Nerve pain is a result of several health issues a person could have. For example, fibromyalgia often leaves a person riddled with nerve pain.
The problem with nerve pain is that there is not saying when this is going to strike, nor can you say how long it will last.
For some, they may find that as the day wears on, they have more nerve pain. By the time that bedtime rolls around, they may be in a huge amount of pain.
For this reason, doctors often recommend a medication to help with this nerve pain.
Managing Nerve Pain
Nerve pain management is only going to succeed once the person devotes their time to this. Those with nerve pain need to realize that what works for one person may not help you at all.
In addition, it may take a few different treatment options to find something that downgrades the pain enough that you feel can live a normal life.
Plus, these pain options need to allow you to stay alert and able to live your life. Pain options that dull a person to the point they do nothing but sleep is robbing them of their life along with killing the pain.
Nerve pain is called neuropathic pain. The nerve is overactive which is causing the pain. Thus, taking an over the counter pain relief medication like Tylenol will have no effect whatsoever on the pain level.
Therefore, the medications that are prescribed for treatment are going to basically calm these exited nerves so they are not sending a message of pain to the brain.
One of the most common drugs given to those with nerve pain is amitriptyline. This drug was first introduced to the market as an antidepressant.
However, as studies have been conducted about nerve pain, they find that those drugs for depression or anxiety are super helpful to those with nerve pain.
In fact, amitriptyline is so helpful to nerve pain, it is more commonly given for this reason than for depression.
It should be noted that those who utilize this medication are often told they need to perform some lifestyle changes as well.
This can help with the drug being successful in treating the pain. These lifestyle changes include:
- Getting more exercise to help build up the body
- Utilizing breathing exercises and meditation to help with the pain
- Avoiding certain foods as this can trigger nerve pain to become unbearable
Overall, patients are asked to pay attention to their bodies. Do you find something works better if you do certain exercises? Do you notice that nerve pain flares up after a certain type of daily activity?
Therefore, it is important for all those who suffer from nerve pain to really look at their lives and what they are doing. These little things could be the main reason so much pain is felt!
Amitriptyline Side Effects
The side effects of amitriptyline are numerous. However, since this drug has been shown to be successful for those who suffer from nerve pain, often these side effects are overlooked since the use of the drug outweighs these side effects. For your personal reference, though, side effects include:
- Pain in the stomach
- Appetite loss
- Bladder control issues
- Losing consciousness
- Pain in the side and back
- Muscle spasms
- Severe depressions or anxiety
- Blood in urine or stool
- Blurred vision
- A feeling of pins and needles in the body
- Muscle tightness
- Speech changes
- Chest pain
- Cold sweats
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increase in vivid nightmares
- Overactive reflexes
- Pain when urinating
- Dry mouth
Remember that these side effects are not going to happen to everyone. And some of these side effects are less severe than having the nerve pain.
In almost all cases, doctors encourage patients who take this medication to drink plenty of water, as this can offset many of the side effects that are seen.
Getting Relief from the Pain
When most people have nerve pain, they want immediate relief from the pain they are feeling. After all, this pain is often interfering with the way they live their daily life.
However, be aware that amitriptyline is not a medication that is going to offer immediate results.
For most people, they do not start to feel the results of taking this until they have been doing so for two to four weeks.
However, there have been reports in the United Kingdom that this drug takes around six to eight weeks for patients to see improvements.
Another issue that people need to be aware of, there have been several reports of those who have taken this medication and have side effects including being unable to stay awake for long periods of time, depression and the like for the first few weeks of taking this. Why is this? Your body is adjusting to this medication.
When this happens, many people simply give up. However, for those who can tough out these side effects until the body becomes adjusted to the medication will find that their nerve pain can easily be managed.
For those who do end up taking this for their nerve pain, try taking the medication a few hours before bedtime.
As drowsiness is one of the most common side effects at first, this can help offset just how much this side effects if affecting your everyday life.
For those who do suffer from nerve pain, they do not have to do this alone. There are several methods on the market meant to help the average person to deal with the pain that they are feeling. And with the use of this medication, living with the nerve pain becomes easier.
If you do suffer from nerve pain, talking to your doctor about your options is the only choice, as amitriptyline is given to patients by prescription only.
Why is amitriptyline used for pain?
Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that is primarily used to treat depression, but it works on the brain in a way that also makes it effective in treating nerve pain.
Used for several years now to provide pain relief, amitriptyline has been proven effective primarily in treating stabbing, shooting, and burning pain sensations.
This is because the drug boosts the number of nerve transmitters in the nervous system.
By maximizing the numbers of nerve transmitters, pain messages to the brain are reduced, providing relief to the patient.
Amitriptyline is especially effective in relieving nerve pain that keeps the individual up at night, reports British Pain Society, and can be used to help patients relax and get a better quality of sleep. For this reason, patients are usually advised to take their dosages in the evenings.
Amitriptyline should be taken an hour prior to their bedtime, but that schedule can be adjusted.
If the patient feels tired or especially drowsy in the morning, the individual should take his or her dose earlier in the evening.
While amitriptyline can be used as a long-term pain remedy, dosages should be reduced over time.
The patient’s doctor or pain specialist should work to get the individual on the lowest possible dosage, while still managing the pain effectively.
