Compare Lyrica vs. Elavil

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

Lyrica
(Pregabalin)

Elavil
(Amitriptyline)

Treats nerve pain and prevents seizures. Lyrica (Pregabalin) works well as an add-on medicine for seizures and fibromyalgia, but it's especially effective for nerve-related pain after shingles. Not available as a generic, so it might be expensive.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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
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4.380952380952381Lyrica
Reviews for Lyrica (Pregabalin)
46%
of people say Lyrica (Pregabalin) is worth it
41%
say it works well
32%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Elavil (Amitriptyline)
52%
+6% vs. Lyrica (Pregabalin)
34%
7% vs. Lyrica (Pregabalin)
23%
+9% vs. Lyrica (Pregabalin)
Side effects
LyricaElavil
  • Dizziness 36%
  • Nerve damage 34%
  • Drowsiness 24%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 24%
  • Weight gain 15%
  • Constipation 13%
  • Weight increased 12%
  • Dry mouth 12%
  • Leg or ankle swelling 12%
  • Vision blurred 11%
More Lyrica side effects »

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

More about Elavil side effects »
How it works
LyricaElavil
Lyrica (Pregabalin) is a nerve pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it has a similar structure to GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms nerves in the brain and spinal cord.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.
Type of medication
LyricaElavil
Anticonvulsant
GABA analog
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only
Available as
LyricaElavil
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
LyricaElavil
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 Lyrica (Pregabalin)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)
Risk factors for serious side effects
LyricaElavil
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • History of unusual swelling (angioedema)
    • Taking other medications that can angioedema
    • History of cardiovascular disease
    • Taking with certain diabetes medications
    • Stopping Lyrica (Pregabalin) suddenly
      • Both male and females taking Lyrica (Pregabalin)
      Detailed Lyrica (Pregabalin) risks & warnings »
      • 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 »
      Pregnancy category
      LyricaElavil
      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
      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
      Alcohol
      • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      • Some people taking Lyrica (Pregabalin) develop muscle damage leading to kidney failure (rhabdomyolysis), however, this is very rare. Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, weakness or fever and there is no other related cause.
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      • Lyrica (Pregabalin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
      • Can make you drowsy or dizzy.
      • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
      • Low doses of Elavil (Amitriptyline) start working in 45 minutes to help you sleep better.
      • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.
      • 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.
      Upsides and benefits
      LyricaElavil
      • Relieves nerve-related (neuropathic) pain caused by different conditions including diabetes, shingles (herpes zoster), fibromyalgia, and spinal cord damage.
      • Studies show that lower doses of Lyrica (Pregabalin) cause fewer side effects and still relieve pain just as well as higher doses.
      • Also used in combination with other medications to treat epilepsy (partial seizures).
      • 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.
      Downsides and risks
      LyricaElavil
      • Not available as a generic, so it can be pricey.
      • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Lyrica (Pregabalin) can cause seizures.
      • Lyrica (Pregabalin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
      • Has a higher risk than other pain medicines of affecting your heart rate or rhythm, so it might not be the best choice if you have cardiovascular disease (previous heart attack, stroke, fast/uncontrolled heart rate, or irregular heartbeat).
      • 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.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      LyricaElavil
      • Some people feel relief from pain in a week.
      • Can make you drowsy or dizzy.
      • Don't stop taking it suddenly without talking to your doctor. You'll need to slowly lower your dose over at least a week to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
      • Tell your doctor if you have unexplained confusion or changes in your thoughts or behavior.
      • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
      • 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.
      Learn more
      More about LyricaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about ElavilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert