Depression Home > Amitriptyline Overdose

As with any medication, it is possible to overdose on amitriptyline. Some common effects of an overdose with this drug include seizures, hallucinations, and very low blood pressure. Treatment can include options such as pumping the stomach or administering medications to increase blood pressure.

Can You Overdose on Amitriptyline?

Amitriptyline hydrochloride (Elavil®) is a prescription medication that has been licensed to treat depression. It is one of a group of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. As with all medicines, it is possible to take too much amitriptyline.
An overdose with tricyclic antidepressants can be very dangerous. The effects of an Elavil overdose (amitriptyline overdose) will vary depending on a number of factors, including how much amitriptyline was taken and whether it was taken with any other medicines, alcohol, and/or drugs.
If you happen to overdose on amitriptyline, seek medical attention immediately.

Symptoms of an Amitriptyline Overdose

The effects of an amitriptyline overdose may include:
  • Changes in heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Very low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Seizures
  • Sleepiness or fainting
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness
  • Seeing things that are not really there (hallucinations)
  • Dilated (wide open) pupils
  • Agitation
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Loss of life.

Treatment Options

The treatment for an amitriptyline overdose will vary. If the overdose was recent, a healthcare provider may use certain medicines or place a tube into the stomach to "pump the stomach." Treatment may also involve supportive care. This type of care consists of treating the symptoms that occur as a result of the overdose.
For example, supportive treatment options for an overdose of amitriptyline may include:
  • Fluids through an intravenous line (IV)
  • Medicines to increase blood pressure, control an irregular heart rhythm, or control seizures
  • Closely monitoring the heart and lungs
  • A breathing tube to help with breathing
  • Other treatments based on the complications that occur.


If you began treatment with this medicine and overdosed or believe you may have overdosed, seek medical attention immediately.

Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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