Compare Lyrica vs. Pamelor

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



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 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
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Reviews for Lyrica (Pregabalin)
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Side effects
  • 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 »

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

FDA side effect reports for Pamelor »
How it works
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.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
GABA analog
Prescription only
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
Risk factors for serious side effects
    • 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
      • 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
      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
      • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      No specific food-related info.
      • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
      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.
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      • 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).
      • 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
      • 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).
      • 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
      • 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.
      • 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 LyricaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about PamelorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert