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Elavil vs. Zoloft

Reviewed on 5/9/2019

Are Elavil and Zoloft the Same Thing?

Elavil (amitryptiline) and Zoloft (sertraline) are antidepressants used to treat depression and panic disorders.

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

Zoloft is also used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

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

Elavil and Zoloft belong to different drug classes. Elavil is a tricyclic antidepressant and Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant.

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

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

Side effects of Zoloft that are different from Elavil include sleepiness, tired feeling, nervousness, sleep problems (insomnia), nausea, skin rash, diarrhea, upset stomach, stomach pain, changes in appetite, abnormal ejaculation, impotence, decreased sex drive, difficulty having an orgasm, and weight loss.

Both Elavil and Zoloft may interact with alcohol, other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotics, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicines for seizures or anxiety), blood thinners, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cimetidine, other antidepressants, or heart rhythm medications.

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

Zoloft may also interact with digoxin, fentanyl, linezolid, lithium, St. John's wort, tramadol, 5-hydroxytryptophan, valproate, cough and cold medicines, or migraine headache medicines.

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 Zoloft?

Common side effects of Zoloft include:

  • sleepiness
  • drowsiness
  • tired feeling
  • nervousness
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • skin rash
  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • upset stomach
  • stomach pain
  • dry mouth
  • changes in appetite
  • abnormal ejaculation
  • impotence
  • decreased sex drive
  • difficulty having an orgasm
  • dry mouth, and
  • weight loss.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Zoloft including:

  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, feeling like you might pass out;
  • agitation, hallucinations, fever, overactive reflexes, tremors;
  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, loss of coordination;
  • trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, fainting, seizure, shallow breathing, or breathing that stops.

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 Zoloft?

Zoloft is a prescription medicine used to treat a certain type of depression called Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Zoloft belongs to a class of medicines known as SSRIs.

Zoloft is also used to treat or manage:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

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.

Zoloft is safe and effective in treating children with OCD age 6 to 17 years.

It is not known if Zoloft is safe and effective for use in children under 6 years of age with OCD or children with other behavior health conditions.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you do not think that your condition is getting better with Zoloft 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 Zoloft?

Do Not take Zoloft 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.
  • have taken an MAOI within 2 weeks of stopping Zoloft unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.
  • have stopped taking an MAOI in the last 2 weeks unless directed to do so by your healthcare provider.
  • take any other medicines that contain sertraline (such as sertraline HCl or sertraline hydrochloride).
  • take the antipsychotic medicine pimozide (Orap®) because this can cause serious heart problems.
  • are allergic to sertraline or any of the ingredients in Zoloft. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in Zoloft.
  • take Antabuse® (disulfiram) (if you are taking the liquid form of Zoloft) due to the alcohol content.

People who take Zoloft 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
  • confusion
  • loss of consciousness (pass pressure out)

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 Zoloft Be Taken?

  • Take Zoloft exactly as prescribed. Your healthcare provider may need to change the dose of Zoloft until it is the right dose for you.
  • Zoloft Tablets may be taken with or without food.
  • Zoloft Oral Solution may look cloudy or hazy after mixing, this is normal.
  • Zoloft Oral Solution must be diluted before use:
    • Do not mix Zoloft until you are ready to take it.
    • When diluting Zoloft Oral Solution, use only water, ginger ale, lemon/lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice.
    • The oral dropper contains latex. If you are sensitive or allergic to latex, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about the best way to measure your medicine.
  • If you miss a dose of Zoloft, 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 Zoloft at the same time.

If you take too much Zoloft, call your healthcare provider or poison control center right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.

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

Pfizer. Zoloft Product Information.

https://www.zoloft.com/
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