Drugs Q & A

Can I Take Elavil (Amitriptyline) And Gabapentin?

Generally, prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications are tested to make sure they’re safe and effective. But if you mix those drugs with other medicines or substances—intentionally or even by accident—they can have potentially dangerous effects.

A drug’s “active ingredient” is the part of the drug that acts on your body. Combining substances can change the way an active ingredient works. This can increase the effect of that ingredient on your body, make it less effective, or have other unexpected results.

What is Elavil?

Elavil is a brand of amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant with sedative effects. Amitriptyline affects certain chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) that communicate between brain cells and help regulate mood. It is a prescription medicine used to treat symptoms of depression.

How to use Amitriptyline

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking amitriptyline and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth, usually 1 to 4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. If you take it only once a day, take it at bedtime to help reduce daytime sleepiness. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

You typically start at a low dose and your provider might slowly adjust your dose depending on how you respond to the medication. Amitriptyline isn’t recommended for children under 12 years old.

  • Adults: The typical dose for adults is 50 mg to 100 mg by mouth daily, either split into several doses throughout the day or taken as one single dose before bedtime. Your provider may slowly raise your dose to a maximum of 150 mg by mouth daily.
  • Adolescents and adults aged 65 and older: Lower doses may be used in adolescents and older people who can’t take higher doses. The typical dose is 10 mg by mouth three times daily with 20 mg at bedtime.

To reduce your risk of side effects (such as drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness), your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.

Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience symptoms such as mood swings, headaches, tiredness, and sleep change. To prevent these symptoms while you are stopping treatment with this drug, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Report any new or worsening symptoms right away.

This medication may not work right away. You may see some benefit within a week. However, it may take up to 4 weeks before you feel the full effect.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens (such as your feelings of sadness getting worse, or you have thoughts of suicide).

Can I take Elavil And gabapentin?

Gabapentin, sold under the brand name Neurontin among others, is an anticonvulsant medication primarily used to treat partial seizures and neuropathic pain. It is a first-line medication for the treatment of neuropathic pain caused by diabetic neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia, and central pain.

Gabapentin has also been used off-label in psychiatry to treat patients with treatment-resistant mood and anxiety disorders as well as alcohol-withdrawal and post-traumatic stress.

However, you should not use amitriptyline together with gabapentin because it increases the risk of unwanted side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination.

Amitriptyline side effects

The most common side effects of amitriptyline are:

  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • weight gain

Amitriptyline may also cause blurred vision, urinary retention, a rapid heartbeat, and acute-angle glaucoma when it binds to muscarinic receptors in the body.

When amitriptyline attaches to histaminic receptors, it may cause sedation, confusion, and delirium.

People who have seizures should use amitriptyline with caution because it can lower the seizure threshold.

Serious cardiac side effects can occur when amitriptyline binds to alpha-adrenergic receptors in the heart. Low blood pressure upon standing and heart rate fluctuations and irregularities are some of these effects.

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