Viibryd: A Guide On The Drug And Using CBD As A Replacement

Major Depression Disorder (MDD) is a severe clinical condition for which strong antidepressant drugs should be prescribed. More than 16 million people in the United States (about 7 percent of the US adult population) have experienced a major depressive situation in 2017!

Nowadays also, a lot of people are suffering from chronic pains. Some of them are diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or Fibromyalgia with similar symptoms. Statistics from an institute of medicine (IMO) showed about 1-2.5 million people in the US are suffering from CFS/ME in 2015.

Strong antidepressant medications are very common drugs not only for treating depression but also for CFS and ME.

One of these antidepressant medications is Viibryd. Not only is Viibryd good for treating pain but can also be prescribed for depression. Though Viibryd seems to be an effective drug, there are still many patients who prefer natural substitutes rather than chemical compounds.

In that regard, you probably have heard about CBD, CBD oil, hemp oil, and similar products as natural substitutes for treating pain, anxiety, depression and so on.

In this article, we talk about Viibryd, its usages, and side effects and we also compare it with some other chemical medications in the same group. More importantly, we describe what CBD is, what’s it good for and why you may want to consider it as a natural substitute for treatment of certain medical conditions.

One natural medication that can be used instead of Viibryd is CBD! Read more about both of these medications.

About Viibryd 

Viibryd with a molecular formula of C26H27N5O2 Also called 2-benzofurancarboxamide, 5-[4-[4-(5-cyano-1H-indol-3-yl) butyl]-1-piperazinyl]-, hydrochloride (1:1) is categorized as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It is the united states brand name for the generic medication called Vilazodone.

Viibryd needs a prescription! Since we mentioned serotonin, you should know that Serotonin along with two other chemicals, called norepinephrine and dopamine are involved in the regulation of mood.

They are called neurotransmitters and brain cells send the message to one another using these neurotransmitters.

The antidepressant medications except for tricyclics are basically categorized based on their effects on these molecules. SSRI medications inhibit the reuptake of serotonin and therefore more serotonin will be available to the body which results in better the mood. Viibryd does more than reuptake serotonin though.

It targets some serotonin receptors as well.

Namely, Viibryd is high-affinity 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist! If you are more interested in the science behind Viibryd’s mechanism of action, check here. Viibryd is offered in tablets with 10, 20 and 40 mg active ingredient.

This drug was developed by Merck and licensed by another biotech company called Clinical Data which was acquired by Forest Laboratories.

Vilazodone was approved in 2011 by the FDA. For 30 tablets, Viibryd can cost between $150-300. Of course, what you end up paying out of pocket depends very much on your insurance. Similar to many other drugs, there is discounts program available for those who are eligible.

Click here to see if you can leverage this program.

The Main Ingredient 

The active ingredient of Viibryd is vilazodone hydrochloride.

Other than this active ingredient, similar to many other medical pills, there are inactive ingredients in viibryd pills including lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, polyvinyl, colloidal silicon dioxide, alcohol, titanium dioxide, talc, polyethylene glycol and FDA certified food colors (FD&C)!

What Does It Treat? 


Viibryd is used to treat MDD and as we mentioned earlier, in some case, it can be used to treat certain chronic pains, namely, the CFS, ME or Fibromyalgia. Research studies have indicated that Viibryd is effective in treating MDD and the fact that its a well-tolerated drug.

When it comes to treatment of depression using an antidepressant, it is good to have a basic knowledge of different types of medications.

Medications for the treatment of depression include but not limited to the following: SSRIs such as Celexa, Prozac, Paxil, Pexeva, Zoloft, and Lexapro. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as Cymbalta, Effexor XR, Pristiq, Fetzima. Tricyclic antidepressants such as Tofranil, Pamelor, Surmontil, and Vivactil.

Tricyclics are very potent but they have more and severe side effects. There are other types of antidepressants such as Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) which are very effective but need very strict diet regimens due to possible drug-food interactions! We will talk more about MAOIs and importance of switching Viibryd either to or from an MAOI drug.

Diagnosing depression depends on various tests by the doctors which may include physical exams, lab tests, psychiatric evaluations such as feelings, and also behavior patterns and finally using the guidance published by the APA (American Psychiatric Association) called Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-5)!

To know some of these symptoms, doctors may ask you to fill out a questionnaire! If you are told by your doctor that you suffer from MDD, here is what you need to know about it: MDD, also known as clinical depression, is a major medical condition affecting life in many ways on a daily basis.

Some of the signs and symptoms that may suggest MDD situation include the following bullet points. Please be advised that this is not an exhaustive list.

  • Having feelings of sadness almost every day
  • A sudden change in appetite in either direction
  • Losing or gaining a lot of weight in a short period of time
  • Thoughts of committing suicide
  • Difficulties with concentrating on activities
  • Not being able to make decisions
  • Showing less and less interest in doing things once you enjoyed doing

The Benefits of Viibryd 

As mentioned before Viibryd can be used to treat multiple conditions including MDD and certain chronic pains. The big difference between Viibryd and other SSRIs is the way Viibryd works.

Read more to learn about Viibryd mode of action. Viibryd targets more than reuptake which all SSRI drugs do! Brain cell sends messages to each other using neurotransmitters such as serotonin.

Unfortunately, serotonin levels are not common enough in the body or even if there is, they are not being used properly. Shortage of serotonin means brain cells can not signal each other due to lack of enough power.

Drugs that slow reuptake keeps neurons from snatching away the neurotransmitter and therefore giving it more time to deliver the message to another cell.

This is the action of SSRIs. We can also think of the neuron which is the message receiver.

