Compare Elavil vs. Silenor

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

Elavil (Amitriptyline)

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.

4.5/ 7 average rating with 134 reviewsforElavil
Helps you relax, and sleep.

Doxepin is a non-addictive way to help people stay asleep, but it comes with a list of side effects.

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.
  • In a clinical trial Doxepin was able to significantly improve sleep quality.
  • Doxepin helps improve your appetite, energy level, and sense of well-being, which increases your interests.
  • Once your body gets used to Doxepin, most of the side effects go away.
  • Doxepin comes in a generic form, so it is pretty cheap.
  • Doxepin is not addictive.
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.
  • Some people taking Doxepin walk, drive, eat, and have sex while sleeping. Be sure to tell your doctor if this happens to you.
  • Doxepin can increase your appetite, leading to weight gain.
  • Taking Doxepin can make emptying your bladder difficult.
  • Some people have suicidal thoughts when taking Doxepin.
  • Doxepin can interact with many different medications, vitamins, and alternative treatments.
Used for
  • Alcoholism - Anxiety - Depression Anxiety - Depression Anxiety - Depression - Psychoneurotic personality disorder Insomnia Pruritus (Moderate)
  • Due to atopic dermatitis or lichen simplex chronicus
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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$4
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$9.99
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Reviews
134 
53%
think this treatment is worth it
36%
think this treatment works well
25%
think this treatment is a hassle

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Side effects
The Elavil (Amitriptyline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Silenor (Doxepin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

    Age 24 years or younger

  • Mania

    History of bipolar disorder

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • 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
No information currently available