Compare Elavil vs. Doxepin

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

Elavil
(amitriptyline)

Zonalon
(doxepin)

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 you stop itching. Zonalon (Doxepin) works well treating itchy skin, but could make you sleepy.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Coupons for Elavil
Best available price for 30 (25mg) tablets of amitriptyline
Coupons for Doxepin
Best available price for 30 (10mg) capsules of doxepin
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)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Zonalon (doxepin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ElavilDoxepin

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

More about Elavil side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Doxepin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Doxepin »
How it works
ElavilDoxepin
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.Zonalon (Doxepin) is an cream that stops you from itching by blocking the chemical receptors that cause itching.
Type of medication
ElavilDoxepin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ElavilDoxepin
  • Pill
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Used for
ElavilDoxepin
  • Skin Intching Moderate
Risk factors for serious side effects
ElavilDoxepin
  • 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 »
    Detailed Zonalon (doxepin) 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 haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    Price
    ElavilDoxepin
    No price related info.
    • It isn't available as a generic, so it could be kind of pricey.
    Interactions
    ElavilDoxepin
    No interactions related info.
    • Zonalon (Doxepin) can interact with other medications, vitamins, or alternative treatments.
    Pain
    ElavilDoxepin
    • 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
    ElavilDoxepin
    • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
    • Zonalon (Doxepin) can make you sleepy.
    Weight
    ElavilDoxepin
    • 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
    ElavilDoxepin
    • 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.
    • In clinical trials, Zonalon (Doxepin) was found to be the most effective cream for treating itchy skin.
    • You can use Zonalon (Doxepin) for up to 8 days at a time.
    Downsides and risks
    ElavilDoxepin
    • 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.
    • You need a prescription for Zonalon (Doxepin).
    • It isn't available as a generic, so it could be kind of pricey.
    • Zonalon (Doxepin) can make you sleepy.
    • Zonalon (Doxepin) can interact with other medications, vitamins, or alternative treatments.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    ElavilDoxepin
    • 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.
    • Be sure the affected area is clean and dry before applying Zonalon (Doxepin).
    • Wash your hands before and after using it.
    • Apply a thin layer of Zonalon (Doxepin) onto the affected area and rub it in gently.
    • Don’t put a bandage, dressing, or make-up over Zonalon (Doxepin) once it's on your skin.
    • It shouldn't affect you too much, but avoid activities that need you to be fully alert (like driving) until you know how it works.
    Learn more
    More about ElavilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Elavil (amitriptyline)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about DoxepinSide effectsFDA package insert
    Have you used Zonalon (doxepin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it