like it's time to ask your doctor about sumatriptin.

Funny enough I got a migraine the other day, the first in a couple years. I blamed you for bringing up the subject of headaches. ;D Just kidding. It was an odd coincidence all the same.

I took a sumatriptan (even though the ones I have are out-of-date) - I caught it early and it worked within a half-hour. So far, so good; I haven't had a recurrence. (touch a woody)

Actually, I have you to thank for having my box of sumatriptan handy.

If I'd had to search for it when I really needed it for as long as I searched the other day, I would have been shit-out-of-luck. They just don't seem to work as well if the headache has time to really get established. The frustration of it not being where I thought it would be would have done me in.

I hope you find relief soon. Again, you have my sympathy/empathy. I'd gladly trade headache pain for a whole lotta other pains I can think of. Headaches suck and not in a nice way. :-\
« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 05:01:55 AM by Ann »
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mitch777

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Re: amitriptyline anyone?
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2013, 07:31:17 AM »
Sorry to hear the amitriptyline didn't work. Sounds like it's time to ask your doctor about sumatriptin.

Funny enough I got a migraine the other day, the first in a couple years. I blamed you for bringing up the subject of headaches. ;D Just kidding. It was an odd coincidence all the same.

I took a sumatriptan (even though the ones I have are out-of-date) - I caught it early and it worked within a half-hour. So far, so good; I haven't had a recurrence. (touch a woody)

Actually, I have you to thank for having my box of sumatriptan handy.

If I'd had to search for it when I really needed it for as long as I searched the other day, I would have been shit-out-of-luck. They just don't seem to work as well if the headache has time to really get established. The frustration of it not being where I thought it would be would have done me in.

I hope you find relief soon. Again, you have my sympathy/empathy. I'd gladly trade headache pain for a whole lotta other pains I can think of. Headaches suck and not in a nice way. :-\
you're welcome, i think? ??? :)
hope your "wood knocking" works to keep the headaches from returning. ;D

Ted,
Curious as to what helps your partner and if it IS Amitriptyline, what dosage and what side effects if any he has dealt with.

Going to be changing my HIV med soon (maybe next week) and I think I am going to avoid adding any new meds to the mix for a few weeks so that I know what new side effects come from that instead of playing a guessing game with 2 new meds introduced at the same time.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

 


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