Who is amitriptyline for and who needs to take extra care?
Who is amitriptyline for?
Amitriptyline is for adults with depression. It is also used to treat bed-wetting.
People who should take extra care with amitriptyline
Make sure you tell your doctor if you have, or have had in the past, any of the following (you might need to take extra precautions, or another medicine might be more suitable):
- suicidal thoughts
- a heart condition
- prostate enlargement
- liver problems
- bipolar disorder.
Get advice, either directly from your doctor or from a specialist information line, about taking antidepressants if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or thinking about becoming pregnant. See Antidepressants, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Older people should be particularly careful about taking a TCA because they increase the risk of falls, and older people may be particularly sensitive to other side effects such as confusion, dizziness on standing, dry mouth and blurred vision. If a TCA is used, nortriptyline is often chosen because it is less likely to cause side effects. A lower starting dose may also be appropriate.
Find out more about
- What amitriptyline does and how effective it is
- Side effects of amitriptyline
- Interactions with amitriptyline
- Brands of amitriptyline
If you are starting amitriptyline, see 10 things you should know about antidepressants.
For more information
- Starting, switching and stopping antidepressants
- Managing side effects of antidepressants
- Psychological therapies
The consumer medicine information (CMI) for your brand of amitriptyline is available from our website or a pharmacist. The CMI includes:
- how to take this medicine
- what to do if you forget to take it
- if you take too much (overdose)
- things you must and must not do while taking this medicine
- signs of severe reactions and what to do.
- Rossi S, ed. eAMH [online]. Adelaide: Australian Medicines Handbook, 2012. www.amh.net.au. (Accessed 9 February 2012).
- Psychotropic Expert Group. Therapeutic Guidelines: Psychotropic, Version 6. In: eTG complete [CD-ROM]. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited; 2008.
- Alphapharm Pty Ltd. Endep consumer medicine information. 7 May 2008. (Accessed 22 March 2012).