Elavil vs. Cymbalta

Are Elavil and Cymbalta the Same Thing?

Elavil (amitryptiline) and Cymbalta (duloxetine) are different types of antidepressants used to treat depression, anxiety disorder, and nerve pain.

Elavil may also be used to treat other conditions including eating disorders, and panic disorder.

Cymbalta is also used pain associated with fibromyalgia.

Elavil and Cymbalta belong to different drug classes. Elavil is a tricyclic antidepressant and Cymbalta is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI).

The brand name Elavil is no longer available in the U.S. It is available as a generic.

Side effects of Elavil and Cymbalta that are similar include drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, and constipation.

Side effects of Elavil that are different from Cymbalta include blurred vision, weight gain, trouble urinating, headache, increased hunger, and changes in taste.

Side effects of Cymbalta that are different from Elavil include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, tired feeling, difficulty sleeping, and loss of appetite.

Both Elavil and Cymbalta may interact with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing (sleeping pills, narcotics, muscle relaxers, or medicines for anxiety, depression, or seizures), aspirin or other NSAIDs, blood thinners, cimetidine, other antidepressants, or antibiotics.

Elavil may also interact with MAO inhibitors, arbutamine, disulfiram, thyroid supplements, other drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising, anticholinergics, high blood pressure medicines, terbinafine, drugs to treat irregular heart rate, amiodarone, cisapride, dofetilide, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, isoniazid, phenothiazines, or theophylline.

Cymbalta may also interact with any medicine for pain, arthritis, fever, or swelling; buspirone, diuretics (water pills), lithium, St. John's wort, tramadol, tryptophan, and triptans for migraine.

Some patients may experience withdrawal reactions when they stop taking Cymbalta such anxiety, nausea, nervousness, and insomnia.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Elavil?

Common side effects of Elavil include:

  • drowsiness,
  • dry mouth,
  • dizziness,
  • blurred vision,
  • constipation,
  • weight gain,
  • trouble urinating,
  • headache,
  • increased hunger, and
  • changes in taste.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Cymbalta?

Common side effects of Cymbalta include:

  • nausea,
  • dry mouth,
  • constipation,
  • diarrhea,
  • fatigue,
  • tired feeling,
  • drowsiness,
  • difficulty sleeping,
  • loss of appetite, and
  • dizziness.

What Is Elavil?

Elavil (amitryptiline) is a tricyclic antidepressant used to treat depression and mood disorders. Elavil may also be used to treat other conditions including nerve pain, eating disorder, anxiety, and panic disorder. The brand name Elavil is no longer available in the U.S.

What Is Cymbalta?

Cymbalta is a prescription medicine used to treat a certain type of depression called Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Cymbalta belongs to a class of medicines known as SNRIs (or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors).

Cymbalta is also used to treat or manage:

SLIDESHOW

Learn to Spot Depression: Symptoms, Warning Signs, Medication See Slideshow

What Drugs Interact With Elavil?

Elavil may also interact with MAO inhibitors, arbutamine, disulfiram, thyroid supplements, other drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (antiplatelet drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs], blood thinners), anticholinergic drugs, and certain drugs for high blood pressure.

What Drugs Interact With Cymbalta?

Do Not take Cymbalta if you:

  • take a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI). Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if you take an MAOI, including the antibiotic linezolid or intravenous methylene blue.
  • Do not take an MAOI within 5 days of stopping Cymbalta unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.
  • Do not start Cymbalta if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 14 days unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines that you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Cymbalta and some medicines may interact with each other, may not work as well, or may cause serious side effects.

Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take:

  • triptans used to treat migraine headache
  • medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, including tricyclics, lithium, buspirone, SSRIs, SNRIs or MAOIs
  • tramadol and fentanyl
  • amphetamines
  • cimetidine
  • the antibiotics ciprofloxacin, enoxacin
  • medicine to treat irregular heart rate (like propafenone, flecainide, quinidine)
  • theophylline
  • the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) (like ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin).
  • over-the-counter supplements such as tryptophan or St. John's Wort
  • thioridazine (Mellaril). Mellaril together with Cymbalta can cause serious heart rhythm problems or sudden death.

Ask your healthcare provider for a list of these medicines if you are not sure.

Do not take Cymbalta with any other medicine that contain duloxetine.

How Should Elavil Be Taken?

Elavil is taken by mouth in tablet form. The medication may take up to four weeks to take full effect.

How Should Cymbalta Be Taken?

Take Cymbalta exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it. Your healthcare provider may need to change the dose of Cymbalta until it is the right dose for you.

Swallow Cymbalta whole. Do not chew or crush Cymbalta.

Do not open the capsule and sprinkle on food or mix with liquids. Opening the capsule may affect how well Cymbalta works.

Cymbalta may be taken with or without food.

If you miss a dose of Cymbalta, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Cymbalta at the same time.

If you take too much Cymbalta, call your healthcare provider or poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 right away, or get emergency treatment.

QUESTION

Depression is a(n) __________ . See Answer
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References

FDA. Elavil Product Information.
https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=cb986e14-d618-4021-91d7-599e038d9d39

Lilly. Cymbalta Medication Guide.

https://pi.lilly.com/us/cymbalta-pi.pdf

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