If you have depression, your medical professional might recommend that you take a prescription drug called Viibryd.

Viibryd is an antidepressant. It’s used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. MDD is commonly referred to as clinical depression.

Viibryd comes as a tablet that you swallow. It’s typically used as a long-term treatment.

The active drug in Viibryd is vilazodone. If you’d like to learn more about Viibryd, you can see this overview of the medication.

As with other drugs, taking Viibryd may cause side effects that can be mild or serious. For more information, we encourage you to keep reading.

While taking Viibryd, mild or serious side effects may occur.

Here are some examples of side effects commonly reported with Viibryd treatment:

* To learn more about this side effect, you can see the “Side effects up close” section below.

These are only a few of the side effects that can happen with Viibryd. We suggest you keep reading to learn about other possible mild and serious side effects that Viibryd may cause.

You may experience mild side effects from Viibryd.

Examples of mild side effects reported with Viibryd include:

* To learn more about this side effect, you can see the “Side effects up close” section below.

In most cases, the mild side effects of Viibryd should be temporary. Some may be easily managed as well. But if you have any symptoms that continue or bother you, we encourage you to talk with your medical professional or pharmacist. Also, it’s important that you do not stop taking Viibryd unless your medical professional recommends it.

It’s possible that Viibryd can cause mild side effects other than the ones listed above. You can see the Viibryd medication guide for more information.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a medication, it tracks and reviews side effects of the drug. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Viibryd, you can visit MedWatch.

Although rare, Viibryd may cause serious side effects.

Serious side effects reported with Viibryd include:

If you develop serious side effects while taking Viibryd, it’s important to call your medical professional immediately. If you feel the side effects are life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency, it’s vital to call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

* To learn more about this side effect, you can see the “FAQs about Viibryd side effects” section below.
Viibryd has a boxed warning for this side effect. The warning appears on the drug’s label and alerts you to possible serious risks. To learn more, you can see the “Side effects up close” section below.
‡ An allergic reaction is possible after taking Viibryd. But this side effect wasn’t reported in studies. To learn more about it, you can see the “Side effects up close” section below.

We share answers below to some frequently asked questions about the side effects of Viibryd.

Do Viibryd’s side effects go away?

In most cases, Viibryd’s side effects will go away.

Some side effects of Viibryd may last longer than others. But the length of time that Viibryd’s side effects last will be different from person to person. In most cases, side effects will ease or go away within hours or days after you start taking the drug.

For more details about what to expect with Viibryd treatment, we encourage you to talk with your medical professional.

Is anger a side effect of Viibryd?

Anger itself isn’t a side effect of Viibryd, but it can be a symptom of some side effects of the drug.

In rare cases, Viibryd can cause suicidal thoughts and behaviors* in some young adults. (The drug may also cause this side effect in some children and adolescents, but Viibryd isn’t approved for use in these age groups.) Changes in mood, such as becoming angry, can be a symptom of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Anger may also be a symptom of other serious side effects from Viibryd, such as:

If you have anger or other changes in mood while taking Viibryd, you’re advised to talk with your medical professional right away

* Viibryd has a boxed warning for this side effect. The warning appears on the drug’s label and alerts you to possible serious risks. We explain more in the “Side effects up close” section below.
† To learn more about this side effect, you can see “Can stopping Viibryd treatment cause withdrawal side effects?” below.

Could I have side effects from a missed dose of Viibryd?

Yes. It’s possible that you may have side effects from a missed dose of Viibryd.

For example, you may have withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking Viibryd. For details, see “Can stopping Viibryd treatment cause withdrawal side effects?” below.

To learn more about Viibryd and missed doses, we suggest talking with your medical professional or pharmacist.

I’m taking a 40-mg dose of Viibryd. What could be my side effects?

The side effects you have from Viibryd can vary based on the strength or dose your medical professional prescribes. To lower your risk of side effects, your medical professional typically won’t prescribe you a dosage higher than 40 milligrams (mg) per day.

In studies of Viibryd, certain side effects were more likely to occur with the 40-mg dose of the drug. Examples include:

If you have more questions about your risk of certain side effects from Viibryd, we recommend talking with your medical professional.

* To learn more about this side effect, you can see the “Side effects up close” section below.

Can stopping Viibryd treatment cause withdrawal side effects?

Yes, stopping Viibryd treatment suddenly could cause withdrawal side effects.

Below are a few possible symptoms of withdrawal from Viibryd:

To lessen your risk of withdrawal symptoms, it’s best that you do not stop taking Viibryd until your medical professional says it’s safe to do so. When they advise you to stop taking the drug, they’ll safely and slowly lower your dosage over time.

They can help answer other questions you have about withdrawal and Viibryd.

Are there side effects from starting Viibryd treatment?

Yes, you may have a higher risk of certain side effects when you first start Viibryd treatment.

For example, the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors* with Viibryd is highest right after you start taking the drug.

When you start Viibryd treatment, your medical professional will prescribe a low dosage of the drug. This should help lessen your risk of side effects from Viibryd. They may slowly increase your dosage over time until the symptoms of your condition have eased.

Your medical professional or pharmacist can tell you more about the possible side effects of Viibryd right after starting treatment.

* Viibryd has a boxed warning for this side effect. The warning appears on the drug’s label and alerts you to possible serious risks. We explain more in the “Side effects up close” section below.

Here’s some additional information about some of the side effects that Viibryd may cause.

Headache

Headaches may occur with Viibryd. This side effect was common in studies of the drug.

Ways to help manage

We encourage you to talk with your medical professional about any headaches you have with Viibryd. They can suggest ways to relieve this side effect. For example, they may suggest you take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to ease your headache.

It’s important to talk with them or your pharmacist before taking any new drugs during your Viibryd treatment. They can help make sure there aren’t any safety issues with taking Viibryd and other medications.

Weight gain

Weight gain may occur with Viibryd. This was a common side effect in studies of the drug.

It’s important to note that weight gain can also be a symptom of depression, which Viibryd is used to treat. This can make it difficult to tell whether the weight gain is due to the medication, the condition, or another factor.

Ways to help manage

If you’re concerned about weight gain while taking Viibryd, you can talk with your medical professional. They can recommend ways you can maintain a weight that’s healthy for you.

Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Viibryd has a boxed warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The boxed warning appears on the drug’s label and alerts you to possible serious risks.

This risk affects children, teens, and adults ages 24 years and younger who take an antidepressant, such as Viibryd. However, Viibryd isn’t approved for use in people younger than age 18 years.

Regardless of your age, the risk of these side effects is also high if you recently started taking Viibryd or if your dosage changed recently.

While taking Viibryd, it’s recommended that you watch for the following symptoms:

  • feeling aggressive, angry, irritable, or violent
  • having thoughts of harming yourself or dying
  • new or worsened anxiety
  • new or worsened depression
  • insomnia (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep)
  • hypomania or mania (episodes of extremely high energy and excitement)

Ways to help manage

If you have unusual changes in behaviors, moods, thoughts, or feelings while taking Viibryd, you’re advised to talk with your medical professional right away. They may adjust your treatment plan or prescribe a treatment other than Viibryd for you.

It’s vital to call 911 or your local emergency number right away if you have thoughts of harming yourself.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, Viibryd can cause an allergic reaction in some people. But this side effect wasn’t reported in studies.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction can be mild or serious and can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe

Ways to help manage

If you develop mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as itchiness, we recommend that you call your medical professional right away. They may suggest an over-the-counter product to help ease your symptoms.

If they confirm that you had a mild allergic reaction to Viibryd, they can advise whether it’s safe for you to keep taking it.

If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, such as trouble breathing or swelling, it’s vital to call 911 or your local emergency number right away. These symptoms could be life threatening and require immediate medical care.

If your medical professional confirms you had a serious allergic reaction to Viibryd, they may recommend that you switch to a different treatment.

Monitoring side effects

While you take Viibryd, you may want to write down information about any side effects you develop. You can share these notes with your medical professional. This is very helpful to do when you first take new medications or use multiple treatments.

In your notes, you can include answers to questions such as:

  • What dose was I taking when I developed the side effect?
  • How long after taking that dose did I have the side effect?
  • What symptoms did I develop?
  • How did the side effect impact my everyday activities?
  • What other medications was I also taking?
  • What other information do I think is important to share?

