By Irfana
B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)
22 November 2021 -
Medically reviewed by
D. Pharm
Imipramine vs Amitriptyline: Which one is Effective?
Table of Contents

Imipramine and Amitriptyline are the medications that aid depression and pain. Both the medication belong to tricyclic antidepressant class. To know further read more.

What Is Imipramine?

Depression is treated with imipramine pills and capsules. Imipramine pills are also used to keep children from wetting the bed. Imipramine belongs to the tricyclic antidepressant class of drugs. It works to alleviate depression by raising the levels of certain natural chemicals in the brain that are necessary for mental equilibrium. There isn't enough data to explain how imipramine keeps you from peeing on the bed. you can buy imipramine online from a certified online pharmacy but it is advised to get a doctor's recommendation first. (Fayez, R. and Gupta, V., 2021).

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What Is Amitriptyline?

Amitriptyline is a pain-relieving medication. It can be used to treat nerve pain (neuralgia) and back pain and help avoid migraines. Depression is also treated with Amitriptyline.

Amitriptyline is a prescription-only medication. Amitriptyline belongs to the tricyclic antidepressant class of drugs. It works by raising the levels of certain natural chemicals in the brain that are necessary for mental equilibrium. It's available in tablet form and as a drinkable liquid (Bryson, H.M. and Wilde, M.I., 1996).

How long Will Imipramine Take To Work? 

You may notice that imipramine isn't working for you right away when you start taking it for depression. The effect can take a week or two to develop, and it can take up to 4-6 weeks to enjoy the full benefit. It's critical that you don't stop taking it because you think it's not working.

How Long Will Amitriptyline Take To Work? 

Amitriptyline does not take effect right away. After a few weeks, you should see a difference. You may begin to feel better after 1 to 2 weeks, but Amitriptyline takes 4 to 6 weeks to function fully. Increasing the dose by 10-25mg can sometimes improve the results.

Dosage Of Imipramines

  • Initial Dosage: 100 mg/day in divided doses was started and eventually increased to 200 mg/day as required.
  • Maximum Dosage: Increase to 250 to 300 mg/day if there is no reaction after two weeks.  however, under the physician`s advice 

Dosage Of Amitriptyline

  • Initial dose: 75 mg orally in divided doses per day; this can be increased to 150 mg per day (if needed)
  • -Maximum dose: 150 mg/day -Maintenance dose: 40 to 100 mg orally each day
    An initial dose of 100 mg orally each day is recommended.
  • Maintenance dosage: 40 to 100 mg orally at bedtime in a single dose
  • Maximum daily dose: 300 mg

Side Effects Of Imipramine

Common side effects of imipramine include: 

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision

While using imipramine, if you are under the age of 24, you may develop suicidal thoughts. If this happens, contact your doctor. Notify your medical professional if you have any severe imipramine side effects, such as: 

  • Unexpected numbness or weakness
  • Vision Speech or balance issues
  • Unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum),
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • Dizziness
  • New or worsening chest discomfort
  • Pounding heartbeats or fluttering in the chest
  • Blistering or bleeding easily,

Side Effects Of Amitriptyline

Amitriptyline for pain has lower doses than Amitriptyline for depression. This means that the most common side effects are milder and last only a few days.

Common side effects include: 

  • Constipation
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Blurred vision
  • Nightmares
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness or tiredness

It rarely occurs, however, some people experience major side effects after using Amitriptyline, including: 

  • A headache, feeling confused or weak or getting muscular cramps 
  • Thoughts of injuring yourself or ending your life
  • Eye pain, a change in your vision, swelling or redness in or around your eye 
  • A heartbeat that is rapid or irregular

Study: Imipramine vs Amitriptyline


This experimentation was conducted by the Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Pharmacology, Kraków, Poland.


To study how Amitriptyline and Imipramine have different effects on the pharmacokinetics and metabolism of perazine in rats.


After the experimentation, the results detected that the interactions between phenothiazines and tricyclic antidepressants can go both ways, it's best to take lower doses of both the neuroleptic and the antidepressant when they're taken together.

Which One Is Effective Imipramine vs Amitriptyline?

In four-week double-blind research, fifty-seven neurotically depressed outpatients with sleep disturbances were randomly assigned to therapy with either imipramine pamoate or Amitriptyline administered in a single dose at bedtime.

Both imipramine pamoate and Amitriptyline are equally helpful in treating neurotic depression, according to the findings. This study refuted the clinical belief that imipramine is more beneficial for retarded depression, and Amitriptyline is more effective for anxious, agitated depression.

The fact that the imipramine pamoate group had much earlier rising times and a trend toward higher sleep quality is particularly intriguing. In this population, the side effect profiles of the two medicines were likewise very similar; however, more patients complained of amitriptyline-related side effects than imipramine-related side effects (Koella, W.P., Glatt, A., Klebs, K. and Dürst, T., 1979).

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