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What else should I know about amitriptyline?

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Are there any alternatives?

A number of other drugs are used in the treatment of arthritis and related conditions. Your doctor and rheumatology specialist nurse will discuss these other options with you.

Imipramine (also a tricyclic antidepressant) is less sedative than amitriptyline, so it can be used during the daytime, but it’s more likely than amitriptyline to cause a dry mouth and cardiac side-effects. Some people are treated for chronic pain with newer antidepressants called serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), either instead of amitriptyline or occasionally in combination with it, particularly if they’re also depressed. SNRIs and SSRIs are less sedative than amitriptyline and usually have fewer side-effects.

Will I need any special checks while on amitriptyline?

No special checks are needed while you’re on amitriptyline, though if you have glaucoma it's important to keep up your regular eye checks.

Can I take other medicines alongside amitriptyline?

Amitriptyline may be prescribed along with a variety of other drugs in treating your condition. Some drugs interact with amitriptyline, so you should discuss any new medications with your doctor before starting them, and you should always tell any other doctor treating you that you’re taking amitriptyline. You should also be aware of the following points:

  • You may be prescribed painkillers (for example codeine or tramadol) alongside amitriptyline, which may make you more drowsy.
  • A combination of an SNRI or SSRI antidepressant and amitriptyline needs careful monitoring (if you’re also on treatment for blood pressure and heart problems, discuss this with your doctor as these may need to be monitored more frequently).
  • Don't take over-the-counter preparations or herbal remedies without discussing this first with your doctor, rheumatology nurse specialist or pharmacist.
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