Compare Pamelor vs. Celexa

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

Pamelor
(Nortriptyline)

Celexa
(Citalopram)

Improves your mood. Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a good option for treating depression, especially for people who also have problems with persistent nerve pain.Improves mood and helps you relax. Celexa (Citalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Might be less likely to cause side effects than some antidepressants, but not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Celexa (Citalopram)
60%
17% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
50%
27% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
15%
Same vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
Side effects
PamelorCelexa

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

FDA side effect reports for Pamelor »
  • Drowsiness 8%
  • Nausea 7%
  • Dry mouth 6%
  • Abnormal ejaculation 5%
  • Ejaculation disorder 5%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Tremor 2%
  • Sweating increased 2%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Loss of appetite 2%
More Celexa side effects »
How it works
PamelorCelexa
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.Celexa (Citalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
PamelorCelexa
Antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Available as
PamelorCelexa
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for (click to learn more)
PamelorCelexa
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 Pamelor (Nortriptyline)

After 4 weeks using Start and Celexa (Citalopram), here’s how much better people feel.

Risk factors for serious side effects
PamelorCelexa
  • 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 »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • Stopping Celexa (Citalopram) suddenly
  • Higher dose
  • History of heart problems
  • History of liver problems
  • Older age
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
    Detailed Celexa (Citalopram) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    PamelorCelexa
    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
    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
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
    • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.
    • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
    • Celexa (Citalopram) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
    Sleep
    • 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.
    • Stopping Celexa (Citalopram) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.
    • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
    Upsides and benefits
    PamelorCelexa
    • 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.
    • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
    • Causes less sleepiness compared to other antidepressants.
    • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
    Downsides and risks
    PamelorCelexa
    • 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.
    • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
    • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
    • Celexa (Citalopram) can cause an irregular heartbeat if you take a high dose (40 mg a day, or more).
    • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
    • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24 years.
    • 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
    PamelorCelexa
    • 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.
    • If you decide to stop taking Pamelor (Nortriptyline), work with your doctor to slowly get off this medicine to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
    • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
    • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
    • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
    • 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 PamelorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about CelexaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert