Compare Pamelor vs. Vivactil

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


Pamelor (nortriptyline)

Prescription only

Vivactil (protriptyline)

Prescription only
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
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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Learn more
19 reviews so far
saidit'sworth it
saiditworked well
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pamelor (nortriptyline)?

Leave a review
Not enough review data.Leave a review
Side effects
The Pamelor (nortriptyline) 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
    • 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
  • 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