Compare Cymbalta vs. Ativan

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

Cymbalta
(Duloxetine)

Ativan
(lorazepam)

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.Helps you relax. Ativan (lorazepam) is an effective medicine for occasional or short-term anxiety. It's less likely to have drug interactions, but more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.84Cymbalta
Reviews for Cymbalta
58%
of people (All ages) say Cymbalta is worth it
49%
say it works well
24%
say it's a big hassle
496 reviews
Have you used Cymbalta (Duloxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Ativan
71%
-13% worse vs. Cymbalta
51%
-2% worse vs. Cymbalta
15%
-9% worse vs. Cymbalta
642 reviews
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CymbaltaAtivan
  • 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 »
  • Unsteadiness 3%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Sleepiness 16%
More Ativan side effects »
How it works
CymbaltaAtivan
Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Ativan (lorazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects areas of the brain that help calm you down. This reduces anxiety and can cause sleepiness.
Type of medication
CymbaltaAtivan
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
CymbaltaAtivan
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Used for
CymbaltaAtivan
Risk factors for serious side effects
CymbaltaAtivan
  • 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 »
  • Taking with opioids
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking Ativan (lorazepam) for longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
Detailed Ativan (lorazepam) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

Interactions
CymbaltaAtivan
No interactions related info.
  • Less likely to have drug interactions compared to other drugs like it, so it might be a better option if you're taking multiple medications.
Alcohol
CymbaltaAtivan
No alcohol related info.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
Food
CymbaltaAtivan
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
CymbaltaAtivan
  • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
CymbaltaAtivan
  • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
No pain related info.
Sleep
CymbaltaAtivan
No sleep related info.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
Upsides and benefits
CymbaltaAtivan
  • 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.
  • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety.
  • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in.
  • Less likely to have drug interactions compared to other drugs like it, so it might be a better option if you're taking multiple medications.
Downsides and risks
CymbaltaAtivan
  • 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.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Compared to other similar medicines, Ativan (lorazepam) is more likely to cause withdrawal if you take it for a long time and then suddenly stop.
  • Most people find that Ativan (lorazepam) gets less effective over time.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CymbaltaAtivan
  • 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.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Take only as much as your doctor prescribes. Taking more than directed or taking this for a long time can cause you to become dependent on it.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Use caution or avoid use in older adults.
Learn more
More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cymbalta (Duloxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AtivanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it