Compare Elavil vs. Lamictal

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

Elavil (Amitriptyline)

Prescription only

Lamictal (Lamotrigine)

Prescription only
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
Prevents seizures and stabilizes mood.

Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is most useful for treating severe seizure disorders, and for bipolar disorder with more depression symptoms than manic symptoms. Just be careful to increase your dose slowly to avoid skin rash.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 184 reviewsforLamictal
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Effective at lowering the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome. Typically used together with other medications for severe seizure disorders.
  • Works best for partial, tonic-clonic, and absence seizures.
  • A first-line treatment for bipolar disorder. Effective long-term treatment for stabilizing mood. Prevents both depressive and manic episodes, but the effect is greater for preventing depression.
  • Doesn't require routine blood tests.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Can cause double vision, dizziness, sleepiness, and headache.
  • Has the risk of a rare but life-threatening rash.
  • Can make hormonal birth control less effective.
  • Might be less effective than other medicines for treating manic episodes (acute mania) in people with bipolar disorder.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
Price
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Reviews
134 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
36%
saiditworked well
25%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Elavil (Amitriptyline)?

Leave a review
184 reviews so far
66%
saidit'sworth it
58%
saiditworked well
18%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Lamictal (Lamotrigine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Elavil (Amitriptyline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
36possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    38%
  • Headache
    28%
  • Diplopia
    28%
  • Ataxia
    22%
  • Nausea
    19%
  • Blurred vision
    16%
  • Somnolence
    14%
  • Rhinitis
    14%
  • Pharyngitis
    10%
  • Rash
    10%
  • Vomiting
    9%
  • Cough increased
    8%
  • Flu syndrome
    7%
  • Dysmenorrhea
    7%
  • Fever
    6%
  • Diarrhea
    6%
  • Incoordination
    6%
  • Insomnia
    6%
  • Abdominal pain
    5%
  • Dyspepsia
    5%
  • Constipation
    4%
  • Tremor
    4%
  • Depression
    4%
  • Anxiety
    4%
  • Vaginitis
    4%
  • Convulsion
    3%
  • Irritability
    3%
  • Speech disorder
    3%
  • Pruritus
    3%
  • Vision abnormality
    3%
  • Neck pain
    2%
  • Reaction aggravated (seizure exacerbation)
    2%
  • Anorexia
    2%
  • Arthralgia
    2%
  • Concentration disturbance
    2%
  • Amenorrhea
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Serious skin rash
    • People also taking Depakote
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Increasing the dose too quickly
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Blood disorders
  • Meningitis
  • Interactions with birth control pills
    • Taking birth control pills
  • Withdrawal seizures
    • Stopping Lamictal (Lamotrigine) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings