Compare Depakote vs. Pamelor

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

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Depakote (divalproex)

Prescription only

Pamelor (nortriptyline)

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.

Pamelor (nortriptyline) is a good option for treating depression, especially for people who also have problems with persistent nerve pain, but may take 6 to 8 weeks to feel the full effects on your mood.

4.0/ 5 average rating with 19 reviewsforPamelor
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.
  • 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.
  • Available as a generic in 2 different forms: capsule and liquid.
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.
  • Side effects are usually manageable, but can be annoying.
  • There's an increased chance of it causing heart problems, especially in people with a history of heart problems.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Delayed release pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
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
19 reviews so far
79%
saidit'sworth it
79%
saiditworked well
21%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pamelor (nortriptyline)?

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 Pamelor (nortriptyline) 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
    • Changing the dose
  • Dizziness and falls
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Other blood pressure lowering medications
  • Eye problems
    • Glaucoma
  • Rare, life-threatening
    • Antidepressants
    • Lithium
    • Triptans
    • St. John's wort
    • Fentanyl
    • Tramadol
    • MAO inhibitors
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart disease
    • Older age
    • Electrolyte imbalance
See more detailed risks and warnings