Experts differ regarding the maximum dosage of amitriptyline for nerve pain, but it is between 50 and 150 mg. You should work with your doctor to determine the best dosage for you. (For treating depression, the range is between 150 and 200 mg.)
Elderly people and adolescents may react strongly to amitriptyline, and may therefore need smaller doses. In fact, amitriptyline is often avoided in people over 60. This is due to difficulties metabolizing the drug, and the potential for a serious reaction in people with arrhythmia, which is more common after the age of 60.
Taking Amitriptyline Tablets Properly
Amitriptyline comes in tablet form. The dosing is at night, however, sometimes tablets are prescribed more frequently for pain. Ideally, doses should be timed with bedtime to take advantage of the sedating side effect. The tablets should be taken whole, with water. You may take amitriptyline with or without food. (It is also available as an injection, but this route of administration is rarely used, usually in a hospital setting.)
Minimize Drowsiness Caused by Amitriptyline
One of the side effects of amitriptyline is drowsiness. This is the reason that taking the drug at night is recommended by experts. Should you wake up drowsy, you can remedy the situation by taking amitriptyline earlier in the evening.
As with any medication, it is possible to take too much. Know the signs of overdose, which are listed below. If you think you’ve overdosed on amitriptyline, contact your local poison control at 1 (800) 222-1222. If a victim of overdose has collapsed or is not breathing, call 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- irregular heartbeat
- seizures or convulsions
- coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)
- problems concentrating
- feeling lightheaded
- hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- extreme drowsiness
- stiff or rigid muscles
- feeling hot or cold
- cold body temperature
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