* I've changed the blog address from www.sarahsworld.me back to the original (badly chosen, but I'm stuck with it) address of www.kiwikchat.blogspot.com .

This means that some links to older posts and old links from other sites don't work. :(

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Coming off anti - depressants...


I just wanted to share my experience coming off amitriptyline. It's been a bit of a revelation to me.

 I was originally prescribed it to help with three things:
- Depression.
- Aches and joint pains.
- Sleep.

I'd been on it since September last year, starting at 25 mg and working up to 100mg, when I decided I need a change.   I went back to my doctor to ask for a change in medication because I was feeling very depressed and although I was sleeping, it was very hard to get to sleep and I hoped to try something else.  He told me to wean myself off it slowly and gave me a new prescription to try at the end of month.

But then another health test complicated matters, I had to do a 24hr urine test which required that I be off anti-depressants for 3 days prior.

So I went cold turkey.

It's now been four days since my last anti-depressant and I feel great.

Turns out that they were depressing me in more ways than one.  My brain fog has cleared and I can talk again (longer than 30mins).  I'm back.  I'm me again. I know I'll still be the same person this afternoon and won't be a complete mess if someone calls or stops by.  I wake up and after 10mins I'm already really awake and myself again (it can be disappointing, just one day I'd like to wake up and be Jessica Alba or Scarlet Johansson).

It's such a relief and while my body is still pretty broken I finally feel awake and like I could actually do something with my mind.  Which is why I'm writing this blog...


The only downside is that the sleeping hasn't really come back but I'm going to wait a bit and see if my natural body rhythm re-establishes itself after a bit longer off the amitriptyline.

Needless to say, I am keen to stay off anti-depressants.

Well I'm off to bed, I am hoping to get an early night.  I have a psychologist appointment in the morning,  I guess I might still need it.   Seems a bit ironic, last week when I went to the appointment there was a mix up and she wasn't there.  This week I feel really well and stable and have trouble remembering what I had trouble with last week.

Take care.


  1. Interesting! The doc put me on 10mgs Ami to help with neuro problems and I couldn't deal with it at all. Made me feel weird. Am still on 3.75mgs of Zopiclone though!

    I hope your sleep patterns re-establish ok. You might find some other things occur in the next few weeks, especially if you've been on Ami for a good while. Well done and good luck. xx

  2. Hi Carolyn,

    I wish I had noticed that it made me feel weird but I just slowly felt worse and didn't notice until I went off it. I'm so happy that I'm off it, it's fantastic to be awake again.

    Thanks for commenting.
    xx Kiwikchat

  3. Ah that's very interesting! I am on 10mg every night for muscle pain and sleep, but I have been up to only 20mg previously. It does help with my sleep but not as effectively as I'd like!

    For me I think it helps but I can imagne being on such a high dose would not help with feeling foggy AT ALL! I feel a bit groggy when I wake up and I'm only on 10mg!!!

    Out of itnerest what was your urine test for? I had to do a 24hour one for cortisol but I didn't have to come off my amitriptyline? maybe because it's such a low dose? Did your test come back with anything? Sorry for all the questions lol!

    Kitty x

  4. Hi Kitty,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I did find the Ami good but not great, as a sleep aid and the depressive effects really snuck up on me. Although it does seem obvious in hindsight, but it was hard to see anything my mind was so foggy.

    The urine test was to measure seratonin levels, to be honest I don't know what that had to do with anything. I'll see my doc on Tuesday and let you know about the test results. I'm hoping he finally finds his magic wand and cures me...but I'm not holding my breath. :)

    Don't apologise for asking questions, I love them and I love hearing what you and other people have tried. Makes me feel less like a bad health freak! lol

    xx Kiwikchat

  5. Not an exactly unknown experience, though probably rare with Ami.

    Many (most/all?) antidepressants, tricyclics and SSRIs, will warn of "paradoxical effects" - that is, they cause, or worsen, the very thing they're supposed to be treating, which can be extremely dangerous for some patients.

  6. Hi Ron,

    Thanks for your comment. I guess I thought that 'it wouldn't happen to me'. Silly really for someone with me/cfs. It was scary how good I felt coming off them, you don't realise how down you are until you're back up.