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Amitriptyline (Elavil/Saroten/Endep/Vanatrip) - Important Information, Precautions

Abstract: Amitriptyline (Elavil / Saroten / Endep / Vanatrip) can cause dizziness and problems when driving or handling dangerous machines. Use caution together with alcohol. Effect may take four weeks to show. Do not stop abruptly without talking to your doctor.

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Amitriptyline (Elavil/Saroten/Endep/Vanatrip) - Important Information, Precautions

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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.

What is the most important information I should know about Amitriptyline (Elavil/Saroten/Endep/Vanatrip)? What should I avoid while taking it?

Answer:

  • It may be 4 weeks or more before you start to feel better, but do not stop taking Amitriptyline without first talking to your doctor.
  • Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Amitriptyline may cause drowsiness or dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities.
  • Dizziness is likely to occur when you rise from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly to prevent dizziness and a possible fall.
  • Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking Amitriptyline.
  • Do not stop taking Amitriptyline suddenly. This could cause symptoms such as nausea, headache, and malaise.
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