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Drug info - Amitriptyline as a sleep aid & Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (SRED)

Discussion in 'Antidepressants' started by ~lostgurl~, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    SWIM has just been prescribed with Amitriptyline/Elavil (tricyclic antidepressant) as a sleep aid. When used as an antidepressant doses of 100mg+ are used, but as a sleep aid SWIM has been prescribed 30mg to be taken at night. SWIM has been prescribed this because she is having a real hard time staying asleep even though she is prescribed with 2.5mg Zopiclone per night, and also because she would like to come off the Zopiclone, which if the amitrip worked, would be a lot easier.

    SWIM has taken Amitriptyline 2 nights so far with very bizarre results. She doesn’t remember much of the first night except that she knows she kept waking up, legs kicking out like she just could not lay still to go to sleep even though the effects of these 2 drugs combined should have knocked her out. She remembers having 2 showers in the night to help her relax and get back to sleep and she remembers going to the kitchen to get something to eat at some stage but that is about it. Well yesterday morning SWIM woke up when the meter reader rung the doorbell about 9am. There was a burnt (frozen) dinner in the oven, the oven was on, and there was an empty can of baked beans next to her bed and there was baked beans sauce everywhere, like SWIM must have spilled it but there were no beans so SWIM guesses that she ate them?

    The second night SWIM also has very little recollection of. There were signs that she had a shower and some dishes etc in the kitchen but SWIM has no idea what she ate.

    Now SWIM has experienced this before, yet not so extreme, when she first started taking Zopiclone over 3 years ago. It only lasted a few months and seemed to disappear when SWIM’s methamphetamine use increased. SWIM researched it on the net and it is called Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (SRED) She chatted with a few people online at the time who were prescribed Ambien and also had this problem.
    (See this link for news video clip about SRED as a side effect of Ambien: http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/local_links.php?action=jump&id=1252&catid=39 )

    SWIM is curious to know how others have found using Amitriptyline as a sleep aid and also if anyone has any experience with SRED (Sleep Related Eating Disorder) as a result of using any type of sleeping pill.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2017
  2. dirk

    dirk Newbie

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    I tried low dose amitriptyline (15 mg) for a sleep/chronic pain problem. I slept slightly longer and had lots of dreams (even slightly hypnogogic feel at times) but on balance, the zombification properties were still present the next day so overall it didn't add to my overall wellbeig.

    Note. there will allways be a period of a couple of weeks/1month in which these meds "settle in" , so you might think about persevering for a little longer, unless you think you weird nights are endangering you in other respects.

    Also the drug has quite a long half-life so you might find it more usefull to take them in the early evening, then you have a better chance of feeling awake on the following day.

    Good Luck

    BTW, do you think there are any lifestyle changes you could do that would help instead, thats what helped me most.
     
  3. Klaus

    Klaus Newbie

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    Swim has used Amitriptyline as a sleep aid and for pain and found in doses of 50 mg + that he suffered from severe Akathesia which is horrible.
     
  4. azrael2600

    azrael2600 Silver Member

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    swim has taken 50mg's amitriptyline in the past as a sleep aid. swim did not agree with it though and eventually stopped taking it. it put swim into a zombie/lethargic state where swim had no energy to do anything the day after taking it.
     
  5. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    Does anybody know what the half life of Amitriptyline is? SWIM is finding she is sleeping late in the mornings, and is finding too that her sleep is much deeper during the 2nd half of her sleep (ie not waking & eating etc)

    The following afternoons SWIM has not noticed any change in energy levels though her mood does not seem to be as elevated and her sex drive has definitely decreased. Does anybody know anything about Amitriptyline affecting sex drive?

    SWIM is gonna stick it out for awhile, she unplugged the oven so that she doesn't try any more night time cooking.

    SWIM is also in therapy seeing a Clinical Psychologist and an Addiction Counsellor, she is also contemplating whether to go into a residential rehab for addiction to help her get routine back into her life. One of the specifications the rehab has though is no sleeping pills, which is a good thing or a bad thing depending on how SWIM looks at it :p

    SWIM should just google it, but what exactly is Akathesia?
     
  6. azrael2600

    azrael2600 Silver Member

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    swim looked up the half life and found this:
    Its half-life varies from 10 to 50 hours, with an average of 15 hours
     
  7. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    Thanks for the info azrael. That is a huge variance. SWIM thinks the half life is about 12-15 hours for her, though it seems to take about 6 hours before SWIM actually gets any sleep affects from it. It's like it is having an excitory affect on SWIM's neurotransmitters for the first 6 hours, but her vision is blurry so she cant actually do anything, yet she can't sleep either.
     
  8. Jatelka

    Jatelka Psychedelic Shepherdess Platinum Member & Advisor

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    lostgurl: SWIJ has taken amitryptiline for sleep and dothiepin for depression: Sex drive plummeted with both.

    Akathesia is a feeling of incredible restlessness, a common side effect of tricyclics and antipsychotics.

    For SWIJ, the way she feels coming up on LSD is the perfect analogy. A friend describes it as: "Feeling as if you're going to come out of your skin if you don't move" (which is kind of scary, coz SWIJ just googled it and was given exactly that description!)
     
  9. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    Thanks Jatelka, that is exactly what SWIM has been experiencing. Exactly!

    Last night SWIM thought she would try taking her Amitriptyline at 7pm then take her sleeping pills (zopiclone) at midnight so that she could tell what effects she was experiencing from the Amitriptyline. Well SWIM's head felt kind of heavy but that was about it, she didn't feel tired, though she didn't actully attempt sleeping, then she took her Zopiclone and an hour later was really sleepy, but again, couldn't sleep for the reasons Jatelka mentioned above. A hot batch seemed to do the trick and SWIM had a fairly good sleep after that but then she woke up this morning with that same feeling. she's never woken up feeling like that so very strange. SWIM took another Zopiclone which made her feel better.

    SWIM has decided to just stop the Amitriptyline altogther, it just seems to be making things worse. Hopefully she can cut down her Zopiclone without help, but that is gonna seriously suck.
     
  10. Klaus

    Klaus Newbie

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    SWIM should just google it, but what exactly is Akathesia?

    Hey Lostgurl Akathesia is a state where you just cant rest at all (like restless legs only through your whole body) Also severe mental agitation.
     
  11. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    SWIM has been googling it and she feels that what she is experiencing is Akathesia. It is definitely through her whole body, not just her legs and maybe mental agitation....... is there a description for "severe mental agitation"

    SWIM also experienced the same feeling when she went throguh heroin withdrawal years ago, it was the worst part of the heroin withdrawal SWIM found, and the description of restless leg syndrome just never fitted to what she was experiencing. Obviously the Akathesia was much more severe with heroin withdrawal as it lasted all day and all night for about 4 days which can drive a person nuts! At least for SWIM at the moment she is only really feeling Akathesia when she is trying to sleep, trying to relax or trying to stay still even.

    Any thoughts on this? She's never heard the term Akathesia used to talk about heroin withdrawal but its fits perfectly to what she went through, as well as to what she is currently going through.
     
  12. Klaus

    Klaus Newbie

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    It can be caused by several chemicals Amitriptyline just one of them.
    Paradoxically it can be caused by drugs that a designed for the oposite ie relaxation .

    Swim had it once very bad and could NOT keep still AT ALL . Had to go out and walk the dog ALL night, Swim could not even sit down.
     
  13. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    SWIM wouldn't recommend it, at least based on the U.S. drug treatment system. It's more or less a combined brainwashing + indoctrination into 12-step groups. SWIM doesn't see how this would help anyone get routine into their lives, unless "90 meetings in 90 days" is the sort of routine they're looking for. :rolleyes:

    ISO, the psychologist + counselor is not a bad idea tho...
     
  14. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    Could Akathesia also be caused by Zopiclone? and maybe the combination made it worse? Cause SWIM has been experiencing Akathesia for a few weeks (while taking Zopiclone which she has been taking for years) but it became worse while taking Amitriptyline. SWIM thought at first it was caffeine causing it as she had just started drinking energy drinks, but she hasn't had any energy drinks for about 10 days so this cant be the problem.

    Last night SWIM decided not to take the Amitripyline and just took her Zopiclone but she still had Akathesia. She redosed on pills a couple of times she thinks, and she should have been fast asleep she was so sedated but she just kept waking up with her body kicking out, like fighting the sleep and she could not lie still. The hot bath didn't work this time. SWIM woke to find cigarette burn holes through her duvet blanket and pillow and also found the back door wide open, which freaked her out at first then she had a vague memory of feeling hot and standing outside naked to cool down.....which is bizarre enough in itself.

    SWIM knows she should probably just stop the Zopiclone and maybe things would get better but she just cannot fathom sleeping without them, and shes been taking them for years now so she kind of rationalizes in her head that these are not the cause of her sleep upsets. She is going to visit her Dr early in the new year but cant do a lot medication wise until then.

    SWIM has been told that the rehabs where she lives are not as AA/NA focused as those in the states tend to be, but they still incorporate it. There would be a lot of routine in rehab that she thinks would be helpful though the whole idea of it scares her, but what scares her more is where she will be in a year if she doesn't do something drastic now to change her lifestyle.
     
  15. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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  16. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    SWIM got 5 hours of uninteruppted sleep last night, an absolute Godsend as SWIM was at a point of desperation and complete despair, she was not coping well with the lack of sleep and the Akathisia was almost driving her insane. There are a few factors which could have contributed to SWIM's good sleep:

    1. SWIM was violently ill yesterday, (not a hangover) she was throwing up all day and could not even keep fluids down until the evening when she started to feel better and had a smoothie and some soup. (So much less food in her system)

    2. SWIM did not drink any of her usual soda (Golden Circle) but instead she had Sprite which has no caffeine it. She is unsure whether her usual soda has caffeine in it or not as it does not state so on the cans, but she has contacted the company through their website to find this out and is still waiting for a reply.

    3. It had been about 4 days since she had last taken Amitriptyline

    4. She took only 3 Zopiclone Sleeping pills before bed, which is fairly standard, usually she only takes more than this when she is already experiencing sleep disturbances (like in the middle of the night)

    5. Because SWIM was so sick during the day she found even smoking cigarettes was making her throw up so she only smoked about 12 cigarettes all day. (she had been smoking over 40 cigarettes per day in recent weeks)

    6. Before going to sleep SWIM tried some breathing exercises to help calm and relax her.

    5 full hours without a hint of Akathisia, without sleep walking or eating, without getting up and having a shower or bath, no disturbances whatsoever and SWIM woke up with no anxiety, which has been another problem in recent weeks. SWIM's is still feeling a bit unwell today, but mostly better and she feels very refreshed after finally getting a good night sleep.

    But as SWIM is not sure exactly why she slept well last night and she is scared that the Akathisia will interfere with her sleep again tonight. She was honestly feeling like she was about to go insane and was not coping at all. The last couple of weeks have been some of the hardest times in SWIM's life and if she had had access to any other downers during this time she could easily see herself overdosing out of desperation to calm this inner restlessness.

    SWIM still has mild symtoms of Akathisia during the day, but nothing that interferes with her mental state, just constant moving of her foot back and forth which is quite normal for SWIM.
     
  17. paranoid_android

    paranoid_android Silver Member

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    Swim originally tried out amitriptyline for possible recreational properties but soon found it was a fantastic sleep aid. Suppose that's counter to what most people experience with prescription medication...