A diagnosis of depression is not black and white as the symptoms are not the same for every individual. Your doctor may want to perform testing to rule out medical reasons for your anger, stress, aggression, or lost of interest in things that once brought you happiness. A physical exam, blood tests, and an update on your current medications will help determine if you meet specific criteria in order for a confirmed diagnosis of major depression.
Elavil or generic Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that your doctor can prescribe to help alleviate your symptoms of depression. These can include feelings of sadness or guilt, changes in your sleep pattern, trouble with concentrating, and thoughts of harming yourself. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
When taken as prescribed, Elavil increases the levels of two brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters that are important for communicating information throughout your body and brain. One is norepinephrine and the other is serotonin; they are responsible for such things as your sleep cycle, moods, and pain control. If levels are too low you may have a decreased ability to focus or low energy levels.
As Elavil increases the amount of these neurotransmitters, it also blocks the action of another brain chemical called acetylcholine, so less is available as it is believed to be another possible cause for your depression or anxiety. You may also notice the sedating effect of Elavil so you are more relaxed.
Depression is not simply a few days of feeling sad; it can take over your ability to work, go to school, socialize, or even communicate with family. Some of those experiencing depression may prefer to be alone, sleep too much or not enough, and have feelings of guilt or worthlessness that can cause thoughts of self-harming. This is a treatable condition so seek out help and talk to your doctor about Elavil to try to turn your thoughts around. Elavil is not a cure for depression and you must be patient as it can take a month or so before you notice any changes. Your doctor can also recommend a therapist and other resources to help you deal with depression and understand the symptoms.
Ask your doctor about any risks associated with taking Elavil if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding. To determine if Elavil is right for your situation, tell your doctor about other medical conditions or allergies you have as well as any Rx drugs and over the counter medications you take, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements. Keep all doctor appointments so your progress can be monitored to be certain you are receiving the proper dosage.
Until you know how your body will react to Elavil, you should avoid doing any task that requires you to be alert. If your behavior or moods worsen, see your doctor right away. Your family should be on the watch for any changes as well so they can arrange for you to see your doctor. Do not stop taking Elavil suddenly without consulting with your doctor as you may experience symptoms of withdrawal. Do not consume any alcohol due to dangerous side effects that may occur while taking Elavil.