Can Anti-Depressant Amitriptyline Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Amitriptyline is a popular tricyclic antidepressant used to treat several mental disorders including major depressive disorder, anxiety, psychosis, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and bipolar disorder.
This anti depression medicine may also be prescribed less frequently for migraines, post-herpetic neuralgia, neuropathic pain such as fibromyalgia, and insomnia. People living with mental illnesses may have symptoms that could be mistaken for physical ailments. In such cases, Amitriptyline is suggested as an antidepressant analgesic, due to its sedative qualities that relieves pain in some people. Tricyclics like Amitriptyline affect brain pathways that regulate mood and pain perception, intensifying the activity of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin.
Amitriptyline tablets are also prescribed off- label in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a disorder that urban Indian gastroenterologists are frequently encountering nowadays. Research found that Amitriptyline at low doses (10mg) is effective in treating diarrhoea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D). After 2 months, symptoms were significantly reduced in patients receiving 10 mg of amitriptyline.
This medicine has the most potent anticholinergic action of all the antidepressants presently in use. Amitriptyline's anticholinergic effect reduces the motility of the gastrointestinal tract & may ease symptoms in IBS patients. Baseline anxiety and depression scores show that the medicine's antidepressant effects are separate from pain reduction during amitriptyline therapy.
While the effects of Amitriptyline are more pronounced after treating for a second consecutive month, further studies with larger sample sizes are needed to verify results. Amitriptyline can be used to help IBS- D sufferers achieve a better quality of life.
Generic Amitriptyline is available at www.netmeds.com.