Compare Depakote vs. Elavil

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Prevents seizures and stabilizes mood.

Depacon (Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex) is good long-term prevention for epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraines, but can cause weight gain.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 97 reviewsforDepakote
Improves mood and relieves certain kinds of pain.

Elavil (Amitriptyline) is an older antidepressant that's sometimes used to treat pain and sleep problems, but it can have more side effects than similar medications.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 134 reviewsforElavil
Upsides
  • Lowers the frequency of seizures, especially for people with absence, tonic-clonic, and complex partial seizures.
  • One of the first-line options to stabilize mood for people with bipolar disorder.
  • Helpful in preventing frequent migraine headaches.
  • Low doses work well to treat certain kinds of chronic pain. It can take 2 weeks to feel the full effects of the medication.
  • Low doses of Elavil (Amitriptyline) start working in 45 minutes to help you sleep better.
  • Six out of every ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides
  • Can cause upset stomach, hair loss, weight gain, sleepiness, and tremor.
  • Can cause liver damage, so it's probably not safe if you already have liver problems.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • When used for depression, Elavil (Amitriptyline) causes more side effects and has a higher risk of overdose than other antidepressants. It's usually used when other medications haven't worked.
  • It's more likely to cause sleepiness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
  • People age 65 and older have a higher risk for this medication's side effects.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Sprinkle
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
97 reviews so far
46%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
27%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Depacon (Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex)?

Leave a review
134 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
36%
saiditworked well
25%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Elavil (Amitriptyline)?

Leave a review
Side effects
26possible side effects
  • Nausea
    48%
  • Headache
    31%
  • Asthenia
    27%
  • Vomiting
    27%
  • Somnolence
    27%
  • Tremor
    25%
  • Dizziness
    25%
  • Abdominal Pain
    23%
  • Diplopia
    16%
  • Diarrhea
    13%
  • Anorexia
    12%
  • Amblyopia/Blurred Vision
    12%
  • Flu Syndrome
    12%
  • Infection
    12%
  • Dyspepsia
    8%
  • Ataxia
    8%
  • Nystagmus
    8%
  • Fever
    6%
  • Emotional Lability
    6%
  • Thinking Abnormal
    6%
  • Alopecia
    6%
  • Weight Loss
    6%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Amnesia
    5%
  • Bronchitis
    5%
  • Rhinitis
    5%
See more detailed side effects
The Elavil (Amitriptyline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Pregnancy
  • Liver damage
    • Children under age 2
    • History of metabolic disorders
  • Pancreatitis
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Increased bleeding
  • Mental changes due to high ammonia
    • History of metabolic disorders
    • People also taking Topamax
  • Low body temperature
    • People also taking Topamax
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Depacon (Valproate, Valproic Acid, Or Divalproex) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Mania
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • Heart problems
    • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Low blood pressure
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Anticholinergic effects
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings