What You Need To Know About Amitriptyline For Fibromyalgia

amitriptyline for fibromyalgia

Different types of pharmaceutical drugs are being prescribed to fibromyalgia patients. They include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, sedatives, as well as antidepressants. Amitriptyline, belonging to the oldest type of antidepressants, is a common drug administered by fibromyalgia patients.

What Is Amitriptyline?

Amitriptyline is a type of tricyclic antidepressant (TCA ), mainly used in treating clinical depression. This class of antidepressants has some of the oldest antidepressants still in use. Amitriptyline, sold under the brand Elavil, is believed to be one of the most efficient antidepressants. However, in spite of its effectiveness, newer antidepressants are favored over Amitriptyline due to its side effects and toxicity when over-consumed.

Although approved by the FDA for treating major depressive disorders, Amitriptyline has not been approved by FDA as a fibromyalgia medication. However, it can also help in anxiety disorders and nerve-related pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.


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  1. says: Maxine

    I tried amitriptyline for my fibromyalgia and depression. I found it eased my tension not so much my pain and eased depression but unfortunately I did gain weight which didn’t help with physical ability which is vital for fibromyalgia and my eyes got very sore and blurred vision. I’m still at a loss with a tablet that can help without side affects. I am very tired all the time and there is not a tablet that helps with fibromyalgia without it making you sleepy.

    1. says: Janice

      About 12 years ago, I was having awful head pain, not a headache, but pain radiating on the left side of my head from the temple and around my ear. My PCP prescribed Tegretol, but my white blood cell count became dangerously low so she switched me to Lyrica. I had horrible side effects from the Lyrica, especially mental confusion and loss of balance. So she prescribed Gabapentin. She thought I had Trigeminal Neuralgia. She also sent me to a neurologist, who did nerve conduction tests and other tests. He downgraded the neuralgia to Occipital Neuralgia. He prescribed Amitriptylene for the widespread pain. After a couple of years of putting up with pain, another neurologist in the same practice said I fit everything on a checklist for Fibromyalgia. He sent me to a rheumatologist. She prescribed Duloxetine and confirmed I had Fibromyalgia. I now take 75 mg of amitriptyline at bedtime, 60 mg of Duloxetine at night, and 600 mg of Gabapentin two to three times each day. My pain is controlled fairly well now. When the weather takes a turn for the worse or it gets damp and humid, I get achy. My main problem is that I have chronic fatigue. I try to exercise and work through it. I have taken 3 hour naps some days. There are times when I cannot sleep well at night, even when I do not take a nap.

    2. says: Sue Slavik

      I was on amitriptyline 75mg at bedtime. One morning I was working and began acting strangely according to my patient. I am an RN and was about to do a throat swab. I do not remember anything. I was having a grand mal seizure. I did come to until my boss and I were in the elevator, me on a gurney. I’d never had seizures before that I was aware of. The neurologist at the e.r. said he was fairly certain it was the amitriptyline. I’d been on it for 13 yrs. It was first prescribed as an antidepressant. The seizure happened in 1999. A couple of days later he gave me an e.e.g. I was having petit mal seizures throughout the test. That bothered me more than the one at work. I often took my grandkids places while I drove. But after repeat EEG s i was clear of seizures. No amitriptyline for me. I also didn’t sleep much for a month and PAIN was excruciating. That’s when I was formally diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

    1. says: bernie williams

      i take Amitriptyline 100mg at night , couldnt do without it , i sleep better but morning stiffness stil there , hubby has to pull me upright to get me out of bed

    2. says: Isobel

      I was on 10mg. Amytriptyline at bedtime for 12 years and it did help with sleep and pain and allowed me to work full-time.
      When I retired I took 6 months to wean off it as I read in many medical journals that it increased risks of dementia. I did notice the difference and my pain increased. I am now on CBD oil and magnesium. I prefer not to take meds if possible.

