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Pamelor Alternatives

(Nortriptyline)

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Compare Pamelor (Nortriptyline) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Pamelor (Nortriptyline) or used for similar purposes.

Pamelor
(Nortriptyline)

Elavil
(Amitriptyline)

Tofranil
(Imipramine Hydrochloride)

Zoloft
(Sertraline)

Prozac
(Fluoxetine)

Cymbalta
(Duloxetine)

Viibryd
(Vilazodone)

Improves your mood. Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a good option for treating depression, especially for people who also have problems with persistent nerve pain.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.Coming soon.Improves mood and helps you relax. Zoloft (Sertraline) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more likely to cause insomnia and diarrhea than other antidepressants.Improves mood and helps you relax. Prozac (Fluoxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more energizing than other antidepressants, but may not be the best choice for people who have trouble sleeping.Improves mood and relieves certain kinds of pain. Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety, and may help with chronic pain. More likely than other antidepressants to cause problems if you drink or have high blood pressure.Treats depression. Viibryd (Vilazodone) is a good option to treat depression, but it often causes stomach and intestinal problems, including diarrhea.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
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Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Reviews for Elavil (Amitriptyline)
52%
25% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
34%
43% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
23%
8% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Reviews for Zoloft (Sertraline)
59%
18% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
40%
37% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
15%
Same vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
Reviews for Prozac (Fluoxetine)
61%
16% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
40%
37% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
16%
1% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
Reviews for Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
59%
18% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
49%
28% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
24%
9% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
Reviews for Viibryd (Vilazodone)
67%
10% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
59%
18% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
13%
+2% vs. Pamelor (Nortriptyline)
Side effects
PamelorElavilTofranilZoloftProzacCymbaltaViibryd

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

FDA side effect reports for Pamelor »

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

More about Elavil side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Tofranil »
  • Nausea 19%
  • Ejaculation failure 18%
  • Sleep difficulty 16%
  • Diarrhea/loose stools 14%
  • Fatigue 9%
  • Loss of appetite 9%
  • Lower sex drive 9%
  • Sweating increased 9%
  • Dizziness 8%
  • Indigestion 8%
More Zoloft side effects »
  • Rash 57%
  • Sleep difficulty 20%
  • Nausea 18%
  • Muscle weakness 12%
  • Drowsiness 10%
  • Tremor 9%
  • Dry mouth 9%
  • Lower sex drive 9%
  • Loss of appetite 7%
  • Anxiety 7%
More Prozac side effects »
  • Nausea 15%
  • Dry mouth 8%
  • Drowsiness 8%
  • Constipation 7%
  • Somnolencee 7%
  • Decreased appetite 7%
  • Fatigued 6%
  • Sleep difficulty 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Fatigue 4%
More Cymbalta side effects »
  • Diarrhea 19%
  • Nausea 18%
  • Vomiting 4%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Dry mouth 3%
  • Abnormal dreams 3%
  • Tingling sensation 2%
  • Fatigue 1%
  • Impotence 1%
More Viibryd side effects »
How it works
PamelorElavilTofranilZoloftProzacCymbaltaViibryd
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.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.Coming soon.Zoloft (Sertraline) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases the activity of serotonin in the brain, which regulates mood.Prozac (Fluoxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Viibryd (Vilazodone) is an antidepressant that is both a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and a serotonin receptor agonist. It treats depression by adjusting the levels of serotonin in your brain.
Type of medication
PamelorElavilTofranilZoloftProzacCymbaltaViibryd
Antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Partial serotonin receptor agonist
Prescription only
Available as
PamelorElavilTofranilZoloftProzacCymbaltaViibryd
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
PamelorElavilTofranilZoloftProzacCymbaltaViibryd
  • Depression Nocturnal enuresis
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.
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 Pamelor (Nortriptyline)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)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 Tofranil (Imipramine Hydrochloride)

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

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

After 4 weeks using Start and Cymbalta (Duloxetine), 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 Viibryd (Vilazodone)
Risk factors for serious side effects
PamelorElavilTofranilZoloftProzacCymbaltaViibryd
  • 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 »
Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.
Pregnancy category
PamelorElavilTofranilZoloftProzacCymbaltaViibryd
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
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
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
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.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
  • Need to avoid drinking alcohol while taking Viibryd (Vilazodone).
Food
  • Take it with food and/or at bedtime to decrease the potential side effects.
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
  • Take in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Take Viibryd (Vilazodone) with food at the same time every day.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
  • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
  • The dose of Viibryd (Vilazodone) doesn’t need to be changed if you have severe kidney disease.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
No specific sex-related info.
  • Compared to other antidepressants, it has a lower risk of weight gain and causing problems with sexual function.
Sleep
  • 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.
  • Low doses of Elavil (Amitriptyline) start working in 45 minutes to help you sleep better.
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
No specific sleep-related info.
  • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.
  • 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.
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
  • Compared to other antidepressants, it has a lower risk of weight gain and causing problems with sexual function.
Upsides and benefits
PamelorElavilTofranilZoloftProzacCymbaltaViibryd
  • 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.
  • 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.
Coming soon.
  • Effective at lowering symptoms and relapse rates of depression and anxiety disorders.
  • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression and bulimia nervosa.
  • Causes less sleepiness than other antidepressants.
  • It's more energizing than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have low energy.
  • It has been used to treat depression for a long time, so there's a lot of information available about how it works and how safe it is.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Lowers relapse rates for depression.
  • Can relieve some types of chronic pain. Might be particularly good at pain relief for people who are also depressed.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Viibryd (Vilazodone) improves depressive symptoms in people with major depressive disorder.
  • The dose of Viibryd (Vilazodone) doesn’t need to be changed if you have severe kidney disease.
  • Compared to other antidepressants, it has a lower risk of weight gain and causing problems with sexual function.
Downsides and risks
PamelorElavilTofranilZoloftProzacCymbaltaViibryd
  • 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.
  • 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.
Coming soon.
  • More likely to cause diarrhea than other antidepressants.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • 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.
  • Can increase feelings of anxiety or cause headaches during the first few weeks of taking it. These effects should go away over time.
  • More likely than other antidepressants to interact with other medications you're taking.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • 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.
  • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
  • Not the best option for people with high blood pressure.
  • 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.
  • You shouldn’t take Viibryd (Vilazodone) if you have severe liver problems.
  • Can’t take Viibryd (Vilazodone) with drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
  • Need to avoid drinking alcohol while taking Viibryd (Vilazodone).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
PamelorElavilTofranilZoloftProzacCymbaltaViibryd
  • 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.
  • If you decide to stop taking Pamelor (Nortriptyline), work with your doctor to slowly get off this medicine to avoid getting 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.
Coming soon.
  • It interacts with St. John's Wort and Tryptophan.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • Take in the morning with food to avoid side effects.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
  • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • Take Viibryd (Vilazodone) with food at the same time every day.
  • Your dose will need to be increased slowly over the first 3 weeks to reduce feelings of upset stomach.
  • It can take 4 to 6 weeks to see the full effects, so continue taking it even if you start to feel better.
  • Stopping Viibryd (Vilazodone) suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, irritability, headache, and dizziness. Gradually lower your dose over a 1 to 2 week period before stopping it completely.
  • Call your doctor right away if you notice new or worsening symptoms of aggressive or violent behavior, panic attacks, or other unusual changes in behavior or mood.
Learn more
More about PamelorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about ElavilSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about TofranilSide effectsFDA package insert
More about ZoloftSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about ProzacSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about ViibrydSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert