Compare Cymbalta vs. Celexa

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

Cymbalta
(Duloxetine)

Celexa
(Citalopram)

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.Improves mood and helps you relax. Celexa (Citalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Might be less likely to cause side effects than some antidepressants, but not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.873479318734793Cymbalta
Reviews for Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
59%
of people say Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is worth it
49%
say it works well
24%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Celexa (Citalopram)
60%
+1% vs. Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
50%
+1% vs. Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
15%
+9% vs. Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
Side effects
CymbaltaCelexa
  • Nausea 15%
  • Dry mouth 8%
  • Drowsiness 8%
  • Constipation 7%
  • Somnolencee 7%
  • Decreased appetite 7%
  • Fatigued 6%
  • Sleep difficulty 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Fatigue 4%
More Cymbalta side effects »
  • Drowsiness 8%
  • Nausea 7%
  • Dry mouth 6%
  • Abnormal ejaculation 5%
  • Ejaculation disorder 5%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Tremor 2%
  • Sweating increased 2%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Loss of appetite 2%
More Celexa side effects »
How it works
CymbaltaCelexa
Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Celexa (Citalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
CymbaltaCelexa
Antidepressant
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Available as
CymbaltaCelexa
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for (click to learn more)
CymbaltaCelexa
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.

After 4 weeks using Start and Cymbalta (Duloxetine), here’s how much better people feel.

After 4 weeks using Start and Celexa (Citalopram), here’s how much better people feel.

Risk factors for serious side effects
CymbaltaCelexa
  • 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
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    Detailed Cymbalta (Duloxetine) risks & warnings »
    • Age 24 years or younger
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    • Stopping Celexa (Citalopram) suddenly
    • Higher dose
    • History of heart problems
    • History of liver problems
    • Older age
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
      Detailed Celexa (Citalopram) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      CymbaltaCelexa
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
      • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
      Kidneys and liver
      • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      • Cymbalta (Duloxetine) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
      • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
      • Celexa (Citalopram) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
      Sleep
      • Stopping Cymbalta (Duloxetine) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
      • Stopping Celexa (Citalopram) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.
      • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
      Upsides and benefits
      CymbaltaCelexa
      • 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.
      • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
      • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
      • Causes less sleepiness compared to other antidepressants.
      • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
      • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
      Downsides and risks
      CymbaltaCelexa
      • 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 sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
      • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
      • Celexa (Citalopram) can cause an irregular heartbeat if you take a high dose (40 mg a day, or more).
      • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
      • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24 years.
      • 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
      CymbaltaCelexa
      • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
      • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
      • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
      • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
      • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
      • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
      • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
      • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
      Learn more
      More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about CelexaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert