Compare Cymbalta vs. Lyrica

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

Cymbalta
(Duloxetine)

Lyrica
(Pregabalin)

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.Treats nerve pain and prevents seizures. Lyrica (Pregabalin) works well as an add-on medicine for seizures and fibromyalgia, but it's especially effective for nerve-related pain after shingles. Not available as a generic, so it might be expensive.
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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 Lyrica (Pregabalin)
46%
13% vs. Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
41%
8% vs. Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
32%
8% vs. Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
Side effects
CymbaltaLyrica
  • 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 »
  • Dizziness 36%
  • Nerve damage 34%
  • Drowsiness 24%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 24%
  • Weight gain 15%
  • Constipation 13%
  • Weight increased 12%
  • Dry mouth 12%
  • Leg or ankle swelling 12%
  • Vision blurred 11%
More Lyrica side effects »
How it works
CymbaltaLyrica
Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Lyrica (Pregabalin) is a nerve pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it has a similar structure to GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
Type of medication
CymbaltaLyrica
Antidepressant
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
Prescription only
Anticonvulsant
GABA analog
Prescription only
Available as
CymbaltaLyrica
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
CymbaltaLyrica
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.

The free Iodine Start program (personal reports and coaching) is currently only for antidepressants. For now, you can read our pharmacist info about this medication.Learn more about Lyrica (Pregabalin)
Risk factors for serious side effects
CymbaltaLyrica
  • 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 »
      • Taking with alcohol
      • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
      • History of unusual swelling (angioedema)
      • Taking other medications that can angioedema
      • History of cardiovascular disease
      • Taking with certain diabetes medications
      • Stopping Lyrica (Pregabalin) suddenly
        • Both male and females taking Lyrica (Pregabalin)
        Detailed Lyrica (Pregabalin) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        CymbaltaLyrica
        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.
        • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
        Food
        • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
        No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
        • Some people taking Lyrica (Pregabalin) develop muscle damage leading to kidney failure (rhabdomyolysis), however, this is very rare. Tell your doctor if you develop sudden muscle pain, weakness or fever and there is no other related cause.
        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.
        No specific sex-related info.
        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.
        • Lyrica (Pregabalin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
        • Can make you drowsy or dizzy.
        • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        CymbaltaLyrica
        • 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.
        • Relieves nerve-related (neuropathic) pain caused by different conditions including diabetes, shingles (herpes zoster), fibromyalgia, and spinal cord damage.
        • Studies show that lower doses of Lyrica (Pregabalin) cause fewer side effects and still relieve pain just as well as higher doses.
        • Also used in combination with other medications to treat epilepsy (partial seizures).
        Downsides and risks
        CymbaltaLyrica
        • 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.
        • Not available as a generic, so it can be pricey.
        • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Lyrica (Pregabalin) can cause seizures.
        • Lyrica (Pregabalin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
        • Has a higher risk than other pain medicines of affecting your heart rate or rhythm, so it might not be the best choice if you have cardiovascular disease (previous heart attack, stroke, fast/uncontrolled heart rate, or irregular heartbeat).
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        CymbaltaLyrica
        • 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.
        • Some people feel relief from pain in a week.
        • Can make you drowsy or dizzy.
        • Don't stop taking it suddenly without talking to your doctor. You'll need to slowly lower your dose over at least a week to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
        • Tell your doctor if you have unexplained confusion or changes in your thoughts or behavior.
        • It's not safe to take this medication with alcohol or other drugs that make you drowsy.
        Learn more
        More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about LyricaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert