Compare Cymbalta vs. Topamax

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

Cymbalta
(Duloxetine)

Qudexy Xr
(Topiramate)

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.Prevents seizures and migraine headaches. Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) is useful for preventing seizures and migraines, and doesn't require blood tests while you're on it.
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 Topamax
52%
+6% better vs. Cymbalta
50%
-1% worse vs. Cymbalta
36%
+12% better vs. Cymbalta
Have you used Qudexy Xr (Topiramate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CymbaltaTopamax
  • Abdominal pain 1%
  • Hyperhidrosis 5%
  • Decreased appetite 5%
  • Fatigue 4%
  • Insomnia 4%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Somnolencee 7%
  • Dry mouth 8%
More Cymbalta side effects »
  • Paresthesia 3%
  • Infection 3%
  • Infection viral 3%
  • Rash 3%
  • Rhinitis 5%
  • Weight decrease 7%
  • Difficulty with concentration/attention 7%
  • Diarrhea 8%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection 16%
  • Mood problems 7%
More Topamax side effects »
How it works
CymbaltaTopamax
Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to affect multiple parts of the brain to control seizures and migraines.
Type of medication
CymbaltaTopamax
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
CymbaltaTopamax
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Extended release capsule
Used for
CymbaltaTopamax
Risk factors for serious side effects
CymbaltaTopamax
  • 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 »
  • History of depression
  • Children
  • History of metabolic disorders
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Low-carb diet
Detailed Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) 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 real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Food
CymbaltaTopamax
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
CymbaltaTopamax
  • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
  • Qudexy Xr (Topiramate) may increase your risk for kidney stones. Stay well-hydrated to lower your risk.
  • A few people will get kidney stones.
Pain
CymbaltaTopamax
  • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
No pain related info.
Weight
CymbaltaTopamax
No weight related info.
  • Can cause sleepiness, speech problems, tingling sensations, and weight loss.
Upsides and benefits
CymbaltaTopamax
  • 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.
  • Used on its own or with other antiepileptic medicines to lower the frequency of seizures, especially for people with tonic-clonic or partial seizures, or Lennox-Gestaut syndrome.
  • Helpful in preventing frequent migraine headaches.
  • Doesn't need routine blood tests.
Downsides and risks
CymbaltaTopamax
  • 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 sleepiness, speech problems, tingling sensations, and weight loss.
  • A few people will get kidney stones.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CymbaltaTopamax
  • 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.
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • Don't use if pregnant.
  • Can cause tingling skin sensations and reduced appetite.
  • Report any confusion, decreased sweating, fever, or changes in behavior or vision.
  • Takes 3 to 4 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
Learn more
More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cymbalta (Duloxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TopamaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Qudexy Xr (Topiramate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it