Anxiety Community
23k Members
Avatar universal

Cymbalta VS. Lexapro & Wellbutrin

I'm wondering if anybody has had experience in taking Cymbalta for anxiety and depression.  I took Lexapro for several years and it stopped working, so I tried Zoloft this summer, which didn't help my anxiety at all, so now I'm back on the Lexapro and Buspar.  I feel better than I did a few months ago in terms of anxiety, but nowhere near as well as I did in the past, and now my depression is horrible.  I barely get out of bed most days because I just don't seem to care about anything anymore.  

My psychiatrist gave me the option of adding Wellbutrin to Lexapro to see if that helps the depression, or to switch from Lexarpo to Cymbalta or Prozac, and continue taking the Buspar.  I've taken Buspar twice and have never noticed a difference in my anxiety level.  I told my psychiatrist that my regular MD said Wellbutrin would likely have more negative side effects than other drugs, which is why she never prescribed it in the past.  (I have a very difficult time with SSRI's.)  I told her it may be worth trying this, though, while I'm still on the Lexapro and have spent a lot of time adjusting, or I'm willing to try the Cymbalta, whichever she felt was the better choice.  

She wrote me a prescription for Cymbalta, so I would assume she feels that's the best option.  I'm just wondering if anybody has had better success with one over the other when it comes to both anxiety and depression.  I really need to get my depression under control, but anxiety is the first issue, as that's what caused the depression.  
7 Responses
136956 tn?1425609872
I too Wellbutrin for around 4yrs and it worked well up until this year. I started to get panic attacks out of nowhere and my anxiety got worse. It was amazing for depression but unfortunately the anxiety was overwhelming.

I was supposed to go on the Cymbalta for Anxiety but my family GP never gave it to me so I too am wondering if that one is good for GAD. I was told that I would stop having anxiety with this one for sure, so I feel that I should explore that option as well.
Avatar universal
My psychiatrist said that Cymbalta targets both seretonin and norephinephrine, so it is generally better for treating patients who have both depression and anxiety.  I'm torn, though, because I'm taking Lexapro and while I don't feel great in terms of anxiety, I am not in a constant state of anxiety, like I was a few months ago.  If I start Wellbutrin, it will be in addition to the Lexapro, so I feel like the only thing I would have to lose by trying it is some bad side effects.  If I switch to Cymbalta, I will likely have bad side effects (it's inevitable for me, as I have a really hard time with drugs) and wonder if I will revert back to a more constant state of anxiety if the drug doesn't work.  Before I was taking Xanax almost every day just to be calm at home.  Now, I usually feel decent at home, and can manage to at least do earrands without feeling horrible.  The psychiatrist already called in a prescription for Cymbalta, so I feel bad about wavering, but I am wondering if I wouldn't be better off trying the Wellbutrin, since I've adjusted to the Lexapro, and then if it doesn't work, going on Cymbalta.  

I have heard that Wellbutrin is more of a stimulant, and that many people with anxiety don't do that well on it.  I'd be curious to find out why your GP has been reluctant to prescribe Cymbalta.  I'm really torn right now.  
136956 tn?1425609872
Sorry what I meant to say is my therapist told my gp to put me on cymbalta but never did and I didn't push it as I know you can't drink when taking it and I drink wine every once in a while.

I will get on it to see.

I know how you feel I have had a bad o at drugs and they just dot seem to work for me. Wellbutrin worked amazing for depression that's it.

Avatar universal
I hope they come up with a good solution for you.  It's so frustrating trying to find the right one.  Fortunately, when I first had anxiety, I only had a few months of "hell" to go through before finding Lexapro.  Now I'm going on a year and I feel like it's a battle that will never end.  Are you taking anything now?  Wellbutrin is a drug that can be used by itself, or supplemented with another SSRI.  The only drug I've had any luck with for anxiety is Lexapro.  Maybe you could stay on the Wellbutrin and try another drug with it for the anxiety.  A lot of people say Cymbalta is one of the worst experiences they've had, and I know everyone is affected differently, but right now I really think I want to try the Wellbutrin first.  
Avatar universal
You're right about Wellbutrin. It can be more stimulating for some people. Maybe you can start on a very small dose to help with your depression. Ask you Dr about trying the lowest dose first to see how well you do on it.
6877594 tn?1385675830
I know it's late to post,  but did you ever try cymbalta. There's nothing special about it, in fact, I'm going to ask my doc for lexapro, I think he'll give it to me, I can always go elsewhere if he doesn't. Hopefully he will.
Have an Answer?
Top Anxiety Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
370181 tn?1428180348
Arlington, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what can trigger a panic attack – and what to do if you have one.
A guide to 10 common phobias.
Take control of tension today.
These simple pick-me-ups squash stress.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
Want to wake up rested and refreshed?