Elavil, otherwise known as Amitriptyline, is a prescribed antidepressant most commonly used to treat depression or pain management. Elavil is a part of the drug group called tricyclic antidepressants, which work by balancing certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin or norepinephrine. Although Elavil is used to treat common mood disorders and nerve damage or pain, it carries high risks for being abused and becoming addictive.
What is Elavil? (Amitriptyline)
Elavil is the brand name for Amitriptyline a tricyclic antidepressant used to treat several types of mental disorders, such as anxiety or depression. Elavil is also often prescribed to help ease pain from conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic back and neck injuries.
Although Elavil has been thought to be non-addictive, this drug is often abused due to its pain management effects, creating the desirable feelings of sedation and euphoria. Abusing this drug can increase the risks of developing different health issues and can result in possible seizures or overdose.
Elavil Side Effects and Abuse
Elavil helps to improve mood and overall well-being, enhance motor skills and abilities, and increase energy levels. While Elavil has several positive benefits, this medication may also produce negative, adverse effects, ranging from mild to severe. These side effects include:
- Excessive drowsiness
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
- Problems with urinating
- Increased hunger or appetite
- Skin rash or constant itching
- Unusual taste
When Elavil is used incorrectly and abused, the chances of experiencing the negative side effects are greatly increased and are likely to worsen. When someone abuses Elavil, they might; use the drug without a prescription, use more than the prescribed or instructed amount, or mix the drug with other drugs such as alcohol to increase the euphoric or relieving feeling.
Abusing Elavil can increase the chances of experiencing life-threatening effects such as cardiac arrest, seizures, dangerously low blood pressure, central nervous system depression, or drug overdose. In the most severe cases, an overdose from Elavil can result in death.
Signs of an overdose from Elavil include:
- Extreme drowsiness
- Chest discomfort
- Increased heart rate
- Muscular stiffness
- Trouble breathing
- Slurred speech
Many people abuse Elavil to increase the sedative and pain-relieving feeling, but this is incredibly dangerous and can lead to fatalities. When any signs of a possible overdose are present, medical attention is crucial to ensure the safety of the individual abusing the drug.
Elavil Addiction Symptoms
Many people, whether they are battling a mental health disorder or suffering from chronic pain, crave the pain-relieving and relaxing feeling that Elavil produces. These desirable effects are often the reason many people become addicted to this drug.
Signs of an Elavil addiction include:
- Taking the drug when it is no longer needed
- Requiring or craving more of the drug to reach desired effects (tolerance)
- Constantly thinking about the drug or how to obtain more
- Loss of interest in once enjoyed activities
- Inability to stop using the drug
- Lying about symptoms in order to obtain more of the drug
- Financial problems due to the drug use
- Sudden changes in behavior or appearance
Withdrawal Symptoms from Elavil
Once someone has become addicted to Elavil, withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur once the drug use has stopped. The withdrawal symptoms may be uncomfortable and, in some cases,, painful but they are only temporary.
- Changes in appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Increased anxiety
- Increased depression
- Body aches
Elavil withdrawal symptoms can also include psychological effects and can be far more dangerous for the individual. These symptoms include sudden mood swings, increased anxiety and depression, and in the most severe cases, thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Prescribing doctors are aware of some of the serious withdrawal effects and are likely to start the discontinuing process by “tapering off” the medication. “Tapering off” means slowly lowering the dosage, rather than stopping abruptly. This will give the body time to adjust to smaller dosages, and reduce some of the risks of withdrawal. Always speak with your doctor first when considering stopping the use of Elavil.
Find Treatment for Your Elavil Addiction Today
Elavil can have several benefits for those suffering from mood disorders like depression or anxiety, or those in need of chronic pain management. However, this drug can also be abused and lead to drug dependency and addiction.
If you or someone you know is battling an Elavil addiction, contact Quit Addiction Now (888 974-2973) to learn about the best resource options available to you.