By writing down notes and sharing them with your medical professional, they’ll learn how Viibryd affects you. They can use this information to adjust your treatment plan as needed.

It may not be safe to take Viibryd if you have certain conditions. We describe these conditions and other considerations in more detail below.

FDA boxed warning: Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Viibryd has a boxed warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain young adults. The boxed warning appears on the drug’s label and alerts you to possible serious risks.

For details, you can see the “Side effects up close” section above.

Other warnings

Viibryd may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. It’s important to talk with your medical professional about your health history before you take Viibryd. The list below includes factors to consider.

Seizures. Viibryd may cause seizures. Before taking the drug, be sure to tell your medical professional if you already have a condition that causes seizures. They may prescribe a treatment for you other than Viibryd.

Depression or suicidal thoughts or actions. In rare cases, treatment with Viibryd can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain people. In fact, the drug has a boxed warning regarding this risk. (For more information, you can see the “Side effects up close” section above.)

If you have or had depression or suicidal thoughts or behaviors, you may be at higher risk of this side effect than usual. Your medical professional can help determine if Viibryd is safe for you to take.

Angle-closure glaucoma. Before starting Viibryd treatment, you’ll want to let your medical professional know if you have angle-closure glaucoma (ACG). This is also known as closed-angle glaucoma. The drug can increase the risk of a glaucoma attack, which can cause sudden blurred vision and eye pain.

If you have ACG that isn’t being treated, they may recommend a medication other than Viibryd.

If your ACG is being treated and you have symptoms of a glaucoma attack while taking Viibryd, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

Bipolar disorder. Viibryd may cause hypomania or mania. These terms refer to episodes of extremely high energy and excitement that are usually related to bipolar disorder. Before taking Viibryd, be sure to tell your medical professional if you have bipolar disorder. If you have this condition, they can determine if it’s safe for you to take Viibryd.

Hypomania or mania. Viibryd can cause hypomania or mania. Before starting Viibryd treatment, let your medical professional know if you have or had either condition. They can determine if it’s safe for you to take Viibryd.

Low level of sodium. Viibryd can cause a low level of sodium in your blood. If you have a low sodium level, it’s recommended that you talk with your medical professional before starting treatment with the drug. They may wait until your sodium level increases to a healthy level before you start taking Viibryd.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Viibryd or any of its ingredients, it’s important to avoid taking Viibryd. Your medical professional can tell you about other medications that might be better options for you.

Bleeding problems. If you have a bleeding problem or take a medication for bleeding problems, Viibryd may increase your risk of bleeding. Your medical professional can help determine whether Viibryd is safe for you to take.

Alcohol use and Viibryd

It’s recommended that you avoid drinking alcohol while taking Viibryd.

This is because alcohol may worsen certain side effects of Viibryd, such as dizziness and sleepiness.

If you want to drink alcohol while taking Viibryd, your medical professional can suggest an amount that may be safe for you to drink.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Viibryd

It may not be safe to take Viibryd while pregnant or breastfeeding. Your medical professional can advise you about taking Viibryd during these times.

If you do take Viibryd during pregnancy, you may want to enroll in a pregnancy registry. This type of registry collects information about the effects a drug has on people while they’re pregnant. The results can help researchers understand the risks of taking the drug during pregnancy.

To enroll in the National Pregnancy Registry for Antidepressants, you can call 866-961-2388 or visit the registry’s website. Your medical professional should be able to help answer any questions you have.

Viibryd may cause mild or serious side effects. Most side effects of the drug should go away with time.

If you have questions about side effects that may happen with Viibryd, you can talk with your medical professional or pharmacist.

Below are a few suggested questions that may be helpful to ask:

  • Am I at a higher risk than usual for certain side effects from Viibryd because of my age?
  • How can I manage the side effects I might have with Viibryd?
  • Do I have any health conditions that might raise my risk of side effects with Viibryd?

While you take Viibryd, you may find it helpful to speak with a therapist or join a support group. You may also be interested in ways to afford therapy. The following articles might be helpful to you:

You can also visit the BetterHelp website to search for online counseling.

In addition, you can sign up for the Psych Central newsletter. We share stories from other people on mental health journeys as well as current information about treatments.

Disclaimer: Psych Central has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.