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Amatryptyline and other tricyclic antidepressants - the "gold standard " for neuropathic pain

Posted Jan 26 2010 9:44am

I'm sure I am not the only person with chronic pain, who finds it quite daunting that the way to pain relief could be long term or even permanent drug therapy. When you have eliminated all the other types of treaments for pain relief ie pain management, physiotherpay, acupuncture, TENS, nerve blocks, epidurals etc. You then start reading if the drugs you have been given have side effects which I'm sure we agree that "ALL" drugs have some kind of side effects and if you read each and everyone of them you would probably never take the drug in the first place.

Amatryptyline is under the brand name of Elavil and was approved on April 7th 1961 for the treatment of major depression in the United States and is a tricylic antidepressant which means it is a type of medicine which acts on the nerve cells in the brain and is also used for neuropathic pain but only used in small doses for this type of pain release. It is called the "gold standard" for neuropathic pain. Pain that comes from problems with signals from the nerves, described as burning, stabbing, shooting or aching.

I'm sure if you have read my blog that you will see I have tried everything available to help with my chronic pain and after seeing my pain consultant had been advised to increase my Amatryptyline in the hope I would get a better nights sleep and less nerve pain which keeps waking me up.

I've never been one to try something and give it up before it has chance to work but the increase had such an impact on my day to day life and not so much on the pain that I felt my only option was to cut it right back to 10mg.

However, after a chat with my Doctor I have changed my mind. She explained to me that instead of jumping from 20mg to 50mg you need to increase it by 10mg for a while, that way you can see if you have any changes in your pain and how bad the side effects are which in my case I found the day time drowsiness very debilitating. I was totally unable to concentrate or motivate myself until the afternoon by which time I am ready for my rest !!

For anyone who "wont take any drugs, due to the side effects and addiction" I can only say for me, that I have a very understanding Doctor who will always help me in any way she can to alleviate some of my pain and unfortunately it just might have to be down the drugs route. I am changing the millograms from tonight and will keep you posted if this makes a difference in a couple of weeks time.

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