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Amitriptyline. Can it be worse.....

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  • Amitriptyline. Can it be worse.....

    Originally I am from Europe but have been living in USA for almost 10 years. I have IC for many years.
    I was very glad to discover this site about IC. My doctor recently gave me a prescription of Amitriptyline 25mg. I have pain, frequency, painful urination, and urinary retention. I read on Internet that one of the side effects of this drug that it can cause difficulty to pee (retention). DID SOMEBODY HAVE THIS SIDE EFFECT FROM THIS DRUG? hi I have read all your posts about Amitriptyline and thougt that it would be so great to have good night sleep.

  • #2
    I take 50mg of Elavil every night at bedtime. I have never had retention from this.
    West Virginia Interstitial Cystitis/Prostatitis Support Group Leader
    [email protected]


    • #3
      I take 25mg at bedtime with no retention, but it seems like I read somewhere that it can cause that in some people.

      Diagnosed August 2001

      Current IC meds: Elmiron (since 2001), Levaquin (one pill after intercourse to prevent UTIs), Effexor (for depression & anxiety)

      Past IC meds: Amitriptyline (Elavil), Hydroxyzine (Vistaril), Detrol LA, Lexapro (for depression & anxiety, but also helped my IC) (They all helped, but I was able to discontinue them.)

      I've been virtually symptom free and able to eat & drink whatever I'd like for about 8 years now.


      “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” ~ Viktor Frankl

      “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” ~ Brian Tracy


      • #4
        When i took it I don't recall retention but it caused me other problems I called it e_v_i_l elavil... lmao I am not able to take any anti-depressants....
        'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.'


        • #5
          I do sometimes have difficulty urinating, but it's usually when I've not had enough water that day. If I drink about 60oz of fluids per day - I don't have to strain to urinate. (I don't drink much after 5 or 6pm so it won't interfere with sleep). I take 10mg of Elavil at night, which helps with pain and sleep! (before Elavil, I couldn't sleep more than 20 min at a time)

          I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

          New favorite quote: "God gives us only what we can handle. Apparently God thinks I'm a bad-ass" ~Author Unknown
          Source - Pinterest

          Current treatments:
          -IC diet
          -Elavil 50mg at night
          -Continuous use birth control pills (4-5 periods/year)
          -Heparin/Marcaine/Sodium Bicarb home instills at night 3-4x per week, more often if needed
          -Pyridium if needed,
          -Pain medicine at bedtime daily, as needed during the day several times per week
          -Antibiotic when doing an instillation to prevent UTI
          -Colace & SmartFiber to treat chronic constipation from meds, Fleet enema as needed
          -Dye Free Benadryl 50 mg at bedtime
          -"Your Pace Yoga: Relieving Pelvic Pain" dvd, walking, treadmill at gym
          -Managing stress= VERY important!
          -Fur therapy: Hugging the cat!


          • #6
            Hi Olga,

            Yes, Elavil can definitely cause retention! Here's how I experienced it...

            The uro had me on Elavil (I think I had worked up to 25 mgs). I was on it for several years with no problem. But then, my neurologist wanted to increase that doasge, as Elavil also works well for headache pain. He upped it to 75 mgs. I think I was on that for about 3 days or so. Looking back, it was getting increasingly more difficult to "go". Finally, I ended up unable to urinate at all and was speeding up the highway in a snowstorm to my uro's office to get catheterized. It was awful. I had to go home wearing a leg bag for 24 hours, after which time it was hoped the medication would be out of my system. After 48 hours, I went on a maintenance dose of Elavil -- I think 10 mgs -- until I decided to discontinue it completely.

            Elavil is an anticholinergic drug, so high doses can cause people to retain. You may just need to find the dose that's right for you.

            Hope this helps a little..

            Good luck,


            • #7
              Hi Olga, I am on 25 mgm Elavil at night, and so far no retention problem, I have been on it about a year and a half. I know it can cause that problem, it has helped me a lot with getting a good night's sleep. Take care and let us know how yu are doing, hugs Iris. hi grouphug
              Today and every day you are loved, so don't be anxious about tomorrow, God will take care of you tomorrow; Live one day at a time.


              • #8
                Hi, Olga

                Just want to say that everyone responds to the meds differently. I had mild retention problem when was given 25mg a day. I found my urine flow was slower and I had to wait for a few senconds before letting it out. But it was not a big problem, cause the side effect went away in a few days.

                Don't feel scared if you hear some negative responses here. You will never know if Elavil will help you or not unless you try it. My ic pain is gone now and frequency is helped by Elavil, too. I am very happy I tried it and stick with it. :p


                • #9
                  I have been on Elavil for nearly 2 years now, without any side effects. I take 10mg. I take it early in the evening, which is better for sleeping and not feeling tired the next day.

                  Hopefully, you will have good luck with it and not need a larger dose that can cause some retention. Your body may need some time to adjust to it.

                  Good luck,


                  • #10
                    At what time at night do you take Elavil? And when do you normally wake up? Does the morning fatigue go away after you've been taking it for awhile?


                    • #11
                      To CrissyH!!!
                      I take Amitriptyline (Elavil) at bed time, usually at 10 pm. Yes, I feel tired and sleepy all afternoon. Hope it will go away. I have retention (difficulty to go), hope it will go away also.


                      • #12
                        Hi CryssyH again,
                        I forgot to answer that I awake at 8 am and I wish I would sleep more.


                        • #13
                          I started with 25mg and was having problems not feeling hung over the next day. I asked my dr for a new antidepressant but he insisted I try to take half a pill and see how it works.

                          So far it seems to be fine at about 10mg an evening. I too take it at about 8pm (don't go to bed until 10pm or later) and i am up at 7am with out any groggyness.

                          This is my second month on this, clariatin and Emriol 600mg..... I have seen major improvements.


                          • #14
                            To Photomom! hi
                            I will try to break my pill in half and see how I feel next day. This pill makes me sleepy and tired all the time.


                            • #15
                              Another option for sleep is the antihistamine Atarax. I have been taking 50mg. for over a month and I sleep really good. What I like about it is you don't get the sleep hangover like you do with Elavil. It seems to wear off sooner. (around 5-6 hours) Good luck

                              "Don't quit when the tide is lowest, For it's just about to turn; Don't quit over doubts and questions, For there's something you may learn."