Common Side Effects of Elavil (Amitriptyline)

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Elavil is used in the treatment of mental or mood-related problems including depression. It works to improve the mood and feelings of the patient, relieve anxiety and tension, aid in having a good sleep, and increase the level of energy.



Side effects

While there are numerous benefits, there are many side effects too, which occur as we start taking Elavil. You should talk to your doctor if any of the side effects which are listed below persist when taking Elavil:

  • Pain in stomach or abdomen
  • Agitation
  • Dark stools
  • Gums become sensitive or bleed
  • Urine or stools contain blood
  • Vision gets blurred
  • Burning and itching sensations, which prick like needles
  • Unconscious behavior
  • Trouble in passing urine
  • Sudden gain in weight
  • Might get confused easily
  • Irritated on small issues
  • Lack of balance while walking
  • Shaky and trembling hands


Minor side effects

Some side effects that occur when you are on Elavil may not need medical attention. It takes time for the body to adjust to the medicine and these side effects will go away as soon as the body adjusts. Your healthcare professional can also guide you about ways to overcome the side effects caused because of taking Elavil. If any of the side effects listed below continue to persist, consult your healthcare professional and ask him about the queries that are in your mind;

  • Abnormality of the pupils
  • A decrease in sexual desires
  • Hives
  • Difficulty to have or keep an erection
  • Irritation in the breasts or they become large
  • Swelling in the breasts
  • Problem in passing stools
  • Tongue becomes black
  • You experience diarrhea
  • You face hair loss, or hair gets thin
  • You suffer from bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Nightmares
  • Difficulty in having a good sleep


How does it work?

Being a tricyclic drug means that there are three rings in the chemical structure of Elavil. It converts into nortriptyline when it enters the body. It is present in its active form.

It works by stopping the uptake of serotonin and noradrenaline since these two are present in your body for a long time, their effects remain there for a longer span too.

Histamine is a chemical compound present in the brain; Elavil stops its activity too, which is the leading cause of drowsiness.

It works to activate adenosine and opioid receptors, which give you relief from the pain you are suffering from.

Briefly, Elavil can treat depression. It also cures people suffering from anxiety disorders, provides relief from pain, and migraines. It can help fight cancer and provides aid to patients with fibromyalgia.

Keep the tablets in a tightly closed container away from the reach of children. They should be kept at a place that is away from the exposure of direct heat, light, and moisture.


How should I take Elavil?

Elavil is an oral drug. You can take it 1 to 4 times a day, or as suggested by your doctor. Take this medicine regularly and fix the same time for having it; this way there will be reduced chances of skipping the dose at any day. Do not stop taking the medicine if you experience any side effects because sometimes your condition might get worse if you try this way out. Instead, consult your healthcare practitioner, and he will guide you better. In the same way, do not increase your dose as it will not increase the chances of curing the disease, but eventually, you will have to face the side effects. This drug may not provide relief instantly. It takes a month for it to start giving results.



Talk to your doctor if you had the following health conditions before he prescribes you Elavil:

  • You have or ever had a bipolar disorder or schizophrenia
  • You have a history of mental illness or psychosis
  • Have a liver disease
  • Have any heart disease
  • Have a history of seizures or heart attacks and even stroke
  • If you have diabetes
  • You are suffering from glaucoma
  • You face problems while urinating

In addition, tell your healthcare practitioner about the following; these will help him, or her analyze your situation and then provide you with proper directions.

  • If you are pregnant or plan to be pregnant
  • You are breastfeeding
  • You have allergic reactions to anti-depressants
  • If you suffer from a thyroid disorder
  • If you have a scheduled surgery

If you are younger than 12 years, then this drug is not at all suitable for you.

You are likely to encounter thoughts related to committing suicide when you take this drug, and this issue is very common in individuals who are under the age of 24.

If you take any other antidepressants, inform your doctor about them too. It is possible that both the medicines would not make a good combination and could affect the functioning of your body parts; therefore, consult your doctor first.