What is Amitriptyline?
Amitriptyline has historically been used to treat conditions such as depression and anxiety, promoting an increase in mood and a relief from associated symptoms. Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that has also been found to be beneficial in the treatment of neuropathic pain in conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic or tension migraines, spinal problems and arthritis. The latest research in using low dose Amitriptyline to treat pain has produced positive results and has led to this medication fast becoming one of the most widely used treatments for this condition. Amitriptyline is also sold under the brand name Elavil.
How Amitriptyline Works
Amitriptyline works by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin within the brain, this transmitter is known to play a key role in the regulation of mood and can also reduce pain messages received within the brain. Chronic pain is thought to have a different mechanism of action to other forms of pain specifically within the peripheral and central nervous systems (brain and spinal cord). Nerves can become oversensitive causing magnified pain messages to reach and be interpreted by the brain. Amitriptyline can resolve this issue by increasing the amount of serotonin within the brain that can subsequently decrease the pain messages being received. As Amitriptyline inhibits these messages being interpreted to the same degree the patient will feel reduced pain.
Additional Benefits of Amitriptyline
Sufferers of chronic pain are also more likely to suffer from low mood and disturbed sleep patterns, both issues that Amitriptyline can address. As a proven mood regulator due to its use in treating depression, Amitriptyline can boost a patients mood helping them to deal with any co-morbid conditions. Amitriptyline also contains sleep inducing properties and can be prescribed to treat insomnia, this can be particularly helpful for those suffering chronic pain that subsequently interferes with their ability to sleep
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The effects of pre-emptive treatment ofpostherpetic neuralgia with amitriptyline: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
Amitriptyline versus placebo in postherpetic neuralgia
Amitriptyline relieves diabetic neuropathy pain in patients with normal or depressed mood
PLASMA CONCENTRATION OF AMITRIPTYLINE AND CLINICAL RESPONSE
A randomized, controlled trial of amitriptyline and naproxen in the treatment of patients with fibromyalgia
Amitriptyline – Johns Hopkins Medicine