≡ Menu

Viibryd (Vilazodone) Withdrawal Symptoms: How Long Do They Last?

Viibryd (Vilazodone) is a relatively popular new antidepressant that has been found effective for treating symptoms of major depression. Many people have had success with this antidepressant and tend to not experience as many of the other side effects associated with most SSRI’s such as: weight gain and sexual dysfunction. Although this drug may be slightly different than other medications on the market, some people end up trying it, but find out that it really didn’t work well for them. Others try it and it works, but they don’t want to stay on medication forever.

The majority of people that try Viibryd will end up withdrawing from it at some point. When withdrawing from any psychiatric medication, it is important to know what to expect. By preparing for the withdrawal effects, you will realize that what you are experiencing isn’t “just all in your head” – it’s simply a reality of medication withdrawal. Many people have come off of Viibryd successfully and in general, this medication is regarded as being one of the easier antidepressants to stop taking compared to other SSRI’s.

Factors that influence Viibryd withdrawal

There are a few different factors that play a role in withdrawal from any antidepressant. These include: the length of time for which you took the drug, the amount of medication you took, your individual physiology, as well as how you quit (cold turkey or tapering).

1. Time Span

How long did you take Viibryd? Was it for just a few months to get yourself out of a rut? Or did you take it for a few years to help manage your major depression? In general, the longer you have been on a medication, the more difficult it is going to be for your brain to readapt to life without the drug.

2. Dosage (10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg)

With the drug Viibryd, most people end up “titrating” their way up to the 40 mg dose. They start at 10 mg, then after a couple weeks bump up to 20 mg, then finally make the final jump to 40 mg. Since 40 mg is the standard therapeutic level for this drug to have an antidepressant effect, most people will be withdrawing from the 40 mg dose.

3. Physiology

Your individual physiology and nervous system will play a role in determining how easy and/or difficult it is for you to stop taking this medication. Certain individuals have bad reactions during the withdrawal process, while others report very minimal symptoms. Everyone has a unique experience with medications – including going on and coming off.

4. Cold turkey vs. tapering

Do you plan on quitting this medication cold turkey or do you have a structured method of tapering? Just like you titrated on the drug, you should also slowly reduce the amount of the drug that gets ingested by your body over the course of weeks. It is not recommended to just quit after taking the 40 mg dose for an extended period of time. Slowly work your way down from 40 mg to 20 mg then 10 mg, and then stop.

Viibryd Withdrawal Symptoms

Below are some of the most commonly reported withdrawal symptoms for the drug Viibryd. In general, the most common symptoms seem to be itching of the skin and vivid dreams (or sleep changes). Do not let anxiety get the best of you during withdrawal. Understand that these are merely withdrawal symptoms and that you are not getting crazier – you will return to normal functioning.

  • Agitation: This is an unpleasant state of arousal that is linked to withdrawal. It’s almost like a tense form of excitement that can go hand-in-hand with irritability. You may feel “edgy” and like you cannot hold back your energy.
  • Anxiety: It is very common to experience anxious thoughts during the withdrawal process. Viibryd works on the serotonin system and discontinuing the medication is thought to result in lower levels of serotonin. This can cause even worse cases of anxiety.
  • Brain zaps: These are like “electric shocks” to the brain – it literally feels like the inside of your head is being zapped by electricity. Understand that these are from the medication and that they will eventually go away. Fortunately these are not quite as common during Viibryd withdrawal, but have been reported.
  • Depression: Think about it, you are taking a medication to help with depression. When you come off of it, you cannot expect your neurochemistry maintain the antidepressant effect of the drug. Therefore many people feel depressed again when withdrawing. Some people may feel even more depressed than usual – this is common.
  • Dizziness: Feeling dizzy is a completely normal response to withdrawal from Viibryd. You may feel incredibly dizzy and/or sensations of vertigo. Do your best do cope with this and understand that it will eventually subside.
  • Fatigue: You may have no energy to do anything throughout the day. Even simple tasks around the house may seem difficult. This is because you are dealing with an incredibly high level of fatigue. Your energy levels should return to normal after a few weeks.
  • Headache: This is yet another common withdrawal symptom. If you experience headaches when you stop Viibryd, you may want to pick up some over-the-counter headache relief.
  • Insomnia: The inability to fall asleep at night or at a normal time is commonly reported. You may be unable to sleep because you are feeling so emotionally wound up and/or crazy. Insomnia is something that can make withdrawal difficult. Do your best to relax and get sleep when you can.
  • Irritability: Every little thing may upset you and/or trigger an anger response. It is common to feel excessively irritable when stopping any antidepressant.
  • Itchiness: Many people notice extreme itching feelings and/or burning sensations when quitting Viibryd. This withdrawal symptom often isn’t spoken of by doctors, but many people withdrawing from the medication experience it. This tends to last at least a few weeks, but will eventually subside. Some people claim that this medication actually gave them a rash.
  • Mood swings: Many have reported mood swings when stopping this particular medication. Some people experience anger one minute, then feel pretty good the next. These temporary swings in mood will eventually come to a halt.
  • Muscle spasms: This is a less common side effect, but some people have reported muscle spasms during the first few weeks of withdrawal. It has been reported that these tend to go away on their own after a week or two.
  • Nausea: It is very common to feel especially nauseated during the first couple weeks of withdrawal.
  • Panic attacks: This is linked to feelings of anxiety when stopping the medication. For some people, the withdrawal triggers a panic response.
  • Sleep changes: You may be unable to sleep at night and/or experience disturbances in your sleep. Your sleep cycle may change and you may find yourself excessively tired throughout the day, yet you aren’t able to sleep at night.
  • Suicidal thoughts: It is pretty common to experience suicidal thinking when coming off of any psychiatric medication. Although these thoughts are less reported by people going through Viibryd withdrawal, some people do experience them.
  • Vomiting: According to the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), some people experience vomiting when they come off of Viibryd. Vomiting doesn’t seem to be very common though.
  • Vivid dreams: You may experience very vivid dreams and/or “crazy” unusual dreams when stopping this medication or upon reduction of the dose. Others report experiencing “nightmares” and/or consistently bad dreams.
  • Weight changes: If you lost or gained weight on this medication, you can expect your body to reset itself when you come off of it. In other words, if you packed on a bunch of weight, you should lose that weight when stopping. If you lost a bunch of weight, you may gain it all back when you stop the drug.

How long do Viibryd withdrawal symptoms last?

It totally depends on the person. Some people experience very minimal withdrawal symptoms, while others are plagued with symptoms for weeks. In general, most people should be fully recovered from withdrawal symptoms within a couple of months. The majority of major symptoms should subside after about 4 to 6 weeks. After a couple of months, most people notice that their withdrawal symptoms are completely gone.

If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms after being off of Viibryd for more than a couple months, just realize that it likely isn’t all in your head. Most of these drugs are reported by professionals as being relatively easy to come off of, yet they do not realize what the experience is like from a first person perspective. When I quit Paxil cold turkey, I had withdrawal symptoms that lasted over eight months.

It is thought that if you engage in healthy activities such as: eating good foods, consistent exercise, and socializing with others – that withdrawal should be easier. Do healthy things for yourself like walking outside in the sunlight or going to the gym. Make sure you are eating all of your meals and focus on doing what you can do even if you are feeling the pain of withdrawal. Eventually you will recover and return to how you were pre-Viibryd and the withdrawal symptoms will subside.

Related Posts:

{ 108 comments… add one }
  • Chrissy August 8, 2014, 9:23 pm

    I agree whole heartedly with this entire article. It helped me feel not alone.
    I was on viibryd for six months and stopped it on July 13, 2014. It gave me severe knee joint pain to the point I almost couldn’t drive. Since then I’ve experienced just about every side effect listed except for vomiting and suicidal thoughts.
    The dizzy vertigo has been severe. And it’s still happening. Emotional mood swings are big and uneasiness in chest as well come on out of nowhere. I had been on an ssri (few different ones) since I was 20-21. So that’s 14 yrs about. My husband has been a wonderful support. But I have to be strong myself and get through this of course with my reliance on God.
    I know it will pass. My wonderful DO has had many patients stop antidepressants & are ok. That’s my hope. I did take a urine sample thru Neuroscience & started a supplement program with Travaor to help my low seretonin levels. I wish the best for everyone in this position!

  • Alicia August 20, 2014, 3:02 pm

    I agree with “Chrissy.” I have experienced all of the symptoms except for vomiting and suicidal thoughts. I did, however, switch to Prozac so now I am having the symptoms of starting a new SSRI on top of withdrawal symptoms from the Viibryd. I am so happy that I stumbled upon this article because I, too, felt completely alone in how I was feeling. I had an episode last week of pure mania and I’ve felt so embarrassed and ashamed but it was something I literally had no control over at the time. I have been convinced that I really was losing my grip on sanity until reading this article and Chrissy’s comment.

    • Gayle W Dieleman August 29, 2014, 1:52 pm

      Reading this at age 60 and have been on Viibryd, 40 mils, for 6 months. I’ve taken antidepressants for 35 years. It wasn’t working, so now my doctor has switched me over to a new SSRI called Fetzima. The combination of coming off one and starting another is rough! Having all kinds of very uncomfortable side effects, some so severe that I almost felt as though I needed a trip to the ER a few nights ago! Dizziness, nausea, extreme itchiness, and just bizarre, hard to explain aura! We will just have to hang in there, I guess! I have a strong genetic predisposition to major depression and I know what life was like for my father and grandmother before the time of SSRIs. Believe me, we are so much better off with access to these drugs now!

  • Jackie September 13, 2014, 8:38 am

    I was on Lexapro for about two months and it was giving me horrible side effects, My doctor changed me over to Viibryd starter pack. I have taken the first week of 10 mg and have had two days of 20 mg. I am getting the same side effect of not sleeping and warmth throughout my body again. I am thinking of just stopping it altogether. I don’t think that I needed an antidepressant to begin with. I was sad because my 15 year old dog died and my son had to move away. I don’t really think that required an antidepressant but my doctor put me on it. So I have only been on an antidepressant for about 3 months. I want to get off of these meds completely.

    • GLOOM September 13, 2014, 4:18 pm

      Hi Jackie, sounds like you may be better off seeking some sort of therapy and/or trying to target your depression as a result of life circumstances with natural treatments. Wish you nothing but the best in your recovery.

      • Jackie Coers September 13, 2014, 5:48 pm

        Thank you Gloom. I am seeing my doc on Monday to tell him that I NEED to get off of this med. I have been taking xanax before I go to bed to try and help but the last two nights have been sleepless. I only took 10 mg today so I am going to try to do that till I see the doc on Monday. My daughter will be staying with me tonight as she did when I was on Lexapro to help me get through the night. When I was on Lexapro, I went to the ER twice for that but had previously been there twice before with diverticulitis. I often think that the Lexapro brought on the diverticulitis.

        So in total, I was in the ER four time withing a months time. Two days was inpatient for the diverticulitis. They really don’t do anything for me for the reaction to the antidepressant. I am praying to God that I can get off this med soon. I have had to cancel two plane trips to see my son in Virginia and I have another one scheduled for October. I pray that I won’t have to cancel that one.

        • ang October 10, 2014, 2:39 am

          Sweet lady hang in there I too am going through the withdrawals and lean on the Lord to help with the heavy stuff. I’ve had some rough days lately I call my mother in law and she comes right over and we get in the word. I may shed some tears through the day but I’m not alone and that to me is so helpful. Best of luck to you dear one.

        • AE October 27, 2014, 1:51 am

          Hi Jackie, Be careful with the Xanax as well. That is another drug that changes your brain chemistry very quickly. It starts out giving you false comfort but very often adds to anxiety and discomfort. Withdrawl from that is really bad! Take care and stay strong and informed!

    • Barbara Brunner April 28, 2016, 2:32 pm

      Feel better after reading your post. I am 70. Have a very low tolerance to medications. Have problems controlling blood pressure and suffer with side effects from meds. My doctor added viibryd. I wasn’t depressed, am pretty happy. Viibryd made me feel awful so Dr said stop taking it.

      Now I am suffering with extreme fatigue, nausea, blurred vision and constant nausea. I only took Viibryd for 8 weeks. Are we gonna make it through? We are not spring chickens and every day is a gift to me and I have lots of things to do rather than lay on the sofa. It’s time to get out there in my flower garden, but not able. Ok – that’s my whining for the day!

    • Samantha September 22, 2016, 6:41 pm

      Hi Jackie, I agree that maybe you don’t need antidepressants, but rather some behavioral therapy and a health/fitness regimen to help you through your depression. I’m not a doctor, but I have been taking viibryd for nearly 3 years and I can tell you that once I started taking it I had nothing but positive side effects. I started it to treat severe PPD that nothing else seemed to treat and have had positive results.

      I think sometimes doctors jump the gun on medication and if you don’t personally feel like it is making a difference you should go off of it. That being said, I would suggest definitely tapering off slowly, go back down to 10 for a week or 2, then to 5mg for another week or two, and combine this with the counseling services. Be sure your doctor/counselor is supportive of your choice, if they aren’t I’d get a second opinion.

      These doctors may have all the medical knowledge in the world, but in the end it is entirely up to us to decide what the best plan of action is for our wellness. Best of luck!

  • ang October 10, 2014, 2:34 am

    Gloom I’m in the beginning of tapering off this all together and am going to try all natural vitamins, Pterostibene, B3, and 5HTP while taking 20mg for 10 days or so then going down to 10mg. I’m attempting this while off work due to foot surgery thinking this is a good time to do so since I won’t have to go to work which is in an emergency room where emotions run high on most days anyways. I’m off for 10 weeks which should be plenty of time to transition from meds to vitamins.

    I too have my husband that is a good support even though he has never has depression he has seen me battle it for many many years and my greatest support is the Lord. I’m starting to have a few side affects such as the “zapping” feeling and absolutely no appetite for food I’m a huge coffee drinker and it’s not even appealing. I know there is light at the end of the tunnel and with God as my light I will get through this.

    I will keep you posted on how I do so maybe others will be able to relate to my story. I’d live to hear your input on this as well. Thank you for posting this information. BTW even with awesome insurance I still paid out of pocket each month $100.00 I can’t afford this medication any longer.

    • Lau October 14, 2014, 6:48 pm

      Ang: Is there a link or anything to the supplement regime you are trying? I need something right now.

      I’m really glad to have found this article. I’m on day 7 of my taper off of Viibryd 20mg which I have been on for almost 3 years with a few month break in the middle. (The last time I tapered off wasn’t bad, this time seems a lot worse) Agreed on most of the withdrawal symptoms listed aside from the vomiting and suicidal thoughts. I have been very nauseous today though. I also do not have the brain zap this time which I did the first time.

      My new insurance does not cover this and I have been getting by on samples of it. But I’ve recently realized that the day to day side effects are worse to deal with. And although my life is still high stress it is much more doable that what I was going through when I first went on it. I’ve been weightlifting 3x a week and that seems to help immensely. Although today has been something new, I had an episode of feeling completely out of it and oddly totally relaxed where my mind was blank. (Not in a relaxing way though).

      I felt trapped in my body which was a scary feeling. It last for about two hours (while of course I was on the road) I finally snapped out of it but scary non the less. Any one experience anything like this? Also my teeth have been killing me, they feel beyond sensitive. Which I have never had an issue with and only started a few days ago. I know it will get better and coming off this is for the better. But I kinda just want to sleep through it right now.

      • Alissa February 15, 2015, 7:58 pm

        In reply to most, especially Lau, I too have the teeth sensitivity going on. I am on day 7, last day I am taking Viibryd, they actually started me right off on 40mg and then about 2 years later ADDED another 20mg (scary). Finally after waiting a year I have a new MD and she taking me off, and slowly starting on something else tomorrow, the correct way. The brain zaps are terrible, people think you are crazy if you talk about them. I work in a pharmacy and the pharmacists have never even heard of this withdrawal symptom. I have itching also, am mixing my words up, and as of today I will not drive my car. Has anyone actually heard anything while experiencing the brain zaps? I have been treated for years for Major Depression and Anxiety, been through the horrible brain zaps, but never heard noises before, this is a first.

