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elavil for pain control?

Posted by rekha.s on 7/01/00 at 13:10 (022742)

I was prescribed this drug ELAVIL aka: AMITRIPTYLINE for pain control a few months back. I reluctantly took it and noticed pain was lesser. However, the drug made me a zombie in the mornings and I gained 5 lbs (not good for PF). The dr told me it would help with pain and depression (which was pretty bad in Jan/Feb).

Has this drug helped anyone else with PF? Dr wants me to go back on it again. I am still debating if I want to. I just don't want to be drugged out all the time, and hate the zombie-ish state.



Re: elavil for pain control?

cindyp on 7/01/00 at 13:52 (022743)

I am on the same stuff but rarely take it for the same reason. It makes me drugged out and sluggish. I to am in the depression pit. Thinking that I will be the same and 'uncured' for the rest of my life. Some days are worse than others. I don't have pf. I have a neuroma they will not remove.

Re: elavil for pain control?

Pauline on 7/01/00 at 14:32 (022744)

My two cents. Elavil is an antidepressant with sedative effects. While many G.P. Doctors prescribe antidepressants I feel they do not have the experience nor expertise in dosage and affects these drugs have on patients.

There are many antidepressant drugs available and finding the right one to provide the patient with the best results from the drug while
avoiding unpleasant side affects I feel is best left to a Psychiatrist. They deal with these drugs on a much larger scale and
have seen how many patients react to them. They usually see their
patients and adjust these meds accordingly. While many General Practice Dr. can and do prescribe antidepressants they do not
seem to follow a patient as carefully nor are they as aware of drug interaction with these drugs, They do they have vast experience in prescribing them as used for depression.

It is a great idea to have one Dr. provide all your meds, but in this case I personally would elect to see a Psychiatrist. Keep in mind that many antidepressants are used to treat conditions other than depression, but I still think they know these drugs the best especially if you are treating depression.


Re: elavil for pain control?

cindyp on 7/01/00 at 14:37 (022745)

They gave me mine being the podiatrist for the extreme pain at night. Says it seems to help. It does because I can sleep. Just cannot function very well the next day. I don't take it very often only when pain is unbearable. Most times cannot sleep until 3 or 4 am

Re: elavil for pain control?

Dr. Zuckerman on 7/01/00 at 15:34 (022747)

Many other great drugs such as effexor, prozac etc. See a doctor who can help you . These drugs have less side effects then elavil.

Re: elavil for pain control?

cindyp on 7/01/00 at 15:56 (022748)

But do they control the pain. My depression isn't the big issue. comes and goes. the pain is unbearable.

Re: elavil for pain control?

Melody on 7/01/00 at 16:03 (022749)

Cindy,
I took them for chronic pain in my wrist. Got rid of the pain but I couldn't get out of bed! I have never fekt so awful!

My GP gave me some other antidepressants which don't make me drousy and still get rid of the pain so it is worth going back to you GP.

My pain specialist tells me that antidepressants are an excellant way of controlling pain.

Also they are known for putting on weight - amitriptilyne (SP??*S*) but not some of the others,

Good luck

Mel


Re: elavil for pain control? -- to Cindy

Nancy S. on 7/01/00 at 20:30 (022751)

Cindy, but depression IS a big issue, and a natural one to arise in a difficult case like yours (or even less difficult but also life-changing like mine). Maybe you've had this pain condition for so long that in a way you are used to the depression, but as one who has seen clinical depression up close both firsthand and in a number of people close to me, I have to tell you that I sense depression in almost every one of your posts. I hope you don't take offense that I feel I've observed this -- it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. But to acknowledge and address it can help you both emotionally and physically.
Whether for physical pain or emotional pain, to take an antidepressant intermittently will not to do the job. You need to have it in your system, and keep it there, for a while in order for it to give you any real relief. As Pauline and Dr. Zuckerman and perhaps others here have said, there are many more recent antidepressants that can give you some relief without the sedative or other uncomfortable side effects. I urge you to see a psychiatrist or psychopharmacologist and try a newer, more effective medication. I truly believe it might help you. (I urge this for you too, Rekha -- elavil is an older, more diffcult medication with unpleasant side effects, whereas the more recent ones have few, if any, side effects, e.g., Celexa, Effexor, Prozac, to name a few.) Please, for your own sakes, give the more modern medicines a try. Best of luck to you both --Nancy

