What is Elavil (Amitriptyline) used for?


Elavil (amitriptyline hydrochloride) is an antidepressant drug of the tricyclic type. Elavil is an antidepressant with sedative effects. Its mechanism of action is unknown. It is not a monoamine oxidase inhibitor and it does not act primarily by stimulation of the central nervous system.

It relief symptoms of depression. Endogenous depression is more likely to be alleviated than are other depressive states
Amitriptyline HCl, a dibenzocycloheptadiene derivative, is a white, odorless, crystalline compound which is freely soluble in water. It has a molecular weight of 313.87.

Elavil (amitriptyline HCl) is supplied as 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg, or 150 mg tablets and as a sterile solution for intramuscular use. 10 mg amitriptyline HCl tablets also contain FD&C Blue 1. 25 mg amitriptyline HCl tablets also contain D&C Yellow 10, FD&C Blue 1, and FD&C Yellow 6. 50 mg amitriptyline HCl tablets also contain D&C Yellow 10, FD&C Yellow 6 and iron oxide. 75 mg amitriptyline HCl tablets also contain FD&C Yellow 6. 100 mg amitriptyline HCl tablets also contain FD&C Blue 2 and FD&C Red 40. 150 mg amitriptyline HCl tablets also contain FD&C Blue 2 and FD&C Yellow 6.

Each Milliliter of the Sterile Solution Contains:
Amitriptyline hydrochloride……….. 10 mg
Dextrose………………………… 44 mg
Water for Injection, q.s……………1 ml
Added as Preservatives:
Methylparaben………………….. 1.5 mg
Propylparaben………………….. 0.2 mg

Elavil Dosage

Oral Dosage

Adults: For ambulatory patient 75 mg of amitriptyline HCl a day in divided doses is usually satisfactory. However, this may be increased to a total of 150 mg per day. A tranquillizing effect may be noticed before the antidepressant effect is noted, but an adequate curative effect may take as long as 30 days to develop.
An alternate method of starting therapy in ambulatory patients is to begin with 50 to 100 mg amitriptyline HCl at bedtime. This can be increased by 25 or 50 mg in the bedtime dose to a total of 150 mg per day.

Inpatients may require 100 mg a day initially. This can be increased gradually to 200 mg a day if necessary. A small percentage of inpatients may need as much as 300 mg a day.
Teen and Elderly Patients: Generally, lower doses are recommended for these groups. 10 mg thrice daily with 20 mg at bedtime may be satisfactory in teenagers and elderly patients that cannot tolerate higher dosages.

Intramuscular Dosage
In the beginning, 20 to 30 mg (2 to 3 ml) four times daily.
When amitriptyline HCl injection is doled out intramuscularly, the effects may appear more rapidly than with oral dispensation.
When amitriptyline HCl injection is used for first medical care in patients unable or unwilling to take amitriptyline HCl tablets, the pills should replace the injection as soon as possible.
Children: Since, there is no experience with the use of this drug in children, it is not recommended for patients less than 12 years old.


Deaths may occur from over dosage with this drug. Several drug intakes (including alcohol) are common in deliberate tricyclic antidepressant overdose.

Critical symptoms of an overdose include: cardiac dysrhythmias, severe hypotension, convulsions, and CNS depression, including coma. Changes in the electrocardiogram, particularly in QRS axis or width, are clinically significant indictors of tricyclic antidepressant toxicity.

Other signs of overdose may include: impaired myocardial contractility, confusion, disturbed concentration, transient visual hallucinations, dilated pupils, disorders of ocular motility, agitation, hyperactive reflexes, polyradiculoneuropathy, stupor, drowsiness, muscle rigidity, vomiting, hypothermia or hyperpyrexia,


Drowsiness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, weight gain, or trouble urinating may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor.

To reduce the risk of vertigo and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

To relieve dry mouth, suck on ice chips, chew sugarless gum, take water, or use a saliva substitute.

To prevent constipation, maintain a diet adequate in fiber, take much water and exercise. If you become constipated while using this drug, consult your doctor to help you with a cathartic.

Report to your doctor immediately, if any of these rare but serious side effects of elavil occur; easy bruising/bleeding, persistent heartburn, shaking, mask-like facial expressions, muscle spasms, severe stomach pain, decreased libido/sexual ability, enlarged/painful breasts.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: black stools, coffee grounds-like chunder, severe lightheadedness, fainting and seizures, eye pain, swelling or redness and vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night).
This drug hardly causes a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help quickly, if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, muscle stiffness, severe confusion, sweating, and fast/irregular heartbeat.

A very serious hyposensitized reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious hypersensitised reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe lightheadedness, trouble breathing.


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