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Elavil (Amitriptyline) – What it is and How it Works

Elavil, which is the brand name for amitriptyline, is a medication used to treat depression, and has recently been used to treat pain as well. It’s in the category of tricyclic antidepressants, which is the earliest group of medications that was introduced in the field of medicine to treat depressive symptoms. Tricyclic antidepressants are extremely effective, but unfortunately they do cause many side effects, so most have been largely replaced by other medications.

How does Elavil (amitriptyline) work?

Elavil affects the central nervous system and balances or regulates the neurotransmitters that regulate mood. Cyclic medications like Elavil block the absorption of the serotonin and norepinephrine, which means that more of these two chemicals will be available to the brain. This makes it easier for the sending and receiving of messages in the brain, which elevates mood. The biggest difference between cyclic and other antidepressants is that the others focus on adding more of one chemical or the other rather than blocking them.

Is Elavil (amitriptyline) a narcotic?

Technically speaking, Elavil is not considered a narcotic medication, but rather is labeled in the group of tricyclic antidepressants, as mentioned above. However, it does have analgesic properties and is used to treat various pain conditions such as chronic back pain, diabetic neuropathy, neuralgia, and other pain syndromes. It is not yet know whether this analgesic effect is due to the elevation of mood and blockage of neurotransmitters or if there is some sort of chemical reaction that is responsible. Elavil (amitriptyline) has been used in pain cases that do not respond well to other treatments and has proven to be successful in clinical trials.

Can Elavil (amitriptyline) cause you to get high?

Elavil (amitriptyline) does cause drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision, which give the feeling of being high. It’s also used, as mentioned above, as a pain reliever in certain conditions. The side effects are quite common and likely in every patient who takes Elavil, so operating machinery or driving a car should be avoided.

Is Elavil (amitriptyline) addictive?

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that Elavil (amitriptyline) is addictive. Patients have been known to take the medication long-term without any major withdrawal symptoms when the medication is weaned off and stopped. Since it is a tricyclic antidepressant, it will still have withdrawal symptoms if stopped abruptly, but that is not due to addiction. Those symptoms are more due to the chemical changes that are taking place in the brain.

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