Re: elavil for pain control? -- to Cindy

cindyp on 7/01/00 at 20:45 (022752)

No offense taken I am in the hills and valley of depression over this. The thing is staying like this forever there are some days I am not sure I can do it. When I go back to the doctor I will ask about other things. No offense taken at all.

Re: elavil for pain control? -- to Cindy

Pauline on 7/02/00 at 07:01 (022761)

I agree with Nancy S. Just like anesthetics, the world of antidepressants has changed for the better. Yes they still use the tried and true, but if the best results for the patient is not achieved Doctors usually try the newer drugs. Antidepressants like
anti-inflammatories have to be adjusted for the individual patient.
Some may react unfavorable so they switch the medication. Medication usually doesn't have a break in period --- you know right away if you should continue taking it depending on how you feel.

Depression is certainly involved with people who have constant pain. Sometimes the patient knows there is something wrong but can't put their finger on the problem. A good Dr. can help.



Re: zombie-ish state from elavil

rekha.s on 7/03/00 at 01:42 (022797)

yes, the Elavil does make a zombie out of me...I had stopped taking it because of the sedative effect. I went through depression this winter due to my condition (started having severe knee and hip pain due to bilateral PF), and other problems. However, after getting off of it, I noticed my pain increased.

Dr says that elavil is very effective for neuropathic type of pain, and the exact mechanism is not known, but it is believed that it blocks a certain pain transmitter (epinephrine I think). I am reluctant to get back on it. Still deciding. Can't afford to put on any more weight though!!!! (In fact I need to lose 25 lbs).


Re: To Cindy:

rekha on 7/03/00 at 01:50 (022798)

I don't think Effexor, Prozac or Celexa are the group of 'tricyclic antidepressants' that also help pain. Elavil and Neurontin are the two that I know of. The depression was bad this winter, but now its the pain that is difficult. Still have some depression, but have learnt to manage the pain better thru meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, etc..... The doctor told me that the group of tricylic antideprssants have significant pain-reduction qualities, and that is why I was taking elavil this past winter, kind of like an antidepressant and pain killer at once....but like I said, the sedative effect is hard... Still deciding .....thanks for your input though.....:-)

Re: Sorry: To Nancy

rekha on 7/03/00 at 01:52 (022799)

sorry, that message was meant for Nancy, not Cindy...... (in response to Nancy's post)

Re: To Rekha

Nancy S. on 7/03/00 at 07:45 (022804)

Now that you remind me of it, I know a woman with migraine who takes a very low dose of desipramine (another of the tricyclics) for that condition, and it has helped quite a bit. She doesn't have depression, so I don't know if her dose would affect depression. But it is working as a migraine-killer, and she hasn't mentioned sedating side effects. I believe I've read that Elavil is one of the most sedating. But if it's the best for killing pain, Catch-22 I guess! --Nancy

Re: elavil for pain control?

Lynda S. on 7/03/00 at 16:41 (022817)

Rekha:

I was put on Elavil (very low dose of 10 mg) by my podiatrist after we had exhausted everything else including 2 surgeries. I noticed an improvement and he immediately turned me over to my PCP who worked with me on titrating up very slowly on this drug. That way it doesn't hit you like a zombie. I was able to sleep but didn't have that drugged over feeling. The worst side effect I experienced was an incredibly dry mouth, hence putting food in my mouth to get rid of the terrible taste, and hence gaining 10 lbs. After a few months, I stopped this drug and immediately the pain came back. The Elavil didn't totally relieve the pain, but made it much more manageable. My PCP then referred me to a Pain Medicine doctor who had me try Pamelor (Nortriptyline) and had me go through a pain management course. I still get a dry mouth but I chew gum a lot. She also had me go up very slowly. It helps me sleep but I don't get a drugged feeling upon awakening. I would rather not have to take this, but for right now until something else comes along I can try, I feel thankful that this works.


