Elavil is a tricyclic antidepressant that primarily affects the neurotransmitter serotonin by decreasing its absorption. thus increasing the serotonin level in the brain. It works primarily on the central nervous system. This causes a decrease in symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Elavil is used in dual diagnosis treatment for addiction and to treat mood disorders in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. It is also used to treat eating disorders and the stabbing or burning sensations that occur after shingles infections and other neurologic pain disorders. Traumatic limb injuries, headaches and facial nerve diseases have all been successfully treated with Elavil. It is also used to treat secondary pain from substance use disorders and Elavil is prescribed in drug rehabilitation facilities for SUD pain.
It is not recommended for treatment of fibromyalgia or for patients who suffer from heart disease. Cymbalta is a medication better suited for the treatment of fibromyalgia.
Elavil may have similar side effects to other antidepressants. These include but are not limited to:
- Stomach pain
- Dry mouth
- Ringing in the ears
- Increased sweating
- Changes in sex drive or sexual ability
- Tingling in hands or feet
Notify your doctor if these side effects do not go away or are severe.
Some less common but more serious side effects are:
- Difficulty speaking
- Swelling of the face or tongue
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- False beliefs that are not altered with facts
- Increased need to urinate
- Shuffling walk
- Sunburned skin
- Swelling of testicles
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
As with other antidepressants, many people experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping the use of Elavil. Consult your doctor before stopping Elavil, as symptoms are decreased by slowly tapering off this medication. While these withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening, they may be quite uncomfortable. They include:
- Mood changes or anxiety
- Irritability or agitation
- Hair loss
- Breast enlargement in females
- Insomnia and tiredness
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