Well, it’s finally here. Millions of people have placed a lot of hope in Viibryd. And who could blame them? It’s touted as a revolutionary antidepressant with an excellent side effects profile…

I began writing about Viibryd (vilazodone) four months ago. It hit pharmacy shelves last week, and now the rubber meets the road.

How ’bout we keep a running journal of your experiences with Viibryd. You comment on the articles (including this one) and I’ll do the updating in this piece. I’ll also chime in with info I find important.

What we’ve learned about Viibryd

Thanks to your hard work, sacrifice, and sharing (and a smidge of my research) we’re learning things about Viibryd on a daily basis. Let’s get after it (in no particular order)…

  • A heads-up effective July 2: I’m reading more and more comments detailing lower GI issues (cramps, diarrhea, bloating, etc.), feeling spacey, sluggishness, fatigue, and headache. Remember, Viibryd directly influences serotonin and is a 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist. Some 80% of our serotonin supply is located in the gut, where it’s used to regulate intestinal movements. 5-HT1A receptor agonists decrease blood pressure and heart rate. I don’t believe these symptoms will be permanent for most, but given the action of the med it’s gonna’ take some getting used to.
  • From Viibryd’s Precscribing Info – “Viibryd should be taken with food. Administration without food can result in inadequate drug concentrations and may diminish effectiveness…The absolute bioavailability of vilazodone is 72% with food. Administration of Viibryd with food (high fat or light meal) increases oral bioavailability…”
  • A reader’s psychiatrist recommends taking Viibryd in the a.m.
  • There’s a lot of med-switching going on. That we know of so far, new Viibryd users are leaving behind Effexor, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Prozac, Lexapro…
  • Psychiatrists have been hesitant to prescribe it because they’ve never heard of it (the fact that some haven’t heard of it continues to amaze me). Several have demanded a two month wait. Many readers have found new psychiatrists. By the way, I wonder how much of the hesitance is grounded in psychiatrist’s $$$ relationships with other Big Pharma firms.
  • Psychiatric nurse practitioners may be a prescribing alternative
  • Many worldwide are placing their hopes in Viibryd. I’ve received emails from readers from Australia, Pakistan, the US, and the UK.
  • International availability is up in the air. However, Viibryd is listed on internationalpharmacy.com
  • I feel badly for our Pakistani reader. Pakistan won’t allow internationalpharmacy.com to ship. Any ideas? Let us know.
  • In a July 8 email to me from the Viibryd launch team – “…Forest does not have plans at this time to expand Viibryd’s approval beyond the US.”
  • Most new Viibryd users are being started on 10mg with a goal of moving up to 40mg asap
  • A 30-day supply of 40mg Viibryd is $156.99 at Walgreen’s (US) – $470.89 for a 90 day supply. In New York City, with insurance, an unknown dosage and supply (I’m thinking 10mg for 30 days) went for $60. A chipur reader from Florida got a price of $50 with Humana insurance before getting a sample package.
  • For info regarding Forest Pharmaceuticals’ (a subsidiary of Forest Labs) prescription assistance program call 800.851.0758. Or you can click here and download an assistance application. A reader shares you get your doc to sign it, send it in, and a three month’s supply will be sent to the doc’s office.
  • Viibryd and vilazodone are listed on Medco Pharmacy’s med roster (medcopharmacy.com/866.830.3883). I’m being told Viibryd is “covered.”
  • Sample packets are available.
  • A reduction (elimination) in sexual side effects seems to be the #1 reason people are looking to Viibryd.
  • Reports are coming in of ramped-up libido and sexual sensitivity. Resolution to delayed ejaculation issue (including intensity) has also been reported.
  • A reader’s psychiatrist suggested Viibryd may work well for anxiety. Another reader has reported a reduction in anxiety. Yet another is reporting some assistance with OCD.
  • Some are reporting having a bit of difficulty with initiating sleep – nap and nighttime.
  • We’re getting some reports of weight gain and increased appetite – some especially for sweets.
  • I’m going to say it again and again. Everyone’s experience with Viibryd will be different. And I really believe many of the negative symptoms we’re hearing about may well decrease or disappear over time. Of course, some will not – and Viibryd won’t be the drug of choice for everyone. It’s understandable that anyone who’s turned to Viibryd for relief will be watching their progress and side effects like a hawk – there’s just so much at stake. I’m suggesting, keep your hypersensitivity and subjectivity in mind as you formulate and act upon your opinions and judgments.

Let’s close

So, we’re off and running. I’ll keep this update piece crankin’ as long as you contribute (comment or email). I’m thinking there’s a lot more to come…

In the meantime, watch your meds switching/initiating strategies and techniques (work closely with your psychiatrist/physician). And continue to see your counselor and maintain those healthy lifestyle habits.

Though in most cases an amazing gift, meds aren’t the total answer.

Hey, be sure to read the tons of comments below.

As long as you’re here, why not review the hundreds of Chipur titles?

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