Compare Remeron vs. Elavil

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

Remeron
(Mirtazapine)

Elavil
(Amitriptyline)

Improves mood. Remeron (Mirtazapine) is okay for treating depression and good for sleep. More likely to cause 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.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.46Remeron
Reviews for Remeron (Mirtazapine)
45%
of people (All ages) say Remeron (Mirtazapine) 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 (Amitriptyline)
53%
+8% better vs. Remeron (Mirtazapine)
36%
-3% worse vs. Remeron (Mirtazapine)
25%
+1% better vs. Remeron (Mirtazapine)
134 reviews
Have you used Elavil (Amitriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
RemeronElavil
  • Drowsiness 36%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Increased appetite 15%
  • Constipation 6%
  • Weight gain 10%
  • Muscle weakness 3%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Flu syndrome 2%
  • Abnormal dreams 3%
  • Thinking abnormal 2%
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 only
Prescription only
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
  • Alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
      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
      • 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.

      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.

      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
      No sleep related info.
      • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
      Weight
      RemeronElavil
      • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
      • Can increase appetite and weight.
      • Remeron (Mirtazapine) can increase appetite and cause you to gain weight.
      • 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.
      • Might be a good option for people who have insomnia with their depression, because it can make you very sleepy.
      • Good option for people who are underweight or frail, because it can help you gain weight.
      • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
      • 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
      • Not as effective as other medications for depression.
      • More sedating than other antidepressants.
      • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
      • Like most antidepressants, can cause 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.
      • 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
      • Makes you sleepy. Take at bedtime.
      • Can increase appetite and weight.
      • Takes 8 to 12 weeks to see full effects on mood.
      • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
      • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
      • 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