Trigeminal Neuralgia

From 40mg Down To 20mg: The Amitriptyline Withdrawal

On my last blog post, I announced I wanted to drop some of my medication and I have now been on a lower dose of amitriptyline for a couple of weeks. It’s been a hard slog and I’m not sure if I’m quite feeling the ‘good’ effects of the lower dose yet.

On a Sunday evening, instead of taking my normal 40mg dose of the medication, I took 20mg. I took my normal dose of pregabalin and then waited to fall asleep.. and the sleep never came! I honestly could not shut down. I had this problem when I came off my medication last time – my body did not know how to drift off to sleep without relying on the drowsiness that comes from the amitriptyline. There is a reason amitriptyline is a bedtime medication. I crawled into work the next day feeling exhausted after the most fitful nights sleep possible. I was awake on and off every hour, I had horrible nightmares, I was hot, I was cold, I was not for settling.

The other important side effects of the withdrawal that I was on the receiving end of was a really sore stomach and nausea, the headache from hell (possibly down to the lack of sleep as well) and severe cravings for my medication. However, these were no where near as awful as when I stopped all my medication cold turkey. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I can now fall asleep a lot easier and the nausea only lasted around a week.

I think people probably underestimate how difficult it is to come off medication. When I don’t have a Zapain for a few days, I miss the feeling – codeine is very addictive – and when I needed sleep very, very badly, I could have taken some amitriptyline very easily. Just knowing that ‘it will get better’ is not enough.

By now, I’d hoped I could be bounding with energy and would have dropped half a stone (oh, I wish!), but I know I’m being completely unrealistic. In reality, I’m still the same weight and I feel slightly more awake. I know when I drop the last half of my amitriptyline, I’ll feel better. I’ve not decided when I’ll be doing this, but I’m booked in to see my GP in a few days, to break the news that I stopped taking some of my tablets and that I plan on stopping even more!

How are you all feeling today? ♡

2 thoughts on “From 40mg Down To 20mg: The Amitriptyline Withdrawal

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