Compare Cymbalta vs. Lexapro

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

Cymbalta
(duloxetine)

Lexapro
(escitalopram)

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. Lexapro (escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It is less likely to cause side effects than and has fewer drug interactions. However, it might not be a good choice if you have liver or heart problems.
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Prices and coupon for 30 (60mg) capsules of duloxetine
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Prices and coupon for 30 (10mg) tablets of escitalopram
Reviews & ratings
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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 Lexapro (escitalopram)
61%
+3% better vs. Cymbalta (duloxetine)
48%
-1% worse vs. Cymbalta (duloxetine)
15%
+9% better vs. Cymbalta (duloxetine)
1063 reviews
Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CymbaltaLexapro
  • 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 »
  • Nausea 8%
  • Sleep difficulty 5%
  • Problems with ejaculation 9%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Dry mouth 1%
  • Drowsiness 4%
  • Runny nose 1%
  • Fatigue 3%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Flu-like symptoms 1%
More Lexapro side effects »
How it works
CymbaltaLexapro
Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Lexapro (escitalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin in the brain which regulates mood.
Type of medication
CymbaltaLexapro
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
CymbaltaLexapro
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
CymbaltaLexapro
Risk factors for serious side effects
CymbaltaLexapro
  • 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
    • Stopping Lexapro (escitalopram) suddenly
    • Taking blood thinners
      • Bipolar disorder
      Detailed Lexapro (escitalopram) 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 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
      CymbaltaLexapro
      No interactions related info.
      • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
      Food
      CymbaltaLexapro
      • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
      No food related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      CymbaltaLexapro
      • 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
      CymbaltaLexapro
      • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
      No pain related info.
      Weight
      CymbaltaLexapro
      No weight related info.
      • Can cause a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
      Upsides and benefits
      CymbaltaLexapro
      • 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 depression and anxiety symptoms.
      • Lowers the likelihood that your depression will come back.
      • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
      Downsides and risks
      CymbaltaLexapro
      • 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 a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
      • Lexapro (escitalopram) is not a good option if you have heart or liver problems.
      • The first antidepressant you try might not always work, so you may need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      CymbaltaLexapro
      • 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.
      • Don't suddenly stop taking DRUG NAME. Talk to your doctor about how to slowly go down in your dose to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
      • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
      • Like other SSRI medications, it could take up to 8 weeks to see the full effects of Lexapro (escitalopram).
      • Take Lexapro (escitalopram) in the morning since it can keep you up if you take it at night.
      Learn more
      More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Cymbalta (duloxetine)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about LexaproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it