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Elavil Alternatives

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Last Updated on May 22, 2021 by Carol Gillette

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Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Written by Lyle Murphy Published Nov 5, 2019
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Elavil alternatives exist for both depression and pain. When an individual is wracked with symptoms chronically, especially burning pain and insomnia, doctors try to alleviate this pain by giving prescriptions for drugs such as Elavil (amitriptyline), Neurontin, and many others.

The issue with these drugs is that they are not addressing the underlying reasons that cause the condition. Our Elavil alternatives help discover, address, and resolve the underlying reasons for symptoms.

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 Antidepressant withdrawal has been our prime focus for over 15 years. We use a blend of holistic therapeutic protocols, including environmental and orthomolecular medicine. Our clients have had documented long-term success as seen in our published evidence which we invite you to read. It is important for people who are coming off antidepressant medication to have access to non-harmful treatments that can replace failed or unwanted drug therapy. The vast majority of our clients report doing better off drugs compared to when they were on them. This is due to resolving root causes and easing symptoms with correct, drug-free therapies.
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Elavil Alternatives Exist for Both Depression and Pain

Symptoms Elavil alternatives can help

When an individual is desperately suffering from chronic pain, as well as depression, any solution might seem to be a good choice. However, Elavil (amitriptyline) has some associated risks to consider. For example, Elavil is known as the antidepressant drug most often associated with suicide.5 Efficacy matters when placing your trust in a solution that may compromise your health. The suffering of pain and depression can be debilitating, and to get relief one might be willing to overlook certain risks. However, in 2015, authors Moore et al published a comprehensive review of clinical trials in the Cochrane Library, revealing that only 1 out of 4 people experienced relief of neuropathic pain with amitriptyline.3 Another study authored by Dinal et al, also in 2015, concluded that Elavil made no difference compared to placebo in the reduction of HIV-related pain after a trial lasting 6 weeks.4 According to these reports, the majority of patients taking Elavil for the relief of neuropathic pain did not find the drug efficacious.

In the treatment of depression, Leucht et al published a review of 39 trials of unknown duration, comparing amitriptyline to placebo among over 3500 participants diagnosed with MDD. The authors concluded that amitriptyline was more effective than either placebo or no treatment, but more participants withdrew from the trials who were taking amitriptyline vs placebo because of side effects and lack of efficacy. 6

Despite the symptom relief that some may have experienced, the stumbling block remains that drugs do not, and are not designed to resolve the underlying reasons for the symptoms. Our Elavil alternatives ARE designed to help address and resolve the underlying reasons for unwanted symptoms. You do not have to settle for potentially harmful drugs that don’t actually improve your health.

A drug may dampen symptoms and make an individual feel somewhat better for the moment, but the underlying problem likely continues. In addition, individuals on this medication may feel a little better when it comes to their pain or depression, at least temporarily, but also report that they feel “dull” in their head and aren’t as spontaneous as before. The harshness of adverse effects also takes a toll. More details on Elavil side effects are described below. People naturally would prefer a solution that works for them effectively, but without side effects or risks of dependence. Elavil alternatives, such as the methods that will be discussed below, might be a less risky, more effective set of treatments to consider.

The Best Elavil Alternative

elavil compassionate helpThe best Elavil alternative medicine is figuring out what is causing the condition, rather than trying to cover up the pain or the depression with prescription drugs. This requires competent, compassionate help.

The therapies and treatments that are most effective we have found consist of lab testing, thorough assessment, followed by a comprehensive blend of natural (drug-free) treatments to address the root of the problem. Studies such as Jurcie et al’s published in the Journal of the Canadian Family Physician, have tested herbal remedies over pharmaceutical products. They concluded that natural antidepressant alternatives such as St. John’s Wort are at least as effective, if not more so than antidepressant medications without the negative side effects.2

Antidepressant medication is subject to creating dependence and tolerance.7 Perhaps the drug has stopped working, yet when you try stopping, withdrawals are harsh. However, getting off of this and other medications can be done comfortably with the help of an inpatient treatment center which can successfully help individuals to wean off of their dosage. At Alternative to Meds Center, the process also involves going through previous medical history and pinpointing the individual’s exact issues that need to be repaired in order for the person to be recovered and drug-free. The Elavil alternatives provided in our treatment program customize alternative treatment plans for each person’s health issues to get authentic, long-lasting relief.


