Viibryd side effects and how to avoid them
Viibryd is a brand-name medication manufactured by Trovis Pharmaceuticals. It is classed as an antidepressant and is used for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). While Viibryd is generally well tolerated, there are some potential side effects that people should be aware of. The most common side effects of Viibryd include nausea, dizziness, and insomnia. Less common, but more serious side effects, can include a reduced sex drive.
Learn more about the side effects of Viibryd and what you can do to avoid them.
What is Viibryd (vilazodone)?
MDD, or depression, is a mental health disorder. It has a range of symptoms, but normally you’re diagnosed with MDD if you have major depressive episodes. These are periods that last at least two weeks where you feel depressed most of the time and your daily life is disrupted. MDD can cause feelings of depression, worthlessness, and guilt. You may experience low energy levels, a lack of interest in activities you previously enjoyed, poor attention, and suicidal thoughts.
Viibryd contains vilazodone an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and partial serotonin receptor agonist as the active ingredient. Viibryd works by increasing the amount of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is released by nerve cells in your brain. Once released, it interacts with other cells in your brain, influencing your mood, your thoughts, and your emotions. When serotonin is released, it’s either used quickly or reabsorbed into the nerve cell that released it. Vilazodone increases your levels of serotonin by stopping it from being reabsorbed.
Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication, including Viibryd, to make sure it is safe for you.
Viibryd is available in the dosages 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg tablets. Viibryd should be started with an initial dose of 10 mg once daily for 7 days, followed by 20 mg once daily for 7 days, and then increased to 40 mg once daily.
You should take Viibryd with food. Taking Viibryd without food can result in inadequate drug concentrations and may reduce its effectiveness. You must reduce the dose gradually when discontinuing treatment. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, however, skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Take your next dose at the usual time.
You are advised to read the full prescribing information and medication guide provided with this medicine for drug information and patient information, and always speak with your healthcare provider for medical advice about any changes to your dose so they can monitor and evaluate your condition.
Viibryd side effects
The most common possible side effects of Viibryd in clinical studies include:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Dry mouth, dizziness
- Abnormal dreams and trouble sleeping
Viibryd can cause more serious side effects, including:
- Worsening of depressive episodes and an increase in suicidal thoughts
- Abnormal orgasm, erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, and ejaculation disorder
- Hyponatremia (abnormally low sodium levels)
- Bloody, black, or tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- Easy bruising and/or bleeding
- Eye pain, blurred vision, seeing halos around lights
If you experience any of these serious side effects, stop taking Viibryd and seek medical attention immediately. You are encouraged to report adverse effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Viibryd drug interactions
Viibryd can interact with other medications including:
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) – isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, phenelzine, selegiline, or tranylcypromine. Do not take vilazodone during the 2 weeks after you stop an MAOI and wait 2 weeks after stopping vilazodone before you start taking an MAOI. You may develop confusion, agitation, stomach or intestinal symptoms, a sudden high body temperature, extremely high blood pressure, or severe seizures
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – ibuprofen, naproxen
- Blood thinners – warfarin, aspirin (increased risk of bleeding)
- Other drugs that increase serotonin – St. John’s wort, other SSRIs (paroxetine), SNRIs (duloxetine), tryptophan, buspirone, triptans, and amphetamines. The risk of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening problem, may be more likely when you start or increase the dose of these drugs
- Antifungals – fluconazole, ketoconazole, and itraconazole
- Treatments for pain – tramadol
Before taking Viibryd, be sure to tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking to ensure they are safe to take at the same time.
Viibryd warnings & precautions
Don’t take Viibryd if:
- You have had an allergic reaction to Viibryd or any of its ingredients
Talk to your doctor before taking Viibryd if you:
- Have a liver or kidney condition
- Have a personal or family history of angle-closure glaucoma
- Have a history of bipolar disorder, mania, or hypomania, or you or a close family member has had these mental health problems in the past
- Have low salt levels (sodium)
- Are taking a diuretic
- Are older than 65 years of age
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
You should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication, including Viibryd, to make sure it is safe for you.
Other warnings you should know about
- Viibryd can cause withdrawal symptoms upon sudden discontinuation. Symptoms can include headaches, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, feeling dizzy, and irritability
- Viibryd may cause adolescents and young adults to become agitated, irritable, to have suicidal thoughts, or to become more depressed
How to avoid Viibryd side effects
The best way to avoid side effects is to take Viibryd as directed by your doctor. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and do not take more or less than prescribed.
If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to recommend ways to help reduce or prevent some of the side effects.
1. Stick to the recommended dosage
Take your prescribed dose of Viibryd that has been recommended by your healthcare professional. Do not take more or less than prescribed.
2. Drink plenty of fluids
Drink eight to 10 glasses of water or fluids every day to help prevent dehydration, which can make side effects worse. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can make you sweat more and contribute to dehydration.
3. Avoid alcohol
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Viibryd as it can increase your risk of side effects.
4. Don’t skip meals
Viibryd should be taken with food. If taken without food the drug’s effectiveness may be diminished due to inadequate drug concentrations.
5. Know the signs and symptoms of Viibryd side effects
Signs and symptoms of side effects include insomnia, nausea, and dizziness, If you experience any of these symptoms speak to your doctor.
6. Monitor your weight
Viibryd may cause weight gain due to an increased appetite. If you experience this side effect while taking Viibryd, get medical advice from your doctor.
7. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking
Be sure to tell your doctor about all other medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements, as they can interact with Viibryd.
8. Get regular medical check ups
If you have side effects it is important to get regular medical check ups and monitor your medical conditions. Your doctor will monitor your condition and may adjust your dose of Viibryd as needed.
A medical professional has reviewed this article.
Dr. Jamie Winn received his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2002 from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, SC. Jamie is a medical reviewer for NiceRx.