Cymbalta vs Lexapro Comparison, Differences, Similarities

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Key Takeaways

  • Usage Statistics: In the U.S., Cymbalta had 6.8 million adult prescriptions, 6.7% more than Lexapro.
  • Differential Focus: Cymbalta targets physical symptoms, while Lexapro focuses on fewer side effects.
  • Class and Mechanism: Lexapro is an SSRI, Cymbalta is an SNRI.
  • Dosages and Forms: Varied strengths and forms available for both medications.
  • Applications: Cymbalta for anxiety, fibromyalgia; Lexapro for anxiety disorders, PTSD.

Cymbalta vs Lexapro: In 2017, a comparison was made in the U.S. about these two drugs for depression and anxiety. Cymbalta, also called Duloxetine, was prescribed to 6.8 million adults, 6.7% more than Lexapro. Cymbalta is known for addressing physical symptoms like pain and fatigue.

Cymbalta vs Lexapro

On the other hand, Lexapro, an SSRI, is favored for having fewer side effects. The American Depression and Anxiety Association (ADAA) played a part in this comparison. People consult doctors to decide which drug is best for them, considering family history, finances, and the severity of their symptoms.

In this evaluation, Cymbalta and Lexapro aim to help with symptoms like sadness, worry, loss of interest, and low energy. They offer hope for people dealing with depression and anxiety in the U.S.

Class and mechanism of action of Lexapro and Cymbalta

Cymbalta vs Lexapro

When comparing Lexapro to Cymbalta, it’s essential to understand their drug class and mechanism of action. Lexapro, also known as escitalopram, belongs to the category of medications known as selective serotonin receptor reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The mechanism of action of SSRIs involves an increase in the amount of serotonin in the synapses, a gap between nerve cells, which helps improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Cymbalta, on the other hand, falls under the category of SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), similar to Effexor and Pristiq. SNRIs like Cymbalta influence both serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters by inhibiting their reabsorption. This dual-action mechanism is particularly effective in treating depression and anxiety.

Both Lexapro and Cymbalta, despite their differences in drug class and mechanism of action, are valuable medications for managing mood disorders and are prescribed based on individual indications and patient needs, bearing in mind the brand names Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft within the same drug classes.

Dosages and Forms: Cymbalta vs Lexapro

Cymbalta vs Lexapro

When it comes to drug forms and dosage options for Cymbalta and Lexapro, there are several choices to consider. Cymbalta is available in strengths of 20, 30, and 60 milligrams, typically in capsules.

These varying strengths allow for flexibility in tailoring the dosage to an individual’s needs. On the other hand, Lexapro, also known as escitalopram, comes in tablet form with strengths of 5, 10, and 20 milligrams. The medication form and the specific strength prescribed depend on the patient’s condition, the doctor’s recommendations, and the desired dosage.

These drugs offer multiple forms and strengths to address depression and anxiety effectively, ensuring that individuals receive the appropriate dose for their unique requirements.

Applications of Cymbalta and Lexapro

Cymbalta and Lexapro have a range of uses in treating various conditions. Cymbalta, approved by the FDA, is commonly prescribed for anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia, and neuropathy. It is also effective in managing conditions like urinary incontinence.

Lexapro is frequently used for social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, addressing anxiety and its symptoms. Doctors consider the patient’s health history and diagnosis when recommending these medications and assessing their efficacy in relieving anxiety and pain.

Both drugs play a crucial role in improving the well-being of individuals with these disorders, offering valuable treatment options based on their specific conditions and needs.

Which is better, Cymbalta vs Lexapro?

Regarding anxiety and depression treatment, both Cymbalta and Lexapro are viable options for patients.

While Cymbalta is often favored for its efficacy in addressing depression and its potential to alleviate physical symptoms, Lexapro is known for its milder side effects. Patients experiencing depression may find differences in how these medications affect them, with some responding better to one over the other.

Studies have explored both treatments’ efficacy and side effects, and the choice between them ultimately depends on the individual patient’s needs and preferences, with considerations for withdrawal rates playing a role in the decision-making process.

Effects of Lexapro and Cymbalta

Cymbalta vs Lexapro

The Effects of Lexapro and Cymbalta: When considering the side effects of these medications, it’s important to note that both Lexapro and Cymbalta may have different impacts on individuals. Common side effects of Cymbalta can include drowsiness, headache, nausea, and sleeping disturbances, affecting both men and women.

Additionally, it may influence appetite and blood pressure regulation. On the other hand, Lexapro might lead to side effects such as dysfunction in ejaculation and delayed emptying of the stomach, with potential alterations in serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and responses.

Sweating can also be associated with both medications, and these side effects can vary depending on the specific doses and individual responses to the drugs.

Understanding drug interactions

Cymbalta vs Lexapro

Drug Interactions can have significant consequences when taking multiple medications or supplements. Two commonly prescribed drugs, Cymbalta and Lexapro, are no exception to this concern.

Combining them with MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) like Phenelzine or Emsam can lead to dangerous reactions and risk the individual’s health. Moreover, the use of alcohol while on these medications may increase the risk of side effects or decrease their efficacy.

Patients must consult their doctor and disclose all medications, supplements, and even herbal remedies, such as St. John’s Wort, to avoid potentially harmful drug interactions that can result in treatment failure or adverse effects on their well-being. John, along with many other subjects, must remain vigilant in managing their medicines to ensure the safety and effectiveness of their treatment.


When comparing Cymbalta vs Lexapro, it’s clear that both medications significantly treat anxiety and mood disorders in adults. Both drugs target neurotransmitter concentration at the synapse, albeit through different mechanisms due to their distinct drug classes.

Doctors consider various aspects, including the specific condition and individual factors, when determining the appropriate dosage and prescription medication. However, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects associated with these medications.

Patients should consult with their doctor to make an informed decision about which medication best suits their needs, addressing the complexities of mood disorders and anxiety in a manner that ensures their well-being.


  • Sehrish Kiran

    With years of experience in research and writing, I have honed my skills to provide valuable insights and captivating content. My journey through different fields and topics has equipped me with a well-rounded perspective that enriches my articles.

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