Compare Elavil vs. Silenor

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

Elavil
(amitriptyline)

Silenor
(doxepin)

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.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.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Coupons for Elavil
Best available price for 30 (25mg) tablets of amitriptyline
Coupons for Silenor
Best available price for 30 (10mg) capsules of doxepin
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

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Silenor (doxepin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ElavilSilenor

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

More about Elavil side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Silenor side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Silenor »
How it works
ElavilSilenor
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.Doxepin is a tricyclic antidepressant. It keeps norepinephrine and serotonin in your brain longer, helping you relax, and sleep. It also blocks the chemical that causes itch, and wakefulness.
Type of medication
ElavilSilenor
Prescription only
Available as
ElavilSilenor
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
ElavilSilenor
  • Alcoholism Anxiety Depression Anxiety Depression Anxiety Depression Psychoneurotic Personality Disorder Insomnia Pruritus Moderate
Risk factors for serious side effects
ElavilSilenor
  • 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 »
    Coming soon.
    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.

    Interactions
    ElavilSilenor
    No interactions related info.
    • Doxepin can interact with many different medications, vitamins, and alternative treatments.
    Alcohol
    ElavilSilenor
    No alcohol related info.
    • Stay away from alcohol while taking Doxepin, because it can slow your brain, and stop your breathing.
    Pain
    ElavilSilenor
    • Low doses work well to treat certain kinds of chronic pain. It can take 2 weeks to feel the full effects of the medication.
    No pain related info.
    Sleep
    ElavilSilenor
    • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
    No sleep related info.
    Weight
    ElavilSilenor
    • It's more likely to cause sleepiness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
    • Doxepin can increase your appetite, leading to weight gain.
    Upsides and benefits
    ElavilSilenor
    • 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 and risks
    ElavilSilenor
    • 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.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    ElavilSilenor
    • 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.
    • Take Doxepin 30 minutes before bedtime so it starts working when you get in bed.
    • Avoid activities that need you to be fully alert like driving, until you know how Doxepin affects you.
    • Follow up with your doctor so he or she can make sure Doxepin is the right medication for your depression.
    • Stay away from alcohol while taking Doxepin, because it can slow your brain, and stop your breathing.
    • Some people get dry mouth, or constipation when taking Doxepin. Sugar free gum or candy can help the dry mouth, and drinking more fluid can help with constipation.
    • Avoid direct sunlight while taking this medication. When you can’t avoid it, be sure to use sunscreen. It’s also important to put on a long-sleeved shirt, pants, hat, and sunglasses.
    Learn more
    More about ElavilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Elavil (amitriptyline)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about SilenorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Silenor (doxepin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it