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Amitriptyline HCL


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So the VA presribed me this stuff Amitriptyline HCL today for my clusters.  I looked the side effects up online.  I was horrified of all the potential side effects.  I drew the line at "Breast Swelling in Men or Women"...  OK, NOT cool on a guy...

Anybody have any experience with this stuff?  It seems to be primarily an anti depressant.  ok, continuing to read. It might be safe.


Says the normal oral dose is 25 to 100 mg per day.  My script is for 10mg (and is exactly what the above website says for migraines)

Doc said I could take half a pill to start if I wanted.  Think I'll do that.  Any input would be much appreciated.



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I took it years ago and never noticed any side effects except it made me sleepy.  If it doesn't do anything for you ask to switch to Nortripyline(?sp)  it seemed to work better than the Amitriptyline for me.  Even the Nortriptaline didn't help much after a few months.  It has been years since I have taken it but I remember that amitrip didn't help at all and the Nortrip only helped for a little while.

Hope you find some relief.


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Jeff, there are a lot of posts about amitriptyline/elavil over at ch.com, and a pretty amazing range of experiences, from "didn't do squat" to "knocked out my CH for three years."  Here's a thread from 2008 that has the whole range (including a post from our own Mystina): http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1225150917

Also, dosages varied very widely, and it often was prescribed along with something else, seemingly most often verap (and from my scan it seems to have been in combo with verap that it worked best). 

Seems like "made me a zombie" is also a fairly common complaint.   The overall sense that I got is that the more "standard" meds have been found to work better, with less drastic side effects.

I'm pretty good at googling, and so I also did an internet search looking for any tests of amitrip for CH, or medical recommendations of it for CH, and didn't see anything.  Didn't push it to the limits in terms of searching, but went pretty far.  Migraine and tension headache, yes.

Maybe there's enough good stuff over there at ch.com to suggest it's worth trying. Seems the effective dose is higher than 10 mg, though.  Many strong recommendations to take it at night to reduce the side effects.

Hope it gives you some good results.


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My doc got me to try elavil during my last cycle. I took half a pill(can,t remember how many mg). It made me feel so awful I would not take another dose. For about 28 hours I could not keep a thought together long enough to complete a sentence.

I have on many occasion said I would do anything to avoid a cluster. I will never take elavil again. To me it was pure poisin. I dosed about 10 days later ( when my cycle had moderated to the point where I was relatively confident I wouldn't get hit) and it was not a good experience. Very dark and gloomy. I had never experienced that before. Elavil might have had an effect or maybe because it had been the worst cycle I've ever had(largely due to sleep deprivation )

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Thanks for the input everyone.  I would say you have no idea how much I appreciate it, but somehow I think you do know. :)

I took just over half a pill last night and it really helped (along with an evening yoga class).  Only two night hits and got about 5 hours sleep!  Woke up feeling pretty good this morning.  I'm going to take another half tonight and see how things are.  Maybe I can stop there?

Ricardo,  Your knowledge never ceases to amaze me.  I'll definitely be VERY careful when starting my busting doses.

I'll post results again tomorrow. 

PFW my friends,


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