Compare Elavil vs. Tegretol

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

Elavil (Amitriptyline)

Prescription only

Tegretol (Carbamazepine)

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
Prevents seizures, stabilizes mood, and relieves nerve pain.

Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is useful for preventing seizures and relieving certain types of nerve pain, but interacts with many drugs.

4.5/ 7 average rating with 61 reviewsforTegretol
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.
  • Lowers the frequency of seizures, especially for people with tonic-clonic and partial seizures.
  • First-line option for trigeminal neuralgia (nerve pain involving the face, head, and neck), and can relieve other types of nerve pain.
  • May be helpful in stabilizing mood for people with bipolar disorder.
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.
  • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
  • Higher risk of skin reactions compared to other antiepileptic medicines, ranging from mild to life-threatening rash.
  • Can cause blurry vision, dizziness, and upset stomach.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
Price
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$4
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$32
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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

Have you used Elavil (Amitriptyline)?

Leave a review
61 
56%
think this treatment is worth it
43%
think this treatment works well
23%
think this treatment is a hassle

Have you used Tegretol (Carbamazepine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Elavil (Amitriptyline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
10possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    44%
  • Somnolence
    32%
  • Nausea
    28%
  • Vomiting
    18%
  • Ataxia
    15%
  • Constipation
    10%
  • Pruritus
    8%
  • Dry Mouth
    8%
  • Asthenia
    8%
  • Rash
    7%
See more detailed side effects
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
  • Serious skin rash

    People also taking Depakote

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

    History of depression

  • Serious allergic reactions

    European, Chinese, or Japanese ancestry

  • Mental changes due to low sodium

    Age 65 years or older

  • Withdrawal seizures

    Stopping Tegretol (Carbamazepine) suddenly

See more detailed risks and warnings