Compare Prozac vs. Elavil

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

Prozac (fluoxetine)

Prescription only

Elavil (Amitriptyline)

Prescription only
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Prozac (fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, so it may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 1319 reviewsforProzac
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.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 134 reviewsforElavil
  • Effectively treats a variety of mental health conditions such as depression, OCD, and panic disorder.
  • It's more energizing than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have low energy.
  • Might be a good option for treating children with depression and/or OCD.
  • Doesn't have effects on the heart unlike other antidepressants so it may be a better treatment choice for older people.
  • Can cause a significant amount of weight loss which is an added benefit for those who are overweight or obese.
  • 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.
  • Takes at least 1 to 2 weeks to kick in and can take up to 12 weeks for maximum effect. Prozac (fluoxetine) tends to take more time to start working compared to similar alternatives.
  • Can lower your sex drive.
  • Can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and/or behavior in those age 24 or younger.
  • You may need to try out several different antidepressants before you find the one that works for you.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Delayed-release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
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1319 reviews so far
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Have you used Prozac (fluoxetine)?

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134 reviews so far
saidit'sworth it
saiditworked well
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Elavil (Amitriptyline)?

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Side effects
22possible side effects
  • Inability to sleep
  • Nausea
  • Lack of energy
  • Anxiety
  • Sleepiness
  • Tremor
  • Nervousness
  • Yawn
  • Indigestion
  • Sore throat
  • Dry mouth
  • Flu syndrome
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Impotence
  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • Sinus infection
  • Lower sex drive
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Rash
  • Widening of blood vessels
See more detailed side effects
The Elavil (Amitriptyline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Antidepressants
    • Lithium
    • Ultram
    • Imitrex
    • Remeron
    • Lexapro
    • Dilaudid
    • St. John's Wort
  • Skin rash
  • Weight loss
    • People with an eating disorder
  • Increased bleeding risk
    • Taking NSAIDS or blood-thinning drugs
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
    • People with heart rhythm problems or a family history of them
    • Low potassium level
    • Low magnesium level
    • Recent heart attack
    • Using other drugs that affect heart rhythm
    • Overdose
    • People with liver problems
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Mania
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • Heart problems
    • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Low blood pressure
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Anticholinergic effects
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings