Compare Elavil vs. Anafranil

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

Elavil
(Amitriptyline)

Anafranil
(Clomipramine)

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.Helps with your actions. Anafranil (Clomipramine) is helpful in treating OCD, but it can have a lot of side effects.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.48Elavil
Reviews for Elavil
53%
of people (All ages) say Elavil is worth it
36%
say it works well
25%
say it's a big hassle
134 reviews
Have you used Elavil (Amitriptyline)?
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Have you used Anafranil (Clomipramine)?
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Side effects
ElavilAnafranil

The Elavil FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Elavil side effects »
  • Depersonalization 2%
  • Emotional lability 2%
  • Dermatitis 2%
  • Dry skin 2%
  • Gastrointestinal disorder 2%
  • Dysphagia 2%
  • Chills 1%
More Anafranil side effects »
How it works
ElavilAnafranil
Elavil (Amitriptyline) is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). Researchers don't know exactly how it works. It may change serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood and pain perception. It also has sedative effects.Anafranil (Clomipramine) is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). It treats obsessive-compulsive disorder by affecting the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain.
Type of medication
ElavilAnafranil
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
ElavilAnafranil
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
ElavilAnafranil
Risk factors for serious side effects
ElavilAnafranil
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Elavil (Amitriptyline) risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of seizure
Detailed Anafranil (Clomipramine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Food
ElavilAnafranil
No food related info.
  • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
Pain
ElavilAnafranil
  • Low doses work well to treat certain kinds of chronic pain. It can take 2 weeks to feel the full effects of the medication.
No pain related info.
Sleep
ElavilAnafranil
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
  • Can help you sleep.
  • It's more likely to cause side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, weight gain, and constipation compared to other medicines in this class.
Weight
ElavilAnafranil
  • It's more likely to cause sleepiness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
ElavilAnafranil
  • 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.
  • Works well to decrease the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Helps some people see improvements in their mood.
  • Can help you sleep.
  • Lower risk of causing heart problems compared to other medicine in this class.
Downsides and risks
ElavilAnafranil
  • 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.
  • It's more likely to cause side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, weight gain, and constipation compared to other medicines in this class.
  • Can cause sexual performance problems in men.
  • Increases the risk of falls, especially when used in the elderly.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ElavilAnafranil
  • Take at bedtime to avoid some of its side effects.
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • Needs to be taken every day for 2 to 3 weeks to see the full effect of the medication.
  • It's important to keep taking Anafranil (Clomipramine) even when you feel your symptoms are getting better.
  • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • If you decide to stop taking Anafranil (Clomipramine), work with your doctor to slowly get off this medicine to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
Learn more
More about ElavilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Elavil (Amitriptyline)?
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More about AnafranilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Anafranil (Clomipramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it