Elavil is a brand name for the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline used to treat subtypes of depression and certain psychiatric mood disorders.
The active ingredient in Elavil, amitriptyline, belongs to a class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. They are composed of chemicals that can block the reuptake (reabsorption) of neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. Reuptake inhibition makes more serotonin and norepinephrine available for use by brain tissue, which relieves certain symptoms of clinical depression.
Elavil is mainly prescribed for clinical depression and major depressive disorder. Elavil may also be prescribed for related disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder and eating disorders like anorexia nervosa.
Amitriptyline is also used as a chronic pain reliever for patients suffering from conditions such as debilitating migraines, fibromyalgia and post-herpetic neuralgia.
Elavil is most commonly available as 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg and 150 mg tablets. Elavil is also available as a sterile solution for intramuscular use.
Elavil dosage is subject to type of medical condition, physician recommendation, age, severity of the condition and response to the treatment.
Elavil tablets should be swallowed whole one to four times daily as prescribed. It’s recommended to take Elavil closer to bedtime if it causes daytime drowsiness.
Elavil should be taken regularly and exactly as prescribed for the drug to be effective. It’s highly recommended to take Elavil the same time each day. Do not take more or less of the prescribed dosage.
Do not abruptly stop taking Elavil. Dosage should be gradually decreased if necessary.
Benefits of Elavil might not be noticeable for up to a month.
Warnings and Precautions
Antidepressants like amitriptyline are known to increase risk of suicide among child, teen or young adult patients up to 24 years of age. Elavil does not cause suicidal thoughts. It may exacerbate an existing risk for suicide. Therefore, all patients taking Elavil should be closely monitored for risky suicidal behavior.
Do not take Elavil if allergic to amitriptyline or similar tricyclic antidepressants.
Elavil may not be safe for use in patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding or attempting to get pregnant.
Elavil may not be safe for patients with a history or a family history of the following conditions: liver problems, severe heart disease, hyperthyroidism, breathing problems, diabetes, bleeding problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, alcohol withdrawal and psychiatric conditions like bipolar disorder and psychosis.
Elavil can cause QT prolongation, a medical condition that affects the rhythm of the heart. Patients with a history or a family history of heart rhythm problems may be at risk for QT prolongation when taking Elavil.
Elavil contradicts with the following drugs: disulfiram, arbutamine, anticholinergic drugs, thyroid supplements, antiplatelet drugs, NSAIDs like ibuprofen, anticoagulants like warfarin and certain hypertension drugs.
Elavil and amitriptyline could potentially cause one or more of the following side effects:
Insomnia or trouble sleeping
Side effects are not limited to the above.
Immediately consult a physician if side effects continue to persist or worsen over time.