Compare Cymbalta vs. Zoloft

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

Cymbalta
(duloxetine)

Zoloft
(sertraline)

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.Improves mood and helps you relax. Zoloft (Sertraline) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It's more likely to cause insomnia and diarrhea than other antidepressants.
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 Zoloft
59%
-1% worse vs. Cymbalta
41%
+8% better vs. Cymbalta
15%
-9% worse vs. Cymbalta
1472 reviews
Have you used Zoloft (sertraline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CymbaltaZoloft
  • 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 »
  • Nausea 14%
  • Diarrhea/Loose Stools 9%
  • Insomnia 7%
  • Mouth Dry 7%
  • Somnolence 7%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Tremor 8%
  • Fatigue 3%
  • Sweating Increased 5%
  • Constipation 2%
More Zoloft side effects »
How it works
CymbaltaZoloft
Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Zoloft (Sertraline) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases the activity of serotonin in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
CymbaltaZoloft
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
CymbaltaZoloft
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
CymbaltaZoloft
Risk factors for serious side effects
CymbaltaZoloft
  • 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 »
  • Under 24 years old
  • Interactions with other medications
  • Stopping Zoloft (Sertraline) suddenly
  • Taking with blood-thinning drugs
  • Elderly
Detailed Zoloft (sertraline) 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.

Interactions
CymbaltaZoloft
No interactions related info.
  • It interacts with St. John's Wort and Tryptophan.
Food
CymbaltaZoloft
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
CymbaltaZoloft
  • 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
CymbaltaZoloft
  • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
No pain related info.
Sex
CymbaltaZoloft
No sex related info.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
Sleep
CymbaltaZoloft
No sleep related info.
  • Zoloft (Sertraline) may increase the risk of low sodium levels in the blood (hyponatremia). Watch out for symptoms including headache, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, confusion, weakness, and unsteadiness, which may lead to falls. Talk to a doctor right away before developing more serious symptoms, such as hallucination, fainting, coma, and death.
  • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
Upsides and benefits
CymbaltaZoloft
  • 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 lowering symptoms and relapse rates of depression and anxiety disorders.
  • Causes less drowsiness than other antidepressants.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides and risks
CymbaltaZoloft
  • 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 sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • More likely to cause diarrhea than other antidepressants.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CymbaltaZoloft
  • 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.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • It interacts with St. John's Wort and Tryptophan.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
Learn more
More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cymbalta (duloxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZoloftSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zoloft (sertraline)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it