Compare Elavil vs. Lyrica

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

Elavil (Amitriptyline)

Prescription only

Lyrica (pregabalin)

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
Treats pain caused by nerve damage and prevents seizures.

Lyrica (pregabalin) is first-choice treatment for nerve pain, but may be expensive since it is available as brand name only.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 66 reviewsforLyrica
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.
  • Unlike other pain relievers, it is very effective at treating and preventing nerve damage caused by diabetes, shingles, fibromyalgial, and spinal cord injuries.
  • It is less habit forming than narcotics.
  • It can also be used in combination with other anti-seizure medicines to treat epilepsy.
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.
  • Likely expensive since it is not available in generic versions.
  • Has a higher risk than other pain medicines to affect your heart rate or rhythm.
  • Requires adjustment in dose if you have lower kidney function.
  • Higher doses can cause drowsiness so you will have to divide the dose and take it throughout the day.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
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
66 reviews so far
47%
saidit'sworth it
42%
saiditworked well
32%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Lyrica (pregabalin)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Elavil (Amitriptyline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
28possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    23%
  • Drowsiness
    13%
  • Headache
    11%
  • Blurry vision
    8%
  • Weight gain
    8%
  • Dry mouth
    7%
  • Fatigue
    5%
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
    5%
  • Constipation
    4%
  • Sinus infection
    4%
  • Increased appetite
    4%
  • Joint pain
    4%
  • Loss of focus
    4%
  • Feeling off balance
    2%
  • Vomiting
    2%
  • Abdominal distension
    2%
  • Chest pain
    2%
  • Fluid retention
    2%
  • Muscle spasms
    2%
  • Back pain
    2%
  • Balance disorder
    2%
  • Abnormal coordination
    2%
  • Partial loss of sensitivity to touch
    2%
  • Lethargy
    2%
  • Intense feeling of happiness
    2%
  • Anxiety
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Sore throat
    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
    • Starting Lyrica (pregabalin) or changing doses
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking Lyrica (pregabalin) with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you drowsy
  • Giant hives (angioedema)
    • History of unusual swelling (angioedema)
    • Taking other medications (ie. lisinopril) that can cause angioedema
  • Heart problems
    • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
    • Taking with certain diabetes medications
  • Withdrawal symptoms
    • Stopping Lyrica (pregabalin) suddenly
See more detailed risks and warnings