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What Factors Affect Elavil® Dosage?

By S. Berger
Updated May 17, 2024
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Elavil® is a form of the medication amitriptyline, classified as a tricyclic drug. This compound is used to treat depression and other mood disorders, as well as pain that can arise from nerve disorders and migraines. Often, the Elavil® dosage used by an individual is related to which disorder it is being taken to treat. Other factors may influence a typical dose of this medication, such as the age or weight of the person taking it.

Depression is one of the more common reasons that this drug is taken. Adults typically take an initial Elavil® dosage of 50 to 100 milligrams (mg) each day. This amount can be taken as a single dose, or divided into three or four doses throughout the day. After a few weeks, this dose may be increased up to 150 mg per day. The gradual increase of the dose is so that an individual can become accustomed to the effects of this drug before moving up to a dose that provides the greatest benefits.

Older adults and children may take this medication for depression as well, but the Elavil® dosage used may differ from that used by adults. Initial doses for older adults are typically 25 mg to 50 mg, taken once a day at bedtime, or split into three or four doses throughout the day. Over time, this dose may be increased to up to 150 mg each day.

Children under 12 may take a dose based on weight, where a usual starting dose is 1 mg per 1 kilogram (kg), or 2.2 pounds (lb) body weight. Gradually, this may be increased to doses of 5 mg per 1 kg, or 2.2 lb, per day. Such a high dose may not be required in all cases, and a doctor usually oversees these increases in dosage.

Dosing for migraines usually requires lower doses than those used for depression. Adults of all ages taking this drug for migraine relief often take an Elavil® dosage of 10 mg at the end of the day. Teenagers may take a dose of 25 mg two times a day, and typically, this dose is increased over time if necessary.

For children under 12, dosing for migraine prevention generally starts at 0.25 mg per 1 kg, or 2.2 lb, body weight. This Elavil® dosage may be increased to 1.5 mg per 1 kg or 2.2 lb weight. As with depression treatment, dose increases are usually only made under a doctor's supervision.

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