Compare Silenor vs. Vivactil

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

Silenor
(doxepin)

Vivactil
(protriptyline)

Helps you relax, and sleep. Doxepin is a non-addictive way to help people stay asleep, but it comes with a list of side effects.Improves your mood. Vivactil (protriptyline) is part of the first choice of medicines for depression, but it can cause problems with your heartbeat and change your sex drive.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Silenor (doxepin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Vivactil (protriptyline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
SilenorVivactil

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

FDA side effect reports for Silenor »

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

More about Vivactil side effects »
How it works
SilenorVivactil
Doxepin is a tricyclic antidepressant. It keeps norepinephrine and serotonin in your brain longer, helping you relax, and sleep. It also blocks the chemical that causes itch, and wakefulness.Vivactil (protriptyline) is a tricyclic antidepressant. It regulates mood by raising the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
Type of medication
SilenorVivactil
Prescription only
Available as
SilenorVivactil
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
SilenorVivactil
  • Alcoholism Anxiety Depression Anxiety Depression Anxiety Depression Psychoneurotic Personality Disorder Insomnia Pruritus Moderate
Risk factors for serious side effects
SilenorVivactil
    Coming soon.
    • Under age 24
    • History of heart disease
    • Overactive thyroid
    • History of seizures
    • High blood pressure
    Detailed Vivactil (protriptyline) 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.

    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.

    Interactions
    SilenorVivactil
    • Doxepin can interact with many different medications, vitamins, and alternative treatments.
    No interactions related info.
    Alcohol
    SilenorVivactil
    • Stay away from alcohol while taking Doxepin, because it can slow your brain, and stop your breathing.
    No alcohol related info.
    Weight
    SilenorVivactil
    • Doxepin can increase your appetite, leading to weight gain.
    No weight related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    SilenorVivactil
    • In a clinical trial Doxepin was able to significantly improve sleep quality.
    • Doxepin helps improve your appetite, energy level, and sense of well-being, which increases your interests.
    • Once your body gets used to Doxepin, most of the side effects go away.
    • Doxepin comes in a generic form, so it is pretty cheap.
    • Doxepin is not addictive.
    • Vivactil (protriptyline) is part of the first choice medicines for treating depression.
    • Compared to similar medicines, Vivactil (protriptyline) is less likely to make you feel sleepy.
    • Available in generic.
    Downsides and risks
    SilenorVivactil
    • Some people taking Doxepin walk, drive, eat, and have sex while sleeping. Be sure to tell your doctor if this happens to you.
    • Doxepin can increase your appetite, leading to weight gain.
    • Taking Doxepin can make emptying your bladder difficult.
    • Some people have suicidal thoughts when taking Doxepin.
    • Doxepin can interact with many different medications, vitamins, and alternative treatments.
    • Vivactil (protriptyline) can lower your sex drive more than some other similar medicines.
    • Because Vivactil (protriptyline) can cause dizziness, people age 65 and older need to take precautions when taking Vivactil (protriptyline).
    • Vivactil (protriptyline) can worsen heart conditions. If you have a history of heart problems, you may need to have regular testing for your heart.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    SilenorVivactil
    • Take Doxepin 30 minutes before bedtime so it starts working when you get in bed.
    • Avoid activities that need you to be fully alert like driving, until you know how Doxepin affects you.
    • Follow up with your doctor so he or she can make sure Doxepin is the right medication for your depression.
    • Stay away from alcohol while taking Doxepin, because it can slow your brain, and stop your breathing.
    • Some people get dry mouth, or constipation when taking Doxepin. Sugar free gum or candy can help the dry mouth, and drinking more fluid can help with constipation.
    • Avoid direct sunlight while taking this medication. When you can’t avoid it, be sure to use sunscreen. It’s also important to put on a long-sleeved shirt, pants, hat, and sunglasses.
    • Take Vivactil (protriptyline) at night since it can make you sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
    • You might have to take Vivactil (protriptyline) for a few weeks before you notice any changes in your mood.
    • Vivactil (protriptyline) can make you more sensitive to the sun. Wear sunscreen or cover your skin if you're going to be out in the sun for a while.
    • Don't stop taking Vivactil (protriptyline) without talking to your doctor first.
    • Be very careful getting up if you've been sitting or lying down for a while since Vivactil (protriptyline) can make you feel dizzy.
    Learn more
    More about SilenorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Silenor (doxepin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about VivactilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Vivactil (protriptyline)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it