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. Treats ADHD and lowers blood pressure. Tenex (Guanfacine) can be used to treat both blood pressure and ADHD, but it's not recommended as a first-line treatment for either problem. How it works 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. Tenex (Guanfacine) is a centrally-acting alpha agonist medication. It lowers blood pressure by slowing down the heart rate and relaxing the blood vessels. It's not clear how Tenex (Guanfacine) works in ADHD, but it's used when stimulants haven't worked or can't be used in people. Type of medication Antidepressant
› Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only Antihypertensive
› Alpha agonist
Prescription only Available as Used for (click to learn more) Find lowest prices Save on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance. 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 Tenex (Guanfacine) › Reviews & ratings Everyone Men Women Button Group. All currently active Everyone Men Women All ages 18-34 35-54 55+ Button Group. All currently active All ages 18-34 35-54 55+ 4.466101694915254 Elavil
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The Elavil FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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More Tenex side effects » Risk factors for serious side effects › Age 24 years or younger › History of bipolar disorder › At risk for bipolar disorder › History of cardiovascular disease Detailed Elavil (Amitriptyline) risks & warnings » › Taking other medications that cause sedation or sleepiness › Stopping Tenex (Guanfacine) suddenly to treat high blood pressure Detailed Tenex (Guanfacine) risks & warnings » Pregnancy category
Alcohol No specific alcohol-related info. › Limit the amount of alcohol you drink while taking this.
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. 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 › 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. › The same medication treats two different things, high blood pressure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). › It's not a "controlled medication". › Used to control ADHD when stimulant medications haven't worked or can't be used due to other medical problems. › Available as a generic medication, so it should be more affordable than other options. Downsides and risks › 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. › Doesn't control ADHD as well as stimulants do, so it's used as a second-line medication. › Not a preferred drug to control blood pressure. › Can't be stopped suddenly, especially for blood pressure, since the blood pressure can dramatically increase. Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication › 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. › Don't stop taking Tenex (Guanfacine) without talking to your doctor first. › Limit the amount of alcohol you drink while taking this. › Drink plenty of liquids and don't get overheated while taking Tenex (Guanfacine). › You can feel sleepy the first few times you take it, or when your dose is increased. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how the medication affects your body. › Can take up to 2 weeks for the maximum effect. Learn more More about Elavil Side effects Reviews & ratings Alternatives FDA package insert More about Tenex Side effects Reviews & ratings Alternatives FDA package insert