Compare Zyban vs. Pamelor

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

Zyban
(Bupropion)

Pamelor
(Nortriptyline)

Reduces nicotine cravings. Good for blocking the withdrawal symptoms of quitting smoking. But you need to be okay with avoiding alcohol use and possibly using nicotine replacement.Improves your mood. Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a good option for treating depression, especially for people who also have problems with persistent nerve pain.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
ZybanPamelor
  • Sleep difficulty 27%
  • Dream abnormality 10%
  • Application site reactiona 8%
  • Nausea 7%
  • Dry mouth 6%
  • Constipation 6%
  • Disturbed concentration 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Itching 4%
  • Loss of appetite 4%
More Zyban side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Pamelor »
How it works
ZybanPamelor
Zyban (Bupropion) is an atypical antidepressant. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to change dopamine and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). It helps improve your mood by altering the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and other similar chemicals in your brain.
Type of medication
ZybanPamelor
Antidepressant
Smoking cessation
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only
Available as
ZybanPamelor
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
ZybanPamelor
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZybanPamelor
  • History of depression
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • Withdrawing from nicotine
  • Age 24 and younger
  • Those taking large doses
  • Those taking MAOIs or using a nicotine patch
        Detailed Zyban (Bupropion) risks & warnings »
        • Age 24 years or younger
        • Age 65 years or older
        • Stopping Pamelor (Nortriptyline) suddenly
        • Using other medications that affect serotonin
        • History of heart disease
        • Older age
        • Electrolyte imbalance
        Detailed Pamelor (Nortriptyline) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        ZybanPamelor
        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
        NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        • Higher risk of seizures, especially if you have a seizure disorder or eating disorder, or if you drink alcohol.
        No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        No specific food-related info.
        • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        • Fewer sexual side effects compared to other antidepressants. Can actually boost sex drive for some people.
        No specific sex-related info.
        Sleep
        No specific sleep-related info.
        • Stopping Pamelor (Nortriptyline) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3-5 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1-2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        ZybanPamelor
        • Can help relieve the withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking.
        • Fewer sexual side effects compared to other antidepressants. Can actually boost sex drive for some people.
        • Zyban (Bupropion) does not contain nicotine, so it is not dangerous if you continue to smoke. You can even use nicotine replacement like the patch while you are taking Zyban (Bupropion)
        • Has some stimulant effects, so it can be energizing.
        • Six out of every 10 people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
        • Helpful with treating certain types of pain, like migraines or nerve-related pain.
        • Generally well tolerated and has fewer side effects than other medicines in the same class of drugs.
        Downsides and risks
        ZybanPamelor
        • Can be stimulating, so it can cause some anxiety or insomnia in the first few days.
        • Higher risk of seizures, especially if you have a seizure disorder or eating disorder, or if you drink alcohol.
        • Not a good medication for you if you drink a lot.
        • Like most antidepressants, can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
        • If you are a heavy smoker you may also need to use nicotine replacement like the patch.
        • Side effects are usually manageable, but can be annoying.
        • Increases the risk of falls, especially when used in the elderly.
        • There's an increased chance of it causing heart problems, especially in people with a history of heart problems.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        ZybanPamelor
        • Start treatment at least 1 week before target quit date and continue for 7-12 weeks. Can be used with nicotine replacement therapy. Take in the morning. Notify your healthcare provider for sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
        • Needs to be taken every day for 1 to 2 weeks to start feeling better, and for 6 to 8 weeks to see the full effect of the medication.
        • It's important to keep taking Pamelor (Nortriptyline) even when you feel your symptoms are getting better.
        • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
        • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
        • If you decide to stop taking Pamelor (Nortriptyline), work with your doctor to slowly get off this medicine to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
        Learn more
        More about ZybanSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about PamelorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert