Compare Cymbalta vs. Neurontin

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

Cymbalta
(duloxetine)

Neurontin
(gabapentin)

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 tingling and burning nerve pain. Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an old seizure disorder medicine that's now used to treat nerve-related pain caused by different conditions.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.84Cymbalta
Reviews for Cymbalta
58%
of people (All ages) say Cymbalta 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 Neurontin
57%
+1% better vs. Cymbalta
40%
+9% better vs. Cymbalta
19%
-5% worse vs. Cymbalta
620 reviews
Have you used Neurontin (gabapentin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CymbaltaNeurontin
  • Nausea 15%
  • Headache 2%
  • Dry mouth 8%
  • Somnolencee 7%
  • Fatigue 4%
  • Insomnia 4%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Decreased appetite 5%
More Cymbalta side effects »
  • Dizziness 21%
  • Somnolence 16%
  • Peripheral edema 6%
  • Asthenia 1%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Infection 2%
  • Dry mouth 3%
  • Constipation 2%
  • Accidental injury 2%
  • Vomiting 2%
More Neurontin side effects »
How it works
CymbaltaNeurontin
Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an antiepileptic and 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
CymbaltaNeurontin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
CymbaltaNeurontin
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for
CymbaltaNeurontin
Risk factors for serious side effects
CymbaltaNeurontin
  • 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 »
  • Children ages 3 to 12
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) suddenly
Detailed Neurontin (gabapentin) 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.

Food
CymbaltaNeurontin
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
Kidneys and liver
CymbaltaNeurontin
  • 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
CymbaltaNeurontin
  • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
  • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
Sleep
CymbaltaNeurontin
No sleep related info.
  • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
Upsides and benefits
CymbaltaNeurontin
  • 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.
  • Originally used to treat epilepsy (partial seizures), but now it primarily treats neuropathic pain that's caused by nerve stimulation or damage.
  • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
  • It's available as a generic, so it's less expensive than similar medications.
Downsides and risks
CymbaltaNeurontin
  • 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.
  • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
  • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) can cause seizures. This is even more likely if you drink alcohol, so it might not be the best medication for heavy drinkers.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CymbaltaNeurontin
  • 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.
  • Side effects are common, but usually manageable.
  • Don't drive while taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) until you know how the medication affects you.
  • Neurontin and generic forms of Gabapentin have the same ingredients as Gralise and Horizant, but are dosed differently. Make sure you know which form you're taking since they are used for different purposes.
  • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
  • Stop taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) slowly over at least one week to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
Learn more
More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cymbalta (duloxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about NeurontinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Neurontin (gabapentin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it