Compare Paxil vs. Cymbalta

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

Paxil
(Paroxetine)

Cymbalta
(Duloxetine)

Improves mood and helps you relax. Paxil (Paroxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety but it causes more weight gain, sleepiness, and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.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.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.53Paxil
Reviews for Paxil (Paroxetine)
52%
of people (All ages) say Paxil (Paroxetine) is worth it
39%
say it works well
24%
say it's a big hassle
694 reviews
Have you used Paxil (Paroxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
58%
+6% vs. Paxil (Paroxetine)
49%
+10% vs. Paxil (Paroxetine)
24%
Same vs. Paxil (Paroxetine)
496 reviews
Have you used Cymbalta (Duloxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
PaxilCymbalta
  • Nausea 22%
  • Dry mouth 19%
  • Drowsiness 14%
  • Diarrhea 11%
  • Sweating 10%
  • Dizziness 9%
  • Constipation 7%
  • Blurred vision 6%
  • Decreased appetite 4%
More Paxil side effects »

The Cymbalta FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Cymbalta side effects »
How it works
PaxilCymbalta
Paxil (Paroxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.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
PaxilCymbalta
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
Prescription only
Available as
PaxilCymbalta
  • Pill
  • Extended release tablet
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
PaxilCymbalta
Risk factors for serious side effects
PaxilCymbalta
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Paxil (Paroxetine) suddenly
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
  • History of bipolar disorder
Detailed 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
Detailed risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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
PaxilCymbalta
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
PaxilCymbalta
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
PaxilCymbalta
No pain related info.
  • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
Sleep
PaxilCymbalta
  • It causes drowsiness, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
No sleep related info.
Weight
PaxilCymbalta
  • Can cause weight gain, which can be helpful if you've recently lost weight or have a low appetite.
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) or make you feel sick if you miss a dose than other antidepressants.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
PaxilCymbalta
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression and anxiety disorders, including OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
  • It causes drowsiness, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Can cause weight gain, which can be helpful if you've recently lost weight or have a low appetite.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • 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.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides and risks
PaxilCymbalta
  • Can cause more sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate than most antidepressants.
  • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) or make you feel sick if you miss a dose than other antidepressants.
  • Can harm an unborn child, so you can't take it if you're pregnant.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than age 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.
  • 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
PaxilCymbalta
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • The controlled-release (CR) tablet can cause less nausea than other forms.
  • Don’t crush, break, or chew the Paxil (Paroxetine) controlled-release tablet or the Pexeva film-coated tablets.
  • It’s best to take Paxil (Paroxetine) in the morning, except Brisdelle, which can be taken at bedtime.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
  • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
Learn more
More about PaxilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Paxil (Paroxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cymbalta (Duloxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it