Elavil (amitriptyline HCI) is an antidepressant medication, prescribed for the treatment of depression and other mood disorders. It can help improve a patient's mood and help combat anxiety, tension and problems sleeping. Elavil belongs to a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants, which are designed to affect the balance of the chemicals in the brain.
What do I need to know about Elavil?
Antidepressants such as Elavil are prescribed to treat symptoms of depression such as suicide. Studies have shown that use of Elavil and similar drugs can result in worsened depression and suicidal thoughts/tendencies, particularly in persons younger than 25. Thus, it is very important to watch for signs of worsened depression in patients taking Elavil, especially in young patients. Talk to a doctor immediately if you notice increased depression or suicidal thoughts.
Signs that depression may be getting worse include:
- Unusual changes in behavior
- New or worsened anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Sleeping problems
- Unexplained anger/hostile feelings
- Rapid speech
- Impulsive actions
Before taking Elavil, tell your doctor if you have a history of:
- Allergic reaction to tricyclic antidepressants
- Breathing problems
- Bleeding problems
- Liver problems
- Heart attack
- Enlarged prostate
- Thyroid problems
- Family history of suicide or bipolar disorder
- Blood disease
Other important things to note if you are taking Elavil:
- Do not drive or operate heavy machinery
- This medication may increase your sensitivity to the sun
- This medication may make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels for those with diabetes
What are the side effects of Elavil?
Common side effects, which are not life-threatening include:
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain
- Urinary problems
Serious (rare) side effects of Elavil include:
- Persistent heartburn
- Easy bruising/bleeding
- Muscle spasms
- Severe stomach pains
- Low libido
- Enlarged/painful breasts
- Black, tar-like stools or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- Severe dizziness or fainting
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)—symptoms include fever, muscle stiffness, irregular heartbeat, uncontrollable sweating, confusion
- Severe allergic reaction—symptoms include itching, swelling of the tongue/face/throat, rash, difficulty breathing, severe dizziness
Can Elavil cause gynecomastia?
The development of gynecomastia may be linked to Elavil use, although rare. Symptoms of gynecomastia include swelling of breast tissue, pain or discomfort in one or both breast and nipple discharge. If you experience any of these symptoms while taking Elavil, you should consult your physician right away.
Talk to a Gynecomastia lawyer today
While gynecomastia is not the most severe potential side effect of drugs like Elavil, it can have lasting emotional effects on young men. Our gynecomastia lawyers help boys and men affected by the symptoms of gynecomastia and can help you if you believe your condition may be linked to Elavil, another tricyclic antidepressants or another medication. To learn more, contact us today.