        • Denise April 17, 2015, 8:07 pm

          Alissa, I read your comment while checking out withdrawal symptoms for Viibryd. I completely understand the brain zaps that you felt. I experienced them first hand when I had mistakenly forgot to take my pill. Now I am purposely tapering off and do not feel them. When I did however, they were terrible. It would only happen when I was falling asleep.

          I would sense a flash of light in my head while dozing and would get the sensation that I was falling out of bed when I really was not. I don’t recall hearing a sound other than the sensation of feeling like a lightening bolt just went through my brain. Frightening. It’s my second day of tapering and I feel like my jaw is misaligned. Sounds insane, but I have no other way of describing it. It’s like when I clench my teeth, it feels uncomfortable at the rear of my jaw.

        • Abby June 23, 2015, 10:01 pm

          I’ve experienced both brain zaps to an extreme degree (feeling like you’re going to faint and actually losing control of my body for a second or two at a time). As for hearing things, I’ve been trying to find other people who’ve had it happen but you’re the first to mention it. As I try to sleep, I’ll start hearing things. Like voices? It’s crazy… but I’ll hear stuff, really loud, and like static almost. It’s bad enough to prevent any sleep from happening. I’m finally “off” the med but still feeling the withdraw and it’s ROUGH.

          • Gabe houston March 18, 2016, 10:13 am

            HI abby, I’m 21 years old and have been on viibryd for roughly a month, the other day I tried to make the switch to wellbutrin, took the first pill in the morning, however since not decreasing dosage on viibryd and switching directly to the wellbutrin that night, I had extreme insomnia, but also as soon as I was about to fall into a deep sleep, I would get audible hallucinations. It started off as if my eyes were rolling in the back of my head, and I would start to hear the vivid loud sound of wind, extremely clear and very loud.

            I didn’t think anything of it, but then it sounded like heavy heavy rain, again I thought it was just a little storm brewing. So when I finally fell asleep shortly after I had one of the weirdest horrible dream I’ve ever experienced in my life, I woke up screaming for my mom, but I live in an apartment by myself. I took a look outside around 5 am and to my surprise, no wind and no rain.

            I thought I was going psychotic, it put me in a panic attack, so it obviously NOT the wellbutrin. Since I thought it was the wellbutrin I stopped taking it, that was 4 days ago. However today I forgot to take my viibryd and honestly just had another episode of the SAME audial hallucination, started off as a loud wind sound, followed by another horrible nightmare followed by 2 panic attacks.

            Luckily I am not alone this week as my girlfriend is staying with me till next weekend. It’s a very real, and scary situation and I pray to some higher power that my body is rid of this drug, it’s awful, I’m glad to know I’m not alone, or crazy, even though for the time being it feels like it. I’m going to continue my wellbutrin and see how it goes. However it still doesn’t fix the terrifying hallucinations. Hopefully it will end soon because I cannot sleep.

          • Kelly May 5, 2016, 11:08 pm

            I know exactly what you are talking about with hearing things. I missed one dose and it was horrible. I couldn’t sleep and as I tried to fall asleep I would hear whooshing sounds in my ears, it was the strangest thing ever. I almost felt like I wasn’t present in my mind. I know that sounds strange but I don’t know how else to describe it.

            This was after missing one dose now I’m worried about staying on this medication. I wonder if I quit now by weaning myself if I would be better off than waiting and staying on it for a long period of time. I’ve only been taking it for a couple months now.

          • Tiffany August 28, 2016, 12:34 am

            I was on it for about 2 & 1/2 months. The brain zaps and hearing static/noise/voices was happening while I was on it. Once I started having night terrors and sleep paralysis I freaked out. I quit cold turkey a week ago and those things stopped but now I feel horrible and out of whack.

        • Jennifer March 20, 2016, 4:18 pm

          I am so thankful I am not the only one experiencing brain zaps, it always happens as I try to go to sleep. First the brain zaps, then the night terrors begins. It’s like sleep paralysis and terrors combined. One night recently my poor husband had to hold my hand for hours while I was trying to go to sleep.

          I am in the middle of tappering of 80mg of Viibryd to Brintellix 10mg. I feel horrible. Sad, nausea, headaches and overall discouraged. This is so overwhelming. I feel like the rest of the world just wakes up ready to live their life and I’m stuck in a vacum I cant pull myself out of. I pray this new medication works. This has to get better.

    • Terry March 29, 2016, 4:38 am

      Ang, Please let me know how you did eliminating the Viibryd from your daily life and going to the natural methods you outlined. I am going through the Viibryd withdrawal horrors as we speak and need to do something of a natural means. I’m surprised I didn’t already figure out the natural means BEFORE getting into the nightmare I am in. I’ve been on Viibryd for three years and not only cannot afford it, I cannot subject myself to this poison any longer.

  • carol October 15, 2014, 3:40 pm

    I was on Viibryd for 3 years. I totally depended on my PCP to keep giving me samples because I could not afford the prescription. The med made me feel so much better but stopping cold turkey has been horrible. I did taper down to 20 mg for a couple of days before I ran completely out because they had no samples in his office. He told me to just stop for a couple of days then start a new med called citalopram. I should have never done this because I have experienced a lot of the symptoms which are hard if you don’t know what to expect. I don’t like being on this type of medicine just to be able to function in life, but will do what I have to in order to get through it. It would have been nice to know NOT to quit cold turkey. I have read all of the above comments and they have helped a lot to realize that I am not alone in this.

  • kelly kratzke October 23, 2014, 1:41 am

    Do NOT TAKE THIS DRUG!! What a nightmare. Despite working out more, some days twice a day, and consuming 600-1000 calories of organic protein and organic vegetables, I gained weight RAPIDLY! In 4 months I put on 20 lbs on my 5ft frame! GROSS!! Talk about depression! I will let you know how long it takes to come off! If it makes you gain weight this fast, think what it is doing to the rest of your body and your system! This drug should NOT be on the MARKET!! Thanks for nothing FDA!!!!!!!

    • Jamie April 2, 2016, 1:24 pm

      Omg my husband has been on Viibryd for 4 weeks and if anything it’s made him feel worse. So now the doctor wants to increase it from 10 to 20 mg. Really? I’m afraid it’s going to make him feel even worse. And to think what the withdrawal symptoms are scares the heck out of me!

    • Susan June 3, 2016, 5:47 pm

      I wish I would have read your post a long time ago. I am on 40mg of Viibyrd for over 3 years and it has taken me a year to figure out that this drug is poisoning me. I wake up to extreme sweating every morning and feel nauseous. I am 55 and thought this was syptoms of menopause.

      I went to see an endocrinologist this week and after questioning me throughly, I came to the conclusion it is the Viibyrd. This is a drug that should not be on the market. I am determined to get off even know it will be very difficult. I just took 30mg today to start so we will see. and I repeat Kelly’s post. DO NOT TAKE THIS DRUG!

      • Veronica king June 22, 2016, 1:44 am

        Susan how are you doing so far on your taper? I’ve been viibryd for 6 months .75 of 10mg and don’t like the side effects.

  • AE October 26, 2014, 10:50 pm

    I am very interested in knowing some herbal remedies that are uses for depression. I have been taking anti depressants for approx. 15 years. I am an alcoholic in recovery for 7 years. I am starting to see that I get opposite reactions to medication. I have been taking Viibryd for 3 months. I started really isolating myself and feel like I am in a fog all of the time. Two weeks ago something dawned on me. I have never been AD free since I quit drinking.

    Could I be drugging myself into depression? So I have been on 20 mg down from 40 mg for two weeks. I am having all of the bad side effects except suicidal thoughts. This website has helped me tremendously! I am going to continue to wean off this “Bad Drug” and really try to do things drug free for the first time in 15+ years. Wouldn’t it be a gift to find out that I am better on my own? God willing! I am hopeful! Much Love to all of you sharing. – Ann

    • Kari June 25, 2016, 5:17 am

      Hi everyone, glad I found this forum also. I have tried the gambit of anti-depressants for 25 years. When my PCP told me that I had tried 9 different ones in 5 years, it made me sad to want to feel better and to keep trying. I have been on 40 mgs of Viibryd for 3 months. It is expensive even with insurance, and for the 1st 2 months I thought maybe it was a good change.

