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 okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and sleep. Less likely to have drug interactions, but more likely to cause withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.
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Coupons for Cymbalta
Best available price for 30 (60mg) capsules of duloxetine
Coupons for Ativan
Best available price for 60 (0.5mg) tablets of lorazepam
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.84Cymbalta
Reviews for Cymbalta (duloxetine)
58%
of people (All ages) say Cymbalta (duloxetine) 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 (lorazepam)
71%
+13% better vs. Cymbalta (duloxetine)
51%
+2% better vs. Cymbalta (duloxetine)
15%
+9% better vs. Cymbalta (duloxetine)
642 reviews
Have you used Ativan (lorazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CymbaltaAtivan
  • Nausea 15%
  • Headache 2%
  • Dry mouth 8%
  • Somnolencee 7%
  • Fatigue 4%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Decreased appetite 5%
More Cymbalta side effects »
  • Relaxation or sleepiness 16%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Unsteadiness 3%
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 neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and can cause sleepiness.
Type of medication
CymbaltaAtivan
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
CymbaltaAtivan
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Liquid
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 more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
  • Alcohol
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.

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but 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 benzodiazepines, so it might be a better option if you're taking multiple medications.
Alcohol
CymbaltaAtivan
No alcohol related info.
  • 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.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
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 memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
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 and sleeplessness.
  • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
  • Less likely to have drug interactions compared to other benzodiazepines, 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 benzodiazepines, more likely to cause withdrawal if you take it for a long time and then stop suddenly.
  • Most people find that it 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.
  • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
  • Starts working in 45 minutes when swallowed.
  • Starts working in 10 to 20 minutes when dissolved under your tongue.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
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