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Amitriptyline Tapering

This entry was posted in Antidepressant on by .
Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on August 3, 2022 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Alternative to Meds Center has helped many who needed help with amitriptyline tapering and has provided great relief for those who have had difficulty finding a facility that can correctly administer safe weaning, and titration.

The Alternative to Meds Center inpatient programs are designed to allow the client the opportunity of getting off amitriptyline (and similar drugs) safely and gently, in a nurturing social setting.

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Historical Notes on Amitriptyline and Fatalities by Suicide

amitriptyline weaningWhen amitriptyline came onto the market in the 1960s, it was hailed with a wave of enthusiasm, in stark contrast to medical opinion today. Shockingly, amitriptyline was named “the gold standard of antidepressants” in 2001 (issue #278) by the British Journal of Psychiatry. Today, amitriptyline is more known for the documented number of fatalities by suicide connected to this drug. Amitriptyline is ranked #1 for deaths by suicide, as well as quite a host of other problems. Amitriptyline is one of the antidepressants known as TCAs, or tricyclic antidepressants, and is believed to be so toxic by many in the healthcare field today that it is often considered an antidepressant of last resort, rather than the aforementioned gold standard.1

Gradual Amitriptyline Tapering and Titration

Stopping amitriptyline can be extremely stressful and even dangerous when done too quickly. Too often, a person looking for help with getting off amitriptyline is offered substitute pills instead of an avenue that supports amitriptyline tapering so that their medication could be reduced and even eliminated altogether. Indeed, without proper preparation and comprehensive care, withdrawal from amitriptyline could be considered intolerable. After all, it could be considered inhumane just to take a person off medication and leave them to suffer. And suffering can include not only the amitriptyline withdrawal symptoms, but additionally suffer as their old symptoms return.

Guidelines on How to do Amitriptyline Tapering Properly

How to get off amitriptyline properly must include a gradual taper to mitigate harsh withdrawals, but it would be ideal to also provide therapies and corrective protocols that reduce a person’s original symptoms as well.

Guidelines for amitriptyline tapering include:
  • amitriptyline tapering guidelinesTesting for neurotoxicity followed by gentle effective removal of neurotoxins.
  • Nutritional testing, monitoring, clean diet,10,11, and supplementation to provide the correct balance of vitamins and minerals for optimum CNS and brain health.
  • Highest quality licensed physician care and 24/7 clinical oversight throughout the antidepressant tapering process.
  • Many holistic adjunct therapies for physical comfort and healing including therapeutic massage, Reiki, acupuncture/acupressure, Qi Gong, and mineral baths, have shown significant clinical efficacy in reducing anxiety and depression in drug withdrawal studies.7-9
  • Educational components provide an excellent foundation for reducing the reliance on meds and understanding how to get off amitriptyline safely and learning the basics of creating healthy neurochemistry.10
  • Counseling and life coaching of a mild nature, designed to help gently restore order and balance to life, plus enhance the ability to move forward with optimism without relapse.5,6

getting off amitriptylineBefore Alternative to Meds, there were few truly helpful resources for those who were hopeful about amitriptyline tapering and recovery treatment. There can be a level of despair over the unresolved burden of chemical dependence. Amitriptyline weaning does not have to be torturous if one can find the right kind of help. Trying to quit amitriptyline by oneself without competent assistance is sometimes too difficult for success. Amitriptyline weaning can be arduous and near impossible without understanding how to lessen and avoid the physical and mental stress that can accompany the process.

In the main, physicians have not received training on how to help a person get off amitriptyline. In an effort to help, a physician may simply prescribe some substitute medications, or even advise their patients to continue taking medication to avoid withdrawal symptoms from stopping amitriptyline. Doctors are trying their best. But they are simply not generally trained in this field. Thankfully, there is the Alternative to Meds Center. And, some institutions are beginning to add this type of training for medical students and previously trained and licensed doctors who have had this omitted from their education.3

Alternative to Meds Center Amitriptyline Tapering and Amitriptyline Titration

The best of help is available today in our luxurious, world-class inpatient facility. The more than 60 professional staff at the center are dedicated to helping every one of our clients toward their goals of improved natural mental health, which means not only a reduction or elimination of medication but overall improvements to health without relying on prescription drugs. Our clients can enjoy the benefits of reducing or stopping amitriptyline safely and comfortably, and can also begin to enjoy the healthy changes that occur with the correction and rebuilding of natural neurochemistry, routinely done for each client in the program.