      Not so much anymore crying daily, and feeling overwhelmed with the most simple of Life’s tasks. I am going to wean myself off over the next couple of weeks and someone said in this forum Am I drugging myself into depression? So I am going to see what is there naturally. The side effects you all are experiencing freaks me out that a drug can cause all this to happen in our bodies. I wish you all peace and happiness on this journey.

  • Janet November 3, 2014, 6:41 am

    Does anyone know if there is anything that helps with the itching? I was on viibryd for almost 3 months and tapered off in 1-1/2 weeks. When the itching became unbearable after a few days on 20 mg (down from 40 mg) my Dr told me to only take 2 days of the 10 mg pills instead of 1 week. My last 10 mg dose was 4 days ago. I am SERIOUSLY GOING INSANE WITH THE ITCHING AND BURNING!!

    Dr said to try Benadryl but it didn’t seem to help and even just half a dose of Benadryl made me sleep off an on for 18 hours. I can’t do that. I have a toddler to care for. It may be pertinent to note that when I started tapering off of viibryd I started tapering onto Brintellix. I’m wondering how much of this is viibryd and if I might also be getting itchiness as a side effect of Brintellix. How am I supposed to know if it takes *weeks* to quit having withdrawal symptoms? I can’t take this! I want to go to the ER but is there even anything they can do? Help!

    • GLOOM November 3, 2014, 8:58 pm

      Sounds very uncomfortable Janet and like you are in a difficult situation. It is important to consider that the Brintellix may be causing the itchiness. Many people have reported itchiness as a side effect. Best of luck.

    • Gloria November 8, 2014, 9:39 pm

      Try using an anti-itch cream . Benadryl makes me sleep also and found using an anti-itch cream, does help.

    • Karen January 3, 2016, 2:50 pm

      I too have been on Viibryd for 4 years. My insurance expired and I have been purchasing the medicine for 4 months at $200 per month. I could not afford it this month so I have not had it for 3 days. The itching is the worse symptom so far. My hands mostly tingle and itch all the time. I have noticed some increased tiredness and lack of enjoyment for things I used to enjoy. On top of all of that, my husband is in his last weeks of life due to cancer. I work full-time and I am his primary caregiver. I think this is too much to go through at once so as soon as I can, I am getting my Viibryd filled again.

      • Natasha January 22, 2016, 12:25 am

        OMG! I cannot even imagine what it might feel like to be going through the difficulties you are facing. Do not know what words to use… You are so strong! I started crying after I read about your situation. My situation is no problem at all in comparison to yours. Sending prayers your way…

        • Christine May 30, 2016, 12:37 pm

          I am so happy that I found the group of lovely people supporting each other through the withdrawal of viibryd. I have a very long and boring story of a about 9 years (give or take a few) fighting with some nasty blood cancer with chemo & stem cell transplants as well as depression/anxiety off but mostly on for more years than the cancer.

          Anyway, I’ve been out of viibryd for a couple of days now & been forced into cold turkey withdrawal which led me to Google & then to this fine group. I love the support and kindness I feel emitting from my iPad. It’s been a long time since any or much support group reading/writing. This really has started my day beautifully and I want to thank all of y’all from saving me from a cuckoo clock audition later today.

          Joking, of course but it’s hard to read sarcasm early in the am. My heart goes out to you all!!! And again… Thank you!

    • Ronnit Shanny May 1, 2016, 12:44 am

      I realize this response is about 2 years overdue but I would like to add re: the itching and Viibryd withdrawal. I’m a 54 year old veteran of the psychopharmacological industry since the first generation of anti-depressants came out. I’m considered treatment refractory (resistant). I’ve tried just about everything out there and in various cocktails. When Viibryd first came out I went on it and had 7 straight months of sheer stability.

      I don’t remember feeling that stable in decades. Unfortunately, I was out of the country and as much forethought as possible, I still happened to be in a country didn’t have it, and was relying on a courier who was two days late, and that’s how I found out that the half-life of Viibryd is only 25 hours. Anyone who says this is one of the easiest anti-depressants to go off of, is very mistaken.

      I have gone off my meds both by titrating and cold turkey in the past, and learned never to go cold turkey by choice. 2 days that’s all it took off the Viibryd and the DT’s (that’s exactly what someone said I described) set in. The itching was bad and I can’t take Benadryl or any anti-histamines because I have RLS (restless leg syndrome) and those will cause a flare up which is intolerable also. Going off my percocets at 17 during my back surgery cold turkey was easier than those days off the Viibryd.

      Went right back to full dose when they arrived. I never totally recovered to that same point of stability. In fact I felt it wasn’t working anymore and we switched to Brintellix which had just come out. 2nd day on the Brintellix I had this itching sensation that made going off the Viibryd look like a piece of cake. NON stop 24/7 itching from the inside out. No relief none zero zip.

      Called my doctor ASAP he called me back after doing some research and found that what I experienced was an extremely rare event in fact it was then added to the insert as rare side effect post release to the market. That was intolerable and I could do nothing for it. I would have suggested calamine lotion but the itching is from the inside out so a topical isn’t going to get you relief.

      Immediately was told to go off the Brintellix, and we felt I had such a good period with the Viibryd maybe reintroduce it back into my body. Well I still stand behind what I said initially, when I unintentionally went off for a couple of days until the Viibryd arrived, and then went back on and this was nearly 3 years ago, then tried the Brintellix only to come back to the Viibryd and I’m not responding at all.

      I’m am titrating myself down 10% rule, going to have to use a scale and a sharp cutter (cause I couldn’t get the starter packs)and slowly, yes I’m very scared cause I remember, but I have nothing to transition into for my depression. I recently underwent Ketamine IV’s as I was very suicidal. That I will swear by as an adjunct to break that vicious ideation but that’s as far as it goes, it’s not meant to replace meds or therapists.

      Not sure I’ve shed anymore light than anyone else here already has. I know when I was w/o my Viibryd and starting feeling weird there was nothing, and I mean nothing in the medical sites or at Forest Pharmaceuticals that explained how to titrate down or what side effects to expect. I searched for hours until I ran across a blog where some patients had just found out for themselves about the 25 hour half life.

      All I know is after over 40 years in the system, we need to help ourselves.

  • Gloria November 7, 2014, 9:32 pm

    I have been taking Viiryd 40mg for past 3 years. I often wondered did I need it anymore. My new doctor suggested I try coming off the viibryd by tapering off. I tried tapering and felt horrible. So I tried doing cold turkey. So far the only experience I had is “nightmares”. It has only been 3 days with no viibryd and determine to try and come off them. I have in past gone cold turkey off xanax and valium, I know its not easy but in my case has been best way. Finding this site has helped me. It lets you know that you are not alone in your fight. Maybe cold turkey isn’t right for everyone but seems to work better for me.

  • Kelly November 8, 2014, 3:05 am

    Hi all, I had been taking viibryd for about a year. I did feel some better while taking it but experienced sleep paralysis at times which is very scary! This past week I finally tapered off from the 40 mg to 20 MG for about 4 days. My doctor told me I could just stop taking it and there were no withdrawals… so my first day on the 20 I had these strange feeling in my face almost like a dizzy heartbeat feeling. I know it’s hard to describe and understand. I am still feeling this and I’m very moody and irritable! I’m so glad I read this article, I will be calling my Dr and telling him yes there are withdrawals! Which he probably knew anyway. Hope everyone feels better, this is really something crazy to have to deal with!

  • leanne November 27, 2014, 2:29 am

    I have been taking viibryd for close to 3 years and now for the past 6 months have been taking hormones after my hysterectomy. Only a testosterone pellet. I have now began to notice a difference in my weight: gaining. And that my sex life is suffering in areas. Dr says try getting off of viibryd. But I can tell just by skipping one day of my viibryd that I’m horribly dependent on it. Which scares me. I can forget one day of it (40mg) and I’m a irritable, crazy mess. He prescribed 20 MG and I will start it now and would love to not have to take anything at all but am afraid of all the withdrawals and then afterwards. I need my depression and anxiety to be under control without gaining weight and also have a decent sex life.

