Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Elavil (amitryptiline) is a tricyclic antidepressant used to treat depression and mood disorders. Elavil may also be used to treat other conditions including nerve pain, eating disorder, anxiety, and panic disorder. The brand name Elavil is no longer available in the U.S. It is available in generic form. Common side effects of Elavil (amitryptiline) include
- dry mouth,
- blurred vision,
- weight gain,
- trouble urinating,
- increased hunger, and
- changes in taste.
Elavil is taken by mouth in tablet form. The medication may take up to four weeks to take full effect. You should not use Elavil if you are taking drugs of the MAOI class or have taken these medications in the past 14 days. This is not a complete list of potential drug interactions with Elavil, and other medications may interact with this drug. Elavil has been shown to cause harm to the developing fetus. You should discuss with your doctor the risk and benefits of using Elavil during pregnancy. Women using Elavil should not breastfeed since Elavil is excreted in breast milk.
Our Elavil Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, weight gain, or trouble urinating may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
To relieve dry mouth, suck on (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute.
To prevent constipation, maintain a diet adequate in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise. If you become constipated while using this drug, consult your pharmacist for help in selecting a laxative.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, persistent heartburn, shaking, mask-like facial expressions, muscle spasms, severe stomach/abdominal pain, decreased sexual ability/desire, enlarged/painful breasts.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, severe dizziness, fainting, seizures, eye pain/swelling/redness, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night).
This medication may rarely cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, muscle stiffness, severe confusion, sweating, fast/irregular heartbeat.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Elavil (Amitriptyline)