If you find yourself in pain, I can certainly understand why you’d want to reach for Tramadol. Especially if the pain is keeping you awake when you should be sleeping, as Tramadol not only helps to relieve pain, but also aids in sleep too.
However, if you are already on other medication you first have to ensure that it’s both safe and appropriate for you to take tramadol in addition to any other medication you are taking.
This article focuses on whether you can take amitriptyline with tramadol.
We’re going to look into what these two medications are actually for, how they work, and what happens if you try to take both medications together. And at the end we will wrap up with a conclusion (feel free to scroll ahead).
What is amitriptyline, and what is it used for?
Amitriptyline is primarily an antidepressant. It falls into the category of tricyclic antidepressants.
It is used to help relieve mental illness such as depression, anxiety and tension.
It happens to be one of the earliest types of antidepressant invented, but it still remains popular today. Whereas many other antidepressants work on depression alone, amitriptyline also works to simultaneously relieve anxiety and tension, and consequently can also help to relieve tension headaches.
But that’s not all. Amitriptyline can also help you to sleep, it relaxes the mind and in doing so relaxes the body to prepare you for sleep. It’s a good antidepressant for those whose troubles keep them awake at night, and need that little bit of extra help getting off to sleep.
But that said, it’s not a medication for insomnia per se and is first and foremost a treatment for depression combined with anxiety.
How does amitriptyline work?
Amitriptyline works in your central nervous system, predominantly in your brain.
The premise for amitriptyline working in your brain is that when people are depressed and anxious, they have low levels of certain chemical messengers in the brain. These chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters.
What amitriptyline does is work to enhance the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the gaps between brain cells.
What is tramadol and what is it used for?
Tramadol is a pain relief medication, and can be used to treat both moderate and severe pain.
It’s a very powerful pain medication. This is one of the reasons that you can’t typically [pick it up at the supermarket. It is only available by prescription.
How does tramadol work?
Like amitriptyline, tramadol also works on your central nervous system. And again, tramadol also exerts effects on the chemical messengers or neurotransmitters that work in the brain.
Tramadol mimics the chemical messengers known as endorphins. It effectively tricks nerve cells (neurons) into believing that they have received a chemical message from endorphins, and this effectively decreases the pain messages that your body sends to your brain.
Why you should be careful taking tramadol
There’s good reason why tramadol is only available on prescription. It is a very strong pain medication, comparable even to morphine.
And like morphine, it can also make you particularly drowsy.
But more worryingly, it is also addictive. Taking this drug can lead to addiction and misuse. If you become too addicted to tramadol, you could, in the worst case scenario, overdose and die.
Can you take amitriptyline with tramadol?
If you have been paying attention, you will have noticed that both amitriptyline and tramadol can make you quite drowsy. This is because they are both depressants of the central nervous system.
They can make you so drowsy in fact, that you are not recommended to drive any kind of vehicle or heavy machinery after taking either amitriptyline or tramadol. And obviously taking the two medications together will have a compound effect, making you especially drowsy, if not making you fall asleep altogether.
As it stands both amitriptyline and tramadol are only available on prescription. And you should only take prescription medications if they have been prescribed specifically for you. You should not take anyone else’s prescription drugs, even if they have a surplus.
If you are on amitriptyline, and you need a painkiller there are several alternatives available to you. Which leads us nicely onto our next section.
What pain medications are safe to take with amitriptyline?
If you are taking amitriptyline and you need to take a painkiller for pain relief, there are much safer alternatives available to you than tramadol. You can for example, take paracetamol, aspirin, or ibuprofen.
This way you will not be subjected to the drowsy effects of both amitriptyline and tramadol together.
If you feel that pain medications such as paracetamol, aspirin, or ibuprofen are not strong enough to combat your pain, you can consider taking a safe combination of 2 or more painkillers.
We have several other articles you can look at which go into more detail about whether certain pain medications can be taken together. Please have a browse through.
Taking sleeping pills with amitriptyline
If however the reason you want to take tramadol with your amitriptyline is because your amitriptyline is not enough to help you get to sleep at night, then you should be looking into taking sleeping pills rather than pain medication.
In this instance, the best course of action to take is to report to your doctor that you are still suffering with insomnia. You can then be placed on sleeping pills that you can safely take alongside your amitriptyline.
Alternatively, there are several sleeping remedies you can try that do not involve prescription drugs.
You should not be taking amitriptyline with tramadol unless you have been prescribed both drugs, are suffering with a lot of pain and need help to go to sleep.
If this is in fact the case that you are being prescribed both drugs for the reasons referred to above, then you should be taking them at night before you go to bed in order to ensure that it does not interfere with your daily life, and that you remain sufficiently alert during the day time.