Compare Elavil vs. Tenex

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

Elavil (Amitriptyline)

Prescription only

Tenex (Guanfacine)

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.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 134 reviewsforElavil
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.

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.
  • 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
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
134 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
36%
saiditworked well
25%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Elavil (Amitriptyline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
7possible side effects
  • Dry Mouth
    10%
  • Somnolence
    10%
  • Headache
    7%
  • Fatigue
    5%
  • Any side effect
    5%
  • Asthenia
    3%
  • Dizziness
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Mania
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • 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
  • Sedation
    • Taking other medications that cause sedation or sleepiness
  • Rebound high blood pressure
    • Stopping Tenex (Guanfacine) suddenly to treat high blood pressure
See more detailed risks and warnings