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Hi just looking for some support tapering amitriptyline after long term use. I was on 125mg for major depression in February 2006, tapered to 50mg in October 2007 and should in hindsight (after eighteen months of recovery and therapy) have tapered to zero at this point. However I was happy to take my doctor’s advice to stay on for longer (he assured me amitriptyline was safe long term) as it was my fourth episode of serious depression and I had a young child to consider. I desperately wanted to avoid another episode... In 2009 I had pneumonia and my general health deteriorated with chronic fatigue and memory lapses (I was 48 and started the menopause then too...). I was diagnosed with CFS/ME and never really recovered my health although I continued to do some part time work and care for my family. Whenever I complained of tingling sensations and other neurological symptoms it was put down to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. I reduced my dosage to 10mg in 2013 and not realising I had withdrawal symptoms was given a tentative diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome (luckily I refused medication!). In 2016 I decided to withdraw from 10mg which I was told would be straight forward. Four days after stopping I was in excruciating neuropathic pain and reinstated straight away. Two years later and having become more informed about withdrawal I decided to withdraw (2018) over six months to 2.5 mg (quarter tablet). I started suffering from severe nerve pain and have seen a neurologist with a diagnosis of probable short fibre neuropathy (which I think is caused by withdrawal...). I stayed on 2.5mg for six months and have seen some improvements. Now under a new sympathetic doctor I have a prescription for liquid amitriptyline and she has assured me I can take as long as I need (they do not normally prescribe it at my surgery but she is the senior partner and we have developed a good relationship...my previous doctor who didn’t believe me is now in special measures 😐). But I am struggling with insomnia, restless legs, tinnitus, headache, brain zaps, anxiety and more...in addition to the burning pain. I am trying to drop 0.2mg every month with the hope of getting off by the end of 2020. I am on 2.2 mg...but it is like drawing blood from a stone. Should it be this difficult? I have had windows of a few hours when my nervous system feels normal (about once or twice a month!)...but feel

pretty desperate after every tiny drop. I am nearly 59 and started on the drug aged 45... Do the moderators on this site have experience of tricycle antidepressants? I would be grateful for some insight and feedback. Have tried CBD oil but it didn’t help...magnesium and fish oil seems to be all I can tolerate, my brain feels fried and my nervous system on high alert and hypersensitive. Can I really do this and recover at my age? I am psychologically stable and feel if I can get through this I will remain so. Am doing gentle yoga swimming and mindfulness.

Thank you VRTR

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, VRTR.


First of all, it's better to listen to your body than try to stick to a timeline.  It's at the low doses that it's especially important to go slowly.  If your symptoms are that bad, it means you are tapering too fast.  


It's better to taper by a percentage of your current dose rather than a set amount every month.  Our general recommendation is to taper by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.




That's more or less what you've been doing since you started tapering from 2.5mg.  For some the 10% taper is too fast, and you appear to be in that group.  Many members have been successful using the Brassmonkey slide taper, devised by one of our moderators.  This taper consists of four weekly reductions of 2.5% in a row with an additional 2-week hold.  That was you don't get hit with the full 10% reduction all at once, instead spreading out the 10% over four weeks.  The hold allows your system to 

let the changes settle out before continuing the taper.  If things start getting too rough, hold for a while.


If 2.5% per week proves to be too much, you can use the Brassmonkey taper to do a 1.25% per week drop or a 1% per week drop.
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  Again, welcome.












Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium  

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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