Compare Elavil vs. Horizant

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

Elavil
(Amitriptyline)

Horizant
(Gabapentin Enacarbil)

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.Calms leg movements and nerve pain. Horizant (Gabapentin Enacarbil) is a good way to treat pain since it can be used with other pain medications and it's not addictive. You'll need to stop drinking alcohol and it can be somewhat expensive.
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Reviews & ratings
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4.48Elavil
Reviews for Elavil (Amitriptyline)
53%
of people (All ages) say Elavil (Amitriptyline) 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 Horizant (Gabapentin Enacarbil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ElavilHorizant

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

More about Elavil side effects »
  • Somnolence/sedation 21%
  • Dizziness 15%
  • Fatigue/weaknesse/asthenia 9%
  • Drowsiness 6%
  • Sleep difficulty 5%
  • Weight increased 4%
  • Headache 4%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Fatigue 3%
  • Irritability 3%
More Horizant side effects »
How it works
ElavilHorizant
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.Horizant (Gabapentin Enacarbil) treats restless leg syndrome and pain caused by shingles by lowering your body's response to pain. It's used for long-lasting (chronic) pain and doesn't work for sudden (acute) pain.
Type of medication
ElavilHorizant
Antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only
Pain reliever
GABA analog
Prescription only
Available as
ElavilHorizant
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
ElavilHorizant
Risk factors for serious side effects
ElavilHorizant
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • Stopping Horizant (Gabapentin Enacarbil) suddenly
Detailed 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.

Alcohol
ElavilHorizant
No alcohol related info.
  • Need to avoid alcohol while on Horizant (Gabapentin Enacarbil).
Food
ElavilHorizant
No food related info.
  • Has to be taken with food.
  • Swallow the pills whole and take with food.
Pain
ElavilHorizant
  • Low doses work well to treat certain kinds of chronic pain. It can take 2 weeks to feel the full effects of the medication.
  • Can be used with other pain medications.
Sleep
ElavilHorizant
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
  • Horizant (Gabapentin Enacarbil) can make you feel dizzy or sleepy for the first few days or weeks that you take it. Until your body has adjusted to the medication, be very careful getting up from sitting or lying down, and don't drive or use machinery.
Weight
ElavilHorizant
  • 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
ElavilHorizant
  • 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.
  • Not habit-forming or addictive.
  • Can be used with other pain medications.
  • Only has to be taken once or twice a day.
Downsides and risks
ElavilHorizant
  • 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.
  • Need to avoid alcohol while on Horizant (Gabapentin Enacarbil).
  • Has to be taken with food.
  • If you want to stop taking this medication, you need to talk to your doctor first since stopping it cold turkey can cause seizures.
  • Not available as a generic.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ElavilHorizant
  • 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.
  • Don't stop taking Horizant (Gabapentin Enacarbil) suddenly without telling your doctor.
  • Can make you feel dizzy or drowsy the first few days or weeks that you're taking it.
  • Swallow the pills whole and take with food.
  • Horizant (Gabapentin Enacarbil) is different from other forms of gabapentin (like Neurontin), so these two medications can't be switched or substituted for each other.
Learn more
More about ElavilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Elavil (Amitriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about HorizantSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Horizant (Gabapentin Enacarbil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it