How do I take amitriptyline and how long does it take to work?
Amitriptyline is taken as tablets or syrup every day. It has a sedative effect and may make you drowsy, so you should take it 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 5–10 mg a day, and gradually increase it to 20 mg a day. However, your doctor may increase your dose to 50 mg or 75 mg if your pain is very severe and disturbing your sleep.
If you wish to stop taking amitriptyline you'll probably be advised to reduce the dose gradually over a few weeks to avoid sleep disturbance.
How long does amitriptyline take to work?
If amitriptyline works for you, the effect on sleep is usually immediate, and your pain and mood are likely to improve over 2–6 weeks. Because it can sometimes take a while to find the right dose, it's often helpful to keep taking amitriptyline:
- even if it doesn't seem to be having much effect at first
- even if you're having some side-effects - as these usually become less troublesome as your body becomes more tolerant of the drug.