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
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.480314960629921Remeron
Reviews for Remeron (Mirtazapine)
47%
of people say Remeron (Mirtazapine) is worth it
42%
say it works well
26%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Elavil (Amitriptyline)
52%
+5% vs. Remeron (Mirtazapine)
34%
8% vs. Remeron (Mirtazapine)
23%
+3% vs. Remeron (Mirtazapine)
Side effects
RemeronElavil
  • Drowsiness 36%
  • Increased appetite 15%
  • Dry mouth 10%
  • Weight gain 10%
  • Constipation 6%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Muscle weakness 3%
  • Abnormal dreams 3%
  • Flu syndrome 2%
  • 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
Antidepressant
Noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only
Available as
RemeronElavil
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
RemeronElavil
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.

After 4 weeks using Start and Remeron (Mirtazapine), here’s how much better people feel.

The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Elavil (Amitriptyline)
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 category
      RemeronElavil
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      No specific sleep-related info.
      • Low doses of Elavil (Amitriptyline) start working in 45 minutes to help you sleep better.
      • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
      Weight
      • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) and raise cholesterol than any other antidepressant.
      • Good option for people who are underweight or frail, because it can help you gain weight.
      • 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.
      • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
      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
      More about ElavilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert