Subject: Downside of Amitriptyline--and Doxepin, too
From: hcikfs.ix.netcom.com (Alice Claire Mansfield )
Date: 11 Aug 1995 00:39:10 GMT
> It is an accepted practice for AMITRIPTYLINE to be used for chronic pain. There has been amazing results.
Yes, and amazing adverse effects after long-term use. One morning I went to work and had no idea what my computer was, how it worked, what it was for, etc. My boss came out to give me a long, hand-written document to type -- and it looked like Greek to me. I couldn't understand a word of it. It was a dreadful experience. I called my doctor and he told me not to take any more Amitriptyline because it obviously had reached a level in my body that was too high and my central nervous system was acting up because of that.
We went from there to Doxepin, another tricyclic. After a couple years, I began to notice now and then short-term memory loss, slurred speech, problems with motor coordination -- which I chalked up to fatigue and stress. Then one morning when I went to get out of bed, I couldn't move my left side. I was paralyzed. What a nightmare! I kept struggling to get my body off my bed, but it just would not cooperate. So I lay there a while and relaxed -- and took deep breaths -- and prayed -- and eventually I was able to get out of bed. I was so discombobulated that it took me three hours to get ready for work (luckily I get up early!) and I wasn't quite connected all day long. Again, my doctor told me to stop the Doxepin.
Yes, both meds helped me greatly with my chronic pain, but I've sworn off tricyclics. I'm trying to find other ways to cope -- not that I didn't already have some because the pain was never completely gone -- but now that I don't have a drug to fall back on, by my own choice, I need to be more creative and clever in my coping skills.
Not everyone necessarily has these problems with tricyclics, but I thought I'd mention it for what it's worth.