Recommended Antidepressant Alternatives

Top 7 Elavil Alternatives:

  • wide range of elavil therapiesTalk therapy such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) or DBT (dialectic behavior therapy), etc., choosing a counselor you can genuinely connect with.14,15
  • Change of environment to reduce stress factors — can include removing or distancing from toxic relationships, or a change in a stressful workplace.16,17
  • Clean diet for improved mood. Avoid food additives, flavor enhancers, sugar, go organic as much as possible to avoid pesticides.* 18,19.20
  • Herbal & nutritional supplements, i.e., St. John’s Wort, passionflower, magnesium.9,10,11
  • A healthy microbiome supports neurochemistry — avoid chlorinated/fluoridated water, but do eat fermented foods, yogurt, probiotics in supplement form.1,8,13
  • Mild exercise, especially outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air.** 21
  • Find positive social contacts, or get involved with volunteering.22

* Studies show a link between toxic exposure and mental health.
** Exercise has been proven helpful for depression.

Wide Range of Therapeutic Options

At Alternative to Meds Center there is a very wide range of therapeutic options available for the individual seeking Elavil alternatives. Most individuals realize that they do not want to be on antidepressant drugs for extended periods of time due to side effects and the fact that they don’t work or stop working after a time. And none of that is in their best health interests.

elavil neurotoxin removalWe offer many forms of helpful therapies during treatment, such as acupuncture and massage for pain, yoga, Qi Gong, exercise classes, Reiki, cranial-sacral massage, various genres of counseling, education modules, nebulized glutathione, IV treatments, low-temperature sauna, colonics, neurotoxin removal, and many other examples of natural Elavil alternatives. Once the pain or the depression is gone, insomnia and other associated symptoms tend to disappear too.

Natural therapies are in your best health interest, as they provide non-toxic solutions. Prescription medications, in contrast, are not always in your best health interest, and not always of benefit. Generally, after the first few therapy sessions, a person will find counseling and lifestyle improvements highly useful as antidepressant alternatives.

Correcting the diet, especially where deficiencies and imbalances are discovered, can make massive changes in energy, reduction of symptomatology such as insomnia, mood, and even improved skin tone. In sometimes very short order, the individual begins feeling and sleeping better. A natural therapy can’t hurt you, but prescription medications can.1

Side Effects of Elavil (amitriptyline)

Some of the known side effects of Elavil affect the heart, for example, slowed intracardiac induction, arrhythmias, QTe prolongation, and tachycardia. Gastrointestinal adverse effects include constipation, weight gain, and increased appetite. More troubling side effects include mania, suicidal ideation, liver injury, increased risk of seizure, delirium, tremor, newly emerging aggression, worsened depression, newly emerging anxiety, changes in behavior, and many others.29,30

Addressing Root Causes is Foundational of Alternatives to Elavil

address root causesThe Alternative to Meds Center program focuses on discovering the medical reasons why an individual is depressed, in pain, or unable to sleep. Antidepressants are usually prescribed to a person before there has been an adequate effort put into finding out why they are depressed or unable to sleep. Researchers postulate that low serotonin is associated with symptoms such as depression. While there is controversy over this point, even it is so, are they really suffering from a low serotonin level and there are no other reasons?24 What about a thyroid that is low functioning?25 What about accumulated environmental neurotoxins like heavy metals and chemicals that can destroy energy metabolism?26 What if the person has food allergies whereby internal swelling slows metabolism?27 Or the person could have a diet that is so poor in nutrition that they are not able to create what they need for brain health.28 All of these things can be factors well worth investigating. Lab testing can be extremely beneficial allowing us to hone in on these or other factors that may need to be addressed before a person truly feels well again.

Therapeutic Support for Healthy CNS Function

Often, we forget that the brain is subject to the same problems from a deprived diet that the body would suffer from. Our treatment program includes targeted nutritional therapy, peer support, stabilizing neurochemistry with natural substances, Elavil withdrawal methods, removal of accumulated neurotoxins, massage therapy, yoga, exercise, personal training, and many other therapies specified to combat depression, anxiousness, and insomnia.

Our holistic treatments do not offer pretended help or push drugs that make things worse but offer authentic, actual relief.

Elavil Alternatives Program at Alternative to Meds Center

We are fortunate enough that we find new success every single day. Our graduation ceremonies are joyful celebrations! Friends and family members gather each week to share in our clients’ accomplishments, with an average of 50 or so each celebration event. The stores of recovery are continually mind-blowing. People have sometimes described years of extreme suffering, often with beautiful clarity. For the staff as well as all the attendees, the experience is pure inspiration. How wonderful to know that our participants have everything they may need to sustain their success when they leave the program and can continue on as symbols of encouragement to other people.

We encourage you to call us so we can talk about your own situation, and so you can find out more about the many ways that Elavil alternatives may be the help you or your loved one have been hoping to find.


1. Sibley, C. PharmD, “10 Natural Remedies to Consider for Treating Anxiety” Pharmacy Times [Internet] 2017 Oct [cited 2019 Nov].

2. Jurcie, J. MSc, BScPhm, Pereira, J A MSc, Kavanaugh, D. “St John’s Wort versus Paroxetine for Depression” Clinical Study, University of Hamilton [Internet] 2007 Sep [cited 2019 Nov]

3. Moore R, Derry S, Aldington D, Cole P, Wiffen P J, ” Amitriptyline for neuropathic pain in adults.” Cochrane Library Resources [Internet] 2015 Jul 6 [cited 2021 May 14]

4. Dinat N, Marinda E, Moch S, Rice ASC, Kamerman PR (2015) Randomized, Double-Blind, Crossover Trial of Amitriptyline for Analgesia in Painful HIV-Associated Sensory Neuropathy. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0126297. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0126297 [cited 2021 May 14]

5. Haella T, “Antidepressant Death Found Most Often with Amitriptyline.” Psychiatry Advisor [Internet] 2017 Feb 24 [cited 2020 Sep 11]

6. Leucht C, Huhn M, Leucht S. Amitriptyline versus placebo for major depressive disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Dec 12;12:CD009138. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009138.pub2. PMID: 23235671. [cited 2021 May 14]

7. Fujii K, Suzuki T, Mimura M, Uchida H. Psychological dependence on antidepressants in patients with panic disorder: a cross-sectional study. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2017 Jan;32(1):36-40. doi: 10.1097/YIC.0000000000000143. PMID: 27496597. [cited 2021 May 14]

8. Butler MI, Mörkl S, Sandhu KV, Cryan JF, Dinan TG. The Gut Microbiome and Mental Health: What Should We Tell Our Patients?: Le microbiote Intestinal et la Santé Mentale : que Devrions-Nous dire à nos Patients? Can J Psychiatry. 2019 Nov;64(11):747-760. doi: 10.1177/0706743719874168. Epub 2019 Sep 17. PMID: 31530002; PMCID: PMC6882070. [cited 2021 May 14]

9. Lakhan SE, Vieira KF. Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review. Nutr J. 2010 Oct 7;9:42. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-42. PMID: 20929532; PMCID: PMC2959081. [cited 2021 May 14]

10. Janda K, Wojtkowska K, Jakubczyk K, Antoniewicz J, Skonieczna-Żydecka K. Passiflora incarnata in Neuropsychiatric Disorders-A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2020;12(12):3894. Published 2020 Dec 19. doi:10.3390/nu12123894  [cited 2021 May 14]

11.Eby GA, Eby KL. Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment. Med Hypotheses. 2006;67(2):362-70. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.01.047. Epub 2006 Mar 20. PMID: 16542786 [cited 2021 May 14]

12. The National Institute of Mental Health, “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder“, May 2019 [cited 2021 May 14]

13. Bidot WA, Ericsson AC, Franklin CL. Effects of water decontamination methods and bedding material on the gut microbiotaPLoS One. 2018;13(10):e0198305. Published 2018 Oct 25. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0198305 [cited 2021 May 14]

14. Gautam M, Tripathi A, Deshmukh D, Gaur M. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for DepressionIndian J Psychiatry. 2020;62(Suppl 2):S223-S229. doi:10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_772_19 [cited 2021 May 14]

15. DeRubeis RJ, Siegle GJ, Hollon SD. Cognitive therapy versus medication for depression: treatment outcomes and neural mechanismsNat Rev Neurosci. 2008;9(10):788-796. doi:10.1038/nrn2345  [cited 2021 May 14]

