Compare Elavil vs. Tegretol

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

Elavil
(Amitriptyline)

Tegretol
(Carbamazepine)

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.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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.466101694915254Elavil
Reviews for Elavil (Amitriptyline)
52%
of people say Elavil (Amitriptyline) is worth it
34%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
58%
+6% vs. Elavil (Amitriptyline)
42%
+8% vs. Elavil (Amitriptyline)
21%
+2% vs. Elavil (Amitriptyline)
Side effects
ElavilTegretol

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

More about Elavil side effects »
  • Dizziness 32%
  • Drowsiness 19%
  • Nausea 19%
  • Vomiting 15%
  • Itching 6%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Dry mouth 5%
  • Muscle weakness 4%
  • Blurred vision 4%
  • Rash 3%
More Tegretol side effects »
How it works
ElavilTegretol
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.Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to block certain kinds of nerve activity to reduce seizures and pain.
Type of medication
ElavilTegretol
Antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
Available as
ElavilTegretol
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
Used for (click to learn more)
ElavilTegretol
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.
The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Elavil (Amitriptyline)The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Tegretol (Carbamazepine)
Risk factors for serious side effects
ElavilTegretol
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Elavil (Amitriptyline) risks & warnings »
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Asian ancestry
    • History of depression
    • European, Chinese, or Japanese ancestry
      • Age 65 years or older
      • Stopping Tegretol (Carbamazepine) suddenly
      Detailed Tegretol (Carbamazepine) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      ElavilTegretol
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      • Low doses of Elavil (Amitriptyline) start working in 45 minutes to help you sleep better.
      • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
      No specific sleep-related info.
      Weight
      • It's more likely to cause sleepiness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
      • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
      No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      ElavilTegretol
      • 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 and risks
      ElavilTegretol
      • 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.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      ElavilTegretol
      • 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.
      • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
      • Report skin rashes or blistering immediately.
      • Don't use if pregnant.
      • Requires routine blood tests.
      • Report confusion, persistent abdominal pain, yellowing of eyes/skin, or easy bruising to your doctor.
      • Takes up to 5 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
      Learn more
      More about ElavilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about TegretolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert