Elavil : Drug Information

What is Elavil?

Elavil is the brand name of a drug called Amitriptyline and is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). Doctors prescribe Elavil to treat various mental illnesses such as major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, and other conditions as determined by them. Elavil is also beneficial in the treatment of neuropathic pain, migraine, and insomnia. It affects certain neurotransmitters that communicate between nerve cells and help to regulate the mood. Elavil is mostly available in the oral form. One can avail of this medication only with a proper prescription from a doctor.

What to know before taking Elavil?

You should avoid taking this medication if you are allergic to it or any of its components or if you have:

  • Recently suffered from a heart attack
  • taken an MAO inhibitor such as methylene blue injection in the last two weeks
  • Used SSRI antidepressants in the previous five weeks

To ensure that Elavil is safe for you, you should tell your doctor if you have or ever had the following medical issues:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Mental illness
  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Seizures
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Problem in urination

Expecting women and lactating mothers should consult their doctor before taking this medication.

How to take Elavil?

Take Elavil precisely as prescribed by your doctor. You must follow all the instructions provided on the prescription label carefully. Please don’t take it more often than recommended, and try to be consistent throughout the treatment. Consult your doctor if you are not feeling any improvement in your condition.

If you need any surgery, tell your doctor that you are on this medication in advance. Please don’t stop taking Elavil without consulting your doctor; otherwise, you may suffer through unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Keep the medication out of the children’s reach and store it at room temperature away from heat and moisture. After completion of treatment, dispose of the leftover medicines with the help of your pharmacists.

Elavil dosage

The dosage of Elavil prescribed by the doctor is dependent on several factors, such as :

  • The age and weight of the patient
  • Symptoms
  • The seriousness of the condition
  • Other medical issues that the patient is having
  • Other medications that the patient is using
  • How the patient reacted to the first dose of the medication

The doctor may prescribe the dosage of Elavil according to the different medical conditions of the patient. The following is the average dose that a doctor can prescribe for patients suffering from depression.

Dosage for depression

For older adults

10 mg thrice a day and 20 mg at night before sleeping, Your doctor may increase or decrease the dosage if he thinks appropriate.

For adults

An initial dose of 75 mg daily, twice, or thrice a day, or 50mg to 100mg at night before sleeping; your doctor may adjust the amount of medicine according to your condition. However, the maximum amount of Elavil should not exceed more than 150 mg a day.

For adolescents

10 mg thrice a day and 20 mg at night before sleeping, Your doctor may increase or decrease the dosage if he thinks appropriate.

For children

The doctor may determine the dose for children after a full examination.


If you ever feel that you are experiencing any Elavil overdose symptoms, you must consult your doctor and ask for medical help as soon as possible. You can avail of medical assistance by calling the poison helpline number at 1-800-222-1222. It would help if you never ignore these symptoms, as they can be very dangerous.

Some of the overdose symptoms are as follows:

  • Clumsiness
  • Drowsiness
  • Low body temperature
  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • Tiredness
  • Weak pulse rate

What to avoid while using Elavil?

You should avoid taking alcohol after taking Elavil, as the interaction between these two can be dangerous. Taking this medication can impair your thinking process or reaction to that. You must be very careful while driving and doing activities that require alertness and attention. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight.

Elavil side effects

Some of the common side effects of using Elavil are as follows:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Pain in mouth
  • Unusual taste
  • Black tongue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Change in weight
  • A problem in urination (urinating less than usual)
  • Itching or rashes on the body
  • Swelling in the breast
  • Problem in intimacy

It is obvious to experience mild side effect symptoms, but if these symptoms bother you so much and are unbearable, you should consult your doctor and ask for medical help. You can stop taking medication and tell your doctor if you face the following problems while taking Elavil:

  • Symptoms of blood clotting
  • Unusual thoughts
  • Mood swings
  • Lightheadedness
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Pain spreading in the jaw or shoulders
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Pounding heartbeats
  • Fluttering in the chest
  • Confusion
  • Hallucination
  • Seizures
  • Problem in urination
  • Severe constipation
  • Easy bruising
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Mouth sore

You should also report to your doctor from time to time if you experience any new symptoms or your symptoms are getting even more worst.

What drugs can interact with Elavil?

If your doctor is treating you with Elavil, he must be knowing all the possible interactions with other medications. It is your responsibility to tell the doctor about all the over the counter medicines you take or taken in the past few days. Some of the following medications which can interact with Elavil are:

  • Sleeping pills
  • Narcotic pain medicines
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Medicines for seizure
  • Drugs to treat other mental illness and mood disorder
  • Cold or allergic medicines
  • Medicines to treat Parkinson’s disease
  • Medicines to treat stomach problems
  • Treatment for motion sickness or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Medication for overreactive bladder
  • Asthma medication
  • Herbal products
  • MAO inhibitor
  • SSRI antidepressants
  • Nutritional supplements

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