Compare Cymbalta vs. Pristiq

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

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Cymbalta (duloxetine)

Prescription only

Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)

Prescription only
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
Improves mood.

Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) is an effective medicine for treating depression, but it is more expensive than many other medicines that work just like it.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 196 reviewsforPristiq
Upsides
  • 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.
  • You only need to take Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) once a day.
  • May be taken with or without food.
  • Less sedating than other anti-depressants.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Like most anti-depressants, full effect on mood takes up to 12 weeks.
  • Can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and/or behavior in yound adults 24 years and younger.
  • Can affect your sex drive and ability to get an erection.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended-release pill
Price
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Reviews
496 reviews so far
58%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
24%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Cymbalta (duloxetine)?

Leave a review
196 reviews so far
53%
saidit'sworth it
49%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)?

Leave a review
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
17possible side effects
  • Nausea
    22%
  • Dizziness
    13%
  • Dry mouth
    11%
  • Excessive sweating
    10%
  • Constipation
    9%
  • Inability to sleep
    9%
  • Tiredness
    7%
  • Decreased appetite
    5%
  • Drowsiness
    4%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Anxiety
    3%
  • Blurry vision
    3%
  • Tremor
    2%
  • Abnormal dreams
    2%
  • Dilated pupils
    2%
  • Vertigo
    2%
  • Ringing in ears
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 or younger
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking other medicines that also increase serotonin activity: Antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs)
    • lithium
    • tramadol
    • Imitrex
    • Remeron
    • Lexapro
    • Dilaudid
  • Increased blood pressure
    • People with a history of high blood pressure or other heart conditions
  • Increased bleeding risk
    • Taking NSAIDS, blood thinners, or aspirin
  • Low sodium levels in blood
    • Older people
    • Taking diuretics
  • Stopping Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) too quickly
    • Taking the medicine for a long time
    • Stopping Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) too quickly
See more detailed risks and warnings