Re: Update On New Doc Visit From Lee
Amitriptyline is an antidepressant. I used 50mg at night for sleep and pain issues with lower back pain and it did help. Take it about an hour before you are ready to actually fall asleep and it should do a good job of putting you out (might feel like it hits you all at once when it kicks in). You might find yourself a bit fuzzy in the mornings until you get use to it or if you miss some doses and start again.
My primary doc told me to stop using it (some issues with diabetes meds I also take) but for the few months I had it, my need for vicodins really went down and day-to-day pain was better. And like I said, sleep was usually a good solid 7-9 hours each night (don't take it if you only have a few hours to sleep before you have to get up again until you are used to it and know how you do in the mornings with it).
I liked the Amitriptyline myself - would probably still be on them if the primary doc hadn't said anything about them and had some concerns of them plus the other meds. Some people will take this drug for chronic pain (which is why I asked for it after reading about it for back pain) in the evenings and find relief during the day without the need to reach for the stronger stuff during the day which is what I found the case to be.
I started out at 25mg and then after two weeks, went to 50mg which for me seemed to be the "correct" amount to get pain relief (people who take it for depression I think do 75mg-125mg a day) - to the point that when the 'script ran out, I called and asked for it to be renewed instead of the vicodins since I was getting noticable relief from them and started to feel normal again. Could also be that I was finally getting some good, solid "rest" in the evenings as well and not spending my nights in pain or have to cycle between ice packs and vicodins and other things.
After about 4-6 months or so on the amitriptyline, the doc who gave them to me ordered blood work (guess there is a chance of some liver function problems due to the amitriptyline in some people) to make sure the liver was still fine and it was this lab work (the doc basically checked off every block on the lab form) which came back and while the liver was fine, the blood glucose was way too high and this was my intro to the fact that I was an undiagnosed diabetic which led to several other life changes.
Well, good luck with it. Think it took a few days of use with the amitriptyline before I noticed that my back felt better for the day-to-day stuff. I just remember one day of walking down the stairs at my office and coming to realize that going down the stairs and for the last couple of hours, nothing hurt where before, a trip down the stairs was somewhere between limping and actual pain for me.