Compare Cymbalta vs. Xanax

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

Cymbalta
(Duloxetine)

Xanax
(Alprazolam)

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.Helps you relax. Xanax (Alprazolam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety, and longer-term for panic attacks. More likely to cause withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
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 Xanax (Alprazolam)
74%
+16% better vs. Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
55%
+6% better vs. Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
13%
+11% better vs. Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
1287 reviews
Have you used Xanax (Alprazolam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CymbaltaXanax
  • 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 »
  • Drowsiness 34%
  • Fatigue and tiredness 6%
  • Impaired coordination 23%
  • Irritability 3%
  • Memory impairment 11%
  • Increased appetite 10%
More Xanax side effects »
How it works
CymbaltaXanax
Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Xanax (Alprazolam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and can cause sleepiness.
Type of medication
CymbaltaXanax
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
CymbaltaXanax
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
CymbaltaXanax
Risk factors for serious side effects
CymbaltaXanax
  • 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 »
    • History of drug abuse
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • Taking more than 4 mg/day or longer than 12 weeks
    • Stopping Xanax (Alprazolam) suddenly
    • Severely depressed
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • First trimester of pregnancy
    • Current liver problems
    Detailed Xanax (Alprazolam) 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.

    Alcohol
    CymbaltaXanax
    No alcohol related info.
    • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
    • Not safe to use with alcohol.
    Food
    CymbaltaXanax
    • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
    No food related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    CymbaltaXanax
    • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
    • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
    Pain
    CymbaltaXanax
    • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
    No pain related info.
    Sleep
    CymbaltaXanax
    No sleep related info.
    • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
    • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
    Upsides and benefits
    CymbaltaXanax
    • 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 short-term anxiety.
    • Effective longer-term for panic attacks.
    • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
    Downsides and risks
    CymbaltaXanax
    • 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.
    • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
    • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
    • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
    • Compared to other benzodiazepines, more likely to cause withdrawal if you take it for a long time and then stop suddenly.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    CymbaltaXanax
    • 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.
    • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
    • Starts working in 45 minutes when swallowed.
    • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
    • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
    • Not safe to use with alcohol.
    Learn more
    More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Cymbalta (Duloxetine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about XanaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Xanax (Alprazolam)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it