Re: elavil for pain control?

cindyp on 7/01/00 at 13:52 (022743)

I am on the same stuff but rarely take it for the same reason. It makes me drugged out and sluggish. I to am in the depression pit. Thinking that I will be the same and 'uncured' for the rest of my life. Some days are worse than others. I don't have pf. I have a neuroma they will not remove.

Re: elavil for pain control?

Pauline on 7/01/00 at 14:32 (022744)

My two cents. Elavil is an antidepressant with sedative effects. While many G.P. Doctors prescribe antidepressants I feel they do not have the experience nor expertise in dosage and affects these drugs have on patients.

There are many antidepressant drugs available and finding the right one to provide the patient with the best results from the drug while
avoiding unpleasant side affects I feel is best left to a Psychiatrist. They deal with these drugs on a much larger scale and
have seen how many patients react to them. They usually see their
patients and adjust these meds accordingly. While many General Practice Dr. can and do prescribe antidepressants they do not
seem to follow a patient as carefully nor are they as aware of drug interaction with these drugs, They do they have vast experience in prescribing them as used for depression.

It is a great idea to have one Dr. provide all your meds, but in this case I personally would elect to see a Psychiatrist. Keep in mind that many antidepressants are used to treat conditions other than depression, but I still think they know these drugs the best especially if you are treating depression.


Re: elavil for pain control?

cindyp on 7/01/00 at 14:37 (022745)

They gave me mine being the podiatrist for the extreme pain at night. Says it seems to help. It does because I can sleep. Just cannot function very well the next day. I don't take it very often only when pain is unbearable. Most times cannot sleep until 3 or 4 am

Re: elavil for pain control?

Dr. Zuckerman on 7/01/00 at 15:34 (022747)

Many other great drugs such as effexor, prozac etc. See a doctor who can help you . These drugs have less side effects then elavil.

Re: elavil for pain control?

cindyp on 7/01/00 at 15:56 (022748)

But do they control the pain. My depression isn't the big issue. comes and goes. the pain is unbearable.

Re: elavil for pain control?

Melody on 7/01/00 at 16:03 (022749)

Cindy,
I took them for chronic pain in my wrist. Got rid of the pain but I couldn't get out of bed! I have never fekt so awful!

My GP gave me some other antidepressants which don't make me drousy and still get rid of the pain so it is worth going back to you GP.

My pain specialist tells me that antidepressants are an excellant way of controlling pain.

Also they are known for putting on weight - amitriptilyne (SP??*S*) but not some of the others,

Good luck

Mel


Re: elavil for pain control? -- to Cindy

Nancy S. on 7/01/00 at 20:30 (022751)

Cindy, but depression IS a big issue, and a natural one to arise in a difficult case like yours (or even less difficult but also life-changing like mine). Maybe you've had this pain condition for so long that in a way you are used to the depression, but as one who has seen clinical depression up close both firsthand and in a number of people close to me, I have to tell you that I sense depression in almost every one of your posts. I hope you don't take offense that I feel I've observed this -- it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. But to acknowledge and address it can help you both emotionally and physically.
Whether for physical pain or emotional pain, to take an antidepressant intermittently will not to do the job. You need to have it in your system, and keep it there, for a while in order for it to give you any real relief. As Pauline and Dr. Zuckerman and perhaps others here have said, there are many more recent antidepressants that can give you some relief without the sedative or other uncomfortable side effects. I urge you to see a psychiatrist or psychopharmacologist and try a newer, more effective medication. I truly believe it might help you. (I urge this for you too, Rekha -- elavil is an older, more diffcult medication with unpleasant side effects, whereas the more recent ones have few, if any, side effects, e.g., Celexa, Effexor, Prozac, to name a few.) Please, for your own sakes, give the more modern medicines a try. Best of luck to you both --Nancy

Re: elavil for pain control? -- to Cindy

cindyp on 7/01/00 at 20:45 (022752)

No offense taken I am in the hills and valley of depression over this. The thing is staying like this forever there are some days I am not sure I can do it. When I go back to the doctor I will ask about other things. No offense taken at all.

