Back & Neck Pain Treatment Print Amitriptyline Drug Interactions By Anne Asher, CPT | Medically reviewed by a board-certified physician | Updated May 18, 2019 BSIP/UIG/Getty Images More in Back & Neck Pain Treatment Symptoms Causes & Risk Factors Diagnosis Living With Prevention Exercise Spinal Conditions Amitriptyline is the active ingredient in a type of anti-depressant medication that is sometimes prescribed to people with chronic low back pain. The dose for this usage (which is called "off-label prescribing"), is generally much lower than the dose given for depression. Amitriptyline is currently only available in the generic form; in the U.S., it had previously been manufactured by AstraZeneca under the brand name Elavil, but Elavil is now discontinued. If you are taking other medications in addition to amitriptyline, you should discuss them in detail with your prescribing doctor. According to the website Drugs.com, over 2000 drugs may interact with amitriptyline, creating the potential for more than 500 major and 1400 moderate interactions. What to Discuss With Your Doctor Before Taking Amitriptyline When you have this important conversation with your doctor, be sure to mention not only other prescriptions and over the counters you take, but recreational substances, herbal and/or dietary supplements, as well. The following list may get you thinking about what to say to your doctor before taking amitriptyline. (Note: this is by no means an exhaustive list.) Tell her about your alcohol intake. Alcohol in combination with amitriptyline is a known risk for moderate drug interactions; possible side effects include uneven heartbeats, drowsiness, confusion, agitation, vomiting, blurred vision, seizures and more. Mention any herbal supplements you take. St. John's Wort, for example, is an herbal medication used by some to treat mild to moderate depression. Taking it in combination with amitriptyline may affect your liver functioning.Be transparent with your doctor about any illegal drug use in which you engage. As with some prescribed medications, over the counter drugs and herbal or dietary supplements, when amitriptyline interacts with illegal substances, the result can harm your health.Be very sure to tell your doctor if you have used an MAO inhibitor. MAO inhibitors include furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). Note: MAO inhibitors should NOT be taken with amitriptyline. Mention anything you take for depression or other mental health issues, including herbal and dietary supplements, and SSRIs. Tell her if you use any drug that has been discontinued. Some of these drugs can be very risky to your health, especially when taken in combination with amitriptyline.Below is a table listing the most common (but not the only) medications used that have the potential for major drug interactions when combined with amitriptyline. A major drug interaction is defined as one in which the risks of taking both medications outweighs the benefits of doing so.Generic NameBrand NameCitalopramCelexaDuloxetineCymbaltaCyclobenzaprineFlexerilFluxoetineProzacTopamaxTopiramateTramadolUltramSertralineZoloftTrazodoneDesyrelBelow is a table listing the most common (but not the only) medications used that have the potential for moderate drug interactions when combined with amitriptyline. Moderate drug interactions are generally allowed only in special circumstances. Generic Name Brand Name Pregabalin Lyrica Levothyroxine Synthroid Alprazolam Xanax Other things to mention to your doctor before taking amitriptyline include: Antacids, birth control pills and female hormones, intake of grapefruit and/or grapefruit juice, kaolin or pectin, sleeping pills, antihistamines and other allergy medications, cold and flu medications, weight loss drugs or appetite suppressants, muscle relaxants (i.e., cyclobenzaprine), and prescription pain medications, such as morphine, codeine, or tramadol. Drug Interactions That Increase Amitriptyline Blood Levels Some interactions between amitriptyline and other drugs may elevate the amount of amitriptyline in your blood, possibly leading to increased side effects. Here is a partial list of medications that may interact with amitriptyline in this way: drugs taken for an irregular heartbeat, as well as other heart medicationsdisulfiram, a medication used to help people with alcoholism avoid drinkingatropine, phenobarbital, and similar drugsblood thinners, such as Warfarinbromocriptinecimetidine, a heartburn/ulcer medication, as well as metoclopramidehigh blood pressure clonidine, as well as labetaloldelavirdine, as well as other drugs used to treat HIV infectiondiphenoxylate, a diarrhea medicationthe chemotherapy drugs imatinib and procarbazineParkinson's medications, such as levodopaAlzheimer's medications, such as donepezil, galantamine, and tacrineepilepsy and seizure medicationsome antibioticsthyroid hormones, such as levothyroxineSSRI medications As you can see, the list of possible drug interactions with amitriptyline is pretty long. In fact, this is nowhere near a complete list. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the Drugs.com website says that over 2000 drugs and brand names can interact with amitriptyline. That's why It is imperative that you discuss your other medications with your doctor and not solely rely on the information in this article. By being thorough and honest with your doctor about the other medications you take, you can assist her in determining if amitriptyline is a safe and effective choice for managing your chronic back pain. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Drugs.com Amitriptyline Drug Interaction. Drugs.com website. Drugs.com. Elavil. Drugs.com website. Hochadel, M, PharmD, BCPS, Editor in Chief, Thomas, W, Greider, K. The AARP Guide to Pills. Gold Standard. Tampa Florida 2006 MedlinePlus. Amitriptyline NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. St. John's wort. NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Thioridazine. NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine. Last Updated May 2017. Continue Reading Back & Neck Pain Speak to Your Doctor If You Are Having Side Effects From Elavil Back & Neck Pain What Are the Side Effects of Taking Elavil for Pain? Back & Neck Pain Elavil Contraindications Back & Neck Pain Amitriptyline Dosage — How to Take Elavil for Pain Back & Neck Pain Taking Ibuprofen for Neck or Back Pain Back & Neck Pain Types of Skeletal Muscle Relaxers for Back Spasms Back & Neck Pain How Often Can You Take Aleve? 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