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Amitriptyline (Elavil/Saroten/Endep/Vanatrip) - Contraindications

Abstract: Who should not take Amitriptyline (Elavil/Saroten/Endep/Vanatrip)? What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking amitriptyline?

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Amitriptyline (Elavil/Saroten/Endep/Vanatrip) - Contraindications

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Question(s): 
Written by: Petros Skapinakis, MD, MPH, PhD, lecturer of Psychiatry in the University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece. Eva Gerasi, postgraduate student in the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 28 Jul 2008.

Who should not take Amitriptyline (Elavil/Saroten/Endep/Vanatrip)? What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Amitriptyline?

Answer:

  • Patients should not take Amitriptyline if they have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor such as Isocarboxazid (Marplan), Phenelzine (Nardil), or Tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the last 14 days.
  • Before taking Amitriptyline, patients must tell their doctor if they have
    · liver disease;
    · kidney disease;
    · asthma;
    · thyroid disease;
    · diabetes;
    · stomach or intestinal problems;
    · high blood pressure or heart disease;
    · had a heart attack in the last 6 weeks;
    · an enlarged prostate or difficulty urinating; or
    · glaucoma.
    They may not be able to take Amitriptyline, or may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment in such conditions.
  • Amitriptyline may be harmful to an unborn baby. Patients should not take this medication without first talking to their doctor about pregnancy.
  • Amitriptyline passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. Patients should not take this medication without first talking to their doctor if they are breast-feeding a baby.
  • Patients over 60 years of age may be more likely to experience side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, unsteadiness, feeling uncoordinated, and low blood pressure. In such cases the doctor may prescribe a lower dose of this medication.
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