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Vilazodona (antidepressant) uses and side effects

Vilazodona (antidepressant) uses and side effects

May 24, 2022

One of the characteristics of pharmacological treatments is that they do not always act in the same way in all patients. Hence the need to have a wide variety of medicines that can be adjusted to the specific needs of each person.

In the case of antidepressants, vilazodone is one of the drugs that are included in the wide range of medicines exist to combat depression. In this article we will analyze its characteristics, administration form, possible side effects and precautions that must be taken during its consumption.

  • Related article: "Types of antidepressants: characteristics and effects"

What is vilazodone?

Vilazodone, known commercially under the name of Viibryd, is an antidepressant drug developed and marketed in the United States since 2011 , moment in which it was approved by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


This medication, approved for use in the treatment of major depressive disorder, is characterized by a combination of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a partial serotonin receptor agonist, and buspirone, an anxiolytic agent that enhances the effects of the SSRI.

Vilazodone works by helping restore the balance of a number of brain substances, including increasing the amount of serotonin in our brain. Due, this antidepressant medication promotes the maintenance of mental balance .

In the same way, some of the main effects that vilazodone exerts on the mental health of the person include improvement in mood, favors the regulation and improvement of sleep cycles, increases appetite and energy levels and Finally, it can help restore the person's interest in the activities of their daily life.


Finally, studies on the effectiveness of this drug have not shown results that favor vilazodone against another type of antidepressant; therefore, its administration or prescription is subject to the preferences of the professional who prescribes it.

In what cases is it administered?

As mentioned in the previous point, vilazodone is used as one of the drugs of choice for the treatment of major depression and depressive syndromes . These disorders are characterized by psychological or mental disorders in which the person experiences negative feelings and sadness permanently and acutely.

In a large number of occasions, the emotional symptoms of depression are accompanied by low self-esteem, a decrease or loss of interest in those activities or tasks that were previously stimulating or attractive, a decrease in energy and a feeling of constant fatigue and , finally, experimentation of physical pains without apparent cause such as gastric pains.


Depressive disorders, as well as those syndromes or conditions with depressive symptomatology, can become an obstacle to the patient's daily life, generating interferences in their daily activities, modifying their routines, as well as their eating habits, sleep cycles and health in general. If left untreated, the symptoms may worsen to the point that, between 2 and 7% of people with depression come to resort to suicide as a way to end the suffering experienced.

How is it administered?

The vilazodone It is marketed in tablet format for oral administration . The usual dose of this drug is one tablet a day, always ingested at the same time and preferably accompanied by food.

However, this is about general management recommendations. Habitually, the medical professional will adjust the treatment dose to the needs of the patient , which must follow the instructions of this letter to the letter. This means that under no circumstances can the patient modify the recommended dose of vilazodone, neither by excess nor by defect.

Because vilazodone belongs to the category of psychiatric medication, it is very possible that the treatment starts gradually, starting with smaller doses which increase as the first weeks of treatment go by.

The effects of vilazodone can take up to eight weeks to be perceived by the patient, so that, whether it does not experience improvement or if it perceives a side effect, the patient you should never stop taking the medication or alter the dose without first consulting your doctor . The consequences associated with the sudden withdrawal of vilazodone can include severe headaches, mood disorders, strong fits of anger, dizziness, agitation, increased sweating or convulsive episodes, among many others.

What side effects does it present?

As with any type of medication, both psychiatric and otherwise, the administration of vilazodone can lead to a series of unwanted side effects that, depending on the intensity and duration with which they are experienced, can be substantially annoying.

The side effects of vilazodone can be classified among those that are not considered serious, so do not require immediate medical attention and those, more serious, in which it is necessary to consult the doctor urgently.

1. Non-serious side effects

Less serious side effects are the following.

  • Dizziness .
  • Dry mouth.
  • Increase in appetite
  • Gases and flatulence.
  • Heartburn.
  • Feeling of pain or tingling in hands or feet.
  • Joint pain .
  • Uncontrollable shaking or trembling.
  • Dreams of strange content.
  • Alterations in sexual desire and capacity .

2. Serious side effects

Among the side effects of vilazodone that have a greater severity, the following stand out.

  • Skin disorders such as rashes, hives or skin spots.
  • Inflammation.
  • Respiratory problems .
  • Fainting and loss of knowledge.
  • Convulsions
  • Fever .
  • Cardiac disorders such as rapid and irregular heartbeats.
  • Intense muscle stiffness .
  • Diarrhea.
  • Nausea and / or vomiting .
  • Nasal bleeding.
  • Bleeding or bruising without apparent cause.
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches .
  • Problems of memory, concentration or coordination.
  • Muscular weakness.
  • Clumsy and falling movements.

What precautions should be taken with their consumption?

It is necessary that, before starting the vilazodone treatment, the patient inform the medical professional of any special health condition where you are, as well as the consumption of any other type of drug, with or without a prescription. This precaution is especially important in cases of treatments with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO).

In addition, the patient should also inform the specialist if they suffer from any allergy or if they are taking any type of vitamin supplement or natural herbal complexes, as these may cause interference with the action of vilazodone.

With regard to pregnant patients or who plan a pregnancy during the time of treatment lasts, the administration of vilazodona is not recommended at this time, especially in the last months of pregnancy, since it has been shown that it can cause problems in newborns.

Finally, vilazodone can cause a feeling of drowsiness, so those patients who include driving or handling heavy machinery in their daily routine should pay special attention to these symptoms and, as far as possible, stop these activities during treatment. .


Viibryd Side Effects, Link To Pancreatitis & Lawsuits (May 2022).


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