Compare Neurontin vs. Elavil

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

Neurontin
(gabapentin)

Elavil
(amitriptyline)

Treats tingling and burning nerve pain. Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an old seizure disorder medicine that's now used to treat nerve-related pain caused by different conditions.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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Coupons for Neurontin
Best available price for 90 (300mg) capsules of gabapentin
Coupons for Elavil
Best available price for 30 (25mg) tablets of amitriptyline
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.56Neurontin
Reviews for Neurontin (gabapentin)
57%
of people (All ages) say Neurontin (gabapentin) is worth it
40%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
620 reviews
Have you used Neurontin (gabapentin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Elavil (amitriptyline)
53%
-4% worse vs. Neurontin (gabapentin)
36%
-4% worse vs. Neurontin (gabapentin)
25%
-6% worse vs. Neurontin (gabapentin)
134 reviews
Have you used Elavil (amitriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NeurontinElavil
  • Dizziness 21%
  • Drowsiness 16%
  • Leg or ankle swelling 6%
  • Muscle weakness 1%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Infection 2%
  • Dry mouth 3%
  • Constipation 2%
  • Accidental injury 2%
  • Vomiting 2%
More Neurontin 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
NeurontinElavil
Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an antiepileptic and 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
NeurontinElavil
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
NeurontinElavil
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
Used for
NeurontinElavil
Risk factors for serious side effects
NeurontinElavil
  • Children ages 3 to 12
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) suddenly
Detailed Neurontin (gabapentin) 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
Detailed Elavil (amitriptyline) 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.

Food
NeurontinElavil
  • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
No food related info.
Pain
NeurontinElavil
  • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
  • Low doses work well to treat certain kinds of chronic pain. It can take 2 weeks to feel the full effects of the medication.
Sleep
NeurontinElavil
  • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
Weight
NeurontinElavil
No weight related info.
  • It's more likely to cause sleepiness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
Upsides and benefits
NeurontinElavil
  • Originally used to treat epilepsy (partial seizures), but now it primarily treats neuropathic pain that's caused by nerve stimulation or damage.
  • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
  • It's available as a generic, so it's less expensive than similar medications.
  • 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
NeurontinElavil
  • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
  • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) can cause seizures. This is even more likely if you drink alcohol, so it might not be the best medication for heavy drinkers.
  • 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
NeurontinElavil
  • Side effects are common, but usually manageable.
  • Don't drive while taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) until you know how the medication affects you.
  • Neurontin and generic forms of Gabapentin have the same ingredients as Gralise and Horizant, but are dosed differently. Make sure you know which form you're taking since they are used for different purposes.
  • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
  • Stop taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) slowly over at least one week to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • 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 NeurontinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Neurontin (gabapentin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ElavilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Elavil (amitriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it