Compare Buspar vs. Cymbalta

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Buspar
(Buspirone)

Cymbalta
(Duloxetine)

Helps you relax. Buspar (Buspirone) is effective for treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and less effective for short-term use.Improves mood and relieves certain kinds of pain. Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety, and may help with chronic pain. More likely than other antidepressants to cause problems if you drink or have high blood pressure.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.63Buspar
Reviews for Buspar
46%
of people (All ages) say Buspar is worth it
45%
say it works well
22%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Buspar (Buspirone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Cymbalta
58%
-12% worse vs. Buspar
49%
-4% worse vs. Buspar
24%
+2% better vs. Buspar
496 reviews
Have you used Cymbalta (Duloxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
BusparCymbalta
  • Excitement 2%
  • Anger/Hostility 2%
  • Confusion 2%
  • Blurred Vision 2%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Numbness 2%
  • Weakness 2%
More Buspar side effects »
  • Abdominal pain 1%
  • Hyperhidrosis 5%
  • Decreased appetite 5%
  • Fatigue 4%
  • Insomnia 4%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Somnolencee 7%
  • Dry mouth 8%
More Cymbalta side effects »
How it works
BusparCymbalta
Buspar (Buspirone) is an anti-anxiety medication. It's used to stabilize chemicals in the brain that control mood and nervousness.Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
BusparCymbalta
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
BusparCymbalta
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
BusparCymbalta
Risk factors for serious side effects
BusparCymbalta
  • Taking with MAOIs
  • Taking with Zyvox or methylene blue
  • Taking with or converting from benzodiazepine medicines
  • Duration of treatment
Detailed Buspar (Buspirone) risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Cymbalta (Duloxetine) suddenly
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
Detailed Cymbalta (Duloxetine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
BusparCymbalta
  • Avoid alcohol when taking Buspar (Buspirone).
No alcohol related info.
Food
BusparCymbalta
  • Be consistent in taking Buspar (Buspirone) with or without food.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
BusparCymbalta
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
Pain
BusparCymbalta
No pain related info.
  • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
Sleep
BusparCymbalta
  • Can cause drowsiness or dizziness when you start taking Buspar (Buspirone). Be extremely careful of activities that require mental alertness, such as driving.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
BusparCymbalta
  • Buspar (Buspirone) works very well to control the symptoms of generalized anxiety syndrome (GAD).
  • Buspar (Buspirone) doesn't cause physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms.
  • Buspar (Buspirone) is only available as a generic, so the price can be pretty cheap.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers relapse rates for depression.
  • Can relieve some types of chronic pain. Might be particularly good at pain relief for people who are also depressed.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides and risks
BusparCymbalta
  • Buspar (Buspirone) can take as long as four weeks to become fully effective.
  • Not as effective for short-term anxiety conditions or panic disorders.
  • Most people find that it loses effectiveness over long periods of time.
  • Can cause drowsiness or dizziness when you start taking Buspar (Buspirone). Be extremely careful of activities that require mental alertness, such as driving.
  • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
  • Not the best option for people with high blood pressure.
  • Like most antidepressants, can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
BusparCymbalta
  • Take doses at about the same time each day.
  • It can take several weeks to get the full effect.
  • Don't eat or drink grapefruit juice when using Buspar (Buspirone).
  • Don't use Buspar (Buspirone) within two weeks of using an MAO inhibitor (like Eldepryl, Parnate, or Marplan).
  • Be consistent in taking Buspar (Buspirone) with or without food.
  • Avoid alcohol when taking Buspar (Buspirone).
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
  • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
Learn more
More about BusparSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Buspar (Buspirone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cymbalta (Duloxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it