Compare Celexa vs. Elavil

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

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Celexa (citalopram)

Prescription only

Elavil (amitriptyline)

Prescription only
Improves mood.

Celexa (citalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Side effects are less likely to happen compared to other antidepressants; however, it is not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 520 reviewsforCelexa
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
  • Effectively relieves depression symptoms.
  • This medicine is not as drowsy as other antidepressants.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
  • Elavil (amitriptyline) works well to treat nerve pain and is non-habit forming.
Downsides
  • Can cause sexual side effects like decreased sex drive, difficulties with orgasm or ejaculation, and minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
  • Celexa (citalopram) may not be a good option if you have heart or liver problems.
  • Like most antidepressants, Celexa (citalopram) can increase risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in people younger than 24 years.
  • Elavil (amitriptyline) has more bothersome side effects than other antidepressants.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
520 reviews so far
61%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Celexa (citalopram)?

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
25possible side effects
  • Nausea
    21%
  • Dry mouth
    20%
  • Drowsiness
    18%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    15%
  • Increased sweating
    11%
  • Tremor
    8%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Abnormal ejaculation
    6%
  • Indigestion
    5%
  • Fatigue
    5%
  • Upper airway infection
    5%
  • Stuffy nose
    5%
  • Vomiting
    4%
  • Anxiety
    4%
  • Anorexia
    4%
  • Abdominal pain
    3%
  • Agitation
    3%
  • Menstrual cramps
    3%
  • Sinus infection
    3%
  • Erection difficulties
    3%
  • Fever
    2%
  • Joint pain
    2%
  • Muscle pain
    2%
  • Decreased sex drive
    2%
  • Yawning
    2%
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
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, tramadol, fentanyl, amphetamines, certain headache medications (triptans), St. John's Wort
  • Bipolar disorder
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Celexa (citalopram) abruptly
  • Lower maximum dose in some people
    • Higher dose
    • History of heart problems
    • History of liver problems
    • 60 years or older
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs (including aspirin, NSAIDs such as Advil, warfarin)
  • Sexual side effects
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