Compare Elavil vs. Vivactil

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

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Elavil (amitriptyline)

Prescription only

Vivactil (protriptyline)

Prescription only
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
Improves your mood.

Vivactil (protriptyline) is part of the first choice of medicines for depression, but it can cause problems with your heartbeat and change your sex drive.

Upsides
  • Elavil (amitriptyline) works well to treat nerve pain and is non-habit forming.
  • Vivactil (protriptyline) is part of the first choice medicines for treating depression.
  • Compared to similar medicines, Vivactil (protriptyline) is less likely to make you feel sleepy.
  • Available in generic.
Downsides
  • Elavil (amitriptyline) has more bothersome side effects than other antidepressants.
  • Vivactil (protriptyline) can lower your sex drive more than some other similar medicines.
  • Because Vivactil (protriptyline) can cause dizziness, people age 65 and older need to take precautions when taking Vivactil (protriptyline).
  • Vivactil (protriptyline) can worsen heart conditions. If you have a history of heart problems, you may need to have regular testing for your heart.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
134 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
36%
saiditworked well
25%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Elavil (amitriptyline) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Vivactil (protriptyline) 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
  • 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
  • Higher risk of suicide
    • Under age 24
  • Possible bipolar disorder
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart disease
    • Overactive thyroid
  • Higher risk of seizures
    • History of seizures
  • Changes in blood pressure
    • High blood pressure
See more detailed risks and warnings