Which antidepressant is better for energy, Cymbalta or Effexor? 

Which antidepressant is better for energy, Cymbalta or Effexor?

Cymbalta (Duloxetine) and Effexor (Venlafaxine) both can increase your energy levels, elevate your mood, and reduce your depression. Which one of these two is better for you, it totally depends on your symptoms and how well your body tolerates these antidepressants. 

Cymbalta and Effexor are not that different from one another and they belong to the same class of antidepressants – Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). However, people respond differently to these meds. 

Cymbalta and high energy levels

Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a good choice of antidepressant and it is generally well tolerated. Cymbalta can improve energy levels and fatigue in depressed individuals. 

According to research studies, treatment with Cymbalta can start improving energy levels in just a week and it continues to do so as the treatment progresses (1).  However, research also shows that Cymbalta can trigger exhaustion and sleepiness in some people.

There are plenty of such cases reported in which users felt excessive tiredness and fatigue on this antidepressant, and they didn’t even feel like standing up or engaging in their daily life activities. 

Such people won’t tell you – for sure – that Cymbalta can help increase your energy levels. On the other hand, we do see some cases in which Cymbalta acted like a life-saving antidepressant and it made them feel like themselves again. 

Effexor and high energy levels

Effexor is considered a good antidepressant for increasing energy levels and motivation. This antidepressant can also increase productivity in depressed patients. A research review indicates that Effexor along with a good exercise regimen can help significantly improve energy levels in depressed patients. 

However, Effexor can significantly affect sleep architecture in some people and inadequate sleep leads to extreme fatigue the next day. People who did feel energetic suffered from insomnia, and their high energy levels started to decline as the treatment continued. 

Effexor can also cause sedation and laziness in some individuals, who generally feel low on energy. However, most of the side effects are expected to go away within a few weeks. 

So, which one of these two antidepressants is best for you? 

That totally depends on how you feel. Determining the best antidepressant is a trial and error process, and it may take multiple attempts to find the one that suits you best. 

If your body settles on Cymbalta and you feel good, it’s best to stick to it – for as long as it works. If you feel better on Effexor, then you should keep taking it. 

It totally depends on how your body responds when you take these meds and which one of them compliments your physiological composition. 

Make sure you consult your healthcare provider if you wish to switch to another antidepressant or if your current one makes you feel lethargic all the time. 

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Harada E, Kato M, Fujikoshi S, Wohlreich MM, Berggren L, Tokuoka H. Changes in energy during treatment of depression: an analysis of duloxetine in double-blind placebo-controlled trials. Int J Clin Pract. 2015 Oct;69(10):1139-48. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12658. Epub 2015 May 16. PMID: 25980552; PMCID: PMC4682452. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4682452/


Marin H, Menza MA. Specific treatment of residual fatigue in depressed patients. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2004 Sep;1(2):12-8. PMID: 21197374; PMCID: PMC3012615. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3012615/

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