Elavil (amitriptyline) is part of a group of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. This category of medication gets its name from its three-ringed chemical structure. Elavil is only available via prescription, and is primarily prescribed to control the thoughts, behaviors, and other symptoms associated with depression in adults and teenagers. In some cases, this drug may be used as part of a treatment plan for migraines, postherpetic neuralgia, and some cases of disordered eating.
- How should I take this medication?
Elavil is sold as a tablet and may be taken from one to four times per day, depending on the dosage your physician prescribes. Your dosage may be adjusted by your doctor as needed to control or relieve your symptoms. It may take up to several weeks before this medication accrues in your system enough to feel the full therapeutic effects. You should take this medication each day exactly as directed, even if you feel as if you know longer need it
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
Take the dose you missed as soon as possible. If it will soon be time for your next scheduled dose, then skip the missed dose completely. Do not take a double dose of this medication to make up for a missed dose. Taking too much of this medication too quickly may lead to an overdose.
- What should I do if I take too much of this medication?
Call your doctor or call a poison control center immediately. Seek urgent medical attention. An overdose of this medication may be fatal. Signs of overdose include drowsiness, confusion, agitation, feeling hot or cold, irregular heartbeat, weakness, muscle rigidity, lightheadedness, seizure, or coma.
- What can be done to make sure I get the most out of my treatment with this medication?
Several mental health conditions for which this drug is prescribed have also shown positive results when treated with psychotherapy. If you are prescribed this drug for disordered eating or symptoms of depression, consider finding a therapist or counselor to complement your drug treatment. A qualified mental health professional can teach you more about what you are experiencing, help you develop a positive self-care strategy, and work toward a better, longer-lasting mental health outcome for you than may be possible from treatment with medication alone.
- How should I store this medication?
Keep this medication at room temperature (about 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 to 25 degrees Celsius) and away from moisture. Keep this medication out of the reach of children and ensure it is kept in a bottle with a child-proof lid.