Toxic Drug Treatment vs Natural Amitriptyline Tapering Methods

amitriptyline holistic taperingAccording to clinical studies that have been done over the last 6 decades, amitriptyline is among a handful of antidepressant drugs that are believed to be extremely toxic to human neurochemistry.2 Even so, amitriptyline has been marketed over the last 60 years for many purposes apart from depression and anxiety. Dogs and cats now are prescribed amitriptyline as a pain killer after surgery or if a pet is exhibiting “separation anxiety” when their owner leaves for work in the morning. Humans are also prescribed amitriptyline “off-label” for an ever-lengthening list of conditions including treating insomnia, back pain, preventing migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and one of the more disturbing ones — treating bedwetting in very young children, and this despite the FDA black box warning that states amitriptyline hydrochloride is not approved for pediatric patients.4

Those trying to quit amitriptyline deserve deft and careful management for their safety and comfort. The programs for amitriptyline tapering at Alternative to Meds Center use an extensive array of protocols that have clearly shown they can significantly ease what might otherwise be a difficult process. We design each client’s program uniquely to address their individual needs, choosing the best blend of protocols to ensure maximum benefits from round-the-clock care, plus the highest possible level of comfort and safety.

Amitriptyline Tapering Programs at ATMC

Please contact us at Alternative to Meds Center for more details on the very comprehensive treatment plans available to anyone wishing to experience holistic mental health improvements. You can view the wealth of treatment options on our services overview pages. There is much information to review there, which we hope will be helpful for you.

Ours is a surprisingly comfortable and gentle amitriptyline tapering program, in a nurturing and welcoming world-class inpatient facility designed to help our clients attain natural mental health.

1. Guilleminault C, Cao MT Tricyclic Antidepressants from book, “Principles and Practices of Sleep Medicine, 5th ed.” published 2011 [cited 2022 July 6]

2. Davison P, Wardrope J. Acute amitriptyline withdrawal and hyponatraemia. A case report. Drug Saf. 1993 Jan;8(1):78-80. doi: 10.2165/00002018-199308010-00009. PMID: 8471189. [cited 2022 July 6]

3. Rasyidi E, Wilkins JN, Danovitch I. Training the next generation of providers in addiction medicine. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2012 Jun;35(2):461-80. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2012.04.001. PMID: 22640766. [cited 2022 July 6]

4. FDA Black Box Label Amitriptyline published by manufacturer Sandoz [cited 2022 July 6]

5. DeRubeis R., Siegle G, Hollon S., “Cognitive therapy vs. medications for depression: Treatment outcomes and neural mechanisms.” Nat Rev Neurosci 2008 Oct; 9(10): 788-796 {online Sept 11, 2008] PMID18784657 [cited 2022 July 6]

6. Cromarty P, Jonsson J, Moorhead S, Freeston MH. Cognitive behaviour therapy for withdrawal from antidepressant medication: a single case series. Behav Cogn Psychother. 2011 Jan;39(1):77-97. doi: 10.1017/S1352465810000512. Epub 2010 Sep 20. PMID: 20849682. [cited 2022 July 6]

7. Roh HS, Park BR, Jang EY, Kim JS, Gwak YS. Acupuncture on the Stress-Related Drug Relapse to Seeking. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Oct 17;2018:5367864. doi: 10.1155/2018/5367864. PMID: 30416533; PMCID: PMC6207895. [cited 2022 July 6]

8. Black S, Jacques K, Webber A, Spurr K, Carey E, Hebb A, Gilbert R. Chair massage for treating anxiety in patients withdrawing from psychoactive drugs. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Sep;16(9):979-87. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0645. PMID: 20799900. [cited 2022 July 6]

9. Liu F, Cui J, Liu X, Chen KW, Chen X, Li R. The effect of tai chi and Qigong exercise on depression and anxiety of individuals with substance use disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complement Med Ther. 2020 May 29;20(1):161. doi: 10.1186/s12906-020-02967-8. PMID: 32471415; PMCID: PMC7260819. [cited 2022 July 6]

10. Gibson GE, Blass JP. Nutrition and Functional Neurochemistry. In: Siegel GJ, Agranoff BW, Albers RW, et al., editors. Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects. 6th edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven; 1999. Available from: [cited 2022 July 6]

11. Sarris J. Nutritional Psychiatry: From Concept to the Clinic. Drugs. 2019 Jun;79(9):929-934. doi: 10.1007/s40265-019-01134-9. PMID: 31114975. [cited 2022 July 6]

Originally Published Nov 1, 2019 by Lyle Murphy

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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