The medication Amitriptyline is a prescription medicine and it is basically taken as an antidepressant drug. Though, sometimes it can be prescribed to relieve hard pain symptoms to the patients, who suffer from severe back pain. According to the studies, held by medical specialists, the action of the medication Amitriptyline is able to reduce pain more substantially, than the drug Pregabalin, when used within patients with chronic lower back pain.
In comparison with 38% of the patients who took Pregabalin against back pain, about 60% of the patients using Amitriptyline experienced at least a 50% pain reduction.
Dr. Kalita’s research
A neurologist from a medical institute in India, Dr. Kalita, conducted her research on the medication Amitriptyline. According to her reviews, prolonged back pain is very difficult to control.
The drug Amitriptyline passed through 17 studies that examined the benefits of antidepressant medicines and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The studies were conducted during the process of pharmacological treatment of the patients with low back pain.
The purpose of the research was to study the pain symptoms within 200 patients in the average age of 41 years. Before the experiment, these patients had been suffering from back pain for a long time, up to 35 months. All of them had a different medical history, risk factors, and symptoms. Most of the experiment participants (115 patients) lived in rural areas. For 14 weeks, Dr. Kalita’s team treated the chosen patients with the help of the drugs Amitriptyline and Pregabalin.
The use of Acetaminophen and opioids caused unwanted side effects within the patients, although it showed the best results. As soon as side effects were observed, the dosage of the medication was gradually reduced and then the treatment with the drug was discontinued. When some patients finished the treatment, their back pain noticeably decreased or stopped. The studies on antidepressants have shown that they are no more effective than placebo.
As for the dosages, Amitriptyline was used in an initial dosage of 10 mg daily and gradually increased to 50 mg. The medication Pregabalin was used in an initial dosage of 75 mg twice a day and was gradually increased to 300 mg twice a day.
Among the patients there were some people, suffering from diabetes and hypertension. Many of them were smokers. The pain level within a lot of the participants was identified as severe.
As a result of the research, in 6 weeks, the patients with severe back pain, who took Amitriptyline, had a reduction in pain symptoms, according to a 10-point scale, from 7 to 4. By the 14th week, this mark dropped to 3.
A group of people, who took Pregabalin to reduce pain, received a decrease in back pain: from 7 to 5, and before the 14th week the mark dropped to 4.5. In comparison with the initial marks, the results were positive.
The experts noted that, as a result of the entire study, the patients, who took Amitriptyline, showed better results, because their symptoms were relieved, in comparison with the results of the group of the patients, who were taking the drug Pregabalin.
Side effects, associated with taking the Amitriptyline medication, that were observed during the whole Dr. Kalita’s experiment, included the following: dry mouth, skin rash, dizziness, vomiting, anxiety and drowsiness. The most common symptom was a sedative condition. The majority of the patients taking Pregabalin had at least one side effect.