This past Tuesday, I started a very low dose of amitriptyline for my fibro, with instructions to “ramp up” the dosage as needed and tolerated. I started at 10mg, with instructions to increase dosage in 10mg steps up to 50mg per day. I know, the last time I was on an anti-depressant, it didn’t turn out well for anyone. I’ve got several things going for me this time though.
- I know what to watch for. Last time, the mania came on slowly, and neither I nor anyone around me was watching for the signs.
- The dosage is extremely low, to the point that it isn’t even considered therapeutic for depression. This low dosage has been reported to be helpful in fibromyalgia though.
- Since the mania was believed to be an overreaction to the antidepressant (Cymbalta), and the dosage of amitriptyline is below therapeutic levels, the chances of a similar reaction to this drug should be much lower.
- This is a somewhat different class of anti-depressant. Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant, where Cymbalta was a pure SNRI.
One other thing I really like about this is that amitriptyline is also supposedly effective in reducing migraine headache incidence. That would be a really nice side benefit.
So how is it going? Well, so far, I have already seen an improvement in my quality of sleep. That’s a major factor, for me at least, in predicting the pain levels I will experience from the fibromyalgia. The more restful my sleep, the lower my pain levels tend to be. I still am dealing with difficultly falling asleep, but once I get tired enough I can sleep, I am sleeping straight through. Yes, I know, two nights is hardly a pattern, yet, but I can be hopeful, right?
Pain levels since starting on amitriptyline are lower than before, but there has been a dramatic change in weather too. As you may know, fibromyalgia tends to react to weather patterns. For me, cold weather (like the last couple of weeks) makes my pain dramatically worse. This week, we have had more spring-like weather. That means that the pain level improvement may have more to do with the weather than the amitriptyline.
Any way, I am hopeful now, and at the same time, watchful for problems.