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How Long Does Amitriptyline Drug Stay In Your System?

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Posted on 5 days ago
Question: I have taken Amitriptyline (Elavil) for many years. First 50 mg, then 25 mg and for the last 7 years 10 mg. In April 2018 I gradually stopped taking it. How long does this drug stay in your system?
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
2 to 17 days

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

Amitriptyline breaks down to form a product called nortriptyline. This break down product or metabolite also has an effect in the body.

The half life of a medication is the time it takes for the amount of medication in the body to decrease by half. It takes 3 to 5 half lives for most of a medication to be eliminated from the body.

The half life of amitriptyline is approximately 10 to 28 hours but half life of its metabolite , nortriptyline (which also has an effect), is 16 to 80 hours.
This means it would take approximately 48 to 400 hours for amitriptyline and its metabolite to be mostly eliminated
This is 2 to 17 days.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James (12 hours later)
Thank you for your answer. What are the after effects of getting off this drug? I am having a lot of joint and muscle pain now (mostly lower back).
doctor
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (25 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
not typical but persons react differently to medication

Detailed Answer:
HI

There are withdrawal symptoms that can occur particularly if it is used for a long period of time. Your careful decrease in dose would have decreased the withdrawal symptoms.

Some persons experience dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting. Joint and muscle pain are not common withdrawal symptoms but persons react differently to medication so it may be your individual reaction.
Because however, it is not typical, you may want to consider visiting your doctor to rule out other possible causes
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16810 Questions

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How Long Does Amitriptyline Drug Stay In Your System?

Brief Answer: 2 to 17 days Detailed Answer: Hi, Amitriptyline breaks down to form a product called nortriptyline. This break down product or metabolite also has an effect in the body. The half life of a medication is the time it takes for the amount of medication in the body to decrease by half. It takes 3 to 5 half lives for most of a medication to be eliminated from the body. The half life of amitriptyline is approximately 10 to 28 hours but half life of its metabolite , nortriptyline (which also has an effect), is 16 to 80 hours. This means it would take approximately 48 to 400 hours for amitriptyline and its metabolite to be mostly eliminated This is 2 to 17 days. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions