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.
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
Reviews for Lyrica
47%
+6% better vs. Elavil
42%
-6% worse vs. Elavil
32%
+7% better vs. Elavil
Have you used Lyrica (pregabalin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ElavilLyrica

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

More about Elavil side effects »
  • Nerve damage 6%
  • Dizziness 3%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 5%
  • Accidental injury 2%
  • Chest pain 3%
  • Leg or ankle swelling 2%
  • Muscle weakness 2%
  • Drowsiness 1%
  • Passing gas 2%
  • Dry mouth 2%
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
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ElavilLyrica
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
ElavilLyrica
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
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
Detailed Lyrica (pregabalin) 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.

Price
ElavilLyrica
No price related info.
  • Not available as a generic, so it can be pricey.
Alcohol
ElavilLyrica
No alcohol related info.
  • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
Pain
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.
  • 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).
Sleep
ElavilLyrica
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
  • Can make you drowsy or dizzy.
  • Lyrica (Pregabalin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
Weight
ElavilLyrica
  • 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
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
Have you used Elavil (amitriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about LyricaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lyrica (pregabalin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it