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
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.56Neurontin
Reviews for Neurontin (Gabapentin)
57%
of people (All ages) say Neurontin (Gabapentin) is worth it
40%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
620 reviews
Have you used Neurontin (Gabapentin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
58%
+1% better vs. Neurontin (Gabapentin)
49%
+9% better vs. Neurontin (Gabapentin)
24%
-5% worse vs. Neurontin (Gabapentin)
496 reviews
Have you used Cymbalta (Duloxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NeurontinCymbalta
  • Dizziness 21%
  • Drowsiness 16%
  • Leg or ankle swelling 6%
  • Muscle weakness 1%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Infection 2%
  • Dry mouth 3%
  • Constipation 2%
  • Accidental injury 2%
  • Vomiting 2%
More Neurontin side effects »
  • 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 »
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
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
NeurontinCymbalta
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Extended release
Used for
NeurontinCymbalta
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

        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
        NeurontinCymbalta
        • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
        • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
        Kidneys and liver
        NeurontinCymbalta
        No kidneys and liver related info.
        • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
        Pain
        NeurontinCymbalta
        • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
        • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
        Sleep
        NeurontinCymbalta
        • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
        No sleep 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
        Have you used Neurontin (Gabapentin)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Cymbalta (Duloxetine)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it