I’ve tried a lot of prescription meds for my migraines — Imatrex, Maxalt, Zomig… At one time or another, I feel like I’ve tried them all. The sad truth is, I keep waiting for the miracle drug — the cure-all, and there is probably no such thing. These meds only diminish migraine symptoms. They don’t eliminate them entirely.

I see my neuro about once a month now. He’s a nice guy and I feel comfortable with him. He’s thoughtful and he listens. Most recently, under his care, I have been taking Topamax once daily at bedtime. He would have liked me to take it twice daily (morning and night), but Topamax packs a wallop. Anyone who has ever taken it knows what I mean. Much of my day job involves writing and for that, I need to be cognizant. Although Topamax does a good job at squelching my headaches, too much of a good thing is too much, and you end up with the dreaded “Dope-amax.”

I’m not sure what his rationale was behind it, but recently my neuro tried me on a 6-day course of Medrol (methylprednisolone), a steroid. Unfortunately, it did little to help my headaches. Anyone have experience with this?

On today’s visit, the question was this — Topamax helps, but at the very low dose I was taking, I was still suffering. Do I up the dosage and risk turning into a zombie, or try something new? My neuro asked me about my sleep pattern. Now, I have never been a very good sleeper, and in fact, last night I tossed and turned and caught only about three hours. That was enough for him to write me a script for Elavil. He says he has had better luck with this drug in patients than with Topamax. Bonus — it helps you sleep!

Now, even though this blog may sound like it, I’m not one to pop pills like they’re tic-tacs. Once he said the brand name, Elavil, I remembered that I had taken this drug once before. Problem is, I can’t remember why I stopped taking it. I decided to do some online research.


For the most part, Elavil gets good online reviews — much more so than Topamax. I guess the worst side effects are dry mouth, drowsiness and weight gain, which I am really not looking forward to. I’m curious to hear from those who are taking the drug or have taken it in the past. What is your experience?

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5 thoughts on “Elavil

  1. scorpionglow says:

    Topamax really did help me for many years (about 7 or 8, and I had to go off of it periodically and start over because it would build up in my system too much), but going over 150 mgs made me suicidal, so I had to go back down to 125 until the drug stopped working entirely. I still tell people about it though because even though I still suffer from migraines, Topamax helped me for a long time when I thought there was no hope in sight.
    Relpax is amazing at stopping the migraine in its tracks. No other medicine worked for me until that came on the market. My insurance company refused to pay for it though after a few years (at $300 for six pills, I can’t really say that I blame them.), so I’ve been on my own for a few years where this is concerned. I’ve had to go with natural remedies for almost a year, but will be looking into an alternative treatment method when things get straightened out. Even if I have to pay for the new method out of pocket, it will be worth it to me to not be in a cool, dark room every time I have a migraine (like right now) praying I don’t throw up.

  2. I’ve tried elavil before, it makes me a little foggy during the day and also it makes me a little on the edgy side, so it doesn’t work for me bc of the side effects, but it is still a great medication

  3. Samantha says:

    Have you ever gotten the tinglies from Topamax? My feet would get tingly and become numb. Elavil…. Isn’t this an anti-depressant? If it’s the one i am thinking of, then it definitely helped me sleep. You speak about the foggy brain issues with topamax but anytime I have a migraine, I have that “foggyness”…

    Good luck with this new medicine! I am in the same boat as you, I always hope this new thing will be my “cure” but sadly, nothing is a permanent cure. Maybe someday we will have relief and finally be “normal” again.

    • JMUPatrick says:

      When I first started taking Topamax years ago, it would really give me the full body tingles. I took it at night before bed and I remember thinking — is this normal, or am I finally having the stroke that is going to kill me? (Topamax users, it’s totally normal, and goes away with time.)

      Elavil is an anti-depressant, yes, but it also helps with a lot of other ailments. My biggest concern, as I mention in my blog, is weight gain. So I get rid of my headaches but I have to become the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? Nuh uh. No likey. :-(

      • Samantha says:

        Marshmallow man LOL! I completely understand that-it seems the more meds were on the more we’re at risk to gain weight. I’ve been on Plexus Slim for almost 2 months and I’ve only lost 10-12 pounds depending on how my body acts that day ha ha! It’s so hard-do you get certain munchie/cravings when you’re having a bad migraine? Bleh! I’d take it-if it means less migraines.

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