[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
September 22, 1978

Abuse of Amitriptyline

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Psychiatry (Dr Cohen and Mr Hanbury) and Medicine (Dr Stimmel), Mount Sinai School of Medicine of the City of New York, New York.

JAMA. 1978;240(13):1372-1373. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290130066024

Amitriptyline hydrochloride (Elavil) is frequently used in treating mild to moderate depressive states. A survey of 346 persons enrolled in a methadone maintenance program showed that 86 (25%) had admitted taking amitriptyline with the purpose of achieving euphoria. Thin-layer chromatography of random urine specimens over five months showed that 34% of the patients had a positive result for amitriptyline at least once during this time. These results suggest that misuse of amitriptyline is not uncommon and should be carefully considered prior to prescribing this agent to narcoticdependent persons.

(JAMA 240:1372-1373, 1978)