  2. says: Donna

    I am no longer allowed amitryptiline as I take citalipram and apparently the two together can cause heart problems. I am desperate to find a replacement for amitriptyline as it was the only drug that effectively eased nerve pain that radiates through my neck, arms, shoulders and chest periodically. This pain becomes excruciating, even inducing vomiting, and amitriptyline took the edge off and helped me relax. I will aske my GP about Duloxetine

    1. says: Denise

      I have had fibromyalgia and psyratic arthritis for six years. I’m finally on a combo of three pills. Cymbolta and gabapatin and hydroxyqiine. It help my pain a lot. But still get sore shoulders and back. AND I AM TIRED. All the time and have gained wieght because of it. No energy to go for long walks like I use to. Makes me sad. I use to be skinny. I use to work to jobs. I use to walk and bike every where every day. Pisses me off. We need a pill that doesn’t make us tired. So I tried dope in butter. Helped my pain. Thanks.

      1. says: Val Hill

        I was diagnosed 25 years ago. Have tried most drugs through hospital consultant, nothing has helped with the awful pain and tender points. I am now on Amitriptyline and Dosulepin and over counter pain relief. Still suffering pain and stiffness, fatigue, blurred vision. Weight gain. All making exercise and walking so difficult and painful.

  3. says: Nancy Quiggle

    I am currently taking amitriptyline. I am using it more for sleep, than to help with my pain. I take Savella for my pain, which has helped me tremendously. But, I do understand that not everyone can take Savella. But, the amitriptyline has helped me get more sleep because I had been having a lot of difficulty with my sciatica. And I am also in the middle of my physical therapy.

  4. says: Julie E Parsons

    I’ve been on this medicine for over 15 years. It helps with my pain some what but has helped my depression totally. Before nothing seemed to help especially muscle relaxer and other depression medicines. I’m thankful for my results because without this med I don’t think I would have such a great recovery!

  5. says: Abby Safer

    I take amitriptyline for cvs. I have rheumatoid arthritis. I started taking it 2 years ago. I take 20mg. I think in a higher dose it would help. I have fiends with cvs who take 100my and they find they are in much less pain.

  6. says: Kathy

    If i remember correctly, from over 30 yrs ago when I was finally dx with FM, i started with amitriptline, I was so exhausted waking up in the morning with 3 young kids under 10 yrs, a husband working shift work, I just couldn’t function and had to find something else. I dont remember what it was, but i do remember it taking a lots of trials to find a decent cocktail of meds to help my chronic depression and hypothyroidism that was dx too. Then the B12 defeciency and IBS which are common with FM.

  7. says: Sue Corbett

    Diagnosed 16 years ago, it was the only thing I was offered. I took half s tablet a day for a month, hardly slept in that time, when I did it gave me nightmares. I had flashbacks throughout the days and felt sluggish and drugged all the time. I refused more and didn’t want to try any others so was told I was on my own.

  8. says: Zoe Kraft

    I’ve been on amitriptyline since 2009. It was prescribed by my PCP for headaches because I was waking up with daily borderline migraines. I have also have prescribed by my psychiatrist for depression and moods (fluoxitine, welbuteran in past) currently on Cymbalta/ duloxitine since 2012. Tried lyrica but every bad side effect happened so stopped it and am better off without it. My rheumatologist switched me from ibuprofen (was taking max dose Every dose and it ONLY dulled the pain) to indomethasin (much LESS of a dosage and pain relife). My pharmacist and insurance are questioning whether I STILL need the amitriptyline since I am on Cymbalta BUT bloodwork seems to be ok. I am also on Methatrexate arthritis and psoriasis and humerah So complicated healthwise especially since June 2016. Any suggestions on this mix?

    1. says: Terri

      Been on 50mg amitriptyline at night for 4yrs. It used to help with the pain and sleeplessness, but doesn’t seem to do a lot anymore. Have been advised to stay on it, as Dr says my moods, anxiety/depression will be unbearable. So, also have 30mg codeine phosphate at night, and for using in the day when pain levels are too much to handle.

  9. says: Lynn

    I take 30mg amitriptyline 4 hours before bed for fibromyalgia. I used to take it just before bed but found my head was very foggy the next day and it took ages to “come to”. Taking the medication long before bedtime has proved very effective. I wake feeling much brighter and my pain is controlled. The advice on when to take my medication came from my chiropractor, not my GP and is the best I’ve received in treating my fibromyalgia.

  10. says: Kimberly Vogt

    I trotted amitriptyline but got no benefit or relief for pain, depression or insomnia. But what I did get were lots of side effects, groggy, foggy, and what else I don’t recall because out was 1998. My fiance uses it as he has fibromyalgia and myofasial pain syndrome. It helps him fall asleep. Nothing works for the severity of his pain but he hasn’t tried any other antidepressant. He’s been on gabapentin.

    1. says: Tanya

      Gabapentin is awful for you and almost impossible to wean off. Try anything else. Cymbalta also a bad one. Check the Fibro website for articles and you’ll see they’re both awful on your system, especially with fibro.

  11. says: Cindy

    It seems like every medication I have tried for fibromyalgia causes weight gain and many other side effects. The best treatment plan for me was gentle regular exercise and doing relaxation exercises like biofeedback an hour before bedtime works the best. Harder than popping a pill, but better for you all around.

  12. I also have used amitriptylene but keep falling asleep while walking or standing still. This disease is beyond comprehension for most people but i can’t stand it. #iwantmylifeback!!

  13. says: Sandra

    Yes at first it worked for sleep then after a year it didn’t. I was on 25 mg at night. I didn’t want to increase the dose.

  14. says: Kara

    I was on 40mg AMITITRIPTYLINE for 2 years. It helped with sleep, then stopped hello g me sleep. It helped with nerve pain a lot, but I gained 20 kilos and suffered severe constipation and other bowel problems. I have come off it and pain is back. I’m trying cbd oil now, which helps with sleep but not pain management. I have lost weight 10 kilos in two months since stopping Amitytriptyline and this has improved my overall wellbeing massively. I have to swim, yoga and walk regularly otherwise I completely seize up. I have also tried a self hypnosis audio book for pain management. I want my life back and generally feel better off meds than on. Despite the pain. Hopefully one day, they’ll find something without the horrendous side affects.

    1. I myself sees up often even with all the medications this disease is nothing funny for anyone who truly has it I’m sorry for all the people on here going through the same pain that I do

  15. says: Judy

    I was on amitriptyline 20 years ago BUT had irregular heart rhytm that was quite serious and cardiologist said NEVER take again. Have used gabapentin & Lyrica
    Since then. Am trying to switch to Cymbalta now because Lyrica is so exensi e.

  16. says: Janet halliwell

    Look at making golden paste, a turmeric based anti inflammatory which you make yourself. Thats all i take for fibromyalgia and arthritis in my spine. I managed to get off amitriptyline this year after being on it for 8 years.

  17. says: Tracey

    I’m not 50 mg amitriptyline , helped with better sleep, but doesn’t help with joint pain. I’ve had bad sweating shoulders and head, a side effect , not regulating temp properly. I have put on weight. I’m stopping it as sweating is ridiculous.

  18. says: Erika Sexton

    I have been taking Amitriptyline 150 mg before bed since i was diagnosed back in 2004. I also suffer neuropathy, depression and anxiety but could not imagine going off it, its the only way I’m almost guaranteed 4 hours if sleep. I also suffer serotonin syndrome from taking so many sleeping pills.

  19. says: Laura Brookes

    I tried it for ages higher my dose as time went on then ended lowering it to come off due to not working anymore, was on a lot of codeine as well and went on to take cbd oil, diazapam and pragablin haven’t looked back. no opiates for me now cause then when I do need them later on in life I know they’ll work xx

  20. says: DEB

    DEB I have been on Amitriptyline since the 80;s after trying many drugs, air take10 mg at 9 pm and most nights sleep n8-9 hours. Not drowsy in am but still still and pain off and on.

  21. says: Kelly

    I take Amitriptyline at night to help with the pain so that I can get some sleep. The fibromyalgia kept me in a fitful sleep before I was prescribed it and I would hate to have to give it up unless there was something that could do a better job without making me so tired in the mornings. To me, that is the only drawback from the medicine, just the time it takes to shake the grogginess but I will take that compared to not being able to rest at night. I have been on other medicines that cause me to pass out so this one is staying as long as my doctor allows me to take it.

  22. says: Julia Throm

    I’ve used 10mg for fibromyalgia for 18 years. Slight dry mouth, only side effect. It does help with pain stiffness and sleep.

  23. says: Nancy Hitzroth

    I was prescribed 10mg of elevil as a starting point for sleep, frequent urination during the night, and also for pain. I was also prescibed a NSAID for pain and it also helps with sleep…..as needed to a maximum of one in the am and one in the pm. I should say my do tor was a rheumatologist. Later I was prescibed Cymbalta starting at 30mg. For 2 weeks and increase to 60 mg. there after. Elavil, and Naproxen dosages remai ed the sameu til we had to tweak a bit higher with the the Elavil dose to 25mg for urine inconteñcy. That was the magical combination of medication that has controlled my fibro for 5 years now. I began a medication program for fibro when I was in my late 40’s. I gained some weight but am slowly managing to take it off. I have to say that the pain that I experience is well controlled and although I don’t like being dependànt on meds for my condition it is much better to take them and have a good quality of life with fibro than not. I am about to turn 61 in August and am pretty sure that I fibro since àbout the age of ten, but there was not a name associated with my pain and migraine headaches to label me during those years. I just learned to live with it. I slept a lot, and struggled with memory issues very early on. If anyone knows what a fibro body can look like…mine started to make obvious changes around the age of 23. I also felt my best when I was pregnant. It is my belief that this syndrome can be hereditary….as I am very sure that my father had it. Going back to the question at hand, Elavil has helped my symptoms alot. I am not dealing with depression by the way, just fibro pain and several of the other symptoms that goes along with it.

  24. says: Kays

    I’m also On Amitriptyline 50mg @ night gain weight, which does not help with my Arthritis joint pain,fibromyalgia, low vitamin D, & slip disk, my only other solution CBD, still trying to control my pain management constantly , still coping despite living with pain

  25. says: Laurie

    I take fluoxitine for depression, 60mg and amitriptyline 10mg @ night for sleep and ativan 1mg for anxiety. I also have fibro, degenerative disc disease, TMJ, arthritis, IBS, tinnitus, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel, vertigo…… everyday is a silent battle.

    1. I have had vertigo with my fibromyalgia for years and they just keep sending me to doctors trying to figure out something they can do to help it. I feel lost and never going to win the battle. I push I try everything but still pain medications and cannabis are the best things I know that the cannabis doesn’t take the pain away but it does help deal with the pain if that makes any sense.

  26. says: Lisa Smith-Bitter

    I’ve been on 50mg of amitriptyline for about 9 years. I started with 10mg but my symptoms persisted. Using the dose to 25mg was still not working until I went to 50mg. I find that I am not getting the rest I need, anymore. My memory is brutal and my pain is managed by cannabis, the best. I have concern about the length of time I’ve been on it. I may try nortriptyline, instead. I’ll mention the other drugs and discuss further treatment with my doctor. I do have an inoperable meningioma and not sure of the symptoms that seems to coincide with fibromyalgia effects. It’s not an easy journey trying to manage the diagnosis of fibromyalgia and other ailments like IBS, arthritis and severe DDD in the neck. Keep on being your best advocate for better health and management.

  27. says: Val Hill

    I was diagnosed 25 years ago. Have tried most drugs through hospital consultant, nothing has helped with the awful pain and tender points. I am now on Amitriptyline and Dosulepin and over counter pain relief. Still suffering pain and stiffness, fatigue, blurred vision. Weight gain. All making exercise and walking so difficult and painful.

  28. says: Karin Trogdon

    I am on 25mg of amitriptyline to help me sleep. Been using it about 10 months. My dr put me on Savella for pain. I I took it for pain. It really helped but I was so hot I wasn’t able to go outside all summer. I live in the hot humid south so it was miserable. As soon as I stepped out the door the sweat poured off me. Me dr wanted me so stay on it until cooler weather. So I did until December 1st. The heat was turned on and that was unbearable. My husband takes blood thinners so he is always cold. I stopped Savella and went back to CBD oil. Neither are perfect but the pain is less with CBD and I sleep a few hours with Amitriptyline.
    I wake up groggy and stiff and it takes several hours to wake up so I don’t want to take more but sure would love more sleep. And I hate taking drugs. So I still need a sleep remedy.

