Viibryd (Vilazodone Hydrochloride) Addiction: Side Effects, Detox, Withdrawal, and Treatment
Viibryd (vilazodone hydrochloride) is a type of antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It is used to treat major depressive disorder in adults. Viibryd works by restoring the body’s natural amounts of neurotransmitters (mainly serotonin) to improve the user’s mood, appetite, and other symptoms of depression.1
Most people take Viibryd as an oral tablet and the recommended dose is 40 mg once daily with food. It can take several weeks for patients to notice the effects of Viibryd but individuals should always follow the recommended dosage provided by a doctor, which is usually gradually increased from an initial dose of 10 mg to 40 mg daily.
It’s normal for a person taking Viibryd to experience physical side effects while adjusting to the drug during the first few weeks of taking it. Some common side effects can include nausea, insomnia, dizziness, and dry mouth. More serious side effects may occur rarely and Viibryd may also increase suicidal thoughts.2
Viibryd should never be taken with alcohol, other antidepressants, or illegal drugs, as this could produce dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Someone taking Viibryd regularly should never abruptly just stop because the drug can cause mild or severe withdrawal symptoms.
According to the FDA, Viibryd is not a controlled substance. Although it did not show potential for abuse and dependence in animal subjects, it has not been systematically studied in humans regarding its potential for abuse. However, physical dependence, tolerance, and psychological addiction may still occur, so people taking Viibryd should be carefully monitored by a doctor, especially those with previous substance use disorders.3
The following terms are street names or slang for antidepressants, such as Viibryd:
- Happy pills
- Miracle drug
- Wonder drug
- Bottled smiles
Most people who are prescribed an antidepressant drug like Viibryd don’t misuse it, but individuals who have struggled with prior substance use disorders are more likely to do so.4 While Viibryd is less likely than other types of antidepressants to cause addiction, it is possible. A person may also develop a physical tolerance, which can make it very difficult to stop using Viibryd.
People who misuse antidepressants like Viibryd take very large doses or more frequent doses to feel its effects faster or to amplify them. Some people may also use antidepressants with alcohol, other prescription drugs, or illegal drugs to achieve certain desired effects.
Consuming large or more frequent doses of Viibryd is dangerous and can cause serious side effects or overdose. Additionally, using Viibryd with another medication that increases serotonin can cause a buildup of it in your body and cause a condition called serotonin syndrome, which displays with symptoms like high body temperature, agitation, sweating, tremors, diarrhea, and more.5
Abusing Viibryd for an extended time may cause serious side effects, such as:6
- High blood pressure
If someone is addicted to Viibryd, he or she may display some of the following signs of Viibryd abuse and addiction:
- Obsessing over taking Viibryd or getting more of it
- Going to several different doctors to get more Viibryd prescriptions
- Taking larger or more frequent doses of Viibryd than necessary
- Feeling unable to function normally without Viibryd
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after missing a dose or when the effects of the drug wear off
If you abruptly stop taking Viibryd after using it regularly for an extended time, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Common Viibryd withdrawal symptoms include:7
- Nightmares or vivid dreams
- Tingling sensation on the skin
- Mood swings
- Suicidal thoughts
- Ringing in the ears
- Excessive sweating
Rather than abruptly quitting Viibryd, medical experts recommend a gradual reduction in your dosage to prevent serious withdrawal symptoms. It is also advantageous to do so under the direct supervision of a doctor, such as at a medical detox center.
A medical detox program for Viibryd can help you stop using the drug safely and reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms by providing an individualized tapering program, medical treatment, and clinical care. You are also much less likely to relapse with the help and support of addiction treatment experts, doctors, and clinicians.
Unfortunately, there is no exact withdrawal timeline for Viibryd, as it is different for everyone. The duration of withdrawal, its intensity, and what type of symptoms you experience largely depend on several factors, including:
- How long you’ve been taking Viibryd
- How much Viibryd you take each time
- Your diet
- If you take or abuse other drugs
- How frequently you exercise
- Your physiology
- Whether you quit Viibryd cold turkey or tapered your dosage
Viibryd addiction is very difficult to overcome on your own, especially if you experience severe withdrawal symptoms and cravings. After detox, enrolling in a drug rehab program can give you the tools and support you need to keep moving forward in your recovery journey.
While there are many types of addiction treatment programs in the United States and elsewhere, research has shown that treatment that lasts less than 90 days has limited effectiveness, and most people need to remain in treatment for longer than that to successfully maintain their sobriety.8
However, this doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck at a rehab center forever. It just means you will likely need multiple episodes of treatment to achieve lasting sobriety. For example, many people complete medical detox and continue on to a long-term rehab program before enrolling in sober living, aftercare, and/or a peer monitoring program. All of these types of treatment programs provide important and necessary support throughout various stages of recovery.
As you progress through each stage of treatment, your needs and circumstances will change, but treatment should be fluid, meaning it will continually be tailored to fit your ever-changing needs.
If you choose to enroll in a rehab program for Viibryd addiction, you can expect to:
- Attend educational lectures
- Participate in a recovery curriculum like the 12-Step Program (or other)
- Attend individual therapy, group therapy sessions, and family therapy
- Participate in other behavioral therapy methods, such as art therapy or music therapy
Addiction treatment professionals, recovery specialists, and counselors will also work with you to help you learn how to recognize high-risk situations, triggers, cravings, and manage them without using Viibryd.
Remaining in an addiction treatment program for 90 days or more may seem like a long time, but it’s an excellent opportunity to rest, heal, and grow as you fully engage in a program that is designed to help you learn how to live a life that is free of drug addiction.
If you are searching for a drug rehab program, there are some key differences between inpatient and outpatient programs. Although both types of rehab programs are focused on lasting recovery and sobriety, the chart below outlines some of the main differences.
In residential rehab, clients:
In outpatient rehab, clients:
If you are severely addicted to Viibryd, an addiction treatment specialist may recommend that you attend both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs to receive comprehensive, long-term care. Completing residential treatment first also allows for a high amount of structure early on in the treatment process and gives way to a more gradual adjustment back into society as you complete additional levels of care.
Drug rehab programs vary greatly in cost as well, but most rehab centers offer several different forms of payment to reduce the financial burden. You may be able to pay for drug rehab using one of the following options:
- Health insurance benefits
- Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
- Financed healthcare loans
- Credit cards
- HSA funds
If you’re not sure which type of rehab program would be best for you, talk to your doctor or call Nova Recovery Center to speak with an addiction treatment specialist who can help.
After you complete drug rehab, you may also choose to continue your addiction treatment with an ongoing recovery program, such as sober living or aftercare. These programs are designed to support you as you adjust to a sober lifestyle outside of rehab and find your place in society as a sober individual.
Sober Living Programs
The transition into independent sober living can be difficult, but sober living programs provide individual support and safe, sober housing for people in recovery. Sober living homes are shared living spaces in a residential home or apartment complex that also offer additional recovery support services, such as:
- A structured living environment
- Individualized recovery programming
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Educational planning
- Employment assistance
- Family support
When choosing a sober living home, it’s important to also consider cost, as all sober homes are different. Depending on the home’s amenities, location, type of accommodations, and recovery support services offered, the monthly cost can vary greatly. However, clients typically make a payment once per month, similar to paying rent.
Aftercare programs are designed to support rehab alumni who have recently completed a program or who are experiencing a transitional phase of life in which they need extra support staying sober.
Group sessions are held in a safe, clinical environment and each one is intended to be an open, accountable, and honest environment where clients can share and discuss ongoing issues they are facing in sobriety. It’s also a great space to connect with other sober individuals, encourage one another, and challenge peers to achieve their sobriety and life goals.
If you are addicted to Viibryd, you might feel like there’s no end in sight, but there is always hope for recovery. With the right treatment and support, you can get sober and live a happy, sustainable life in recovery. Call Nova Recovery Center at (512) 605-2955 to get started today.
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