Highlights for amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide
- Amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide is only available as a generic drug. It doesn’t have a brand-name version.
- This drug comes only as a tablet you take by mouth.
- Amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide is a combination of two drugs in a single form. It’s used to treat people who have both depression and anxiety.
- This drug has black box warnings. These are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Black box warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.
- Suicidal thinking and behavior warning: This drug can increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults. This is more likely to happen during the first few months of treatment with this drug. When you or your child first starts taking this drug, your doctor and family should watch closely. They should look for changes in behavior or worsening signs of depression.
- Dangerous effects with opioid use: Using this drug with opioid drugs, such as hydrocodone, or codeine, can cause dangerous effects. Your risk is higher if you take high doses of either drug and take them for a long time. Call your doctor or 911 right away if you or someone you’re caring for has symptoms of unusual dizziness or lightheadedness, extreme sleepiness, slowed or difficult breathing, or unresponsiveness. These symptoms can lead to coma and even death.
- Physical dependence and withdrawal reactions: Taking this medication for several days to weeks can cause physical dependence and withdrawal reactions. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication without talking with your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms, which can be life threatening.
- Misuse and addiction: Taking this medication can lead to misuse and addiction. This can increase your risk of overdose and death.
- Initial worsening of depression warning: You may have worsened depression symptoms, suicidal thoughts, and changes in behavior when you first start taking this drug. You may continue to have these symptoms until the drug starts working for you. This may take up to a few weeks.
- Withdrawal symptoms warning: You shouldn’t stop taking this drug without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking it suddenly, you may have withdrawal symptoms. These can include tremors (uncontrollable rhythmic movements in one part of your body), stomach pains, sweating, and headaches. Your risk is higher if you’ve taken this drug for a long time. If you need to stop taking this drug, your doctor will slowly lower your dosage.
- Dementia warning:
Researchhas indicated that this type of medication can cause effects similar to those caused by drugs called anticholinergics. This can raise your risk of dementia.
Amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide is a prescription drug. It comes as an oral tablet.
Amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide is only available as a generic drug. It doesn’t have a brand-name version.
Amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide is a combination drug. It contains two drugs: amitriptyline and chlordiazepoxide. It’s important to know about both drugs in the combination because each drug may affect you in a different way.
Why it’s used
How it works
Chlordiazepoxide belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Amitriptyline belongs to a class of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
Amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide works on your central nervous system. It increases the level of certain chemicals in your brain. This improves your symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide oral tablet may cause dizziness and drowsiness during the first few hours after you take it. It can also cause other side effects.
More common side effects
The more common side effects of amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide can include:
- dry mouth
- nasal congestion
- blurred vision
- vivid dreams
- tremors (uncontrollable rhythmic movements in one part of your body)
- erectile dysfunction (trouble getting or keeping an erection)
If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious side effects
Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
- Heart attack. Symptoms can include:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- discomfort in your upper body
- Stroke. Symptoms can include:
- weakness in one part or side of your body
- slurred speech
- Worsening symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
Amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.
To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide are listed below.
Drugs you should not use with amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide
Don’t take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) while taking amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide or within 2 weeks of stopping amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide.
Taking amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide and an MAOI too close together could lead to a life threatening condition called serotonin syndrome. This can cause uncontrolled muscle spasms, stiff muscles, high fever, sudden changes in heart rate or blood pressure, and confusion. It may be fatal.
Interactions that increase your risk of side effects
Taking amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide with certain medications raises your risk of side effects. Examples of these drugs include:
- Topiramate. Increased side effects of amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide could include drowsiness, dizziness, and constipation. If you need to take topiramate with this drug, your doctor may reduce your dosage of amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide.
- Opioids, such as morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Taking these drugs with amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide puts you at serious risk of severe drowsiness, slowed breathing, coma, or death. Your doctor will only prescribe opioids with amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide if other medications are not effective. They’ll monitor you closely.
- Flecainide and propafenone. Taking these drugs together could increase your risk of irregular heart rate.
- Sertraline, fluoxetine, and paroxetine. Taking these drugs together can increase the side effects of amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide. These can include dizziness, confusion, and heart attack.
- Cimetidine and quinidine. These drugs could increase the amount of the amitriptyline in your body. This could lead to dangerous side effects. These can include dizziness, confusion, and heart attack.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you’re taking.
This drug comes with several warnings.
Amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:
- trouble breathing
- swelling of your throat or tongue
If you develop these symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).
Alcohol interaction warning
The use of drinks that contain alcohol can increase your risk of sedation and drowsiness to dangerous levels from this drug. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor.
Warnings for people with certain health conditions
For people with a history of heart problems: This drug could cause heart problems. These include irregular heart rate, heart attack, and stroke. You shouldn’t take amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide if you’ve had a recent heart attack.
For people with a history of bipolar disorder: This drug shouldn’t be used to treat bipolar disorder. Taking antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, can cause people with bipolar to switch from depression to a manic phase. You should use other drugs called mood stabilizers instead of antidepressants.
For people with a history of seizures: This drug may increase your risk of seizures.
For people with a history of glaucoma or increased eye pressure: This drug may make your condition worse.
For people with a thyroid condition: Thyroid drugs may increase the side effects of amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide.
Warnings for other groups
For pregnant women: Safe use of amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide during pregnancy has not been established. The chlordiazepoxide component of this drug has been shown to increase the risk of negative effects to the fetus. This risk is higher during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.
For women who are breastfeeding: Amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.
For seniors: The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.
If you’re over the age of 65 years, you may be at a higher risk of confusion and sedating side effects from this drug.
For children: This medication hasn’t been studied in children.
When to call the doctor
Call your doctor if your depression gets worse while taking this drug or you have thoughts of suicide.
All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:
- your age
- the condition being treated
- the severity of your condition
- other medical conditions you have
- how you react to the first dose
Dosage for depression and anxiety together
- Form: oral tablet
- 5 mg chlordiazepoxide/12.5 mg amitriptyline
- 10 mg chlordiazepoxide/25 mg amitriptyline
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
- Typical starting dosage: 3 to 4 tablets (of either strength) per day taken in divided doses.
- Dosage increases: Your doctor may slowly increase your dosage up to 6 tablets (of either strength) per day taken in divided doses.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)
This medication hasn’t been studied in children.
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)
The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, a higher amount of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.
Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide oral tablet is used for long-term treatment. It comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.
If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all: If you don’t take this drug, your depression and anxiety may get worse. If you stop taking this drug suddenly, you may have withdrawal symptoms. These can include tremors (uncontrollable rhythmic movements in one part of your body), stomach pains, sweating, and headaches. If you need to stop taking this drug, talk to your doctor. They will slowly lower your dosage.
If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule: Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.
If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:
- irregular heart rate
- very low heart rate
- convulsions (violent, involuntary movements)
- hallucinations (seeing or hearing something that isn’t there)
- stiff muscles
If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or seek guidance from the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1-800-222-1222 or through their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
What to do if you miss a dose: Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.
How to tell if the drug is working: Your symptoms of depression and anxiety should get better over time.
Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide for you.
- You can take amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide with or without food.
- Take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor.
- You can cut or crush the tablet.
- Store amitriptyline/chlordiazepoxide at room temperature. Keep it between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
- Keep this drug away from light.
- Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.
A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.
When traveling with your medication:
- Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
- Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t harm your medication.
- You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.
- Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.
You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:
- Mental health and behavioral problems: You and your doctor should watch for any unusual changes in your behavior and mood. This drug can cause new mental health and behavior problems. It may also make problems you already have worse.
There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.