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Does the exhaustion and brain fog from elavil wear off?

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  • Does the exhaustion and brain fog from elavil wear off?

    We'll, I gave in and am going to try elavil. I took 1/2 of a 25mg tablet last night. I didn't sleep and am exhausted today. My body feels like lead.

    Does this feeling eventually wear off? I hope so! My bladder did feel a bit better this am.

  • #2
    One trick I used to do with Elavil is to take it with Milk. For some reason it interacted with a small glass of milk and a snack. I used to work at 5AM so I had took the Elavil (50mg) at 7:30PM the night before. By the time I arrived at work it had worn off and the lead feeling disapated so I could work. Would you have the ability to take it earlier in the evening?

    I hope with time that you find a way to take it so you sleep and can be alert for your day.

    Complex Case: Severe IC 1999, Interstim 2001, Endometriosis 2001, End Stage Refractory IC 2002, Bladder Removal (Cystectomy) 2002, Gall Bladder Removal 2005, Infertility 2003, Urethra Removal, Bladder Reconstruction (Urethrectomy/Indiana Pouch) 2006, Celiac Disease 2007, Adhesion Disease 2007, Pudendal Nerve Entrapment, Ovarian Cysts, Vestibulitis, Vulvodynia, Total Vestibulectomy and removal of both Skene's Glands, 2007 and Coccydynia 2007. Fibromyalgia and, Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome both in my neck and knees, 2007, PNE Decompression Operation May, 2009.Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Anesthesia Awareness (to awaken during operations)Pudendal Nerve Decompression Surgery, Revrse Uterine Sling, Sept. 2011

    "One hour at a time, this was NOT my American Dream but it has to work out somehow."

    I also have some journals of my journeys, past and some present at: and

    Most of my Journaling now is currently on Facebook. These are old and my ICN Patient story is very old and outdated.


    • #3
      I agree with Kara, If you could take it a little earlier in the pm the effects of the meds will wear of by the am...

      ONE Second, ONE Bite, ONE Breath, ONE Pill, ONE Minute, ONE Teardrop, ONE Hour, ONE Sip.. ONE DAY! I will Prevail from this disease! IC Hoping for a Cure!

      Link to Patient Handbook:

      Diet Reference Sheet:

      Meds For IC: Lyrica-25mg Glucosamine-500 MSM-500mg, Prosed Ds -When Flaring

      Other Meds: Levlite- Continious Birtcontrol, Micardis-40mg for High Blood Pressure

      Meds I have Tried:
      Topamax,Tofranil, Elmiron, Atarax, Cymbalta, Elavil, Enablex, Detral La, Prydium.
      Lexapro< Bad reaction to this med!
      Intstills, could not continue them due to some kind of reaction after 3rd instill. Tasted the lidocaine in my mouth, tongue and lips went numb then went into what seemed like a panic attack. Shaking, racing heart, tingling face/head, blood pressure shot up..

      Dx With IC in Nov 2006 with Hydro/Cysto
      Hydro/Cysto Caused Bladder to Rupture.

      Other Dxs-Vulvodynia,Fibro, Endo, IBS, HPV, Migraines, Spastic Colon, Mild Dysplasia.

      ICN Volunteers are not medical authorities nor do we offer medical advice. In all cases, we strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.


      • #4
        Actually, I took it last night at 8 pm just for that reason. Doesn't seem to have helped. I'm so glad I didn't try to take it in the morning!


        • #5
          Robin -- Nortryptiline is a good alternative for people who can't tolerate elavil. I stuck with the elavil for four weeks, and I feel like I slept the entire four weeks. So now I've started nortryptiline and the side effects are much less, and it actually seems to be working better. You could ask your doctor.
          Je vous souhaite de la joie, de la bonne santée, et tout ce qu'il y a de bon dans la vie.
          Wishing you happiness and good health, and all the best out of life.

          Peace, Carolyn

          Laura (11), Susannah (12 1/2) and Maman (that's me!), North Wildwood NJ, September 2007

          On the Beach with IC


          • #6
            I started taking Elavil a couple of weeks ago. The first night I took it I took it as it was directed and took it right before bed. The next day at work I thought I was going to pass out at any moment. I felt like I needed toothpicks to keep my eyelids open. I took it earlier the next night and still felt pretty tired the next day. After the third or fourth day I felt a lot better. Now I don't even get sleepy when I take it at night, it just seems that once I get to sleep I stay asleep much better than I did before. Obviously everybody reacts differently to meds since Carolyn still felt like a zombie on it after 4 weeks but I would say give it some time.

            I have been diagnoised for 6 1/2 years now. I have taken a long break from the ICN but really miss helping out my fellow IC patients and want to get back into posting.
            1st hydro 4/07 showed no visible signs of IC but tons of mast cells in all my biopsy samples which did prove IC.
            2nd hydro 4/13/09 showed dark purple glomerulations and I had a capacity of 450 cc's. This hydro proved that my IC had progressed.
            I have tried every oral medication as well as rescue instills and DMSO.

            I have been lucky enough to see Dr Hanno, the top IC specialist in PA who has told me due to the fact that I have not responded to any "standard" treatments that I have a severe, end stage case of IC with a horrible quality of life (didn't have to tell me that last part!)

            Proud wifey of Shane, mommy to Griffin, and step-mom to Logan and Gage
            Also proud mom to the best Bullmastiff on earth, Claus


            • #7
              Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your suggestions and hearing about your experiences. I'm going to give it an honest try and stick with it.


              • #8
                That feeling does go away but I'm sorry to say that it takes about a month. They have 10 mgs and possibly 5 so start low and work your way up. Elavil has helped me sleep without waking up many times at night. It is worth it if you can get through the beginning part.



                • #9
                  My doctor told me to take 25 mg at night every other day and then slowly work up to everyday. It helped! Otherwise you turn into a zombie.
                  Meds I take:
                  Elmiron, Elavil, Vagifem- for IC
                  Albuterol, Flovent, Atrovent- for Asthma and lung problems
                  Paxil, Clonazepam- for depression and Anxiety
                  Atenolol- for rapid heart rate
                  Nexium- for Gerd
                  Levothyroxin- for Hypothyroidism
                  Lasix, Pottasium- for edema
                  Lipitor- for High Cholesterol
                  I coated aspirin
                  02 at bedtime


                  • #10
                    Those feelings left for me after about a week on it. You might try taking it even a little early than 8pm - might help a little.

                    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


                    • #11

                      for the first week on wired me
                      kept me awake

                      ever knocks me out
                      Quit ELMIRON due to hair loss
                      Cystoprotek ROCKS!

                      find me on FACEBOOK -
                      search my email [email protected]

                      Current Meds:
                      AM Cystoprotek & ATARAX 50mg
                      Dinner CYSTOPROTEK
                      PM Elavil 25mg


                      • #12
                        I found it worked best when i had a small snack with it - it is the only thing that helps me sleep really well (Ditropan XL is good, but this is even better) - the only downside is the fog in the AM...but my doctor told me it will subside eventually, your body just needs to get used to it...

                        i take it about 10-12 hrs before I have to be up and getting ready for work, and it helps a bit with getting up in the morning...


                        • #13
                          Well...unfortunately, I'm not sure that I continue with this drug. It seems to be causing retention...which I know can be a side affect. It's also causing my anxiety to go through the roof.

                          I had been doing ok with my anxiety and didn't feel depressed (frustrated and mad at my IC, YES, but not really depressed). I'd been able to keep moving despite the pain. But today, all I want to do is crawl under the covers and not move. The anxiety feels like it's taking control. Ugh.


                          • #14
                            We all react to meds differently. Elavil gave me wicked gastroparesis (my GI tract stopped moving). I was on 10mg, so I cut it down to 5mg and got the same effect. The cloudy mind is terrible (I'm a student and I can barely focus on this posting). If you have a side effect that you just can't deal with, try another med in the same class. My doctor said that the tricyclic antidepressants (like Elavil) are terrible antidepressants, but do great things for the nerves in the pelvis... like the bladder. People seem to get great results from it, but I don't think I can deal with that gastroparesis. It is extremely painful and made me dry heave (all the contents in my stomach just sat there like a rock for a few hours). Slow gastric emptying is TERRIBLE!

                            So, if you can, give it a try... if you can't deal with it, try something new. I'm going to talk with my doc. next week and try something else.
                            [SIZE="1"][B]Be well, Alyssa :hi:[/B]



                            • #15
                              I know your exhaustion and "brain fog" are from the Elavil, but I wanted to mention for others reading that Fibromyalgia can also cause those symptoms, (just in case they may have it and not realize it and be attributing their symptoms to something else.) The brain fog with Fibro patients is so notorious that they actually call it "Fibro fog".

                              Anyway, in your case, I agree with the others that taking it with food and earlier in the evening would probobly help some. As for the retention, it can definately cause that, so you shoud mention it to your Dr. He/She may want to decrease your dose or switch you to a different med.

                              I hope that the side effects go away soon, or that you can try a different med that doesnt do this to you. I hope you start feeling better soon!