Amitriptyline for Pins and Needles

Morning all
My Stroke consultant asked my GP to prescribe me with Amitriptyline 10mg to help with my pins and needles down left side. That was 3 weeks ago and upto now it has only seemed to make the pins and needles worse and my skin more sensitive. GP has increased these now to 20 mg a day. Anyone experienced anything similar , any advice kindly accepted. Was wondering if I should come off them to see if the pins and needles eases even though I’m desperate to get on top of it.

I would speak with your gp again. They can increase the dosage and if they decide amytriptiline is not the appropriate medication for you, prescribe a different one. I think they start out with amytriptiline because it s the least problematic, but there are others.

Thanks Lorraine
I’ll stick at it but it just seems that since I started the Amitriptyline the pins and needles and numbness have intensified!

Hi Richie
I found that an exercise bike for my leg seems to be working and a stretch band for my chest muscles seems to ease the tightness also I have changed my diet to a more healthy one also it helps with neuro plasticity (rewire) give it a try.

I was on amitriptiline years before the stroke for head pain. It worked but made me so tired and I was glad to get off it. I do have pins and needles especially in the evening but am very reluctant to take anything as its not too bad and doesn’t wake me any more (it used to and I still don’t sleep that well ). I would definitely talk to your GP, or depending on how the practie is set up, the practice pharmacist.

Hi Lorraine
I’m booked into see my GP on my return from holiday early September for a blood test to check my cholesterol level. Hopefully I can reduce the dosage and together with the co enzyme q10 can then Set about reducing the muscle stiffness and joint tightness .
I’ve come off the amitriptyline after speaking to consultant as pins and needles and numbness worse since taking them He suggests I speak to my GP for an alternative!!
Trial and error I guess until we find the right concoction of drugs

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Would be keen to know how you get on. Had my first meeting with stroke doctor and he recommended i take medication for pins and needles and stiffness in leg incannot remember the name of what he suggested.

Im concerned now as stiffness has been getting worse as I have been doing extra sensory work on my left foot etc.

Its so tough as I can’t see how I can get back to work feeling like this. And it feels like a dark winter ahead.

I’m staying as positive as I can though just tightness and stiffness is now affecting my sleep.

Stay well everyone and keep positive :blush: I’m doing my best.


Hi @Colindlynch

I had my stroke around the same time as you and had my own review a few weeks ago. My Consultant has recommended
medication for my post stroke pain (very similar to yours). My GP surgery has offered both Gabapentin and Pregabalin.

I haven’t actually taken anything yet as I’m bothered more by my ‘fuzzy head’ and am a little worried that introducing another drug into the mix might make it worse.

It’s worth speaking to your GP to see if something could help your pain.

Like you I am keen to get back to work asap in some shape or form but also due to my stiff joints in shoulder and leg along with pins and needles this seems a pipe dream
I saw my GP yesterday and had a blood test for my cholesterol levels in order to maybe reduce the strength of the statin I’m taking (avorstatin) as I’ve read that statins can cause stiffness and tightness in your limbs. However GP said that if statins where causing this then it would be all limbs affected and most likely affected side was a direct effect of stroke !! So I’ll just battle on trying to use and utilise my left side and hope it subsides. Coming upto 17 weeks post stroke and I’m being told this is still early days but to me seems like a lifetime trying to get back to some sort of normality and work.

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Hi Richie

Honestly you seem in the same place as I am. I’ve also just been onto Dr today. They have given me Gabapentin which I am picking up tomorrow.

I’ve been off the statins for over 2 weeks no difference at all. She is going to put me back on them I think but 3 weeks after the Gabapentin has a chance to kick in.

Trying to explain to people is so hard as outside I look fine but this feeling of stiff tight limbs (left side) is getting me down as I’m now believing its here for life. I get the same it’s early days I’m 12 weeks post stroke.

Not sure what the answer is mate but I’m trying my best to fight back but its hard work this fighting.

I do try and keep a smile on my face as best I can otherwise what’s the point of it all.

I promise to keep you posted on any developments going forward.

