Viibryd (Vilazodone Hydrochloride) is primarily used in treating major depressive disorder in adults. The medication belongs to a class called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors prevent the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, thereby increasing the levels of serotonin available for neurotransmission, and alleviating symptoms of depression.

The medication has an active ingredient called vilazodone which belongs to a group known as miscellaneous antidepressants.

Viibryd works by blocking the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, leading to an increase in serotonin concentration in the synaptic gap. The high levels of serotonin allow more of it to bind to postsynaptic receptors, therefore, enhancing serotonin neurotransmission.

Additionally, Viibryd acts as a partial agonist at the serotonin 1 receptor, aiding in the release of serotonin. Consequently, it offers a more balanced increase in neurotransmission contributing to its antidepressant and anxiolytic effects.

Viibryd Precautions and Warnings

  • Hyponatremia: Viibryd usage may cause hyponatremia, particularly in elderly individuals with hypertension.
  • Driving or Operating Heavy Machinery: Using Viibryd may cause drowsiness or dizziness in some patients, therefore, avoid operating heavy machinery, driving, or engaging in any activities that require your attention.
  • Sexual Dysfunction: Viibryd causes decreased interest in sexual intercourse or inability to have an orgasm in women and failure to achieve or maintain an erection in men.
  • Serotonin Syndrome: Administering Viibryd medication can trigger serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition.
  • Increased Bleeding: Drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake inhibition, such as Viibryd, increase the risk of bleeding complications.
  • Angle-Closure Glaucoma: Pupillary dilation that may result from using Viibryd can trigger angle-closure glaucoma in individuals with anatomically narrow angles who have undergone patent iridectomy.
  • Mania or Hypomania disorder: Using Viibryd to treat depressive disorder in patients with bipolar disorder may increase manic or hypomanic episodes.

Side Effects of Viibryd

While Viibryd medication is effective in decreasing depressive symptoms, like all medications it carries the risk of side effects that can either be mild or severe. By recognizing and addressing potential side effects early on, patients can optimize their experience with Viibryd and improve treatment outcomes.

Common Side Effects

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Joint pain
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Profuse sweating

Severe Side Effects

  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Eye conditions; pain in your eyes, having blurry vision, and seeing halos around lights.
  • Insomnia
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Allergic reactions
  • Hyponatremia
  • Increased bleeding complications such as frequent nose bleeding and bruising
  • Anxiety
  • Sexual dysfunction. In males, symptoms include decreased sex drive, problems getting or keeping an erection, and delayed ejaculation, while in females symptoms include inability to have orgasm or decreased sex drive.
  • Discontinuation syndrome. Symptoms may include anxiety, tiredness, seizures, agitation and irritability, and nausea.
  • Mania or hypomania in patients having a history of bipolar disorder
  • Chest pain

Drug Interactions with Viibryd

Viibryd may interact with various drugs and supplements potentially altering their effects or causing adverse reactions. Understanding potential interaction helps you prevent complications and optimize treatment outcomes.

Drug Interaction
PhenelzineTaking phenelzine with Viibryd increases serotonin levels in your blood, potentially causing side effects such as fever, hallucinations, agitation, and profuse sweating.
AmitriptylineThe interaction between amitriptyline and Viibryd increases the risk of cardiovascular effects such as arrhythmias, which may lead to palpitations, dizziness, or even fainting.
WarfarinCombining aspirin with Viibryd increases the risk of bleeding, including gastrointestinal bleeding. This may manifest as prolonged bleeding from bruises, cuts, nosebleeds, and the presence of blood in the urine or stool.
FurosemideConcurrent use of Viibryd and Furosemide can lead to electrolyte imbalance such as hyponatremia, which may increase side effects like seizure, coma, confusion, headaches, and difficulty concentrating.
KetoconazoleAdministering ketoconazole with Viibryd can intensify side effects such as insomnia, dizziness, headaches, nausea, and gastrointestinal disturbances.
SumatriptanUsing these two medications at the same time increases serotonin levels in the brain causing symptoms like high blood pressure, hyperthermia, muscle rigidity, hallucinations, and agitation. In severe cases, it may lead to convulsions or loss of consciousness.

Strengths and Dosages of Viibryd

Age Dosage   No. of Times a Day
 Initial Dosage Maintenance Dosage Maximum Dosage  
Adult10 mg for 7 days20 mg for 7 days40 mg for 7 daysOnce per day

The dosage of Viibryd depends on various factors such as the severity of your condition, other medications you are currently taking, and your age.

Your healthcare provider will likely recommend starting with a low dosage of Viibryd and adjusting it gradually to find the optimal dosage for you. The aim is to prescribe the smallest dose that achieves the desired effects.

Take Viibryd once daily by mouth with food to allow the body to absorb the drug better. Viibryd will not work well on an empty stomach. Taking Viibryd with food also helps reduce side effects like vomiting and nausea.

Try taking your dose simultaneously each day to maintain a consistent level of the medication in your body. If you have difficulty swallowing the tablet you can chew, crush, or cut it.

Cost of Viibryd in the USA

The price for a 30-tablet supply of Viibryd oral medication, 10 mg strength, is $375. This cost can vary depending on the pharmacy you buy the medication. These prices are typically for individuals paying out-of-pocket, and may not apply if you have medical insurance coverage.

Why is Viibryd so Expensive?

Viibryd is a brand-name medication. Brand-name medications are usually expensive due to the perceived value associated with the brand.

The medication has a unique mechanism of action, which involves both partial agonism at the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor and serotonin reuptake inhibition. Testing and developing a drug with this mechanism adds complexity and cost to the research and development process hence its high cost.

The high cost of Viibryd is also due to the complex market dynamics involving negotiations with manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, insurers, and pharmacies, all of which influence its pricing strategies.

Viibryd Alternatives

Different alternative antidepressants to Viibryd are available that offer diverse mechanisms of action and side effect profiles, providing doctors and patients with options to tailor treatment plans for individual needs. Exploring these alternatives allows for personalized approaches to managing depression and related mood disorders.

Viibryd alternatives include:

Viibryd FAQs

How is Viibryd different from other SSRIs?

Unlike other SSRIs, Viibryd uses a dual mechanism of action.  It acts as both a partial agonist at the 5-HT1A receptor and inhibits the reuptake of serotonin, which enhances its antidepressant effects.

How long does Viibryd take to work?

It can take 6 to 8 weeks for you to experience the full therapeutic effects of Viibryd.

How long does Viibryd stay in your system?

Viibryd can stay in your system for approximately 25 hours after taking the last dose.

How long does Viibryd withdrawal last?

Ideally, Viibryd withdrawal is expected to last around 8 weeks. It might extend up to 1 year depending on individual factors like health conditions, dosage, and duration of use of the medication.

What should you avoid with Viibryd?

Avoid taking alcohol, grapefruit or grapefruit juice, medications like MAO inhibitors, and blood thinners medications as they may intensify side effects.

How to taper off Viibryd?

To taper off Viibryd, patients having 40 mg once per day should reduce the dosage to 20 mg daily for 4 days, followed by 10 mg once per day for 3 days. If you are taking 20 mg once per day, you should reduce your dose to 10 mg once per day for 7 days.

What happens when you stop taking Viibryd?

If you stop taking Viibryd, it can result in withdrawal symptoms such as nightmares, nausea, prickling, feeling dizzy, headache, and irritability.

Who makes Viibryd?

Viibryd is manufactured by a pharmaceutical company known as Allergen Sales.

What are the common side effects of Viibryd?

The common side effects of Viibryd include nausea, vomiting, confusion, headaches, mania, allergic reactions, dry mouth, vomiting, insomnia, increased bleeding, and anxiety.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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