For more information, go to

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

Back to Amitriptyline

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.

Previous Next
Back to Amitriptyline

Search arthritis information

For more information, go to or call 0800 389 6692 to order the complete printed booklet.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.