16. Tennant C. Work-related stress and depressive disorders. J Psychosom Res. 2001 Nov;51(5):697-704. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(01)00255-0. PMID: 11728512. [cited 2021 May 14]

17. Maulik PK. Workplace stress: A neglected aspect of mental health wellbeingIndian J Med Res. 2017;146(4):441-444. doi:10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1298_17 [cited 2021 May 14]

18. Jacques A, Chaaya N, Beecher K, Ali SA, Belmer A, Bartlett S. The impact of sugar consumption on stress driven, emotional and addictive behaviors. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2019 Aug;103:178-199. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.05.021. Epub 2019 May 21. PMID: 31125634. [cited 2021 May 14]

19. Freire C, Koifman S. Pesticides, depression and suicide: a systematic review of the epidemiological evidence. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2013 Jul;216(4):445-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2012.12.003. Epub 2013 Feb 17. PMID: 23422404. [cited 2021 May 14]  

20. Gómez-Donoso C, Sánchez-Villegas A, Martínez-González MA, Gea A, Mendonça RD, Lahortiga-Ramos F, Bes-Rastrollo M. Ultra-processed food consumption and the incidence of depression in a Mediterranean cohort: the SUN Project. Eur J Nutr. 2020 Apr;59(3):1093-1103. doi: 10.1007/s00394-019-01970-1. Epub 2019 May 4. PMID: 31055621. [cited 2021 May 14]

21. Craft LL, Perna FM. The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically DepressedPrim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2004;6(3):104-111. doi:10.4088/pcc.v06n0301b  [cited 2021 May 14]

22. Tabassum F, Mohan J, Smith P. Association of volunteering with mental well-being: a lifecourse analysis of a national population-based longitudinal study in the UK [published correction appears in BMJ Open. 2016 Sep 09;6(9):e011327corr1]. BMJ Open. 2016;6(8):e011327. Published 2016 Aug 8. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011327  [cited 2021 May 14]

23. Ljungberg T, Bondza E, Lethin C. Evidence of the Importance of Dietary Habits Regarding Depressive Symptoms and DepressionInt J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(5):1616. Published 2020 Mar 2. doi:10.3390/ijerph17051616  [cited 2021 May 14]

24. Harmer CJ, Duman RS, Cowen PJ. How do antidepressants work? New perspectives for refining future treatment approaches. Lancet Psychiatry. 2017;4(5):409-418. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(17)30015-9  [cited 2021 May 14]

25. Chatzitomaris A, Hoermann R, Midgley JE, et al. Thyroid Allostasis-Adaptive Responses of Thyrotropic Feedback Control to Conditions of Strain, Stress, and Developmental Programming. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2017;8:163. Published 2017 Jul 20. doi:10.3389/fendo.2017.00163 [cited 2021 May 14]

26. Sapolsky RM. The possibility of neurotoxicity in the hippocampus in major depression: a primer on neuron death. Biol Psychiatry. 2000 Oct 15;48(8):755-65. doi: 10.1016/s0006-3223(00)00971-9. PMID: 11063972. [cited 2021 May 14]

27. Althumiri NA, Basyouni MH, AlMousa N, AlJuwaysim MF, BinDhim NF, Alqahtani SA. Prevalence of Self-Reported Food Allergies and Their Association with Other Health Conditions among Adults in Saudi Arabia. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan 5;18(1):347. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18010347. PMID: 33466448; PMCID: PMC7796440. [cited 2021 May 14]

28. Dinan TG, Stanton C, Long-Smith C, Kennedy P, Cryan JF, Cowan CSM, Cenit MC, van der Kamp JW, Sanz Y. Feeding melancholic microbes: MyNewGut recommendations on diet and mood. Clin Nutr. 2019 Oct;38(5):1995-2001. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2018.11.010. Epub 2018 Nov 17. PMID: 30497694.  [cited 2021 May 14]

29. Thour A, Marwaha R. Amitriptyline. [Updated 2020 Nov 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537225/  [cited 2021 May 14]

30. FDA Label Amitriptyline Hydrochloride tablets [ND] [cited 2021 May 14]



This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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