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Depression Medicine: Special Warnings about Elavil (amitriptyline)

Special concerns with depression medicines such as Elavil (amitriptyline):

As with most depression medicines, you should not stop taking elavil Front Image - AMITRIPTYLINE HYDROCHLORIDE(amitriptyline) abruptly, especially if you have been taking large doses for a long time. Your doctor probably will want to decrease your dosage gradually. This will help prevent possible relapse and will reduce the possibility of withdrawal symptoms from this depression medicine.

Some other concerns when taking this depression medicine include that it may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Try to stay out of the sun, wear protective clothing, and apply a sunblock. Also, elavil (amitryptyline) may cause you to become drowsy or less alert; therefore, you should not drive or operate dangerous machinery or participate in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know how this drug effects you. While taking this depression medication, you may feel dizzy or lightheaded or actually faint when getting up from a lying or sitting position. If getting up slowly doesn’t help or if this problem continues, notify your doctor.

Use Elavil with caution if you have ever had seizures, urinary retention, glaucoma or other chronic eye conditions, a heart or circulatory system disorder, or liver problems. Be conscious, too, if you are receiving thyroid medication. You should discuss all of your medical problems with your doctor before starting any depression medicine.

 

Before having surgery, dental treatment, or any diagnostic procedure, tell the doctor that you are taking Elavil. Certain drugs used during surgery such as anesthetics and muscle relaxants, and drugs used in certain diagnostic procedures may react badly with Elavil.

Possible food and drug interactions while taking this depression medicine:

Elavil may intensify the effects of alcohol. Do not drink alcohol when taking this depression medicine. If Elavil is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important that you consult with your doctor before taking Elavil in combination with the following:

  • Airway-opening drugs such as Sudafed and Proventil
  • Antidepressants that raise serotonin levels
  • Other antidepressants, such as amoxapine
  • Antihistamines such as Benadryl and Tavist
  • Barbiturates such as Phenobarbital
  • Certain blood-pressure medicines such as Catapres
  • Cimetadine (Tagamet)
  • Disulfirum (Antabuse)
  • Drugs that control spasms, such as Bentyl and Donnatal
  • Estrogen drugs such as Premarin and oral contraceptives
  • Ethchlorvynol (Placidyl)
  • Major tranquilizers such as Mellaril and Thorazine
  • MAO inhibitors, such as Nardil and Parnate
  • Medications for irregular heartbeat, such as Tambocor and Rythmol
  • Painkillers such as Demerol and Percocet
  • Parkinsonism drugs such as Cogentin and Laradopa
  • Quinidine (Quinidex)
  • Seizure medications such as Tegretol and Dilantin
  • Sleep medicines such as Halcion and Dalmane
  • Thyroid hormones (Synthroid)
  • Tranquilizers such as Librium and Xanax
  • Warfarin (Coumadin)

Special information on this depression medicine if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding:

The effects of Elavil during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. This depression medicine appears in breast milk. If Elavil is essential to your health, your doctor may invite you to discontinue breast-feeding until your treatment is finished.

Back Image - AMITRIPTYLINE HYDROCHLORIDE

Information provided by The PDR Pocket Guide to Prescription Drugs - Sixth Edition

Information and webpage by Paul Susic  MA Licensed Psychologist   Ph.D. Candidate  (Health and Geriatric Psychologist

Additional pictures of Elavil dosages

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Mental Health Diagnosis - DSM-IV Diagnosis and Codes: In Alphabetical Order and Psychiatric Medications

Celexa 

Effexor

 Elavil

Lexapro

Luvox

Paxil

Pristiq

Prozac

Remeron  

Trazodone

Wellbutrin 

Zoloft 


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