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Drug

Amitriptyline-Chlordiazepoxide

Pronounced

"A-mi-TRIP-ti-leen/KLOR-dye-AZ-e-POX-ide"

Uses

This product contains 2 medicines (amitriptyline, chlordiazepoxide) and is used to treat mental/mood disorders such as depression with symptoms of anxiety. Amitriptyline belongs to a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It may help improve mood and feelings of well-being, relieve anxiety and tension, and help you sleep better. It works by affecting the balance of certain natural chemicals (neurotransmitters such as serotonin) in the brain. Chlordiazepoxide helps to reduce anxiety. It acts on the brain and nerves to produce a calming effect. It belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines.

Warning

Antidepressant medications are used to treat a variety of conditions, including depression and other mental/mood disorders. These medications can help prevent suicidal thoughts/attempts and provide other important benefits. However, studies have shown that a small number of people (especially people younger than 25) who take antidepressants for any condition may experience worsening depression, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts. Therefore, it is very important to talk with the doctor about the risks and benefits of antidepressant medication (especially for people younger than 25), even if treatment is not for a mental/mood condition.

Tell the doctor right away if you notice worsening depression/other psychiatric conditions, unusual behavior changes (including possible suicidal thoughts/attempts), or other mental/mood changes (including new/worsening anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile/angry feelings, impulsive actions, severe restlessness, very rapid speech). Be especially watchful for these symptoms when a new antidepressant is started or when the dose is changed.

Taking chlordiazepoxide with opioid medications (such as codeine, hydrocodone) may increase your risk of very serious side effects, including death. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you take the smallest dose of chlordiazepoxide that works, and take it for the shortest possible time. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up.

How to Use This Medication

Read the Medication Guide available from your pharmacist. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Take this medication by mouth, usually 1-4 times daily or as directed by your doctor. The larger portion of the total daily dose may be taken at bedtime to help reduce daytime sleepiness. The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment.

To reduce your risk of side effects (such as drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness), your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.

Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.

This medication may not work right away. You may feel some benefit the first week. However, it may take up to 4 weeks before you experience the full effect.

It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as worsening anxiety, headaches, shakiness, seizures, stomach cramps, muscle aches/cramps, vomiting, sweating). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used this medication for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.

When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Your doctor may need to increase your dose or change your medication. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.

Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens (such as nervousness or feelings of sadness get worse, or you have thoughts of suicide).

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Information expires December 2020.