Elavil vs. Lexapro

Are Elavil and Lexapro the Same Thing?

Elavil (amitryptiline) and Lexapro (escitalopram) are antidepressants used to treat depression.

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

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

Elavil and Lexapro are different types of antidepressants. Elavil is a tricyclic antidepressant and Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant.

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

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

Side effects of Lexapro that are different from Elavil include sleep problems (insomnia), nausea, upset stomach, gas, heartburn, yawning, ringing in the ears, decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.

Both Elavil and Lexapro may interact with other products that cause drowsiness (alcohol, antihistamines, drugs for sleep or anxiety, muscle relaxants, and narcotics), aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), other antidepressants, or blood thinners.

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

Lexapro may also interact with medicines to treat mood disorders, or mental illness, lithium, St. John's wort, tramadol, tryptophan, migraine headache medications, stimulants, or ADHD medications.

Do not stop using Lexapro suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

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 Lexapro?

Common side effects of Lexapro include:

  • drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • sleep problems (insomnia),
  • nausea,
  • upset stomach,
  • gas,
  • heartburn,
  • constipation,
  • weight changes,
  • dry mouth,
  • yawning,
  • ringing in the ears,
  • decreased sex drive,
  • impotence, or
  • difficulty having an orgasm.

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 Lexapro?

Lexapro is a prescription medicine used to treat depression. It is important to talk with your healthcare provider about the risks of treating depression and also the risks of not treating it. You should discuss all treatment choices with your healthcare provider. Lexapro is also used to treat:

Talk to your healthcare provider if you do not think that your condition is getting better with Lexapro treatment.

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 Lexapro?

Do not take Lexapro if you:

Do not take an MAOI within 2 weeks of stopping Lexapro unless directed to do so by your physician.

Do not start Lexapro if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 2 weeks unless directed to do so by your physician.

People who take Lexapro close in time to an MAOI may have serious or even life-threatening side effects. Get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • high fever
  • uncontrolled muscle spasms
  • stiff muscles
  • rapid changes in heart rate or blood pressure
  • confusion
  • loss of consciousness (pass out)

Before starting Lexapro, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Are taking certain drugs such as:
    • Triptans used to treat migraine headache
    • Medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, including tricyclics, lithium, SSRIs, SNRIs, amphetamines, or antipsychotics
    • Tramadol
    • Over-the-counter supplements such as tryptophan or St. John's Wort
  • have liver problems
  • have kidney problems
  • have heart problems
  • have or had seizures or convulsions
  • have bipolar disorder or mania
  • have low sodium levels in your blood
  • have a history of a stroke
  • have high blood pressure
  • have or had bleeding problems
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known if Lexapro will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of treating depression during pregnancy are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. Some Lexapro may pass into your breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby while taking Lexapro. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines that you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Lexapro and some medicines may interact with each other, may not work as well, or may cause serious side effects.

Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can tell you if it is safe to take Lexapro with your other medicines. Do not start or stop any medicine while taking Lexapro without talking to your healthcare provider first.

If you take Lexapro, you should not take any other medicines that contain escitalopram oxalate or citalopram hydrobromide including: Celexa.

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 Lexapro 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 Lexapro 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 Lexapro Be Taken?

Take Lexapro exactly as prescribed. Your healthcare provider may need to change the dose of Lexapro until it is the right dose for you.

Lexapro may be taken with or without food.

If you miss a dose of Lexapro, 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 Lexapro at the same time.

If you take too much Lexapro, call your healthcare provider or poison control center 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

Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals. Lexapro Side Effects Drug Center.

https://www.lundbeck.com/upload/nl/files/pdf/Patientinfo/PIL.English.pdf

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