New member -amitriptyline vs zomorph

SJ66 Member Posts: 5
edited 3. Jan 2016, 15:41 in Say Hello Archive
Hi, I'm a new member & posting at this hour as I can't sleep due to pain. I have OA in both hips & in Aug got told its end-stage on the right with 50% joint space loss on the left. I'm hoping to have a hip replacement but for a couple of reasons this won't happen til later this year. I'm managing (just) during the day on co-codamol, but at night I'm struggling. Last Jan I was put on 20mg Amitriptyline & it seemed to work -for the 1st time in over 2yrs I was getting a decent nights sleep. Then I discovered I'd put on half a stone in weight & thought it was the Ami so my GP changed my meds to Zomorph. 3 mths later I'm on 30mg at night but it does nothing for me so I still have to take cocodamol with it & I'm back to waking several times a night in pain. Also, I haven't lost any of the weight I gained since stopping the Amitriptyline :( obviously with bad hips, excess weight is the last thing I need & my pain & stiffness is so bad I can't walk without crutches & so can't exercise. Should I increase the Zomorph or should I go back on the Amitriptyline knowing that it helped massively with sleep & pain-relief at night. I'm still working so I can't take anything stronger during the day, I just want to sleep without pain! (I'm 49 & been in pain for 3yrs now, also going through the hot-flush stage of menopause so that's not helping my sleep either!) TIA for any advice :)


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello SJ66

    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums. As mods we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here with a wide range of experiences with arthritis and the problems of living with the condition. Just join in wherever you like you will be made very welcome.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    All best wishes

    Mod Yx
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello SJ66 and welcome to the club we would prefer not to have to join! I'm sorry to hear of the problems you are having with pain control, it's miserable struggling in the wee small hours isn't it?
    The problem of weight loss with compromised mobility is an ongoing bugbear for arthritis sufferers, but forum members have managed to lose weight - have a look on ChitChat and follow GraceB's posts.
    My gut reaction would be to say go back to the amitriptyline and get some sleep, as being sleep deprived makes everything(including pain) that much more difficult to cope with, and look into getting support with weight loss. That could be through an organisation, or with a friend acting as a diet buddy, or perhaps looking at your diet and eating patterns to see if you can identify a reason for the weight gain( did the drug cause sugar cravings for instance?)
    If you post on Living with Arthritis you will get more replies to any questions you have, and ChitChat will perhaps give you a giggle in amongst the groans of life with this unwelcome lodger.
  • SJ66
    SJ66 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Daffy2, my weight issue is complicated by an under active thyroid (although I've had it since birth so is relatively well-controlled), plus I guess my age & hitting the menopause... But ultimately my diet is terrible, I've got a sweet tooth without any drugs so I've resigned myself to the fact that I've got to knuckle down and kick that habit while I can't exercise (I used to dance & cycle regularly until pain stopped me so could eat what I wanted & exercise to make up for it!)
    Now that I haven't lost anything since stopping the Ami ive been thinking exactly what you've said - go back on it so I can get my pain under control which will at least let me do some gentle exercise while improving my diet. Xmas is the wrong time of year to do it but now I've got no excuse, so here goes the diet, & thanks for the suggestion of using the forums for support, I'll need it!
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you but I am sorry you have had to find us. We had a member a few years ago who, despite being wheelchair bound, lost five stones. It didn't help her arthritis much (she has two kinds and once the damage is done it's done) but it did help her overall health and that is important. I am thankful I lost my sweet tooth, nowadays I far prefer pickles over chocolate but as they aggravate my OA they're kept for high days and holidays.

    I cant help on the meds front because I've not taken either - I get by on four 30/500 cocodamol per day because that leaves me an escape route for the tougher times. I too have two kinds, the meds for the auto-immune do nothing for the OA whereas the pain relief helps both. I understand about the lack of sleep, I wake regularly during the night but distract myself by either reading or doing bizarre alphabet lists: if I don't pay attention to the pain it fades somewhat. If the amitryp. helped then that is what you need, after all we cannot address the bigger issues if to begin with we're more under par than necessary . I wish you well.
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,722
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You are doing well if you are coping with both work and two knackered hips but obviously need some decent sleep if that's to continue. I've never taken either of the meds you mention so can't really help on that score. Nor do I know if amitrip causes weight gain but I know it's possible to exercise despite rubbishy joints as I did my quads right up until my last knee and hip replacements. Yes, it hurt but it does make the recovery quicker. I guess they're not the sort of exercises which help with weight loss but stronger muscles support the joints better so that (a) they don't hurt as much and (b) you might be able to progress to more strenuous stuff.

    As others have said, our 'mamasmurf' lost 5 stones from a wheelchair, 'turbogran' lost a lot and 'Graceb' currently has her sights on the 2 stones mark, I believe. I know turbogran joined Slimmers World and I know Graceb has joined some slimming club. I think everyone has to find the method that suits them.

    I did notice, around menopause time (though that might be coincidence) I had to change my eating habits to keep my weight steady. Chocolate biscuits went first (I rarely bought sweets or chocolate), then desserts. Now I eat very little sweet stuff of any kind, though I've just had a slice of an exceptionally good stollen :D

    I think our taste buds change if we give them a chance. I stopped having salt when I was diagnosed with osteoporosis and thought at first I'd never manage chips without salt but, as I hardly ever ate chips anyway, that bit of salt would be OK. However, 16 months or so down the line, I don't need salt on chips. They taste fine without it. But I can no longer eat really good olives as they're far too salty :roll:

    Keep plugging away in whatever way suits you. You'll get there.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright