Compare Elavil vs. Lyrica

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

Elavil
(Amitriptyline)

Lyrica
(Pregabalin)

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.Treats nerve pain and prevents seizures. Lyrica (Pregabalin) works well as an add-on medicine for seizures and fibromyalgia, but it's especially effective for nerve-related pain after shingles. Not available as a generic, so it might be expensive.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.466101694915254Elavil
Reviews for Elavil (Amitriptyline)
52%
of people say Elavil (Amitriptyline) is worth it
34%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Lyrica (Pregabalin)
46%
6% vs. Elavil (Amitriptyline)
41%
+7% vs. Elavil (Amitriptyline)
32%
9% vs. Elavil (Amitriptyline)
Side effects
ElavilLyrica

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

More about Elavil side effects »
  • Dizziness 36%
  • Nerve damage 34%
  • Drowsiness 24%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 24%
  • Weight gain 15%
  • Constipation 13%
  • Weight increased 12%
  • Dry mouth 12%
  • Leg or ankle swelling 12%
  • Vision blurred 11%
More Lyrica side effects »
How it works
ElavilLyrica
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.Lyrica (Pregabalin) is a nerve pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it has a similar structure to GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
Type of medication
ElavilLyrica
Antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only
Anticonvulsant
GABA analog
Prescription only
Available as
ElavilLyrica
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
ElavilLyrica
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.
The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Elavil (Amitriptyline)The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Lyrica (Pregabalin)
Risk factors for serious side effects
ElavilLyrica
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Elavil (Amitriptyline) risks & warnings »
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • History of unusual swelling (angioedema)
    • Taking other medications that can angioedema
    • History of cardiovascular disease
    • Taking with certain diabetes medications
    • Stopping Lyrica (Pregabalin) suddenly
      • Both male and females taking Lyrica (Pregabalin)
      Detailed Lyrica (Pregabalin) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      ElavilLyrica
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      • Some people taking Lyrica (Pregabalin) develop muscle damage leading to kidney failure (rhabdomyolysis), however, this is very rare. Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, weakness or fever and there is no other related cause.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      • Low doses of Elavil (Amitriptyline) start working in 45 minutes to help you sleep better.
      • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
      • Lyrica (Pregabalin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
      • Can make you drowsy or dizzy.
      • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
      Weight
      • It's more likely to cause sleepiness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
      • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
      No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      ElavilLyrica
      • 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.
      • Relieves nerve-related (neuropathic) pain caused by different conditions including diabetes, shingles (herpes zoster), fibromyalgia, and spinal cord damage.
      • Studies show that lower doses of Lyrica (Pregabalin) cause fewer side effects and still relieve pain just as well as higher doses.
      • Also used in combination with other medications to treat epilepsy (partial seizures).
      Downsides and risks
      ElavilLyrica
      • 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.
      • Not available as a generic, so it can be pricey.
      • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Lyrica (Pregabalin) can cause seizures.
      • Lyrica (Pregabalin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
      • Has a higher risk than other pain medicines of affecting your heart rate or rhythm, so it might not be the best choice if you have cardiovascular disease (previous heart attack, stroke, fast/uncontrolled heart rate, or irregular heartbeat).
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      ElavilLyrica
      • 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.
      • Some people feel relief from pain in a week.
      • Can make you drowsy or dizzy.
      • Don't stop taking it suddenly without talking to your doctor. You'll need to slowly lower your dose over at least a week to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
      • Tell your doctor if you have unexplained confusion or changes in your thoughts or behavior.
      • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
      Learn more
      More about ElavilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about LyricaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert