Amitriptyline hydrochloride (Elavil®) is a prescription drug commonly used for the treatment of depression. It is not approved for use in children under the age of 12.
Antidepressants such as this may take several weeks before they begin working. Often, the physical symptoms (such as pain or changes in sleep) will improve first, sometimes within the first few weeks of treatment. It usually takes at least four to six weeks before significant changes in mood occur.
Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend this drug for off-label reasons. At this time, there are several off-label uses (indications) for amitriptyline, including treatment of the following conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety disorders
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
(Click Amitriptyline Uses for more information about amitriptyline's indications -- including other off-label uses -- and to find out how this medication works for depression.)