There are certain serotonin receptors in the body which could be locked, and get open only with certain chemical keys! Interestingly Viibryd can target some of the serotonin receptors and open them to ease the flow of messaging between cells!

This mode of action makes Viibryd an efficient drug! To read more about how Viibryd works and check out some studies related to that, click here.

The Recommended Viibryd Dosage 

The recommended dosage for Viibryd is anything from 20 mg to 40 mg once in a day and preferably with one of the meals. It is important to note that higher dosages such 40 mg should not be initiated immediately.

Usually, the regimen starts with 10 mg oral dose once a day for 7 days and then an increase to 20 mg and subsequently to 40 mg.

It is recommended to include 7 days between the dosage increase. Obviously, the dosage is prescribed by your doctor. It is really important to remember your last dosage and when you took it! If for whatever reason you forgot if you took the drug or not, you must take the drug at the next dose!

Taking two doses should be avoided as it could be really dangerous especially when you are taking 40 mg per day. Other precautions include not taking any MAOIs, including linezolid (an antibiotic) with Viibryd unless there are 14 days after or before taking it.

In other words, there must be at least 14 days between discontinuation of an MAOI and initiation of Viibryd or at least 14 days must pass after stopping Viibryd and before starting an MAOI antidepressant. This is particularly important because your health care provider may want to try different antidepressants to check their efficacy on your situation.

The Viibryd Equivalents 

There are several antidepressant drugs of which some are prescribed for MDD. These can be considered as Viibryd alternatives. For example, Cymbalta, Effexor, Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, Pexeva, and Zoloft. Bellow, we compare Cymbalta and Effexor with Viibryd. Viibryd vs.


Viibryd is mainly prescribed for MDD. Cymbalta however, is an antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and pain-relieving drug! Cymbalta has been associated though with a discontinuation syndrome on withdrawal even when tapered!

Cymbalta can be prescribed for MDD along with chronic pains, anxiety, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and back pain. The dosage for Cymbalta is 60mg as opposed to 10-40 mg for Viibryd. Like many other antidepressants, both drugs are in category C for pregnancy warnings (category C means risk cannot be ruled out).

Viibryd vs. Effexor 

Although Viibryd is mainly prescribed for MDD, Effexor is prescribed for Autism, Bulimia, and Postpartum Depression as well. Viibryd is an SSRI but Effexor is an SNRI or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) which means it increases the concentrations of both neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the body and the brain!

Effexor half-life is way shorter in the body compared to Viibryd (4 hours vs 25 hours!). Effexor is also in category C for pregnancy warnings.

What Are The Viibryd Side Effects 

Antidepressant drugs often have side effects associated with them. Type of side effects, severity, and length of them depend on the type of antidepressant, genetics of the patient and other variables.

Common Side Effects 

Viibryd is an SSRI drug and fortunately, its side effects are not as much as other antidepressants. Some of the common side effects are listed below:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • insomnia
  • nightmares/abnormal dreams
  • Vomiting
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • High body temperature
  • Agitation
  • Tremor
  • Dilated pupil

Severe Side Effects 

Viibryd causes few serious adverse effects including:

  • Pneumonia
  • Suicidal ideation (increased risk of suicidality in patients 24 years and younger)

Some side effects that are rare but could be severe include:

  • Acute inflammation of the pancreas
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Low blood sodium
  • Seizures

Viibryd Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms 

Withdrawing an antidepressant may cause abnormal physical or psychological signs and symptoms. Viibryd withdrawal timelines and symptom vary from patient to patient.

Some common symptoms include sweating, vomiting, anxiety, Muscle painInsomniaYou should make sure to taper off Viibryd dose under your doctor’s supervision to experience less harsh effects.

CBD: The Natural Alternative 


CBD is a natural constituent of the herbs cannabis and hemp. Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species grown specifically for industrial use of its derived products such as CBD. One of the other constituents of hemp which is more well-known is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Inhalation of THC gives you the feeling of well-being, happiness and “high” per se. Marijuana contains large amounts of THC. Hemp has much more CBD than THC.

CBD is not psychoactive, meaning that it does not make you high though it has several medical benefits and that’s the major difference between CBD and THC.

How CBD Helps With Depression 

CBD interacts with receptors in the brain and immune system. CBD pronounces the effect of serotonin in the body and therefore it can be used as a natural alternative to SSRIs such as Viibryd. CBD helps relieve pain and anxiety, and it betters the mood.

The main goal of antidepressant drugs but through a natural compound. Imagine that! You may find a list of several studies on the effect of CBD on depression here.

Where To Buy CBD 

CBD is available in different forms and different types of products such as tinctures, tropicals, oils, vape pens, transdermal patches, and even infused edibles! CBD is available in different forms such as oil, cream or pills. Variety of brands are available through Amazon and Groupon. Even CBD lollipops are available. Check these out.

Should You Choose CBD Over Viibryd? 

CBD is not habit forming, it is effective in treating moderate to severe pain and its natural. More important than that, It’s not addictive and it doesn’t need a doctor’s prescription. Studies have shown that CBD improves depressive symptoms and it is indeed effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression.

Though Viibryd is a powerful antidepressant drug, it still shows side effects, it is not cheap, and it needs a prescription! CBD is a natural alternative to treat depression which is available through online stores.

As always, it is very important that you take caution when deciding to take any medication, or natural compound to treat your disease symptoms.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for information purpose only. It is not a substitute for professional advice. For medical conditions related to depression, you must consult with your health care provider. Never try a prescription medicine without consulting with your doctor.

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