Amitriptyline – That’s a No Go From Me

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I’ve been on 10mg Amitriptyline every evening (along with 20mg fluoxetine every morning), and it has finally settled in enough for me to say, no, this is not working.

It’s one of the more difficult things to do, stop and admit to yourself that this medication that should be helping you (and oh god don’t you wish it was) actually isn’t.  I mean, it sort of is, and sort of isn’t, but the positives are outweighed by the negatives.  Then you have to go back to your doctor and say ‘this isn’t working’ and they pry for reasons why and sometimes it’s hard to put the reasons into words.

Fortunately for me, it wasn’t.  My negative side effects included, but were not limited to:

  • Tachycardia Monday (I wish it was on Tuesday because that would have sounded cooler) – where my heart rate was consistently 100-130bpm for the majority of the morning, every Monday.
  • Consistently higher heart rates across all activities.
  • Intention tremors when I’m tired.
  • Increased anxiety and depression.
  • Increased headaches and visual disturbances.

So I told my doctor and he suggested we halve my dose (I’m already on the lowest dose tablet) and re-visit in a few weeks when he’s had an opportunity to read up on what else might treat fibromyalgia.  I’m pushing fairly hard to try a different medication.

I’ve been on 5mg Amitriptyline for the last week and the change is huge.  I feel excited about things again, I’m happier, more relaxed, and generally more positive.  I don’t have tremors anymore, woohoo!  Everything’s coming up Milhouse!

Except with the lower dose of medication that was managing my pain, I’m now in more pain, which I’m not quite so keen on.  My arms, which haven’t ambiently ached (for no reason) since starting on amitrip are flaring up again.  Usually the aches are confined to my hips, thighs, and lower back.  I’m having random spots on my skin where touch there is excruciating – something as simple as a cable brushing against my arm feels like a fire brand.  Sometimes where I like to sit the sleeves of my cardigan is overly sensitive.  I haven’t been able to wear my watch because it’s been too painful.

You win some, you lose some.  At this point I’d rather this level of pain than trembling so hard I can’t even do up a button.  When I see my doctor next I’ll be pushing for a new script to try, and for a referral to the frightfully expensive (private) pain management specialist he mentioned.  It’s time to get this ball rolling faster!

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