Compare Pamelor vs. Zoloft

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

Pamelor
(nortriptyline)

Zoloft
(sertraline)

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. Zoloft (Sertraline) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more likely to cause insomnia and diarrhea than other antidepressants.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.47Pamelor
Reviews for Pamelor
79%
of people (All ages) say Pamelor is worth it
79%
say it works well
21%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Pamelor (nortriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Zoloft
59%
+20% better vs. Pamelor
41%
+38% better vs. Pamelor
15%
-6% worse vs. Pamelor
1472 reviews
Have you used Zoloft (sertraline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
PamelorZoloft

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

FDA side effect reports for Pamelor »
  • Nausea 14%
  • Diarrhea/loose stools 9%
  • Sleep difficulty 7%
  • Mouth dry 7%
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Tremor 8%
  • Fatigue 3%
  • Sweating increased 5%
  • Constipation 2%
More Zoloft side effects »
How it works
PamelorZoloft
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.Zoloft (Sertraline) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases the activity of serotonin in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
PamelorZoloft
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
PamelorZoloft
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
PamelorZoloft
Risk factors for serious side effects
PamelorZoloft
  • 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 »
  • Under 24 years old
  • Interactions with other medications
  • Stopping Zoloft (Sertraline) suddenly
  • Taking with blood-thinning drugs
  • Elderly
Detailed Zoloft (sertraline) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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 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.

Interactions
PamelorZoloft
No interactions related info.
  • It interacts with St. John's Wort and Tryptophan.
Food
PamelorZoloft
  • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
No food related info.
Sex
PamelorZoloft
No sex related info.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
Sleep
PamelorZoloft
No sleep related info.
  • Zoloft (Sertraline) may increase the risk of low sodium levels in the blood (hyponatremia). Watch out for symptoms including headache, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, confusion, weakness, and unsteadiness, which may lead to falls. Talk to a doctor right away before developing more serious symptoms, such as hallucination, fainting, coma, and death.
  • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
Upsides and benefits
PamelorZoloft
  • 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 lowering symptoms and relapse rates of depression and anxiety disorders.
  • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides and risks
PamelorZoloft
  • 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.
  • More likely to cause diarrhea than other antidepressants.
  • 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
PamelorZoloft
  • 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.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • It interacts with St. John's Wort and Tryptophan.
  • 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
Have you used Pamelor (nortriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZoloftSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zoloft (sertraline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it