How do I take amitriptyline and how long does it take to work?

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Amitriptyline is available as tablets or syrup, taken daily. As it has a sedative effect and may make you drowsy, it’s usually taken an hour or two before bedtime (but no later than 8 pm).

Your doctor will advise you about the correct dose. Usually you'll start on a low dose (e.g. 5–10 mg) and gradually increase it to 20 mg daily. However, your doctor may increase the dose to 50 mg or 75 mg if the pain is very severe and disturbing your sleep.

If you wish to stop taking amitriptyline, because of side-effects or because you feel it's not working, you should discuss this with your doctor. You may be advised to reduce the dose gradually over a few weeks to avoid sleep disturbance.

How long does amitriptyline take to work?

The effect on sleep is usually immediate but the effect on pain and mood takes longer, usually between 2 and 6 weeks.

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