Compare Zoloft vs. Elavil

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

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Zoloft (sertraline)

Prescription only

Elavil (amitriptyline)

Prescription only
Improves mood and helps you relax.

Zoloft (sertraline) is good for treating depression and anxiety, but it can interact with many medicines.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 1472 reviewsforZoloft
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
  • One of the more effective and better tolerated antidepressants in its class.
  • Causes less sleepiness than other antidepressants.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
  • Best choice among antidepressants if you are pregnant.
  • Elavil (amitriptyline) works well to treat nerve pain and is non-habit forming.
Downsides
  • Takes at least 1 to 2 weeks to kick in and can take up to 12 weeks for maximum effect.
  • Can cause low sex drive, an inability to orgasm or ejaculate, and minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
  • Is more likely to cause diarrhea compared to other antidepressants.
  • Interacts with lots of other medicines.
  • You may need to try out several different antidepressants before you find the one that works for you.
  • 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
1472 reviews so far
59%
saidit'sworth it
41%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zoloft (sertraline)?

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
15possible side effects
  • Nausea
    26%
  • Diarrhea
    18%
  • Dry mouth
    16%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    16%
  • Drowsiness
    13%
  • Dizziness
    12%
  • Tremor
    11%
  • Fatigue
    11%
  • More sweating
    8%
  • Constipation
    8%
  • Ejaculation failure
    7%
  • Upset stomach
    6%
  • Agitation
    6%
  • Loss of appetite
    3%
  • Stomach pain
    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 other medicines that affect serotonin levels
  • Mania
    • Personal history of bipolar disorder
    • Family history for bipolar disorder
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Zoloft (sertraline) suddenly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking blood thinners
  • Low sodium levels in the blood
    • Older people
    • Taking diuretic medicines
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