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Pharmacy and Medications

Use of Amitriptyline

07/28/2009

Question:

Can Amitriptyline be used short term (for 5-6 weeks) to help atypical migraines or would you need to continue taking it?

In other words, does using Amitriptyline provide benefits of preventing migraines even after discontinuing the medication?

My doctor has recommended short term use of this drug for atypical migraines and I am wondering if this is a typical use of the drug.

Answer:

While amitriptyline is not FDA-approved for treating migraine headaches, there have been multiple research studies demonstrating its efficacy in reducing the frequency and severity of migraine or tension-type headaches. It may take anywhere from a couple of days to two weeks for you to notice an improvement in your headaches after starting the amitriptyline. Any improvement that you notice in the frequency or severity of headaches would only be maintained while taking the amitriptyline.

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Response by:

Michael  Ganio, PharmD Michael Ganio, PharmD
Clinical Applications Pharmacist
Wexner Medical Center
The Ohio State University