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The active ingredient Amitriptyline is one of the best-known drug agents for depression and chronic pain. In the field of psychiatry and neurology, he is very often used. Amitriptyline belongs to the tricyclic antidepressants and thus the first generation of antidepressant drugs. He is so well studied and tested for compatibility. Here you can read everything about the effect of Amitriptyline side effects and use.
How Amitriptyline acts
The effect of Amitriptyline can be explained by the influence on the sensitive balance of messengers (neurotransmitters) in the brain that transmit nerve signals between the brain cells. The signals generated by the release of a neurotransmitter from a neuron and its docking at specific binding sites (receptors) of the next nerve cell. After they have taken effect, the messengers are resumed by the first cell and thus “recycled”.
Experts currently estimate that the development of depression on a lack of certain chemicals in the brain based (among other things, serotonin and norepinephrine). Here unfold tricyclic antidepressants such as Amitriptyline effect. They prevent the reuptake of neurotransmitters in the brain cell, so that they can take effect longer.
As an active ingredient of the first generation of antidepressants Amitriptyline inhibits little tricyclic selective resumption of different messengers. It works by blocking the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine and also bind to many other receptors of various signaling pathways in the brain. This spectrum of activity is different for nearly every antidepressant, which can be treated with a number of mental disorders varied facets.
The drug Amitriptyline is slowly absorbed into the blood (for a period of one to five hours). The reduction takes place in the liver, whereby the degradation product has antidepressant effect. After metabolization Amitriptyline is excreted through the kidneys. Until the body half of the active ingredient has broken down and excreted, pass ten to 28 hours (half-life).
When will Amitriptyline used?
Approved the drug Amitriptyline in Germany for the treatment of depressive illness and for the long-term treatment of pain in the context of a therapeutic overall concept – this usually provides an additional treatment with painkillers and Psychotherapy
Outside the approved indications is Amitriptyline also applied with the following complaints (so-called “off-label use”):
- Attention (hyperactivity) syndrome
- prevention of migraine and tension headaches
- Eating Disorders
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The application is usually carried out in the long term.
How Amitriptyline is used
The drug Amitriptyline is usually used in the form of tablets, partly sustained release. There is also on the German market Amitriptyline drops and injection solutions.
The tablets are usually spread over the day given (morning – midday – evening). At low dose Amitriptyline or delayed release tablet taking is done mostly at night, because especially at start of treatment fatigue may occur.
When using Amitriptyline pain, especially chronic, should be treated, the doctor ordered an additional mostly painkillers.
What are the side effects of Amitriptyline?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below features some of the most common ones related to amitriptyline. You’ll find the full list in producer’s information leaflet supplied with your medication. The unwanted effects usually improve as the body adjusts to the medicine that is new, but discuss with your physician or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become annoying.
More Common Side Effects
The more common side effects of amitriptyline can contain:
- Numbness and tingling in legs and your arms
- Blurry eyesight
- skin rash
- Swelling of tongue and your face
- unexpected weight gain or loss
What should be considered when taking Amitriptyline?
The drug Amitriptyline should due to lack of studies on the effectiveness not be taken by children and adolescents under 18 years.
Also, pregnant and nursing mothers should not take Amitriptyline because it on the one hand overcomes the placental barrier and passes into breast milk to another. If you can not avoid the application of the antidepressant in the lactation, women should stop breast-feeding before ..
With the following medications are to be expected:
- antidepressants from the group of MAO inhibitors (monoamine oxidase inhibitors)
- antidepressants such as St. John’s wort and Fluoxetine
- Drugs that alter the heart rhythm (QT interval prolongation), such as neuroleptics, antihistamines, antibiotics and antimalarials
- anticoagulant like warfarin
if you eat during therapy with Amitriptyline alcohol, can lead to an increased central-depressant effects.
How to obtain drugs with Amitriptyline
preparations that contain the active ingredient Amitriptyline are only available on prescription to purchase in Germany in each strength and dosage form on the pharmacy.
Since when Amitriptyline is known?
The tricyclic antidepressants were first developed in the early 1950s, starting with the drug chlorpromazine, which was developed from antiallergics. Later, the production of ever new descendants succeeded in being with Imipramine, the first tricyclic antidepressant and discovered first time in 1955 by Geigy (later Ciba-Geigy, now Novartis) has been tested. The second member of the tricyclic antidepressants Amitriptyline led Merck 1961 in the US. Since it is one of the world’s most commonly prescribed antidepressants.