Pains can be of multiple forms. Pain experienced in the nervous system or nerves can occur either in discontinued episodes or as persistent spells. Discontinued episodes are mostly intolerable; they can be as painful as an electrical shock. Other painful conditions like fibromyalgia as well as headaches may lead to a few mental health conditions such as depression and sadness. Amitriptyline is an antidepressant drug which is also used for its pain management capabilities. But, do you know how long it takes for its remedial actions to kick-in?

Presence of chronic pains in most parts of your body is termed as fibromyalgia. It is often characterized by weariness, sleeping disorders as well as anxieties. These pains are known to affect women more than men; hence, men are likely to experience it less often. There are also pains associated with headaches; commonly referred as tension headaches, more than 85% of headache belongs to this category of pain. On the other hand, neuropathic pains can show up as numbing, cold or as a burning sensation. Pains may also originate due to conditions like fibromyalgia, marked by acute levels of tiredness and cognitive problems. You may turn sensitive to ambient lights or sounds.

Drugs like amitriptyline are used to bring relief from the aforesaid types of pains. It needs to be taken with prescriptions. It is sold in multiple forms – namely, liquid or suspended version as well as in the form of pills. As this drug can make you drowsy, best time to take it is before bed times. The doses prescribed for treating mental conditions are often stronger than those taken for managing pains.

How long does it take for amitriptyline to provide relief from pains?

This drug is mainly used for treating mental conditions like depression, mood swings, anxieties, etc. Pain management is an allied use of this med. The typical dose of amitriptyline is once per day; it can be taken either before or after a meal. In case of pills, it is important to swallow it along with water. If you are advised to take the suspended / liquid form, always use the ladle or the measuring device provided along with its pack. Use of spoons or other utensils from your kitchen may lead to inaccurate measures and can also trigger risks of an overdose.

It can take nearly 10 to 14 days for the results to show up. In some remote cases, it has taken as high as 45 days for the pains to subside. However, if you are not seeing a reduction in pains in say 2 weeks, you need to consult your treating doctor and / or a pharmacist. Some people may discontinue the intake of amitriptyline without taking the consent of their physician. This is not a good practice. An abrupt discontinuation of this drug can trigger a few adverse side effects.

Prior medical conditions and the use of amitriptyline to treat pains

This drug may either take a very long time to reduce pains or may turn inefficient among people living with a few medical conditions. So, it is very important to inform about all prior medical conditions to your treating doctor as well as pharmacist. If you are living with renal dysfunction, cardiac disorders, hepatic problems (such as hepatitis or inflammation of liver, cirrhosis, etc.) or known allergies to painkillers, your medical team has to be aware of all such discomforts. Also, those who experience epileptic fits, convulsions or acute levels of muscular spasms must also share details about their conditions; always remember that such information needs to be shared prior to starting your medication or treatment plans.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women

Women who are pregnant or those who are planning to become pregnant must keep their doctor informed of their current condition. This drug is not recommended for women who are pregnant. Those planning to get pregnant must use birth control pills if their treatment plan includes intake of painkilling drugs like amitriptyline. Medical studies have not fully studied the risks of its active ingredients getting into mother’s milk. Owing to the hidden risks, it is not usually recommended to administer this drug onto women who are breastfeeding or nursing an infant.

People who are diabetic and are living with high blood sugar levels

Amitriptyline is not efficient in reducing pains among people living with diabetes mellitus (both types – i.e., type 1 and 2); the drug may in fact alter your blood sugar levels. It is highly recommended to check your sugar levels soon after starting the doses of this drug. It is essential to seek medical help if you notice a significant reduction or increase in blood sugar levels. As an extended precaution, it is a good practice to perform liver function test to assess hepatic wellbeing. Such tests may be required as soon as you commence taking amitriptyline; once your body gets used to the active ingredients, you are unlikely to witness very adverse changes in blood sugar levels.

Safe usage of amitriptyline

It is unsafe to administer amitriptyline to children aged 3 years or less. In general, for children aged above 5 years till 12 years of age, the dosage value is determined based on the nature of pains as well as body weight. The standard dose for younger children – those aged above 12 years to less than 18 years of age is 10 milligrams (mg) per day. Your child’s doctor / pediatrician needs to be consulted prior to starting mediation plans for children. If the pains are very acute, a maximum dose is administered to bring relief from such conditions. The maximum dose permitted is 75 mg on a day. But, this is very rarely administered. In all other conditions, amitriptyline 50 mg its dosage strength is maintained at over a 24-hour timeline.

In a few uncommon instances, users have taken a double dose of amitriptyline to witness relief from pains. Such measures are not safe and may not reduce the time taken to obtain needful relief. On the other hand, taking a dual dose may trigger an overdosed condition. Typical signs of an overdose are being in a confused state of mind, changes in eyesight or redness of eyes. Upon noticing such adverse reactions, you are advised to call your physician immediately.

In sum, it may take 2 weeks or 14 days for amitriptyline to show initial results. In some rare cases, a few people saw positive results in as high as 5 to 6 weeks. You need to remember that a sudden discontinuation of this drug may cause a few side effects. Also, taking double doses of this drug is unlikely to hasten the relief process; in fact, such practices may only lead to an overdosed condition. You are advised to talk to your physician if your pains do not subside.

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