Some doctors use the drug amitriptyline to help people with ME/CFS manage their pain. As it also makes you sleepy, it is particularly useful for young people who have pain and cannot sleep.

Although amitriptyline is an antidepressant if used in a larger dose, that isn't why it is used for ME/CFS. If it's prescribed for you, you'll be taking a relatively low dose, usually starting between 5 - 20mg and slowly increasing up to 40 - 50mg (depending on your weight) . You will be asked to take it once a day, and as it will probably make you feel sleepy it is best to take it in the early evening with your meal. Do not take more than the prescribed dose, and keep your tablets out of reach of young children.

Side effects at this small dose are unusual, but some people do say they can feel generally unwell with it. If this is the case, you could ask your doctor to reduce the dose to 5mg a day, and then increase it gradually back up to your original starting dose.

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How long should I take it for?

Amitriptyline normally takes between 7 to 28 days before it starts to work. If you don't feel any benefit after this time, it would be normal for your dose to be slowly increased up to 40 - 50mg per day.

Don't increase this dose yourself - see your doctor!