Compare Lexapro vs. Elavil

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

Lexapro (escitalopram)

Prescription only

Elavil (amitriptyline)

Prescription only
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Lexapro (escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It is less likely to cause side effects than and has fewer drug interactions. However, it might not be a good choice if you have liver or heart problems.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 1063 reviewsforLexapro
Improves mood.

Elavil (amitriptyline) regulates mood and treats nerve pain, but has more side effects than alternatives.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 134 reviewsforElavil
Upsides
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers the likelihood that your depression will come back.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
  • Elavil (amitriptyline) works well to treat nerve pain and is non-habit forming.
Downsides
  • Can cause a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) is not a good option if you have heart or liver problems.
  • The first antidepressant you try might not always work, so you may need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you.
  • Elavil (amitriptyline) has more bothersome side effects than other antidepressants.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
1063 reviews so far
61%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?

Leave a review
134 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
36%
saiditworked well
25%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Elavil (amitriptyline)?

Leave a review
Side effects
25possible side effects
  • Headache
    24%
  • Nausea
    18%
  • Problems ejaculating
    14%
  • Sleepiness
    13%
  • Insomnia
    12%
  • Dry mouth
    9%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Fatigue
    8%
  • Decreased libido
    7%
  • Problems with orgasm
    6%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    5%
  • Increased sweating
    4%
  • Indigestion
    3%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Neck/shoulder pain
    3%
  • Abnormal dreams
    3%
  • Decrease appetite
    3%
  • Lack of energy
    3%
  • Tingling or burning in the hands/feet
    2%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
  • Flatulence
    2%
  • Toothache
    2%
  • Yawning
    2%
  • Menstrual disorder
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Elavil (amitriptyline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Lexapro (escitalopram) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking blood thinners
  • Sexual problems
  • Uncovering of bipolar disorder
    • Bipolar disorder
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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
  • Dizziness and falls
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Taking medicines to control blood pressure
  • Dehydration
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings