What is Amitriptyline?
Amytriptyline is a drug used as an anti-depressant. The drug is most commonly known in its brand name Elavil. However, Elavil is no longer offered in the United States market. Depression is believed to be caused by an imbalance in the neurotransmitters in the brain. Patients suffering from depression may feel gloominess, sadness or despair. Neurotransmitters are chemicals used by the nerves to interact with each other. Abnormality in the levels of neurotransmitters is related to depression.
The use of amytriptylene is proven to raise the level of neurotransmitters in the brain, thus elevating the mood of a patient. In 1983, month of May, United States Food and Drug Authority approved the use of amytriptylene in treating patients suffering from depression. Amytriptylene is a prescription drugs and is not meant to be an over-the ‘“counter drug.
Similar to any drugs, amytriptylene also has side effects to patients taking it. Patients reportedly experience rapid heart rate, blurry vision, difficulty in urinating, constipation, drastic gain or loss in weight, hypotension and dryness of mouth. On the other hand, there are also severe side effects that when felt, a patient must immediately call his or her doctor. Such severe side effects are: rash, seizures, hives and hepatitis, although these are unusual side effects.
Before taking amytriptylene, a patient must be diagnosed if he or she has a history of seizure. Patients with history of prostate disorders are also not advised to take such drugs. The drug is known to increase the risk of urine retention. This is caused by the inability of the patient to urinate. Patients with glaucoma are also not advised to take the drug since it is known to increase the pressure in the eyes.
Although proven to help patients with depression, there are still reports of amytriptylene being associated with suicidal tendencies among young people. Young people who took the drug have been observed to have a change in behavior. Therefore, young people who are about to take amytriptylene must consider such drawbacks. However, this depends on the doctor’s diagnosis and prescriptions. On the other hand, doctors do consider such possibilities. Furthermore, patients already under the prescription of amytriptylene must not refrain from taking the drugs without an order from the doctor.
Doing so may result to withdrawal and patient will experience negative side effects. Sudden withdrawal from the drug will result to a worse change of behavior. Suicidal tendencies may be intensified, and unusually negative behaviors will likely develop. Moreover, there are reports that immediate discontinuation of taking the drug will result severe headache, dizziness, nausea and agitation may take place. Patient must strictly follow what is prescribed by the doctor. A patient missing even just a few doses of the drug will result to such withdrawal symptoms.
The drug is also not recommended to be taken along with other substances such as monoamine oxidase inhibiting drugs. Taking these drugs at the same time may lead to extreme fever, convulsions or worse ‘“ death. It is also not advisable to take epinephrine with amytriptylene for it may result to severe hypertension. Any alcoholic beverages or food containing alcohol is also prohibited.