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Amitriptyline vs Lexapro: Prescription Treatment for Depression

Amitriptyline vs Lexapro

According to the study, it is found that approx 21 million individuals in the USA are experiencing mental disorders like depression and anxiety. These problems also affect young adults. Stressful events in a person’s life lead to mental and mood disorders. There can be various other reasons which cause depression and anxiety in individuals. For instance, environmental, genetic, biological, etc. Mental illness can be treated with the help of antidepressants. The two most common antidepressants are Amitriptyline and Lexapro. Today in this blog, you will learn about Amitriptyline vs Lexapro comparison i.e their similarities, differences, side effects, and precautions.

What is Amitriptyline?

It helps to treat mood disorders such as depression and its symptoms. This medicine is permitted by the US FDA for adults. However, over-the-counter, it is used in treating various disorders.

It is a depression inhibitor as well as it is not considered a controlled substance. Amitriptyline is a generic variant that acts as a medicinal ingredient in many branded medicines like Vanatrip, Elavil, etc.

What is Lexapro?

This branded medicine is prescribed for treating the types of anxiety and depression in pre-adults and adults. Escitalopram acts as an active substance in Lexapro as well as in other branded drugs, like Cipralex, etc.

This medication is classified under the class of medications, selective serotonin reuptake blockers. The medicinal treatment for adults is sanctioned by the FDA, however, it is not approved for pediatrics.

Similarities Between Amitriptyline vs Lexapro

  • Both medicines are advised to treat depression.
  • These medications can be used after getting a prescription from a doctor.
  • Both Lexapro and Amitriptyline are not classified as a controlled substance.
  • These drugs are sanctioned by the US FDA.

How Do Both Drugs Work?


The function of Amitriptyline in man is not clear yet. However, this medication is a tricyclic antidepressant. It acts as a blocker to prevent reabsorption of these chemical messengers. This leads to an increase in the amount of these amines. These neurotransmitters help in regulating mood disorders.


Sodium-dependent serotonin transporter protein causes the reuptake of the chemical messengers of the brain. This medicine binds and inactivates the SERT which leads to blocking the reabsorption of serotonin.

After increasing the level of neurotransmitters, it helps to regulate mood, anger, etc. This is how medicine helps to treat mental and behavioral disorders.

Differences Between Amitriptyline vs Lexapro

1) Active Substance

Lexapro – Escitalopram

Amitriptyline – It acts as an active component in various branded drugs, such as Vanatrip, Elavil, Endep, etc.

2) Uses of Amitriptyline & Lexapro

Amitriptyline medicine is helpful in treating various disorders, these are as follows-

FDA-Approved Use

Depression (mood disorder)

Off-label Uses

Legally, this drug treats depression, however, over-the-counter, it also treat the following disorders:-

  • Chronic pain (associated with high glucose and Fibromyalgia)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (mental health condition triggers due to terrifying events)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (intestinal problem)
  • Postherpetic Neuralgia (pain in the skin due to shingles)

Approved Uses of Lexapro

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (anxiety which affects daily life activities)
  • Major Depressive Disorder (loss of interest in activities which are related to daily life)

Unapproved Use

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (leads to monotonous behavior and extreme thoughts)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (extreme fear to being judged while social interaction)
  • Panic Disorder (unusual wave of fear which causes panic attacks)

3) Dose & Dosage Strength: Amitriptyline vs Lexapro

Amitriptyline Oral Tablets Forms

  • 10 mg
  • 25 mg
  • 50 mg
  • 75 mg
  • 100 mg
  • 150 mg


The medicinal dosage strength is determined by a doctor which mostly depends on the patient’s medical condition, age, etc.

Treatment starts with a minimum dose and its maintenance dose is from 50 mg to 100 mg, once a day, during bedtime.

There are different doses for adults, young adults (who are above 12 years old), and geriatric patients.

Lexapro Oral Tablet Forms

Oral Solution

  • 1 mg/mL

Dosage Administration For Adults

  • For Treating Major Depressive Disorder

The dose starts with a nominal dose of 10 mg which can be raised up to a maximum of 20 mg.

  • To Treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder

A 10 mg dose is advised for adults which can be taken one time on a regular basis.

Dosage Administration For Young Adults

These dosage strengths are suggested for those adolescents who are above 12 years old.

  • To Treat Major Depressive Disorder

A dose of 10 mg is a starting dose that can be taken per day and 20 mg is the maximum limit of the dosage.

Side Effects of Both Medicines

Amitriptyline Side effects

  • Nausea
  • Infertility
  • Hallucination
  • Pain in the chest
  • Vision problem
  • Confusion
  • Sore throat
  • Sleepiness
  • Palpitation (pounding heart)
  • Numbness and redness in the legs and arm due to blood clot
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Constipation
  • Taste disorder

Side Effects of Lexapro

  • Hallucination
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty in passing urine
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Blurred vision
  • Sweating
  • Lack of coordination
  • Sexual problem
  • Shivering
  • Feeling extremely tired
  • Slurred speech
  • Affect growth and weight in children

Precautions of Lexapro and Amitriptyline Drug

  • Without consulting a healthcare provider, never stop to take it suddenly. It may cause withdrawal symptoms.
  • Patients can take these medications on an empty stomach or with a meal.
  • The medical history of the patient should be shared with a doctor before starting any treatment.
  • If side effects do not go away then immediately you should seek medical consultation.
  • Never take it on your own without getting a prescription from a General Practitioner.


This informative blog aims to provide information regarding mental and mood problems. The information is regarding two antidepressants with a comparison (Amitriptyline vs Lexapro) that help to treat mental illness in individuals.

I hope after reading this blog, you are acquainted with the provided details about these drugs. It is advised that you should consult a healthcare expert before taking these medications. It is so, because it will prevent any health consequences.

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