Compare Pamelor vs. Prozac

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

Pamelor
(Nortriptyline)

Prozac
(Fluoxetine)

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. Prozac (Fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, but may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Prozac (Fluoxetine)
61%
16% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
40%
37% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
16%
1% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
Side effects
PamelorProzac

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

FDA side effect reports for Pamelor »
  • Rash 57%
  • Sleep difficulty 20%
  • Nausea 18%
  • Muscle weakness 12%
  • Drowsiness 10%
  • Tremor 9%
  • Dry mouth 9%
  • Lower sex drive 9%
  • Loss of appetite 7%
  • Anxiety 7%
More Prozac side effects »
How it works
PamelorProzac
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.Prozac (Fluoxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
PamelorProzac
Antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Available as
PamelorProzac
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
PamelorProzac
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 Prozac (Fluoxetine), here’s how much better people feel.

Risk factors for serious side effects
PamelorProzac
  • 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
  • Stopping Prozac (Fluoxetine) suddenly
  • History of heart problems
  • History of liver problems
  • Drug interactions
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    Detailed Prozac (Fluoxetine) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    PamelorProzac
    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 in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
    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.
    • Prozac (Fluoxetine) 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 Prozac (Fluoxetine) 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.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    PamelorProzac
    • 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.
    • Lowers relapse rates of depression and bulimia nervosa.
    • Causes less sleepiness than other antidepressants.
    • It's more energizing than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have low energy.
    • It has been used to treat depression for a long time, so there's a lot of information available about how it works and how safe it is.
    • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
    Downsides and risks
    PamelorProzac
    • 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 increase feelings of anxiety or cause headaches during the first few weeks of taking it. These effects should go away over time.
    • More likely than other antidepressants to interact with other medications you're taking.
    • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
    • 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
    PamelorProzac
    • 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 in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
    • 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 ProzacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert