Compare Remeron vs. Elavil

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

Remeron
(mirtazapine)

Elavil
(Amitriptyline)

Improves mood. Remeron (mirtazapine) improves your mood and helps you sleep better, but can cause more weight gain than any other antidepressant.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.46Remeron
Reviews for Remeron
45%
of people (All ages) say Remeron is worth it
39%
say it works well
26%
say it's a big hassle
152 reviews
Have you used Remeron (mirtazapine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Elavil
53%
-8% worse vs. Remeron
36%
+3% better vs. Remeron
25%
-1% worse vs. Remeron
134 reviews
Have you used Elavil (Amitriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
RemeronElavil
  • Back pain 1%
  • Swelling in limbs 1%
  • Muscle pain 1%
  • Tremor 1%
  • Confusion 2%
  • Urinary frequency 1%
  • Abnormal thinking 2%
  • Abnormal dreams 3%
  • Flu syndrome 2%
  • Dizziness 4%
More Remeron side effects »

The Elavil FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Elavil side effects »
How it works
RemeronElavil
Remeron (mirtazapine) is an atypical antidepressant. It stimulates your body to make certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which regulate mood.Elavil (Amitriptyline) is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). Researchers don't know exactly how it works. It may change serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood and pain perception. It also has sedative effects.
Type of medication
RemeronElavil
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
RemeronElavil
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
Used for
RemeronElavil
Risk factors for serious side effects
RemeronElavil
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of heart problems
  • History of liver problems
  • Higher dose
Detailed Remeron (mirtazapine) risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Elavil (Amitriptyline) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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
RemeronElavil
  • Prescription medications can interact with Remeron (mirtazapine). Let your doctor or pharmacist know if you're on prescription medications currently or within the past 14 days.
No interactions related info.
Pain
RemeronElavil
No pain related info.
  • Low doses work well to treat certain kinds of chronic pain. It can take 2 weeks to feel the full effects of the medication.
Sleep
RemeronElavil
  • Remeron (mirtazapine) can make you sleepy. It is best to take at bedtime.
  • Can help you fall asleep if you have trouble sleeping.
  • Makes you more tired than other antidepressants.
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
Weight
RemeronElavil
  • Remeron (mirtazapine) can raise your appetite and cause you to gain weight. Remeron (mirtazapine) can also raise your cholesterol.
  • Remeron (mirtazapine) can increase your appetite and cause to you to gain weight.
  • Good option if you are underweight or frail, because it can help you gain weight.
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1-5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
  • It's more likely to cause sleepiness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
Upsides and benefits
RemeronElavil
  • Effective at relieving some depression symptoms.
  • Starts to work more quickly than most antidepressants.
  • Can help you fall asleep if you have trouble sleeping.
  • Can also help relieve anxiety.
  • Good option if you are underweight or frail, because it can help you gain weight.
  • Available as a generic.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
RemeronElavil
  • Makes you more tired than other antidepressants.
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1-5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
RemeronElavil
  • Remeron (mirtazapine) can make you sleepy. It is best to take at bedtime.
  • Remeron (mirtazapine) can increase your appetite and cause to you to gain weight.
  • You should not abruptly stop Remeron (mirtazapine) as this could cause serious side effects.
  • Prescription medications can interact with Remeron (mirtazapine). Let your doctor or pharmacist know if you're on prescription medications currently or within the past 14 days.
  • Remeron (mirtazapine) should be protected from light. Keep it in it's original package until ready to use.
  • Remeron (mirtazapine) can cause dry mouth. Try using sugar-free gum or candy to help with dry mouth.
  • Take at bedtime to avoid some of its side effects.
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
  • 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 RemeronSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Remeron (mirtazapine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ElavilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Elavil (Amitriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it