Elavil is a tricyclic antidepressant.
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Elavil (Amitriptyline)

Elavil is a medication classified under the group of tricyclic antidepressant drugs. This drug helps in relieving the symptoms of depression. The generic name of elavil is amitriptyline.

How does it work?

The chemicals in our brain need to be in a balanced status for a sound mental health. When the balance of these chemicals gets disturbed, they result in mental issues like depression. Elavil (amitriptyline) works by affecting these unbalanced chemicals. This drug helps in establishing a balance between the chemicals to restore good mental health and treat the signs of depression.

Indications of Elavil (amitriptyline)

Elavil (amitriptyline) is indicated for use in the treatment of depression. This drug is used to treat all the different kinds of depression but, endogenous depression is alleviated the most.

Side- effects of Elavil (amitriptyline)

The side- effects of Elavil (amitriptyline) can be broadly classified as serious side- effects and common side- effects.

The serious side- effects of Elavil (amitriptyline) include:

  • Allergic reaction to Elavil (amitriptyline). The allergic reaction is a serious condition which requires strict medical help. The symptoms include occurrence of hives or rashes, swelling on throat, face, tongue or lips and difficulty breathing.
  • Mood swings or behavioural changes
  • Feeling more depressed, physically or mentally hyperactive, restless, aggressive, hostile, agitated, irritable or impulsive
  • Panic attacks or anxiety
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Having thoughts of hurting self or committing suicide
  • Occurrence of unusual thoughts or behaviour
  • Feeling light- headed , feeling like passing out
  • Hallucination
  • Confusion
  • Fluttering in the chest, pounding heartbeats
  • Pressure or pain in chest, pain spreading to the jaw or shoulder
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Painful or difficult micturation (urination)
  • Convulsion (seizure)
  • Easy bruising and unusual bleeding
  • Severe constipation
  • Ill feeling or sudden weakness, fever, chills, mouth sores, sore throat, swollen or red gums, trouble in swallowing

The common side- effects of Elavil (amitriptyline) include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Unusual taste
  • Mouth pain
  • Black tongue
  • Weight or appetite changes
  • Urinating less than the usual
  • Rashes or itching
  • Swelling in breast in men and women
  • Decreased libido, difficulty in having orgasm or impotence

The common side- effects are very mild and go on their own. They do not require medical attention.

How to take Elavil (amitriptyline)?

Elavil (amitriptyline) must be taken as prescribed by the doctor. Take it in the exact dose as suggested by the doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of dose. Also, do not quit taking this drug abruptly as it can lead to withdrawal symptoms.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

You must take this drug only when prescribed by your doctor. The doctor will prescribe the drug only if the potential benefits overweigh the side- effects caused to the foetus.

Do not use this drug if you are a nursing mother. It might pass into the breast milk and lead to unwanted symptoms. You should either quit breastfeeding or taking this drug if you are a lactating mother.


Elavil is used for the treatment of depression. By increasing certain chemicals in the brain, Elavil is known to lift the patient’s mood. Elavil can also be prescribed as a pain-killer.

How Taken

Elavil comes in tablet form. The usual dosage is one tablet, four times a day. Elavil does not have to be taken with food. The patient should notice an improvement after a few weeks of regular use of Elavil. Do not stop taking Elavil without first consulting your doctor. If a patient has been taking Elavil for an extended period of time, the doctor is likely to start a weaning process by gradually reducing the dosage. Do not increase or decrease the dosage of Elavil without first consulting a doctor.

Missed Dose

If a dose is missed, it can be taken as soon as you remember, as long as it does not clash with the next scheduled dose. In this case, rather skip the missed dose. Never take a double dose.

More Information

Side-effects of Elavil include dizziness and lightheadedness. When alcohol is taken with Elavil, these side-effects may intensify. In the early stages of taking Elavil, refrain from driving or operating machinery in case you react adversely to the medication. Elavil is only to be taken by the patient for whom it was prescribed. Never increase or decrease the dosage without first consulting a doctor.

More Information

Elavil is a medicine used for the treatment of depression.

Belonging to a group of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants, Elavil acts on the chemicals in the brain that determines the mood change.

Take Elavil as per your doctor's prescription. Do not go for larger doses or take the medicine for longer days without your doctor's direction. Moreover, you should not stop the drug amidst a course as it can only worsen your conditions. Always keep a tab on the doses and try not to miss any dosage. If you forget to take a dose, you can have it when you remember it. But do no take that missed dose if it is almost time for the next dose.

Tell your doctor about all your present and past history before he prescribes Elavil. This helps the doctor to take a wise decision on the Elavil medication that has to be prescribed. Inform the physician if you are diabetic or have any health conditions like stroke, heart problems, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, seizures and glaucoma.

While taking Elavil medicine, you have to be under the constant watch of your doctor as the drug may develop suicidal tendency. In case you come across any mood change, contact the doctor without any delay.

You should also avoid alcohol, grape fruit and grape juice while taking Elavl drug as these can cause severe side effects. Elavil also makes your skin sensitive to sub. Therefore wear some protective covering while going out.