Compare Cymbalta vs. Lidocaine

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

Cymbalta (duloxetine)

Prescription only

Lidoderm (Lidocaine)

Prescription only
Improves mood and relieves certain types of pain.

Cymbalta (duloxetine) is good for treating depression, anxiety, and some forms of chronic pain, but it is more likely than other antidepressants to cause problems if you drink alcohol or have high blood pressure.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 496 reviewsforCymbalta
Treats nerve pain.

Lidoderm (Lidocaine) patches work well by releasing a local anesthetic into the skin and relieving pain by targeting damaged nerves.

4.2/ 5 average rating with 18 reviewsforLidocaine
Upsides
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) may help relieve nerve pain from diabetes and other forms of chronic pain.
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) has several uses, which may be good for people with multiple conditions.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
  • Lidoderm (Lidocaine) can treat pain better for people who can't take oral pain medications due to allergies or bad side effects.
  • Has been shown to relieve nerve pain due to shingles for up to 12 hours at a time.
  • Patches can be cut into smaller pieces to best fit the areas of skin they need to be used on.
Downsides
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) may not be a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or have liver or kidney problems.
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) can increase high blood pressure.
  • Like most antidepressants, Cymbalta (duloxetine) can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people aged 24 and younger.
  • Can cause skin irritation after using it the first time, but for most people it's mild and goes away in a few minutes or hours.
  • Used patches contain enough medicine to be dangerous to children and pets, so store and dispose of the patches in a safe place out of their reach.
  • Might not be the best choice if you've had allergic reactions to numbing medications (local anesthetics) in the past.
  • Even though only small amounts of Lidoderm (Lidocaine) are absorbed into the body through the skin, if you're taking medications that treat arrhythmias, Lidoderm (Lidocaine) can affect how they work.
  • Patches shouldn't be left on for more than 12 hours, used on very large areas of skin, or covered with a heating pad.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Jelly
  • Spray
  • Topical solution
  • Patch
Price
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Reviews
496 reviews so far
58%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
24%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Cymbalta (duloxetine)?

Leave a review
18 reviews so far
67%
saidit'sworth it
72%
saiditworked well
22%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Lidoderm (Lidocaine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
12possible side effects
  • Nausea
    23%
  • Headache
    14%
  • Dry mouth
    13%
  • Drowsiness
    10%
  • Fatigue
    9%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    9%
  • Constipation
    9%
  • Dizziness
    9%
  • Diarrhea
    9%
  • Decreased appetite
    7%
  • Excessive sweating
    6%
  • Abdominal pain
    5%
See more detailed side effects
The Lidoderm (Lidocaine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, tramadol, fentanyl, amphetamines, certain headache medications (triptans), St. John's Wort
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Cymbalta (duloxetine) abruptly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs (including aspirin, NSAIDs such as Advil, warfarin)
  • Changes in blood pressure and risk of falls
    • Elderly patients
    • History of gait disturbances
    • Taking more than 60 mg of Cymbalta (duloxetine) daily
    • Taking other medicines that lower blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
  • Bipolar disorder
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Overdose
    • Use of heating pad on skin
    • Applying patch to red, irritated or broken skin
    • Leaving patch on for more than 12 hours
    • Using patch on a very large area
    • Older age and lower body weight
    • Liver disease
  • Serious allergic reaction
    • Allergy to numbing medications (local anesthetics)
  • Accidental poisoning
    • Not disposing of Lidoderm (Lidocaine) correctly
    • Children and pets can reach medication
  • Eye irritation
    • Not washing hands after touching or applying Lidoderm (Lidocaine)
  • Skin reactions
    • Applying Lidoderm (Lidocaine) to warm skin
    • Covering patch with wrap or heating pad
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Using Lidoderm (Lidocaine) with drugs to treat irregular heartbeat
See more detailed risks and warnings