Compare Wellbutrin vs. Elavil

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

Wellbutrin (Bupropion)

Prescription only

Elavil (amitriptyline)

Prescription only
Improves mood.

Wellbutrin (Bupropion) is good for treating depression and has fewer sexual side effects than other antidepressants, but you need to be okay with avoiding alcohol.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 1164 reviewsforWellbutrin
Improves mood.

Elavil (amitriptyline) regulates mood and treats nerve pain, but has more side effects than alternatives.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 134 reviewsforElavil
Upsides
  • Effective at relieving depression symptoms.
  • Causes fewer sexual side effects than other antidepressants. Can actually boost sex drive for some people.
  • Can be taken with other antidepressants to counteract their sexual side effects.
  • Has some stimulant effects, so it can be energizing.
  • Can help with ADHD symptoms.
  • Also used to suppress appetite and help you quit smoking.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Elavil (amitriptyline) works well to treat nerve pain and is non-habit forming.
Downsides
  • Wellbutrin (Bupropion) can be stimulating, so it can cause anxiety or insomnia the first few days you're taking it.
  • Generally not as good as other antidepressants for people who have anxiety.
  • It's less likely to cause weight gain than other antidepressants.
  • Has a higher risk of causing seizures, especially if you have a seizure disorder, eating disorder, or if you drink alcohol. So, it's not a good medication if you drink a lot.
  • It contains the same ingredient as a medication that helps you to stop smoking, (Zyban), so these two meds can't be used together.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • 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.
  • Elavil (amitriptyline) has more bothersome side effects than other antidepressants.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
1164 reviews so far
60%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
13%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Wellbutrin (Bupropion)?

Leave a review
134 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
36%
saiditworked well
25%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Elavil (amitriptyline)?

Leave a review
Side effects
29possible side effects
  • Agitation
    32%
  • Dry mouth
    28%
  • Constipation
    26%
  • Headache/migraine
    26%
  • Nausea/vomiting
    23%
  • Dizziness
    22%
  • Excessive sweating
    22%
  • Tremor
    21%
  • Sleepiness
    20%
  • Insomnia
    19%
  • Blurred vision
    15%
  • Tachycardia
    11%
  • Confusion
    8%
  • Rash
    8%
  • Hostility
    6%
  • Auditory disturbance
    5%
  • Menstrual complaints
    5%
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
    5%
  • Impaired sleep quality
    4%
  • Sensory disturbance
    4%
  • Appetite increase
    4%
  • Palpitations
    4%
  • Hypertension
    4%
  • Impotence
    3%
  • Anxiety
    3%
  • Decreased libido
    3%
  • Gustatory disturbance
    3%
  • Dyspepsia
    3%
  • Hypotension
    3%
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 years or younger
  • Psychiatric effects for smoking cessation
    • History of depression
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    • Withdrawing from nicotine
  • Seizures
    • History of seizures
    • Alcoholism
    • Eating disorder
    • Higher dose
    • Drug interactions
  • Mania
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • Increased side effects
    • Current kidney problems
    • Current liver problems
  • Weight loss
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
  • Dizziness and falls
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Taking medicines to control blood pressure
  • Dehydration
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings