Elavil is an antidepressant medication available only by prescription. Elavil is the trade-name for the generic drug Amitriptyline hydrochloride.
Elavil is a member of the tricyclic antidepressant category. It is used primarily to treat the symptoms of depression. Elavil may also be used to treat a range of other medical conditions including chronic pain, migraine headaches (prevention of), the eating disorder Bulimia, and syndromes related to multiple sclerosis.
Elavil can prove very effective when taken as prescribed under the care of a medical professional. However, Elavil use does present some danger to certain individuals who take other medications for depression and a number of conditions unrelated to depression or mood disorders. As Elavil can affect heart function and heartbeat, use by people with a history of or predisposition for heart dysfunction may not be safe. For these reasons, it is very important that candidates for Elavil prescription give detailed information to their treating physician and include all other medications (prescription and non-prescription) they are taking and a complete medical history.
Elavil is a drug that needs to be gradually built-up in the system to become effective. Early on, it is not uncommon for patients to feel like the drug is not working, but this is often only because the drug has not been taken long enough and there is not enough medication in the system. Sometimes patients are tempted to stop taking the medication because they feel it is not working, but Elavil should not be stopped except under the close supervision of the treating physician.
Like all drugs, Elavil is subject to some serious side effects and does carry the possibility of allergic reaction. Also, side effects may be severe if Elavil dosing is stopped abruptly; further, abruptly stopping Elavil may result in a relapse of the conditions it was prescribed for. Any changes in symptoms, any new symptoms (which may or may not be obviously related to your condition and this drug), or any increase in symptoms must be reported to the treating physician so that the doctor can make a determination about the safety and continued dosing of Elavil.
It should also be noted that Elavil can be very harmful—even fatal—if an overdose is taken. Effects of Elavil overdose can range from confusion and changes in body temperature and heart rate to confusion and loss of consciousness. Patients must be vigilant about proper use and dosing of Elavil, and seek medical attention right away if overdose is suspected.
Learn more about the drug Elavil, its side effects, uses, dosing, and storage.
Elavil should be stored in an airtight container, out of the reach of children at room temperature and away from light and heat.
Elavil is a prescription antidepressant drug; it is a member of the family of tricyclic antidepressants.
Medical Uses of Elavil
Elavil is used to relieve symptoms associated with depression to improve mood. Elavil may also be used to treat a range of other medical conditions which it may or may not be expressly labeled for including:
• Bulimia (eating disorder)
• Chronic pain
• Migraine headache (for prevention of)
• Syndrome related to multiple sclerosis (wherein patients pathologically weep and/or laugh uncontrollably)
Prescription & Dosing of Elavil
Elavil can only be obtained by prescription. Antidepressants such as Elavil may increase the tendency towards suicidal thinking, particularly in young people (under 24), so it is imperative that users, caregivers, and people close to the patient pay attention to changes in mood and report thoughts of suicide to the treating physician. At this time, Elavil is not approved for treating patients under the age of 12. Elavil may exacerbate some medical conditions such as heart disease, so it is equally important that these be discussed with the doctor.
Generally, Elavil takes some time to build up in the system and reach optimal effectiveness. Some patients feel the drug is ineffective early on, however, it is important to continue to follow the doctor's dosing schedule and not miss doses in order to give the drug enough time to work.
Normal dosages of Elavil are as follows for adults:
• 75 mg/day taken in 2+ small daily doses, gradually increasing to 150 mg/day, or
• 50-100 mg/day taken once daily at bedtime, increasing in 25-50 mg increments up to 150 mg/day
Long term, Elavil is normally taken in a range of 40-100 mg once daily; this dosage is usually taken at bedtime. In most cases, total Elavil daily dosages will not exceed 200 mg.
For children (over 12), the usual dosage is 10 mg 3 times per day, 20 mg before bedtime.
Elavil treatment should not be stopped abruptly—a gradual weaning period is required to avoid harsh side effects, withdrawals, and a relapse in condition.
An overdose of Elavil could be fatal. If overdose is suspected, immediate medical attention is needed. Signs of an Elavil overdose may include
• Low blood pressure
• Eye dilation/difficulty
• Heart problems
• Drop in body temperature
• Unconsciousness or unresponsiveness
Elavil Side Effects
Elavil carries a risk for allergy and side affects, as do all drugs. Some may be potentially harmful, so any change in symptoms and conditions should be reported to the treating physician.
Side effects of Elavil can include:
• Fast heartbeat and heart attack
• Constipation/bowel difficulties
• Dry mouth
• Feelings of sedation and confusion
• Blurry vision
• Urinary difficulties
• Increased body temperature
• Swelling of genitals including breasts (men and women) and testicles
Potential for Drug Interaction
Elavil can react with a number of drugs and some foods; it is important that patients communicate openly with their treating physician so that interactions can be avoided. Furthermore, patients should know that other medications they may already be taking could contain antidepressants and if improperly coordinated with Elavil there is a potential for overdose of antidepressant drugs.
Additional Elavil Drug Resources
Elavil information from Drugs.com, includes Elavil side effects, interactions and indications.
Elavil (Amitriptyline) drug description
Elavil (Amitriptyline) drug indications and dosage
Amitriptyline - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
MedlinePlus Drug Information: Amitriptyline
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