Compare Elavil vs. Zomig

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

Elavil
(amitriptyline)

Zomig
(zolmitriptan)

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 migraines. Triptans are the first-choice to treat migraines. Zomig (zolmitriptan) works just as well as other triptans for migraines.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.48Elavil
Reviews for Elavil
53%
of people (All ages) say Elavil is worth it
36%
say it works well
25%
say it's a big hassle
134 reviews
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Have you used Zomig (zolmitriptan)?
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Side effects
ElavilZomig

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

More about Elavil side effects »
  • Nervous system problems 7%
  • Stomach problems 8%
  • Pain and pressure sensation 7%
  • Unusual sensations 6%
  • Nausea 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Tingling or prickling sensation 5%
  • Neck, throat or jaw pain/pressure 4%
  • Sleepiness 3%
  • Warm or cold sensation 1%
More Zomig side effects »
How it works
ElavilZomig
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.Zomig (zolmitriptan) is a triptan. It prevents the enlargement of blood vessels in your brain, which causes migraines.
Type of medication
ElavilZomig
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ElavilZomig
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Nasal spray
Used for
ElavilZomig
Risk factors for serious side effects
ElavilZomig
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Elavil (amitriptyline) risks & warnings »
  • Heart disease
  • history of chest pain/angina
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • History of a stroke
  • Using Zomig (zolmitriptan) or other migraine treatment medications for 10 or more days a month
Detailed Zomig (zolmitriptan) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Pain
ElavilZomig
  • Low doses work well to treat certain kinds of chronic pain. It can take 2 weeks to feel the full effects of the medication.
No pain related info.
Sleep
ElavilZomig
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
No sleep related info.
Weight
ElavilZomig
  • It's more likely to cause sleepiness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
ElavilZomig
  • 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.
  • Zomig (zolmitriptan) is is a first choice treatment to treat severe migraines.
  • There are different forms of Zomig (zolmitriptan) available, including a dissolving pill and a nasal spray if you have trouble swallowing during a migraine attack.
  • The regular and dissolving pill forms of Zomig (zolmitriptan) are available as generics.
Downsides and risks
ElavilZomig
  • 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.
  • If you're taking the nasal spray form of Zomig (zolmitriptan), you have to follow the instructions exactly or you won't get the full dose of medicine.
  • The nasal spray form of Zomig (zolmitriptan) is only available as brand name, so it can be expensive.
  • If you have heart disease or history of stroke, Zomig (zolmitriptan) may not be the best choice for you. Talk to your doctor about your medical history.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ElavilZomig
  • 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.
  • Doesn't prevent migraines.
  • Use as soon as you feel a migraine starting. You can take another dose 2 hours later, but don't take more than 10 mg total in 24 hours.
  • Don't use it excessively since it can cause you to have more headaches. Talk to your doctor if you are having more than 4 migraines in a month.
Learn more
More about ElavilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Elavil (amitriptyline)?
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More about ZomigSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zomig (zolmitriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it