GENERIC NAME: amitriptyline
DISCONTINUED BRAND: Elavil (in the U.S.), Amitid, Amitril, Endep
- clomipramine (Anafranil),
- doxepin (Sinequan),
- imipramine (Tofranil),
- trimipramine (Surmontil),
- amoxapine (Amoxapine),
- desipramine (Norpramin), and
- protriptyline (Vivactil).
Individuals with depression may have an imbalance in neurotransmitters, chemicals that nerves make and use to communicate with other nerves. Like all TCAs, amitriptyline increases levels of norepinephrine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters, and blocks the action of acetylcholine, another neurotransmitter. It is believed that by restoring the balance of these different neurotransmitters in the brain that depression is alleviated (for example, the mood is elevated). Amitriptyline was approved by the FDA in May 1983.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Amitriptyline is used to elevate the mood of patients with depression. It is also used off-label (non-FDA-approved) for treating postherpetic neuralgia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), migraine headache, and eating disorders.
Quick GuidePhysical Symptoms of Depression in Pictures
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