Compare Lamictal vs. Pamelor

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

Lamictal
(Lamotrigine)

Pamelor
(Nortriptyline)

Prevents seizures and stabilizes mood. Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is most useful for treating severe seizure disorders, and for bipolar disorder with more depression symptoms than manic symptoms. Just be careful to increase your dose slowly to avoid skin rash.Improves your mood. Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a good option for treating depression, especially for people who also have problems with persistent nerve pain.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.178571428571429Lamictal
Reviews for Lamictal (Lamotrigine)
67%
of people say Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is worth it
58%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Side effects
LamictalPamelor
  • Double vision 41%
  • Dizziness 27%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 18%
  • Blurred vision 15%
  • Nausea 14%
  • Vomiting 14%
  • Headache 10%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 5%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Incoordination 4%
More Lamictal side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Pamelor side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Pamelor »
How it works
LamictalPamelor
Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to calm nerve activity in the brain.Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). It helps improve your mood by altering the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and other similar chemicals in your brain.
Type of medication
LamictalPamelor
AnticonvulsantPrescription only
Antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only
Available as
LamictalPamelor
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
LamictalPamelor
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 Lamictal (Lamotrigine)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 Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
Risk factors for serious side effects
LamictalPamelor
  • History of depression
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Increasing the dose too quickly
        • Taking birth control pills
        • Stopping Lamictal (Lamotrigine) suddenly
        Detailed Lamictal (Lamotrigine) risks & warnings »
        • Age 24 years or younger
        • Age 65 years or older
        • Stopping Pamelor (Nortriptyline) suddenly
        • Using other medications that affect serotonin
        • History of heart disease
        • Older age
        • Electrolyte imbalance
        Detailed Pamelor (Nortriptyline) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        LamictalPamelor
        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
        NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

        The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
        • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
        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
        No specific sleep-related info.
        • Stopping Pamelor (Nortriptyline) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3-5 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1-2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        LamictalPamelor
        • Effective at lowering the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome. Typically used together with other medications for severe seizure disorders.
        • Works best for partial, tonic-clonic, and absence seizures.
        • A first-line treatment for bipolar disorder. Effective long-term treatment for stabilizing mood. Prevents both depressive and manic episodes, but the effect is greater for preventing depression.
        • Doesn't require routine blood tests.
        • Helpful with treating certain types of pain, like migraines or nerve-related pain.
        • Generally well tolerated and has fewer side effects than other medicines in the same class of drugs.
        Downsides and risks
        LamictalPamelor
        • Can cause double vision, dizziness, sleepiness, and headache.
        • Has the risk of a rare but life-threatening rash.
        • Can make hormonal birth control less effective.
        • Might be less effective than other medicines for treating manic episodes (acute mania) in people with bipolar disorder.
        • Side effects are usually manageable, but can be annoying.
        • Increases the risk of falls, especially when used in the elderly.
        • There's an increased chance of it causing heart problems, especially in people with a history of heart problems.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        LamictalPamelor
        • Follow dose adjustments set by your doctor to minimize skin rash.
        • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
        • Report rash, blurry vision, fever, persistent headache, or neck stiffness to your doctor.
        • Makes hormonal birth control less effective.
        • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
        • Needs to be taken every day for 1 to 2 weeks to start feeling better, and for 6 to 8 weeks to see the full effect of the medication.
        • It's important to keep taking Pamelor (Nortriptyline) even when you feel your symptoms are getting better.
        • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
        • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
        • If you decide to stop taking Pamelor (Nortriptyline), work with your doctor to slowly get off this medicine to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
        Learn more
        More about LamictalSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about PamelorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert