Amitriptyline hydrochloride (Elavil®) is a medication licensed to treat depression in adults and children over the age of 12. Although the medicine is generally well tolerated, it is not without risks. For example, taking amitriptyline increases your risk of side effects such as:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Difficulty urinating
- Dry mouth.
Problems are also more likely if a person already has certain health conditions, such as:
- Bipolar disorder or a family history of bipolar disorder
- A history of suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts.
Overdosing on this medication can be dangerous. If you happen take too much, seek immediate medical attention. Some of the symptoms of an amitriptyline overdose include:
- Changes in heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- Very low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Sleepiness or fainting
- Seeing things that are not really there (hallucinations).
In some cases, this medicine can worsen medical conditions that a person already has, such as glaucoma, bladder problems, or schizophrenia.
(To learn more about the risks associated with this drug, click Amitriptyline Warnings and Precautions or Amitriptyline Side Effects.)