Compare Depakote vs. Elavil

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

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Depakote (divalproex)

Prescription only

Elavil (amitriptyline)

Prescription only
Treats and prevents seizures, and stabilizes mood.

Depakote (divalproex) is good for long-term prevention of seizures, manic episodes in bipolar disorder, and migraines.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 97 reviewsforDepakote
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
  • Lowers the frequency of seizures, especially for people with absence seizures or complex partial seizures.
  • Depakote (divalproex) is a first-line treatment to stabilize mood for people with bipolar disorder.
  • Depakote (divalproex) is helpful for preventing frequent migraines.
  • The sprinkle pill can be swallowed whole or can be opened up and mixed with applesauce if you have a hard time swallowing.
  • Depakote (divalproex) is available as a generic.
  • Elavil (amitriptyline) works well to treat nerve pain and is non-habit forming.
Downsides
  • It can take 3 to 4 weeks before you feel the full effects of Depakote (divalproex).
  • Depakote (divalproex) is not a good medication for people with liver problems.
  • Requires regular blood tests to see how the medication is affecting your body.
  • Depakote (divalproex) can make you bleed more easily.
  • Elavil (amitriptyline) has more bothersome side effects than other antidepressants.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Delayed release pill
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
97 reviews so far
46%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
27%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Depakote (divalproex)?

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
9possible side effects
  • Nausea
    22%
  • Sleepiness
    19%
  • Dizziness
    12%
  • Vomiting
    12%
  • Accidental injury
    11%
  • Feeling weak
    10%
  • Abdominal pain
    9%
  • Upset stomach
    9%
  • Rash
    6%
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
  • Harm to fetus
  • Liver damage
    • Children under age 2
    • History of metabolic disorders
    • Severe seizure disorder
    • Brain disease
    • History of liver problems
  • Pancreas problems
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • History of depression
  • Increased bleeding
  • Mental changes
    • History of metabolic disorders
    • People also taking Topamax
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