Amitriptyline is mainly used to treat depression, but this medication is also used to treat nerve pain or neuropathic pain in some individuals. Taking amitriptyline for nerve pain may differ from taking this medication for depression, such as in terms of dosage amounts.
Amitriptyline doses for nerve pain are typically smaller than dosages used to treat depression. Exact dosage amounts vary per individual based on different factors, such as the severity of nerve pain. Some individuals start out at dosages of 25 milligrams, while others might begin with a lower amount, such as 10 milligrams, and increase the dosage gradually.
Amitriptyline can cause some side effects when taken for nerve pain. Some of the side effects that can occur with this medication include the following:
- Blurry vision
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
- Dilated pupils
- Trouble fully emptying the bladder when urinating
- Problems with heart rhythm
Those who are unable to take amitriptyline have other options available to treat nerve pain. Other tricyclic antidepressants that are sometimes used for treating nerve pain include doxepin and nortriptyline, which are also prescribed in lower dosage amounts compared to dosages for depression.
Other kinds of antidepressant medications are also sometimes used for pain, including serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as venlafaxine and duloxetine. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which include fluoxetine, are sometimes used for managing nerve pain as well. Research trials show that SNRIs and tricyclic antidepressants are similar in terms of effectiveness. However, tricyclic antidepressants are associated with a higher risk of adverse effects. More research is needed to understand the effects of other antidepressants on the treatment of nerve pain.
Other alternatives for nerve pain include gabapentin and pregabalin and others.