Amitriptyline (Elavil) has been used as a sleep aid and pain reliever treatment for Fibromyalgia patients over the years. ForFM patients who do not suffer from depression, Elavil is also used to help with fatigue. My doctor actually just added Elavil to my other sleep medication to help me get a full night’s sleep. Unfortunately it doesn’t help with the pain. Urologists also often prescribe Elavil to Interstitial Cystitis patients.
A recent study was done on Amitriptyline to determine how effective and safe a treatment it is for Fibromyalgia patients. FM patients who participated in the study were either given Amitriptyline or a placebo. Here are the study results (thanks to ImmuneSupport for this great information!):
- Amitriptyline 25 mg/day (six RCTs) demonstrated a therapeutic response compared with placebo in the domains of pain, sleep, fatigue and overall patient and investigator impression.
- This benefit was generally seen at 6-8 weeks of treatment but no effect was noted at 12 weeks.
- Amitriptyline 50 mg/day (four RCTs) did not demonstrate a therapeutic effect compared with placebo.
- Neither dose of amitriptyline had an effect on tender points count.
- No clear statements on adverse events with amitriptyline can be made due to inconsistencies in data among the studies.
A definitive clinical recommendation regarding the efficacy of amitriptyline for FM symptoms cannot be made.
- There is some evidence to support the short-term efficacy of amitriptyline 25 mg/day in FM.
- There is no evidence to support the efficacy of amitriptyline at higher doses or for periods [more than] >8 weeks.
More stringent RCTs with longer follow-up periods are required to determine the long-term efficacy and safety of the amitriptyline and define its role in the multidisciplinary management of FM.