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Viibryd vs Lexapro

Drug facts and comparison

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Medically reviewed by  Jamie Winn, PharmD

Uses

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
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  • Major depressive disorder in adults and adolescents at least 12 years old
  • Anxiety in adults
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Summary

Brand name: Viibryd
Brand name: Lexapro
Manufacturer: Trovis Pharmaceuticals llc
Manufacturer: Forest Laboratories
Active ingredient: vilazodone
Active ingredient: escitalopram
Indication: Major depressive disorder (MDD)
Indication: Major depressive disorder in adults and adolescents at least 12 years old Anxiety in adults

Side Effects

Most common

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia

Most serious

  • Worsening of depressive episodes
  • Increase in suicidal thoughts

Most common

  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Heartburn
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble sleeping

More serious

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Sexual problems

Drug Interactions

Severe interactions
  • Medications for depression – escitalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline
  • Protease inhibitor drugs – atazanavir, indinavir, ritonavir
  • Antifungal treatments – itraconazole, ketoconazole
Serious interactions
  • Opioid pain killers – hydrocodone, oxycodone
  • Sulfonylurea antidiabetic medicine – chlorpropamide, glipizide
  • Diuretics – bendroflumethiazide, furosemide
Moderate interactions
  • Medications to treat excessive sleepiness – armodafinil, modafinil
  • Evening primrose
Severe interactions
  • Antipsychotics – clozapine, haloperidol
  • Antiarrhythmics – amiodarone, dronedarone
  • Opioids – buprenorphine, methadone
  • Antibiotics – clarithromycin, erythromycin, ofloxacin
  • Antidepressants – citalopram, fluoxetine, sertraline, venlafaxine
  • Immunosuppressants – fingolimod, siponimod
Serious interactions
  • Diuretics – bendroflumethiazide bumetanide, furosemide
  • NSAIDs – ibuprofen, meloxicam, naproxen
  • Blood thinners – clopidrogel, heparin, warfarin
  • Proton pump inhibitors – esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole
Moderate interactions
  • Cancer treatments – idelalisib and asciminib
  • Anticonvulsants – carbamazepine
  • Antifungals – clotrimazole, itraconazole, miconazole

 

 

 

Warnings

You should not use Viibryd if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient vilazodone
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Viibryd
  • Have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days
  • Are breastfeeding

Talk to your physician before taking Viibryd if you:

  • Have a liver or kidney condition
  • Have previously had mania, bipolar disorder, or seizures or convulsions
  • Have low salt levels (sodium)
  • Are taking a diuretic
  • Are older than 65 years of age
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

You should not use Lexapro if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient escitalopram
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Lexapro
  • If you also take pimozide or citalopram
  • Are breastfeeding

You should talk to your doctor before using Lexapro if you:

  • Have had liver disease
  • Have had kidney disease
  • Have had seizures
  • Have low levels of sodium in your blood
  • Have heart disease
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have had a stroke
  • Have bleeding problems
  • Have sexual problems
  • Have bipolar disorder (manic depression)
  • Have drug addiction or suicidal thoughts

Dosage

40 mg once daily maintenance

10 or 20 mg once daily

Cost

30 Viibryd tablets will cost around $300.

30, 20mg Lexapro tablets will cost around $100

 

FAQs

Viibryd and Lexapro are brand names of oral prescription drugs used to treat Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), a mental health condition. They both belong to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) category of antidepressants.

Are Viibryd and Lexapro the same? Which one should you take? Your healthcare provider will be able to prescribe the best possible medication for your condition but it is important to know the differences between them. To help, here we explain clearly and simply what Viibryd and Lexapro are, how they work, the similarities and differences between them, their side effects, and more. This should provide you with the basics to better understand your options.

What is Viibryd?

Viibryd is the brand name of an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved antidepressant medication for adults containing the active ingredient vilazodone. The drug is classed as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and a partial serotonin 5-HT1A receptor agonist.

It is thought to work by correcting the imbalance of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in your brain. Low levels of serotonin may be linked to symptoms of depression. Due to Viibryd’s ability to activate 5-HT1A receptors, it can also decrease blood pressure and increase calm behavior and have other effects.

What is Lexapro?