As everyone keeps telling me “you’ve got this” …

Good luck Richie and thanks for the reply

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Morning Colin
Our situation/ stroke does indeed seem to be very similar and in a weird way it’s comforting to know I’m not experiencing these symptoms and thinking they aren’t normal
Everyone I see also say that I’m looking a picture of health down to losing weight ( new healthier diet) and suntan ( back garden during sunny summer)
I was a fireman for 32 years before retiring March 2021 and then I started working for my builder friend as his yard manager till the stroke on 13th May this year. So along with playing rugby for 35 years and being very active in all my jobs this definitely has hit me for 6 !!
Currently my symptoms are and have been since stroke
Stiff left knee
Stiff left shoulder
Stiff left neck
Stiff left wrist and fingers
Stiffness in back rib cage
Left Thigh and calf muscles tight
Skin numbness on left side
Pins and needles in left hand and foot
Hyper sensitive skin left side
Left foot feels like skin on sole has been pulled tight and walking is like walking on pebbles
On top of that I feel I am a lot more forgetful and sometimes takes me a while to remember things

List seems quite extensive but not a lot of pain more uncomfortableness and although you can / will learn to live with some of the symptoms I dream of waking up and some have gone.
So don’t stop dreaming is name of the game I guess
Keep the faith mate

Hi Colin
Just a quick message to see if the Gabapentin has had any effect on your stiffness in arm and leg and pins and needles?
My GP has mentioned these to me to potentially start at beginning October

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Hi Richie

Sorry I meant to reply to this much earlier.

My symptoms are very similar.

Toes all tight like elastic band around them
Ankle stiff
Calf muscle stiff
Knee stiff
Hamstring stiff
Sole of foot hyper sensitive
Hand hypersensitivity
Pins and needles in hand
Pins and needles in shoulder
Stiffness in shoulder
Head when tired feels like an elastic band is around ot. Numb back of head and ear.
A feeling of like vibrations up and down arm and shoulder
Burning feeling in hand not to bad just a slight feeling
Cannot tell th3 difference between hot and cold on left side.

Just under rib cage numb

So a bit of an update I met with my stroke doctor who said all of this is part of the recovery process and I need to give it time. Said that he could not see any spasticity and that all my issues were sensory. GP and physio say the same.

Just don’t understand it as still feel like I’m getting worse.


I’ve only just started too take them and they said 3 weeks before I will start to feel anything. I promise to keep you posted.

Keep going mate. :muscle:

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Hi @Colindlynch and @Richie1

I too have very similar symptoms to you both and I also had my stroke in May. AND I feel like it’s all getting worse or at least not really getting better.

The fuzzy head bothers me more than anything else ‘though.

I’d be interested to hear if the Pregabalin helps, I really hope it does. Keep us posted.

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Well Colin.
We could literally be twins with the similarities with regards our symptoms. The only difference is that I can feel temperature changes but my left side does tend to feel icy cold periodically
Let me know how the PREGABALIN goes.
Also I feel the symptoms are regularly feeling worse but just got to stick with it and try and be patient!!
All the best

Hi Richie
My symptoms are almost same as yours, doctor said the brain needs to reconnect the nerve endings (finding new pathways) for the numbness to go and it all takes time to repair the rest of the symptoms will also take time to repair. He said the brain has to rewire itself because the old cells died with blood clot and now it takes time for new routes to be formed hope this may make you a bit happier for future recovery and keep up the exercises they will pay off.
Good Luck Steve
PS keep in touch with your recovery


Hiya, Pretty much what my stroke doctor told me. He said I am not giving it enough time it’s only a little over 3 months. I sort of got that but wanted the explanation as to why I got worse over the weeks after my stroke. I didn’t get an answer for that just some more pills to take. I had been told you will only get better from here then 6 weeks after stroke stiffness and numbness started it’s leveled off now or it’s a case of I’m just getting used to it. Can’t see it ever going away to be honest and think this is me for life.

Hi Colin
Just a quick message to see if the PREGABALIN has made any difference?

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Hi mate.

No nothing yet. But I’ve only been on them a week today so will probably need more time. I promise to post once I know more.


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Cheers Colin for your reply
I’m back seeing GP on 3rd October to go hopefully on new meds for pins and needles and stiffness so I’ll contact you in approx 12 days to see if you have any results

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