Re: elavil for pain control? -- to Cindy

Pauline on 7/02/00 at 07:01 (022761)

I agree with Nancy S. Just like anesthetics, the world of antidepressants has changed for the better. Yes they still use the tried and true, but if the best results for the patient is not achieved Doctors usually try the newer drugs. Antidepressants like
anti-inflammatories have to be adjusted for the individual patient.
Some may react unfavorable so they switch the medication. Medication usually doesn't have a break in period --- you know right away if you should continue taking it depending on how you feel.

Depression is certainly involved with people who have constant pain. Sometimes the patient knows there is something wrong but can't put their finger on the problem. A good Dr. can help.



Re: zombie-ish state from elavil

rekha.s on 7/03/00 at 01:42 (022797)

yes, the Elavil does make a zombie out of me...I had stopped taking it because of the sedative effect. I went through depression this winter due to my condition (started having severe knee and hip pain due to bilateral PF), and other problems. However, after getting off of it, I noticed my pain increased.

Dr says that elavil is very effective for neuropathic type of pain, and the exact mechanism is not known, but it is believed that it blocks a certain pain transmitter (epinephrine I think). I am reluctant to get back on it. Still deciding. Can't afford to put on any more weight though!!!! (In fact I need to lose 25 lbs).


Re: To Cindy:

rekha on 7/03/00 at 01:50 (022798)

I don't think Effexor, Prozac or Celexa are the group of 'tricyclic antidepressants' that also help pain. Elavil and Neurontin are the two that I know of. The depression was bad this winter, but now its the pain that is difficult. Still have some depression, but have learnt to manage the pain better thru meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, etc..... The doctor told me that the group of tricylic antideprssants have significant pain-reduction qualities, and that is why I was taking elavil this past winter, kind of like an antidepressant and pain killer at once....but like I said, the sedative effect is hard... Still deciding .....thanks for your input though.....:-)

Re: Sorry: To Nancy

rekha on 7/03/00 at 01:52 (022799)

sorry, that message was meant for Nancy, not Cindy...... (in response to Nancy's post)

Re: To Rekha

Nancy S. on 7/03/00 at 07:45 (022804)

Now that you remind me of it, I know a woman with migraine who takes a very low dose of desipramine (another of the tricyclics) for that condition, and it has helped quite a bit. She doesn't have depression, so I don't know if her dose would affect depression. But it is working as a migraine-killer, and she hasn't mentioned sedating side effects. I believe I've read that Elavil is one of the most sedating. But if it's the best for killing pain, Catch-22 I guess! --Nancy

Re: elavil for pain control?

Lynda S. on 7/03/00 at 16:41 (022817)

Rekha:

I was put on Elavil (very low dose of 10 mg) by my podiatrist after we had exhausted everything else including 2 surgeries. I noticed an improvement and he immediately turned me over to my PCP who worked with me on titrating up very slowly on this drug. That way it doesn't hit you like a zombie. I was able to sleep but didn't have that drugged over feeling. The worst side effect I experienced was an incredibly dry mouth, hence putting food in my mouth to get rid of the terrible taste, and hence gaining 10 lbs. After a few months, I stopped this drug and immediately the pain came back. The Elavil didn't totally relieve the pain, but made it much more manageable. My PCP then referred me to a Pain Medicine doctor who had me try Pamelor (Nortriptyline) and had me go through a pain management course. I still get a dry mouth but I chew gum a lot. She also had me go up very slowly. It helps me sleep but I don't get a drugged feeling upon awakening. I would rather not have to take this, but for right now until something else comes along I can try, I feel thankful that this works.