Lexapro is the brand name of an FDA-approved drug containing the active ingredient escitalopram. It is also an SSRI antidepressant medication that is used to treat MDD in both adults and adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old.

What conditions are treated with Viibryd?

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (off-license)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (off-license)

What conditions are treated with Lexapro?

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder

What are the possible side effects of Viibryd and Lexapro?

The most common side effects of both drugs are nausea and sleep problems. Some side effects of Viibryd that are different from Lexapro include vision changes, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some side effects of Lexapro that are different from Viibryd include drowsiness, dizziness, upset stomach, and constipation.

Both drugs can cause changes in appetite leading to weight gain or weight loss and dry mouth. Sexual side effects such as reduced sex drive and sexual dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, and problems with ejaculation can also occur with both. Viibryd may have a lower risk of sexual side effects due to its partial 5-HT1A receptor agonist ability.

Drug interactions and adverse effects of Viibryd and Lexapro

  • Angle-closure glaucoma, symptoms may include eye pain, changes in vision, swelling, or redness in or around the eye
  • Serotonin syndrome symptoms, such as palpitations, or irregular heartbeats when taken with sumatriptan, rizatriptan, tramadol, St. John’s wort, triptans, buspirone, and MAOIs
  • Increased risk of bleeding events. The combined use of aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, or naproxen), warfarin, and other anti-coagulants may increase this risk
  • Increase in suicidal thoughts or actions in young adults with bipolar disorder, especially within the first few months of treatment, or when the dose is changed. Viibryd is not recommended for use in children
  • Lexapro is known to potentially cause a heart rhythm disturbance called QT prolongation
  • Viibryd and Lexapro doses should be slowly reduced when coming off the drug. Abrupt discontinuation of antidepressants could increase the risk of withdrawal symptoms

How effective is Viibryd vs Lexapro?

Both drugs have been shown to reduce depression symptoms in comparison to placebo in clinical trials. Either drug is, therefore, a good option but individual response to treatment will determine which drug is best for you. Your healthcare provider will provide you with medical advice on which drug is best for you. They will consider the severity of your condition and symptoms, your tolerance to the medication, your medical history, and other medications, vitamins, and supplements you might be taking.

In a systematic review looking at the efficacy and tolerability of six SSRIs, including escitalopram, it was found that escitalopram was more effective and reduced depression symptoms quicker than other SSRIs.

One small head-to-head study of 60 patients with Viibryd and Lexapro has been done looking at efficacy, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction by using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (ASEX).  Vilazodone was shown to have better efficacy and to cause less weight gain, and sexual dysfunction.

What are some other types of antidepressants?

Various antidepressant medications have been available for the treatment of depression including tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors that were launched in the 1950s, followed by the SSRIs in the 1980s and 1990s, and then the serotonin norepinephrine-reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) in the mid-1990s. Atypical agents, including bupropion (Wellbutrin), have been around for decades.

Some commonly prescribed SSRIs are Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine) Lexapro (escitalopram), Zoloft (sertraline), and Celexa (citalopram).

Elavil (amitriptyline), Silenor (doxepin), and Pamelor (nortriptyline) are commonly prescribed tricyclic antidepressants.

Marplan (isocarboxazid), Nardil (phenelzine), and Emsam (selegiline) are commonly prescribed monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

Common serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) include Cymbalta (duloxetine), Effexor (venlafaxine), and Pristiq (desvenlafaxine).

Can you use Viibryd or Lexapro while pregnant?

There is limited clinical evidence to show that Viibryd or Lexapro are completely safe or dangerous to take during pregnancy. Always consult a healthcare provider for medical advice on taking antidepressants while pregnant.

Can you use Viibryd or Lexapro with alcohol?

Taking Viibryd and Lexapro with alcohol is strongly discouraged by healthcare professionals. They can worsen the effects of alcohol, while alcohol can worsen antidepressant side effects. When you have depression, you have an increased risk of developing a substance use disorder. Mixing Viibryd or Lexapro with alcohol can lead to alcohol abuse, causing you to potentially become alcohol dependent. If you drink and develop an addiction to alcohol, it will become more difficult for you to control your symptoms of depression and to get your alcohol consumption under control.

The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.
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