How Long Does Amitriptyline Take to Work for Nerve Pain?
It’s difficult to estimate with certainty how long it will take before any patient begins experiencing relief from pain.
This is because each individual’s sensitivity to the drug is unique, so while it may work more quickly on one individual, another patient may have to wait longer.
However, in most cases, patients will begin feeling the effects of the drug within two weeks. By two months, the patient should be feeling the full benefits of taking amitriptyline.
If the patient isn’t experiencing the expected results, his or her doctor or pain management specialist may have to adjust the dosage.
By increasing the dose, the patient can experience the maximum benefits that the drug has to offer.
While amitriptyline won’t work for every patient, individuals should be advised to continue the medication until he or she can consult their doctor.
If an increase in dosage doesn’t enhance the effectiveness of the drug, the physician may offer other alternatives.
In any case, it’s important that patients not discontinue or alter their dosages without first speaking with their caregiver.
To learn more about the warnings, indications, and side effects of amitriptyline, please check out this short video:
What Does Amitriptyline Do for Nerve Pain?
Like many tricyclic antidepressants, amitriptyline boosts the brain chemicals that regulate mood. For reasons that still remain unknown, it also regulates pain signals.
The size of the dose determines what effect amitriptyline will have on the brain.
Where larger doses affect mood and depression, lower doses are more effective in controlling pain, according to WebMD.
In most cases, amitriptyline is only used in cases where the patient experiences chronic pain. It may prove more effective where the chronic pain is also accompanied by depression.
The type of chronic pain can also impact the effectiveness of the treatment. For instance, amitriptyline is often more effective in treating nerve pain specific to shingles, diabetic neuropathy, or other similar conditions.
Very often, both depression and chronic pain can affect the individual’s ability to sleep.
This can leave the patient feeling drowsy and overly tired, yet still unable to sleep. In these instances, amitriptyline can provide relief to the patient in three ways.
While it relieves nerve pain and boosts mood in the treatment of depression, it also has the added advantage of making the individual feel drowsy. In this way, taking the drug will help the patient get a better quality of sleep.
Amitriptyline for Nerve Pain Dosage
For the initial dose, the patient should divide 75 mg and take it orally throughout the day. A maintenance dose of 40 to 100 mg is suggested for follow-up treatments, but patients are cautioned against exceeding 150 mg per day.
Alternatively, the patient may take a single dose of 50 to 100 milligrams just before bed. That dose can be increased by 25 or 50 mg increments, as advised by the patient’s doctor, but still not exceeding the 150 mg dose recommendation.
Because the drug does act as a sedative, patients are advised against taking the drug early in the day, or at times when they’re more active.
Additionally, drugs.com recommends continuing treatment for a minimum of three months to lessen the likelihood of a relapse. If the nerve pain still presents a problem, the amitriptyline treatments may be resumed.
How Long Does It Take to Lose Weight When Stopping Amitriptyline?
The answer here also depends on the individual, because it has to do with metabolism and the patient’s physical fitness routine.
Generally, Live Strong recommends lifting weights a minimum of three times per week to boost metabolism, build up lean muscle, and to encourage faster weight loss.
Weight lifting and other exercises should be utilized to work out different muscle groups, so the results will be maximized.
Additionally, begin a calorie diary to keep track of your consumption. In the beginning, eat normally, but keep track of the calorie content for each item.
After that first week, sum up your calories and divide by seven to get your average per day calorie intake.
Next, reduce your calories count by 500 to 750. This will help you lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. This may also be the time to make more permanent changes to your diet.
Reduce your intake of salts and harmful fats, eliminate processed meats, and pursue a primarily plant-based diet to live healthier and drop more weight.
Instead of processed meats, you can indulge in poultry, fish, and lean steak.
Additionally, switch to whole grain foods and replace pasta and potatoes with rice.
Finally, foods high in sugar and trans fats should also be eliminated from your diet. Cookies, cakes, and unhealthy fried foods should be avoided.
By making these changes in your lifestyle, you can drop the weight you gained while taking amitriptyline and return to your previous state of health, or you can use the opportunity to live an even better lifestyle.
How Long Does Amitriptyline Withdrawal Last?
There are several factors that will influence the severity and length of withdrawal for the patient.
First, Mental Health Daily reports that the duration of treatment can affect how withdrawal is experienced.
Those who have not taken amitriptyline for extended periods of time may experience fewer adverse reactions to quitting the drug.
Patients who have taken amitriptyline for longer will have developed a tolerance to the drug.
As the brain becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug, an addiction may be formed, making it more difficult to cope with the absence of the drug.
Additionally, the size of the dosage has a bearing on how well the patient can recover from withdrawal.
A smaller dosage means the addiction will be less severe and the patient will have fewer problems recovering from withdrawal.
However, patients taking larger doses will have developed a greater dependence on the drug.
For these reasons, patients are advised against quitting their amitriptyline treatments on their own.
Quitting “cold turkey” can shock the individual’s nervous system and cause physical complications.
Instead, the patient and doctor should work on a schedule for weaning the individual off of amitriptyline gradually.
This will help the patient quit the drug while reducing harmful withdrawal symptoms.