« Elavil’s Side Effects, Warnings, etc. | Elavil’s Pharmacology »

US brand name: Elavil
Generic name: amitriptyline

Elavil’s Pros and Cons


  • Amitriptyline has been on the market since forever, so doctors are familiar with its uses and effects.
  • Elavil has been around forever, so generic amitriptyline is cheaper than dirt on practically every insurance company and HMO formulary.


  • Elavil has been around since forever, so younger doctors are unlikely to prescribe it, assuming they’ve even heard of it.
  • Since you’re only going to get generic amitriptyline you may get your meds from a different manufacturer from month to month, which can make a difference. See the page on brand name and generic drug differences for more information.
  • Amitriptyline reported to have the harshest anticholinergic side effects of the more popular TCAs - Tofranil (imipramine HCl) & Tofranil-PM (imipramine pamoate), Norpramin (desipramine HCl), and Pamelor (nortriptyline HCl). If you look at the TCA binding profiles you can see its raw power at the muscarinic receptors and fairly high potency at the histamine receptors. Trust me, its anticholinergic side effects have nothing on Vivactil’s (protriptyline).

Interesting Stuff your Doctor Probably didn’t Tell You about Elavil

Pamelor (nortripyline) is an active intermediate metabolite of Elavil (amitriptyline). So just as Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) tends to have fewer side effects than Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide), the same may apply to Pamelor (nortripyline).

Best Known for

Being used at a nearly fatal dosage, along with Neurontin, on the TV show Fringe as a method to cross between universes. A cocktail of 2,000 mg of Elavil and 5,000 mg of Neurontin would probably send me to another universe.

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« Elavil’s Side Effects, Warnings, etc. | Elavil’s Pharmacology »

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Last modified on Wed, 04 May, 2016 at 16:37:49 by JerodPoorePage Author Date created Thursday, 31 January 2013 at 11:19:31
“Elavil (amitriptyline): Pros and Cons” by Jerod Poore is copyright © 2013 Jerod Poore Published online 2013/01/31

Elavil, and all other drug names on this page and used throughout the site, are the trademarks of someone else. Elavil’s PI Sheet will probably have the name of the manufacturer and trademark owner (they’re not always the same company) at or near the very bottom. Or ask Google who the owner is. The way pharmaceutical companies buy each other and swap products like Monopoly™ real estate, the ownership of the trademark may have changed without my noticing. It may of changed hands by the time you finished reading this article.

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