Last Updated on February 28, 2023
Granules and tablets Amitriptyline hydrochloride contains 10, 25, 50 and 75 mg. The active ingredient is in the form of Amitriptyline hydrochloride.
Other ingredients in tablets are: microcrystalline cellulose, talc, lactose monohydrate, silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate, pregelatinized starch.
Other ingredients in granules: magnesium stearate, potato starch, talc, polyvinylpyrolidone, lactose monohydrate.
1 ml solution contains 10 mg more active ingredient. Other ingredients: hydrochloric acid (sodium hydroxide), dextrose monohydrate, water for infusion, sodium chloride, benzethonium chloride.
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What is Amitriptyline hydrochloride?
Amitriptyline hydrochloride is one of the best known drugs for depression and chronic pain. It is widely used in psychiatry and neurology. Amitriptyline belongs to the tricyclic antidepressants and thus to the first generation of antidepressants. It has been well studied and tested for tolerability. Here you can read everything about the effect of Amitriptyline side effects and use.
Mechanism of action
The action of amitriptyline can be explained by influencing the delicate balance of messengers (neurotransmitters) in the brain that transmit nerve signals between brain cells. The signals are generated by the release of a neurotransmitter from a nerve cell and its docking to specific binding sites (receptors) of the next nerve cell. After they have taken effect, the messengers are taken up again by the first cell and thus “recycled”.
Experts currently believe that the development of depression is due to a deficiency of certain chemicals in the brain (including serotonin and norepinephrine). This is where tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline come in. They prevent the reuptake of neurotransmitters in the brain cell, allowing them to remain effective for longer.
As a first-generation antidepressant, amitriptyline is a small tricyclic selective reuptake inhibitor. It works by blocking the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine and also binds to many other receptors of different signaling pathways in the brain. This spectrum of activity is different for almost every antidepressant, which can be treated with a number of mental disorders different facets.
The drug amitriptyline is absorbed slowly into the blood (over a period of one to five hours). It is broken down in the liver and the breakdown product has an antidepressant effect. After metabolism, amitriptyline is excreted by the kidneys. It takes ten to 28 hours for half of the active ingredient to be metabolized and excreted (half-life).
How to Use Amitriptyline?
Amitriptyline is approved in the United Kingdom for the treatment of depressive disorders and for the long-term treatment of pain as part of an overall therapeutic concept – this usually involves additional treatment with painkillers and psychotherapy.
Outside the approved indications, amitriptyline is also used for the following conditions (so-called “off-label use”)
- Attention (hyperactivity) syndrome
- prevention of migraine and tension headaches
- Eating Disorders
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The application is usually long-term.
How to Take Amitriptyline?
Amitriptyline is usually used in the form of tablets, some of which are extended-release. Amitriptyline drops and injection solutions are also available on the UK market.
The tablets are usually taken throughout the day (morning – noon – evening). Low doses of amitriptyline or extended-release tablets are usually taken at night, because fatigue can occur especially at the beginning of treatment.
When using Amitriptyline pain, especially chronic, should be treated, the doctor ordered an additional usually painkillers.
Side Effects of Amitriptyline
Along with their beneficial effects, most medications can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone experiences them. The table below lists some of the more common ones related to Amitriptyline. For a complete list, see the manufacturer’s information leaflet that came with your medication. The unwanted effects usually improve as the body adjusts to the new medicine, but discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become bothersome.
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
Amitriptyline should not be used in children under 18 years of age due to lack of studies on its effectiveness.
Also, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should not take Amitriptyline because it on the one hand overcomes the placental barrier and passes into breast milk on the other. If you can not avoid the application of the antidepressant in lactation, women should stop breast-feeding before taking Amitriptyline.
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
- medicines that change the heart rhythm (prolong the QT interval), such as neuroleptics, antihistamines, antibiotics, and antimalarials
- anticoagulant like warfarin
Drinking alcohol during treatment with amitriptyline may increase the central depressant effect.
Where to buy Amitriptyline otc online in UK?
Medicines containing the active ingredient amitriptyline are available in the United Kingdom only by prescription in all strengths and dosage forms available from pharmacies.
How long has amitriptyline been known?
Tricyclic antidepressants were first developed in the early 1950s, starting with the anti-allergy drug chlorpromazine. Later, more and more offspring were produced with imipramine, the first tricyclic antidepressant, first discovered and tested in 1955 by Geigy (later Ciba-Geigy, now Novartis). The second tricyclic antidepressant, amitriptyline, was developed by Merck in the United States in 1961. Since then, it has become one of the most widely prescribed antidepressants in the world.