Migraine Treatments

Amitriptyline for Migraine Prevention: What You Should Know

What is amitriptyline?

Amitriptyline (generic Elavil®) is a preventative prescription medication that can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches.

What will it do for me?

Amitriptyline, which is also used as an “tricyclic antidepressant” or chronic pain medication, can, at lower dosages, act as a first line of defense when it comes to your migraines.

How does it help with migraine prevention?

Amitriptyline is the “happy” filter for your brain. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine, two chemicals that when depleted can lead to migraines, chronic pain, and depression. When these chemicals are more balanced, migraines don’t get to bring your mood down.

How do I buy amitriptyline (generic Elavil®)?

Amitriptyline is a prescription medicine so you’ll need to talk to your doctor first. Get started today with a Cove doctor consultation.

How should I take it?

This medication is best taken right before bed as it can cause drowsiness and sedation.

What should I be cautious of?

If any of the below have happened (or are currently happening) in your life, make sure to raise a red flag to your doctor.

  • You’ve had an allergic reaction to Amitriptyline or similar medications before (hives included).
  • You have a history of significant constipation.
  • You struggle to empty your bladder.
  • You experience extreme drowsiness.
  • You have glaucoma.

Can I take amitriptyline with other migraine medications?

You can take amitriptyline with all acute and preventative medications that help with migraines and their symptoms.

What happens if I can’t take it right away?

If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember to help maintain consistent prevention. Luckily, Amitriptyline is a long-acting medication, which means that missing a dose isn’t the end of the world (unless it happens often!). If an entire day has gone by, just continue to take your usual dose.

Where should I keep my amitriptyline?

Keep it in a dry place at a cool room temperature.

Are there any possible side effects?

Amitriptyline is generally well-tolerated in doses for migraine prevention.

If you do experience any serious side effects, you might notice…

  • Constipation
  • Difficulty emptying your bladder
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry eyes
  • Sedation


The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

Amitriptyline is used to treat low mood (depression). It may be given to you for other reasons. Do not stop taking this drug all of a sudden without calling your doctor. You may have a greater risk of signs of withdrawal. Drugs like this one have raised the chance of suicidal thoughts or actions in children and young adults. The risk may be greater in people who have had these thoughts or actions in the past. All people who take this drug need to be watched closely. Call the doctor right away if signs like low mood (depression), nervousness, restlessness, grouchiness, panic attacks, or changes in mood or actions are new or worse. Call the doctor right away if any thoughts or actions of suicide occur. This drug is not approved for use in children. You can read more about amitriptyline’s side effects, warnings, and precautions here. Full prescribing information for amitriptyline is available here. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit MedWatch: https://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm or call 1-800-FDA-1088.