  29. Taking elavil for my fibromyalgia which I’ve had for over 30 years gave me the worst nightmares I’ve ever had in my life. The doctors told me to try to get through it for a few weeks but I had a nightmare that my son died and it was so real that I couldn’t get over it for days. I stopped taking the medication because I never even dreamed anymore I never even dreamed now but when I take that medication I have nightmares scary. It also made me not feel well a lot nauseous and dizzy

  30. says: Nerissa Khan

    I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1991and was put on 10mg of amitriptyline.It has worked great for me.My old Dr retired and the new young DR changed me to nothing.My symptons started I could not sleep so he started me on other pills and nothing worked.Now I am back on 10mg of amitriptyline and I get a full eight hours of sleep I do not get up for the bathroom and I do not sleep during the day.I am now 74 yrs old and recently had a stent put in because one artery was 100 per cent blocked.I get vertigo every now and then and it is bad when I do get it.My fibro is there and I feel pain but I seem to know when to relax and let things go.

  31. says: Joyce Power

    I used to use amitriptyline quite a few years ago. I found that the drug gave me anxiety attacks. If I was riding in a vehicle, especially the front seat, I felt out of control. I felt that the person driving was not going to stop or slow down for turns, stop signs, etc. It was not good. I was fine if I was driving the car. I know it sounds really weird. I was on the drug for a number of years until two of my male doctors retired. I got a female doctor who got me off the drug right away. I am so glad that this doctor got me off this drug. It was not good for me. It may work for others, but then, everybody is different.

  32. says: Merle Cazier

    I am on amitriptyline, 50 mg at bed time. The only thing it really helps with is keeping me asleep thru the pain. This is the second time I’ve been on it. The first time I took it was twice a day but taking it in the daytime just had me falling asleep standing up at the cash register while ringing out customers. (I worked retail) I still wake up stiff and achy every morning and it is hard to get the sleepiness out of me. I also take tegretol twice a day and tizanidine and fluoxetine along with 2 BP meds, and a thyroid med. I WAS on Lyrica for 3 yrs with no side effects, until Jan of 2019 when the new insurance company where my hubby works decided I couldn’t be on it til I went back and tried all these other things. Since I have been off Lyrica the burning skin has returned and nothing seems to help. I also have trigeminal neuralgia and the tegretol and amitriptyline are supposed to help with those, but they don’t. I just wish I could get my Lyrica back. Insurance companies should not be able to dictate what meds you take when you are on something that long and it is WORKING.

  33. says: Olwyn

    I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 25 years ago and was put on Amitriptyline first, but it had no effect on me at all. It didn’t aid sleep or help with pain. My GP tried several other medications and the only thing that helped was Tramadol slow-release capsules. I’m on quite a high dose but it still only helps the pain be more manageable rather than take the pain away.

  34. says: Kathy

    I take amitriptyline for fibromyalgia on and off. I’ve had Fibro and chronic fatigue for about 25 years now. It took many years, medical tests, trying different meds, and lots of money to try and find relief. I’m almost 56 and still work full time. I take amitriptyline in a very low dose. Only 12.5mg. I find if I take more, I’m too groggy the next day. I take it in the evenings around 7 pm. Being my worst symptom of Fibro and chronic fatigue is insomnia, the amitriptyline does help with sleep. I suffered insomnia pretty much my entire adult life so having an option to take ami is a huge relief! I tried almost every bed out there and either I cannot handle the side affects, or I have an allergic reaction to it. I find that I take ami for a few months, low dose, then it slowly stops working. I refuse to up the dose because if the grogginess side affects (I’d have to quit my job), or the huge amount of weight gain. So I will take it on and off and in between times, I take other things. For instance, benedryl. I mainly need sleep help. Sleeping test shows nothing. I also got medically approved for cannabis. Honestly, that works better then anything. But it’s expensive. I use it to bake with being I’m not a smoker. I only need a little brownie at night and I sleep sooo much better! Plus, it helps with the pain. Ami seemed to help with the pain at first, but again, that wares off and the pain comes back. Except use does help but it’s a fine line of doing too much and you land yourself in bed for a week! But cannabis is my #1 choice but I do still take the ami when I really need some solid sleep. I just have to watch the brain fog because of my job. I have to publicly speak. Plus, I travel sometimes and it’s easier to take ami with you then cannabis. But I keep fighting it everyday and try to stay as positive as I can.

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