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Drug Info > E > Elavil
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DIN (Drug Identification Number)


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Brand Name

Elavil

Common Name
amitriptyline


In this drug factsheet:



DIN (Drug Identification Number)

00335053 ELAVIL TAB 10MG
00335061 ELAVIL TAB 25MG
00335088 ELAVIL TAB 50MG
00754129 ELAVIL TAB 75MG

How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Amitriptyline belongs to a family of medications known as tricyclic antidepressants. It is used to treat depression. It works in the central nervous system (CNS) to elevate the mood of people with depression. It is believed to work by keeping the balance of natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the body, namely serotonin and norepinephrine. It may start to work within 3 to 4 days, but it may take up to 30 days to see the full effects.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

How should I use this medication?

The usual starting dose of amitriptyline for depression in adults is 25 mg 3 times a day. The dose of amitriptyline is usually started low and increased slowly as prescribed by the doctor until the medication is at a dose that is appropriate and effective. After symptoms improve, the dose may be reduced to the lowest amount that will relieve symptoms. The usual maintenance dose of amitriptyline for adults ranges from 50 mg to 100 mg per day in divided doses. For some people, the daily dose can be given as a single dose, preferably at bedtime.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.





What form(s) does this medication come in?

10 mg
Each round, blue, biconvex, film-coated tablet, engraved "10" on one side, contains amitriptyline HCl 10 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, colloidal silicon dioxide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide, carnauba wax, and Brilliant Blue FCF AL Lake 12%.

25 mg
Each round, yellow, biconvex, film-coated tablet, engraved "25" on one side, contains amitriptyline HCl 25 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, colloidal silicon dioxide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide, carnauba wax, and D&C Yellow No. 10 AL 14%-18%.

50 mg
Each round, brown, biconvex, film-coated tablet, engraved "50" on one side, contains amitriptyline HCl 50 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, colloidal silicon dioxide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide, carnauba wax, Sunset Yellow AL Lake 40%, and Indigotine AL Lake 12%-14% (Blue No. 2).

75 mg
Each round, orange, biconvex, film-coated tablet, engraved "75" on one side, contains amitriptyline HCl 75 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, colloidal silicon dioxide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide, carnauba wax, and Sunset Yellow AL Lake 40%.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Amitriptyline should not be taken by anyone who:

  • is allergic to amitriptyline or to any of the ingredients of the medication
  • is taking an MAO inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine) or has taken one in the past 14 days
  • has a history of an allergic reaction to any of the antidepressants from the tricyclic antidepressant family (e.g., nortriptyline, desipramine, imipramine)
  • has acute congestive heart failure
  • has recently had a heart attack


 

Depression Symptom Checker Tool

The Depression Symptom Checker tool can help you learn about depression. Use this tool to create a list of your symptoms and rate how much the symptoms impact your life on a daily basis. The checklist is divided into 6 symptom categories that are associated with depression. You can also learn more about symptoms of depression here.

For each statement choose a number from 0 to 4 that describes the impact on your daily life, where 4 has the highest impact and 0 has no impact:

  • 0 = no impact on daily life/no symptoms
  • 1 = mild impact on daily life
  • 2 = moderate impact on daily life
  • 3 = severe impact on daily life
  • 4 = debilitating impact on daily life

It is important to remember that this is not a “score” but a way to help you communicate how much you feel the symptom impacts your daily life. When you finish you will be able to print out your symptoms and share this information with your doctor. Use the Doctor Discussion Guide to prepare for your doctor’s visit.

Rate how much the following symptoms apply to you.

1. Emotions

Depression can affect anyone at any age, although it most commonly appears between 15 and 45 years of age.

0 1 2 3 4
0 1 2 3 4
0 1 2 3 4
0 1 2 3 4

Visit your doctor with these results, when booking your appointment inform your doctor that you may need extra time to discuss these matters. Getting help for your depression can change your life. Don’t wait- depression is an illness that can, and should be treated.

Thoughts about death or suicide are common in depression, and it’s important to take such thoughts seriously. If you feel like giving up or as if you might hurt yourself, get help immediately: call your doctor, go to the emergency room or call 911.

This tool is adapted with permission from similar content found on www.depressionhurts.ca.

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