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What are the side effects of stopping amitriptyline?

Updated February 21, 2017

Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant used to treat depression. If amitriptyline is discontinued suddenly after you have taken the medication for several months or years, it is possible to develop withdrawal symptoms or side effects.

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Types

Side effects from discontinuation of amitriptyline include nausea, headaches, malaise, irritability, restlessness, abnormal dreams and insomnia.

Causes

The side effects of stopping amitriptyline are not caused by physical dependence. Rather, the symptoms occur because when you suddenly discontinue use of amitriptyline, chemical levels in your brain drop dramatically.

Time Frame

The side effects of stopping amitriptyline usually subside within two weeks, according to RxList.com.

Risks

Some patients develop mania or severe depression within two to seven days of stopping amitriptyline, according to RxList.com. Like the other symptoms caused by discontinuation, this is only temporary.

Prevention

In order to avoid the side effects associated with stopping amitriptyline, your doctor is likely to gradually taper off your dosage of the drug once you no longer need it to manage your depression. Additionally, it is important that you do not forget to take amitriptyline or run out of the medication.

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About the Author

Faith Davies

Faith Davies has been writing professionally since 1996, contributing to various websites. She holds an LAH insurance license in the state of Pennsylvania and has experience as a bank branch manager and lending officer. Davies graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in art history.

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