Compare Elavil vs. Topamax

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

Elavil
(Amitriptyline)

Qudexy Xr
(Topiramate)

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 and migraine headaches. Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) is useful for preventing seizures and migraines, and doesn't require blood tests while you're on it.
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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 Qudexy Xr (Topiramate)
54%
+2% vs. Elavil (Amitriptyline)
52%
+18% vs. Elavil (Amitriptyline)
33%
10% vs. Elavil (Amitriptyline)
Side effects
ElavilTopamax

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

More about Elavil side effects »
  • Tingling sensation 45%
  • Slowed-down thinking and movements 19%
  • Dizziness 17%
  • Drowsiness 17%
  • Fatigue 17%
  • Change in taste 14%
  • Difficulty with concentration/attention 13%
  • Nervousness 12%
  • Difficulty with memory 11%
  • Vision abnormal 11%
More Topamax side effects »
How it works
ElavilTopamax
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.Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to affect multiple parts of the brain to control seizures and migraines.
Type of medication
ElavilTopamax
Antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
Available as
ElavilTopamax
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release capsule
Used for (click to learn more)
ElavilTopamax
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 Qudexy Xr (Topiramate)
Risk factors for serious side effects
ElavilTopamax
  • 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 »
  • History of depression
    • Children
    • History of metabolic disorders
    • People also taking Depakote
    • Low-carb diet
    • Dehydration
    • Drug interactions
      • Stopping Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) suddenly
      Detailed Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      ElavilTopamax
      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.
      • A few people will get kidney stones.
      • Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) may increase your risk for kidney stones. Stay well-hydrated to lower your risk.
      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.
      • Can cause sleepiness, speech problems, tingling sensations, and weight loss.
      Upsides and benefits
      ElavilTopamax
      • 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.
      • Used on its own or with other antiepileptic medicines to lower the frequency of seizures, especially for people with tonic-clonic or partial seizures, or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome.
      • Helpful in preventing frequent migraine headaches.
      • Doesn't need routine blood tests.
      Downsides and risks
      ElavilTopamax
      • 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.
      • Can cause sleepiness, speech problems, tingling sensations, and weight loss.
      • A few people will get kidney stones.
      • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      ElavilTopamax
      • 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.
      • Don't use if pregnant.
      • Can cause tingling skin sensations and reduced appetite.
      • Report any confusion, decreased sweating, fever, or changes in behavior or vision.
      • Takes 3 to 4 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
      Learn more
      More about ElavilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about TopamaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert