Compare Neurontin vs. Cymbalta

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

Neurontin
(Gabapentin)

Cymbalta
(Duloxetine)

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.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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.542087542087542Neurontin
Reviews for Neurontin (Gabapentin)
57%
of people say Neurontin (Gabapentin) is worth it
39%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
59%
+2% vs. Neurontin (Gabapentin)
49%
+10% vs. Neurontin (Gabapentin)
24%
5% vs. Neurontin (Gabapentin)
Side effects
NeurontinCymbalta
  • Dizziness 21%
  • Drowsiness 16%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 7%
  • Leg or ankle swelling 6%
  • Fatigue 6%
  • Hostility 5%
  • Involuntary eye movement 4%
  • Double vision 4%
  • Tremor 4%
  • Dry mouth 4%
More Neurontin side effects »
  • 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 »
How it works
NeurontinCymbalta
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.Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
NeurontinCymbalta
Anticonvulsant
GABA analog
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
Prescription only
Available as
NeurontinCymbalta
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
NeurontinCymbalta
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.
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 Neurontin (Gabapentin)

After 4 weeks using Start and Cymbalta (Duloxetine), here’s how much better people feel.

Risk factors for serious side effects
NeurontinCymbalta
    • Children ages 3 to 12
      • Taking with alcohol or drugs
      • Stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) suddenly
      Detailed Neurontin (Gabapentin) risks & warnings »
      • 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 »
        Pregnancy category
        NeurontinCymbalta
        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
        • 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.
        No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
        • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
        Sex
        No specific sex-related info.
        • 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.
        Sleep
        • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
        • 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.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        NeurontinCymbalta
        • 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.
        • 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.
        Downsides and risks
        NeurontinCymbalta
        • 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.
        • 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.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        NeurontinCymbalta
        • 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.
        • 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.
        Learn more
        More about NeurontinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert