Compare Pristiq vs. Cymbalta

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

Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)

Prescription only

Cymbalta (duloxetine)

Prescription only
Improves mood.

Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) is basically the same medication as Effexor, which is cheaper because it's available as a generic.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 196 reviewsforPristiq
Improves mood and relieves certain types of pain.

Cymbalta (duloxetine) is good for treating depression, anxiety, and some forms of chronic pain, but it is more likely than other antidepressants to cause problems if you drink alcohol or have high blood pressure.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 496 reviewsforCymbalta
Upsides
  • Effective at relieving symptoms and lowering relapse rates for depression.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) may help relieve nerve pain from diabetes and other forms of chronic pain.
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) has several uses, which may be good for people with multiple conditions.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
Downsides
  • Similar to Effexor, without any extra benefits in clinical studies.
  • Can cause sexual side effects (usually low libido or the inability to have an orgasm or ejaculate).
  • Not available in generic form, so it's more expensive.
  • 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.
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) may not be a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or have liver or kidney problems.
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine) can increase high blood pressure.
  • Like most antidepressants, Cymbalta (duloxetine) can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people aged 24 and younger.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Price
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Reviews
196 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)?

Leave a review
496 reviews so far
58%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
24%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Cymbalta (duloxetine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
17possible side effects
  • Nausea
    22%
  • Dizziness
    13%
  • Dry mouth
    11%
  • Hyperhidrosis
    10%
  • Constipation
    9%
  • Insomnia
    9%
  • Fatigue
    7%
  • Decreased appetite
    5%
  • Somnolence
    4%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Anxiety
    3%
  • Vision blurred
    3%
  • Tremor
    2%
  • Abnormal dreams
    2%
  • Mydriasis
    2%
  • Vertigo
    2%
  • Tinnitus
    2%
See more detailed side effects
12possible side effects
  • Nausea
    23%
  • Headache
    14%
  • Dry mouth
    13%
  • Drowsiness
    10%
  • Fatigue
    9%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    9%
  • Constipation
    9%
  • Dizziness
    9%
  • Diarrhea
    9%
  • Decreased appetite
    7%
  • Excessive sweating
    6%
  • Abdominal pain
    5%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine) suddenly
  • High blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Mania
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, tramadol, fentanyl, amphetamines, certain headache medications (triptans), St. John's Wort
  • Withdrawal
    • Stopping Cymbalta (duloxetine) abruptly
  • Increased bleeding
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs (including aspirin, NSAIDs such as Advil, warfarin)
  • Changes in blood pressure and risk of falls
    • Elderly patients
    • History of gait disturbances
    • Taking more than 60 mg of Cymbalta (duloxetine) daily
    • Taking other medicines that lower blood pressure
    • History of high blood pressure
  • Bipolar disorder
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
See more detailed risks and warnings