Compare Pamelor vs. Tegretol

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



Improves your mood. Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a good option for treating depression, especially for people who also have problems with persistent nerve pain.Prevents seizures, stabilizes mood, and relieves nerve pain. Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is useful for preventing seizures and relieving certain types of nerve pain, but interacts with many drugs.
Reviews & ratings
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Filter group. All currently selected
Reviews for Pamelor
of people (All ages) say Pamelor is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Pamelor (Nortriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tegretol
+23% better vs. Pamelor
+36% better vs. Pamelor
+2% better vs. Pamelor
Have you used Tegretol (Carbamazepine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects

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

FDA side effect reports for Pamelor »
  • Paresthesia 1%
  • Thinking abnormal 2%
  • Twitching 1%
  • Vertigo 1%
  • Hypertension 3%
  • Tremor 2%
  • Blurred vision 4%
  • Speech Disorder 6%
  • Rash 3%
  • Pruritus 6%
More Tegretol side effects »
How it works
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.Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to block certain kinds of nerve activity to reduce seizures and pain.
Type of medication
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
Used for
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Stopping Pamelor (Nortriptyline) suddenly
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of heart disease
Detailed Pamelor (Nortriptyline) risks & warnings »
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Asian ancestry
  • History of depression
  • European, Chinese, or Japanese ancestry
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Tegretol (Carbamazepine) risks & warnings »

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.

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

No interactions related info.
  • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
  • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
No food related info.
Upsides and benefits
  • 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.
  • Lowers the frequency of seizures, especially for people with tonic-clonic and partial seizures.
  • First-line option for trigeminal neuralgia (nerve pain involving the face, head, and neck), and can relieve other types of nerve pain.
  • May be helpful in stabilizing mood for people with bipolar disorder.
Downsides and risks
  • 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.
  • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
  • Higher risk of skin reactions compared to other antiepileptic medicines, ranging from mild to life-threatening rash.
  • Can cause blurry vision, dizziness, and upset stomach.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • 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.
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • Report skin rashes or blistering immediately.
  • Don't use if pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests.
  • Report confusion, persistent abdominal pain, yellowing of eyes/skin, or easy bruising to your doctor.
  • Takes up to 5 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
Learn more
More about PamelorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pamelor (Nortriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TegretolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tegretol (Carbamazepine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it