  • LG November 30, 2014, 6:59 pm

    Just went cold turkey and I am also having all these withdrawal symptoms except the vomiting and suicidal thoughts. I cannot afford it anymore, but the med did ease my symptoms of severe depression for the last 18 months in forwarding-moving work of getting out of quicksand. Too bad this treatment was a monkey on my back. I am curious to see if I can shift away from the experience of dependence on this drug into a prescription free future. Psychiatrist Steven Dubovsky suggests, “You need to have a hypothesis about the expected outcome within a specified period of time. If that outcome doesn’t occur, your hypothesis is disconfirmed and you have to go back and form a new one.”

  • Jill December 3, 2014, 9:04 pm

    I’m so glad I read this because those brain zaps made me feel like I was dying or going crazy and my doctor had never heard of it before. I’m not dying!

    • Natasha January 22, 2016, 12:29 am

      I too, got so scared of the brain zaps – toooo scared. I would be afraid to go to sleep because it felt that was my last night. I was on 40ml and took it back to 20ml without dr consult because it was happening on Christmas. The worst thing in my life…

      • Rachel July 18, 2016, 4:32 pm

        I am currently withdrawing from Viibryd. I was on 40 mg and felt I could deal with the brain zaps, though uncomfortable, because my mood felt better. But after a nightmare I can only describe as sheer terror, I stayed up all night crying and called my doctor in the morning and told her I needed off this drug. She had me do 3 days of 20 mg and then stop altogether.

        I was only in my first full month of being on the full 40 mg dose. I called the manufacturer about this drug because the terror dream terrorized me to my core. I happened twice but the second time involved demons tormenting me and taunting me and me crying for help to my son in the next room but I was paralyzed and nothing would come out. If you do a google of viibryd and demons, you will find a lot of hits on the subject.

        This is a very scary drug and I believe it opens people up to things and places we should not go and experience. Even after all of that, my doctor tried to talk me into staying on it. Today is my third day of not taking it at all and I noticed a lot of brain zaps last night and my body starting to fall into the other realm where terror lives and fortunately it didn’t last long and no demons came.

        But the sooner this stuff is out of my system the better. I don’t think it should even be on the market. The manufacturer said my concerns would be passed on to the FDA and I hope they are because my doctor didn’t listen to any of the side effects with any concern.

  • Kelly December 27, 2014, 11:24 pm

    Glad I found this article! I’ve been on Viibryd for 3 years but wanted to switch due to side effects and the extreme discomfort I felt if I even waited a few hours to take a dose. Went on a trip overnight and forgot my medicine. On the drive back the next day I was incapacitated! I was in so much pain from the nausea, headache, body pain, and ITCHING! And that was at noon when I normally take the meds at 8am! Decided that I couldn’t risk that again.

    I tapered at a rate that I thought was slowly. 20mg for 4 days, 10mg for 4 day, now off for 2 days. I’m still losing it! Irritability is the least of my worries! I feel like I can’t function with the brain zaps and dizziness/vertigo. I want to spend all day in bed because movement is miserable and makes it worse. My house is a mess and my kids miss their mom. I’m really hoping this subsides soon, but I am glad that I googled and now know I’m not alone.

    I have an appointment in a week and a half to discuss a new medication. I was hoping I would be at baseline by then, but according to this article, probably not.

  • SF January 6, 2015, 1:49 am

    I am not a depressed person but went on viibryd because my child passed away and I was crying all the time. I needed to function at work (I’m a professional in health care) so my doctor and I decided on a 6-9 month regimen. I titrated from 10 to 20 to 40. For a couple months it really helped me control the meltdowns of complete sadness, and I tolerated the medication very well. However in the third month I began having the brain zaps and dizziness described here. I figured it was a sign I was taking too big a dose so I cut back to 20mg for a week.

    Still had the brain zaps, which were getting increasingly severe, so I decided to go off it cold turkey about a week to 10 days ago. I still have the brain zaps daily but they’re not as severe as they were when I was on it, and I also have dizziness and itching (thank you all for mentioning itching. I didn’t know that was a withdrawal effect). I don’t have any other withdrawal symptoms but the weepiness when I think about my child is returning, so I’m going to ask my doctor about switching to another SSRI, probably Prozac, until I can work through the worst of my emotions, which I figure will be 6-12 months.

  • Erica February 5, 2015, 7:01 pm

    I literally felt like I was going crazy prior to finding this site! I have been on Viibryd close to a year and initially started taking it with little to no side effects. This was fantastic because I was taking Zoloft, but had to stop because of the side effects. Approximately 2 months ago, I noticed I’d been fatigued and extremely exhausted. It was unbearable and the ER figured it was due to a sinus infection I had.

    Well I started taking vitamins daily and they’ve helped, but I’m still fatigued. Recently, its been getting worse and I wake up feeling like I’m drunk. I’ve been sober 3 years and 9 months so to wake up feeling drunk and disoriented, its not to pleasant and its not normal. I have also been getting a chest pain that’s been intermittent and I’ve noticed I’ve put on weight gradually, over the past 6 – 8 months. I missed my dose of Viibryd and 24 hour allergy medicine the other night and had to endure a day without it.

    It was the most horrible day! I had an intense itch all over my body, I was experiencing vertigo, and I was aggravated. This all got me to thinking about all my health issues that have come up that cannot be explained and I’ve been researching ever since. It’s day 2 with no Viibryd and the itchiness is still there, not unbearable, but it’s so uncomfortable. Vertigo is there as well and I’m extremely fatigued. I see the doctor today to get blood-work and to tell him I want off the medication.

    Someone had wrote that she’d been on meds ever since she became sober and wanted to finally be free of everything. That spoke to me and I will be taking the road to get there too. Thank you for your website and all your personal experiences. It really helps others who feel like they are alone, realize that they aren’t and know that the effects will pass, so to keep at it! Sorry for the long post, I just hope it can help someone else who is experiencing what I have been! – Erica

    • Terry March 29, 2016, 2:49 am

      Erica, Please let me know how you finally broke the vicious cycle of taking Viibryd. It has been a nightmare for me after taking it for the last three years after a recurrence of breast cancer, stage III. Going through the chemotherapy and radiation treatment and raising my two children on my own. I am currently enduring the extreme dizziness and vertigo, it is horrible. I too have had horrible nightmares over the last month.

      Prior to this I experienced the same scenario as Gabe Houston (above). Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for us? I feel so very lost in my attempt to get past this nightmare of ridding myself of this drug. Thanks! Terry

  • Had Enough February 20, 2015, 3:46 pm

    I have been on viibryd for three years. I started viibryd when I lost my job and felt hopeless. I got started on the med and thought it was a miracle drug. I felt extremely better. I picked myself up and started community college, for a year and graduated with honors. Then I got in a slump with trying to find a different job and being confined to the house cause my family has only one vehicle. Well long story short found a new job that I love.

    I decided that my downside of life was over and needed to get off the extremely expensive med I have been taking cause now I had everything in life I wanted. Well it has been five days with cold chills, headaches, itching everywhere, weird dreams, and anxiety. I just want to be back to normal I need an estimate of how much longer I must put up with this aggravation.

  • Gary February 20, 2015, 8:13 pm

    Went down from 40 mg after 2 years down to 20mg for four days and the itching and vivid dreams are severe. Second day now of absolutely nothing and the itching is horrendous, anxiety level is high and some visible shaking. I am finding though this isn’t as severe as klonopin withdrawal which was pure hell for three months.

  • David March 7, 2015, 12:39 pm

    I just stopped cold turkey after trying a sample of this medicine for a month and a half and it didnt work. Yesterday, my second day of being off the medicine, I had an episode which freaked me out. I was fine all day then at the end of the work day and driving home, I felt like I was having an out of body experience, like I was tripping or stoned. I went to bed and woke up to a nightmare and then went back to sleep and had bad dreams all night.

  • Melissa March 17, 2015, 12:34 am

    Thanks, everyone, for sharing. I completely understand the stoned, “heartbeat” feeling. I tapered off in six weeks from 40 mg to stopping, after a hysterectomy in December. It has been five days since my last pill and it is driving me crazy. I have had to take Lunesta every night because the multi-level nightmares scare me to death. I am afraid to go to sleep at night. I am definitely anxious and irritable. Glad to know this is normal.

  • Laury April 6, 2015, 12:48 pm

    This website has helped me too, I am coming off of viibryd after being on it since 2013 after being diagnosed with cancer for the second time. I have asked to be weaned off of it because I noticed after missing just one dose the nightmares were awful and I just felt like I was shaking from the inside out and just sick. I have been switched to Lexapro and I’m just experiencing being very fatigued and no motivation. I really did love Viibryd but was just concerned with how I felt with just missing one dose. With God’s grace I will get through these side effects quickly.

  • M.J. April 10, 2015, 5:20 am

    I have had severe crying/sobbing episodes that last twenty to thirty minutes as I am decreasing dosage of Viibryd. Very difficult to deal with. Do not feel understood by my mental health providers.

  • MCS April 20, 2015, 7:45 pm

    Taking Viibryd for the past three years has been a godsend. The health of my dog was deteriorating, and we finally had to put her down. Also, after 10 years of being home with my children, I took a full-time…very full-time job and the stress was incredible. It all just came crashing down on me at once. I was terrified to take medications, but finally had to do something.

    I did experience the twitching, brain zaps, and strangely, bouts of yawning closely to when I needed to take my next dose. The brain zaps did not last, and basically the last two years I’ve been great with the medication, therapy, and mindful meditation. I’m now titrating off – 40 mgs, 30 mgs (2 weeks), now 20 mgs (for at least a month). I’ve been on the 20 mgs for 4 days now. I do have the bit of dizziness if I get up too quickly, or move my head too fast. Also, today I’m experiencing itching, but honestly, I’m not sure if it’s the Viibryd or because I haven’t taken my allergy meds for the past couple days.

    I’ve had random anxiety issues in the past, but nothing that warranted medication. I decided to go off because I now have tools to deal with it. My only fear is that some of the anxiety is due to peri-menopause. If that’s the case and it becomes unbearable, I may have to return to Viibryd. Until then, I’m staying positive. For any of you taking these types of meds, unless you are having a severe allergic reaction, or your doctor tells you so, DO NOT GO COLD TURKEY. Any literature you read will tell you this!! Its been so great to find this forum as so many of the others had such terrifying posts! I wish you all the best!

    • Becky December 20, 2015, 8:23 pm

      What are these brain zaps that you all talk about? Is it possible to start having withdrawals 2 days after it taking viibryd? I think so by what everyone is saying. I have been thinking that I am running behind on my blood pressure meds when I feel strange in the morning, but I am beginning to believe it is the viibryd. I love this medication! This February will be a year that I have been on it.

      I called my dr to see ofbthes could call in 1 prescription it at least enough to get me through the weekend. They have done this 2 other times since I started seeing them back in 2006. They didn’t call and by the time I had given them 2 days it was already the weekend. My insurance is in limbo right now and the weather has work on hold. I haven’t been able to work for years due to my health so I really would have went to the doctor but I just did not have the money.

      My mother was going to pay for my medicine. It has been rough. Anyway, I hate that anyone is going through this terrible withdrawal!! It is scary and uncomfortable and it freaks me out!! I am happy however to see that It is kit “all in my head” because I thought it was. I have felt like I must really have lost my mind for these withdrawal symptoms to hit so fast and hard!! This is only day 2 without it!!

      I am nauseated, crying, I feel a pressure on my chest and I feel a lump in my throat. My head feels numb and so does my face!! I am tingling all over and not in a good way! My head feels so crazy and my body aches so bad!! We had lunch with the family today and everything tastes terrible. My mouth is dry and my teeth hurt. My jaw was kicked when I woke up. I have TMJ on the side it was locked on so IDK if there is a reason for that.

      The itching is terrible!! It never crossed my mind that it was a symptom. I took Benadryl which is always a last result for me because he makes my chest pound and I cannot tolerate it that good. My ears have been actually popping from what feels like fluid so maybe I may have a touch of some sort of sinus issue but I am very dizzy too. I cannot even begin to understand how quickly this hits you!! It blows my mind!!

      I am so very sleepy but can’t sleep!! I don’t know whether to just go to the dr and ask that we start weaning me down so I can get off of this very addictive medication or what. I have my 1st and 2nd grandchild on the way and I want to enjoy them and but be depressed and anxious and all but I am wondering if I would probably be ok once I get this poison out of me completely. I just know that for so many years I lived and loved life until I didn’t.

      Then with viibryd I was able to do all the things I loved again. I am so afraid I will sink back into the darkness and sadness. I don’t know what to do. I do know that these withdrawals are awful!! I just don’t know. You all have a wonderful and blessed day and I hope that you feel better very soon!! GL!

  • Sarah Marshall May 10, 2015, 6:08 pm

    The “Viibryd episode” has been the most intense, insane, debilitating, and miserable time of my life. I’ve had major depression for about 22 years and have been on and off medication for most of that time, but have never experienced this level of despair. I have had every side effect, especially heartburn and anger, and I’ve never been prone to side effects before in my life. I gained weight rapidly, have major bouts of irrational anger, and have heartburn every minute of the day and night.

    I’m completely incapacitated by these symptoms alone, but am plagued by all the other symptoms as well. I only took Viibryd for a month before losing control of myself and needing to taper off the devil-medication. I seriously don’t know how I’m going to handle 4 to 6 weeks of these symptoms. Sometimes I wonder if they will ever go away. It’s very comforting to read this article and find others like myself, this saga has left me feeling alone and desperate and I appreciate everyones’ comments.

  • Jana May 22, 2015, 5:07 pm

    I have been on viibryd since August 2013, decided to go off after realizing that this medication may well have been the cause of my Psoriactic arthritis that I got out of the blue after being on this medication for 2 weeks. I never put it together until recently; I am devastated but I can’t prove it… going off this medication has been horrible I went from 40mg to 20 mg for one week, 10 mg for one week then 10 every other day, last Thursday was the last time I took it.

    It has been a week from hell and my symptoms are slowly, very slowly getting better, just horrendous. I have been supplementing with a supplement called SaMe, it is helping me tremendously. I rue the day I took this drug, I had been on Cymbalta and my prescription costs rose to 250 dollars for a 30 day supply before that I had been on Effexor and before that Paxil but the Paxil went generic and generic just does not work for me.

    I wish I never put an antidepressant in my mouth they are awful, I know some people need them to cope, the doctors – they need to stop prescribing them for just about anything but the thing is when a patient is in real pain – the doctors, they don’t want to prescribe an opiate for the sake of addiction, but what has happened to all of us with these psychiatric drugs?

    These drugs that are manufactured in a lab – we’re all addicted aren’t we? It’s horrible, just horrible, I wish the best to everybody on this site, its a horrible feeling and I pray that we all heal.

  • Jason Medeiros May 26, 2015, 8:34 pm

    I have just been reading ALL of the people who are in the same boat as I. My God!!!! What are they doing to us?? I had a nervous breakdown 18 months ago. My MD gave me samples of Vybriid. It worked for awhile and help get me back on my feet. Now, this is a $66 medication that if, I don’t take daily. I start crying like a baby…

    I have had enough of this whole situation and have been off of it 2 doses now. I all ready feeling it. Just bit my wife’s head off… Told her that she going to have to be prepared for the storm. I’m going to speak with my doctor and thank God for xanax. I wonder if the drug company executives have ever been though what we have go though? Hang in there everyone. We are all rats in the maze.

    • Ronnit Shanny May 1, 2016, 1:14 am

      Lol you are relieved that while you go off your Viibryd that you have xanax. I’m not sure how to take that sentence. Xanax is a much worse culprit than Viibryd will ever be. And I’m on both and have gone off both. Xanax was the only benzo ever to work on me at all and it is the one pill of my cocktail that I resent more than any because it doesn’t matter if I have an anxiety attack or not, because if I don’t take a dose every 6 hours my body freaks out.

      That’s they way it’s going to be forever unless I can get off of them. I’m already down to 1/2 the amount prescribed which wasn’t a large dose to begin with and still my body like an alarm clock starts shaking, trembling, fidgeting, nausea, zombified, or edgy until I realize oh, I didn’t take my xanax exactly 6 hours apart. I resent any pill that has physical dependence to it.

      FYI and this will not make any feel really good but those of you who have been around and dealing with these medications and alternatives etc. for decades already know… nobody out there really knows what they are doing, it’s trial and error and completely individual. It’s up to each of us to simply decide for ourselves (after arming ourselves with knowledge) what benefits outweigh the side effects.

      If you can’t find health professionals that respect that and your active participation, I suggest you find a different professional. These types of disorders cannot be managed solo. It requires a support system. And if you really want to know how to deal with tapering off meds or any questions regarding your meds and other meds you take, don’t ask your psychiatrists or general practitioners, ask the Pharmacist.

      He/She went to school to study the chemistry of medications. The buck stops with the pharmacist (a decent one) not the psychiatrist. I can tell you now there is not one psychotropic drug out there that is harmless to the body. Not everyone will experience issues. But obviously we are all here so the system is failing us because it’s just not there yet.

      These are bandaids. The industry doesn’t even know yet to what extent some of these meds will induce in our bodies because they simply haven’t been out long enough to follow. The cure is out there when they break the genetic code. I probably won’t see that happen in my lifetime but then I’m already a casualty of this war.

      I do take comfort in knowing that one day there will be no more predispositions to not only hereditary mental health disorders but chronic health problems as well.

      • Lisa July 13, 2016, 4:09 pm

        How’re you doing these days? What dose of Xanax were you taking that got you hooked? Have you been able to get off of it? I too am using Xanax as I go with rough discontinuation of Viibryd. I’m taking it as needed, not a regular schedule. I take up to .25 mg, 2-3x/day. Some days I take .25 only.

        After 3 weeks, seems I’m needed it less. We are all so different. I’m terrified of getting hooked on any drug but Xanax has helped so much with the panic. The withdraw has made anxiety go straight to panic. Anyway, I’m being very mindful of the Xanax. Hope you are well.

  • Ash June 11, 2015, 5:59 am

    OK, I was on viibryd for over 2 years and tapered off about 2 months ago. The first month and a half the worst part was the brain zaps. I could not move my eyes one way or another without getting zaps (and I agree you sound crazy trying to explain those to anyone who hasn’t experienced it). Now it seems I have no energy whatsoever, I have no desire to play ball or even play around with my son.

    I can barely perform at work because I’m so “out of it.” Does anyone know how long this lasts or anything I can do to help. I enjoy going to the gym but haven’t been in a couple months now because of all this. Also, I’m experiencing a lot of anxiety do everything I’ve just mentioned…I’m going nuts!!

    • Lisa July 13, 2016, 4:10 pm

      How’re you now?

  • Nichole June 14, 2015, 8:43 am

    I’ve been on this medication for about five days at the 40mg dose and I missed one day and it is causing me to have constant nightmares every time I try to go to sleep and I’m only sleeping a few minutes at a time. So now I’m having to stay up for 24 hours to get my next dose and hoping they will go away soon.

  • Elizabeth June 24, 2015, 2:30 am

    Thank God for these posts and this site! I’ve been on Viibryd for over three years and get those same withdrawal symptoms (brain zaps, irritability, dizziness and itchiness) if I forget to take it for even just a few hours late. I too have gained some weight, have a lower libido and extreme fatigue. I want off of this Viibryd but when I have tried to taper off it before I had such severe withdrawal. Not sure how to proceed…

    • Cherie July 23, 2015, 10:59 am

      We need a doctor to take us off. I just woke up from the most horrible succession of bad dreams. Of course the sleep was only interrupted by fits of scratching. How do your eyeballs get itchy? Ready to gorge them out. Too bad the pills are so expensive that are sitting at the pharmacy. Not feeling like myself. Going to try to stay calm and go about my day like “normal” and hope the brain zaps are not bad.

      • Heather July 27, 2015, 1:01 am

        Thank you for sharing. I am a 3 year user of viibryd. I had oodles of brain zaps going on it. I sincerely hope I can miss out on that coming off. I have one 10mg pill left. At the pharmacy there is a half a months script and I feel like a desperate junkie. It is so so expensive. I have insurance, but I haven’t reached the deductible so a 30 day supply is over 200 dollars.

        I get samples when I can, but they were out so I bought a few at a time until I couldn’t anymore. I just used those to titrate off. My eyes hurt so bad. There are not enough artificial tears to give me relief. I was OK at 20, at 10mg the vivid nightmares increased. I now have cold like symptoms. Runny nose, sneezing. Yep, itching. So very tired. I could sleep around the clock. I don’t know how long the withdrawal symptoms will last or if the symptoms will change or just ease up over time.

        Nausea. I have discovered that feeling weak and nauseated is temporarily solved by food. I don’t want food though. I hope to lose weight. I gained a LOT of weight on viibryd. I have been on anti-depressants since the early 80’s. I hope that this time I cam make it through this withdrawal and then use all the therapy to manage. Maybe exercise and focusing on my life, which is a pretty good one, will help. My spouse has been great. I am definitely no picnic right now.

    • elena September 15, 2015, 7:38 pm

      I’m having really severe withdrawal symptoms also (I posted my story below). I have read that in order to go off the drug, you need to reduce the dosage by 10% per month. That’s a long time to come off of a drug…

  • Dee July 9, 2015, 4:22 pm

    The itching is driving me crazy!!!!! I had been on Viibryd for about 2 years. I lowered my dose but didn’t have enough to do it sloooooowwwwllly. Nothing stops me from eating (LOL), but I did pack on a ton of weight while taking it and am hoping weight loss occurs. It seemed I did have suicidal thoughts but they have subsided, a loving family will get you through anything. I have been off of the drug for probably a month or less. I have had most of the symptoms and they are getting very old. Thank you all for letting me know I’m not imagining the itching, I feel like I have bugs all over me. That is the worst.

    • Cherie July 23, 2015, 10:55 am

      I feel like I have bugs on me too. I went to the emergency room and there was nothing they could do for me, probably thought I was crazy since no one seems to know about the crap the prescribe to people. I am sure my doctor didn’t when after a year of being on 40mg she says I can take more without really explaining it to me so I have been taking 80mg for about a month. It’s so expensive. I have been off them for 1 day. The nightmares are real and it is horrible.

  • Heather August 10, 2015, 5:51 am

    The withdrawal and anger coming off Viibryd is beyond horrible. Do not take any antidepressants for a depression bout. It is not worth it. The doctors don’t understand this dulls you out and changes your body. I’m coming off these since I really could have gone to therapy and stayed off these. Do your research. The evidence is you probably don’t need to be on an antidepressant. Check out you tube about how people have suffered great going on these.

  • Lisa September 1, 2015, 9:55 pm

    I pretty much went “cold turkey” with the Viibryd. My doctor switched me to Prozac 20mg. and told me to take the 10mg. dose for five days and then discontinue. I have been off of the Viibryd for about two weeks now and I have been living with the most intense anxiety and life is unbearable. Is it that Prozac 20mg. is not enough or am I withdrawing from the Viibryd? Nobody can give me any answers and I am about a stone’s throw away from a hospital admission.

  • Elena September 15, 2015, 7:28 pm

    I have been taking 20 mg Viibryd for about a year. It was prescribed by my PCP since a low dose of SSRI is supposed to help regulate hot flashes (mine are pretty severe). About six weeks ago, I decided to try weaning myself off by taking 1/2 of the dose, because it’s not helping with the hot flashes. I immediately started to experience constant fasciculations (muscle twitches) in my legs – it felt like there were bubbles under my skin!

    Now, in addition to the twitches, I am experiencing constant paresthesia (like little needles all over my body). This week, I started to get the muscles twinges everywhere – legs, arms, belly, neck – and eyelids. Someone in this chain mentioned tooth sensitivity – that’s been a problem for the past few days also – I didn’t realize that was another side effect. My doctor had no clue what was causing this; blood work came back normal; I don’t overuse those muscles (although I exercise regularly).

    I am surprised that he didn’t put two and two together. That’s what I get for expecting a PCP to advise me on psychiatric drugs. I need to find a new doc asap – these symptoms are very scary. I also have the headaches, anxiety, mood swings, depression and nausea that a lot of you have mentioned. Until I found this website, it didn’t occur to me that all of these symptoms were related. I also believe that the increase in hot flashes/night sweats has to do with the Viibryd withdrawal.

    Has anyone else going through menopause had a similar experience with this drug? How long did it take you to wean off, or did you stay on it, as I am considering doing, just because the withdrawal is so awful? I took Zoloft for years to help with panic attacks, and had some side effects when I first took it, but coming off of it was nothing like this.

    • Susan June 7, 2016, 3:00 pm

      Yes Elena, I too have had night sweats and when I get up sweating and then cold. Weaning off this poison! I would love to go after the company that made this poison and my life miserable!

    • Geo August 6, 2016, 2:59 am

      Took this for several years. Worked well for me. But it’s time to stop. Tapered from 20 to 10 to 7 to 5 by splitting pills over a couple years. At one point I had paresthesias – electrical zaps all over and burning in my trigeminal nerve and a rash – had tests for Lyme, west Nile, etc and MRIs to rule out MS. All negative.

      Lots of worry. Not sure if it was the Viibryd or the withdrawal of what. Symptoms went away. After a year at 7 or 5mg I stopped. Now I have muscle spasms like RLS. I’m very tired and I seem to move slowly, like I need to tell my muscles to move. I’ll be glad when this is done.

  • Chris September 29, 2015, 10:01 pm

    This drug is absolute poison!!! I’ve been on and off many antidepressants throughout my life, but I have NEVER experienced such bad side effects while taking it or while coming off it. I was on Viibryd for not even a month. I did not even finish the starter pack. While I was taking it I had horrific dreams, constant stomach bloating and diarrhea, manic mood swings, I gained 6 pounds in 3 weeks!

    I no longer fit in my clothes and my sex drive diminished. I weaned off of it for about a weak as per my doctor’s orders and it has been an absolute nightmare! I have been off of it for nearly 2 weeks now and my stomach is just starting to recover. I am still having bad dreams and have not lost any weight even though my appetite is considerably less. I have brain zaps and my irritability is off the charts.

    One minute it is under control and the next I fly off the handle. I can break into tears easily and feel hopeless most of the day, not to mention feeling completely fatigued. When will this stop? How much longer will I have to endure this hell? My boyfriend and I are supposed to be getting engaged soon and this very well may stop that from happening.

  • Tina October 7, 2015, 1:15 pm

    Everything is spinning. Last night my body temp. was down to 94.7 f. It took an hour under an electric blanket at the highest setting to get me back into a normal temp. range. Scary crap. I watch a little girl and am having trouble being an interactive nanny. At night, after a full day of “faking normal”, I cry so hard that when it finally stops I am “gasping” intermittently for an hour or more. I am itchy, very itchy, anxiety is the major part which includes paranoia. (ex… Maybe this is forever, the docs may be trying to put me down for good, I’m a horrible experiment gone wrong, they system is out to get me because of the government doesn’t like my views).

    Then I’ll be normal and realize what is really going on around me, just for it to pick up pace later. My emotions feel numb, disconnected, uncaring. My headaches are insanely intense and now I’m afraid to take any drug because I’m afraid to prolong any form of withdraw from the viibryd. Everything tastes chemically. I will never try depression pharmaceuticals again. Never felt anything near this on my worst days before Meds. There has got to be a better way. Never again…never again.

  • Natalie November 17, 2015, 10:28 am

    This is a great article. I was on 40mg for over a year due to depression caused by many GI issues. Well… I have been feeling ok overall and thought it was time to cute dosage or even stop all together. I went from switching to 20 mg, then taking it every other day, to nothing. Yesterday was BAD. it was the worst I felt in a long time: severe headache all day, vertigo (which I usually get anyway but this felt different and more intense), crying because I felt so bad (?) Probably wouldn’t do that normally, and ITCHY!! I was up all night itching. I hope this all goes away soon.

  • Elizabeth November 21, 2015, 5:45 pm

    I was on zoloft 25mg and then switched to viibryd after gaining 10 pounds from the zoloft. I don’t feel hungry all the time like I did on zoloft, but my sleep has been terrible. I get these awful ringing in my ears at night along with sleep paralysis every now and then and dreams that feel so real and scary. After all of these sleep issues and being on viibryd for only a month, I decided to switch back to zoloft seeing as I’d rather be fat and sleep than skinny and sleep deprived.

    My Dr. has instructed me to take viibryd 20mg every other day for one week before I begin zoloft. The first day without it has been absolutely miserable. The fatigue has kept me in the bed. I am also experiencing itchy skin which I did not first think viibryd withdrawals could be the reason, but I’m glad I found this website. Has anyone else experience such terrible fatigue? It takes all my energy to walk a few feet to the bathroom. I’ll be glad when this is over and I’m back on zoloft. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get off these medications completely.

  • Elaine December 5, 2015, 2:30 am

    I stopped cold turkey after 8 months give or take bc I was still up and down constantly, crying too much, and I gained at least 30 pounds. I was not going to gain another pound BC of a pill. After less than a week I made an appt to get on something different BC a lot of unpleasantness. I’ve had the stoned/trippy feeling, the itching is driving me mad, headache, nausea. Not one thing I like about this medicine.

  • Audrey December 22, 2015, 3:15 pm

    I’ve been taking Viibryd for almost 2 months now. I did the starter pack – 10, 20, and now 40. I’ve really enjoyed the medicine because it has helped tremendously with my depression. I do however experience brain zaps almost every night before I go to bed – which is usually pretty late at night. I tried to explain this to my mom – who has dealt with depression for most of her life – and she had no clue what I was talking about.

    I’m glad to know that there is a word for this and that I’m not going crazy. It has helped me to deal with most of my issues and any depressive thoughts that I have. Except during my monthly cycle which brings the mood swings and physical unpleasantness-which I’ve realized will be something I will have to deal with for the next 30 or so years wether I’m on antidepressants or not.

    I experienced a lot of nausea coming onto the drug, but that passed after the first month. Though this medication has helped with my depression, I realized I cannot afford to pay $70 a month for it-I am a college student, working 15-20 hours a week, and living on my own. I scheduled an appointment to see my doctor to discuss alternatives, but she isn’t available for 3 weeks. As of right now, I have two 40mg pills left.

    Since I don’t have a choice but to taper off, I’ve decided to cut the pills in halves – take 20mg for three days, then 10mg for two days. Does this route seem reasonable? Or should I take the last two 40mg pills and then quit cold turkey? Some people said they were okay quitting cold turkey, but others were not. I’m just wondering what would be most recommended. I’m about 130 lbs if that helps.

    • Red-safari January 7, 2016, 6:42 pm

      I am currently weening off of 40mg Viibryd. My doctor only wanted me on it for 4-6 months so this bottle was my last refill and I’ve been taking 20mg doses and will move to 10mg next. I am definitely feeling emotional withdrawals. I’m just 34 and I keep feeling like my opportunity to do great things with my life are fleeting away. This is very very abnormal for me since I generally have illusions of grandeur for the future and was planning to retire to a castle in Europe in my 50’s (things like that).

      I have a great life and family and 3 wonderful children ages 2, 4, and 5, so I shouldn’t be thinking that I’ve peaked in life and really don’t have much to look forward to. I really hope these feelings go away soon. I am only on day 4 of dropping down from 40mg to 20mg so I understand that is a drastic reduction and I am smack in the middle of this whole thing right now.

      To mention the physical aspects, I am feeling dizzy and my head is a little foggy and I am waking up at night about every hour, which is exactly what happened when I got onto the Viibryd. I also don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, even after 9-10 hours of sleep, which is again very abnormal for me. I usually cannot make it past 7 hours without jumping out of bed each day. All in all, I guess I regret ever getting on this medicine and will be glad to see it out of my life.

  • Ash February 17, 2016, 1:20 am

    I’ve been on Viibryd for at least 6 months now. It’s been pricey, but good. However, as I make the move to live on my own, I can’t afford it. I’m trying to go cold turkey, but I don’t think that’s working out too well. I might have to try taking it 20mg tonight since I hardly was able to move today because of the fatigue.

    The brain zaps and dizziness I noticed the first day I was off it. Seems like my body is very dependent on it, which seems all the more reason to get off of it in my opinion. I’ve experienced every symptom on this list except the panic attacks (which is a bit surprising with my panic disorder). At the very least, a good thing about the withdrawal is that it makes me feel alive!

    I think Viibryd had the tendency to make me feel like I was a corpse living a young man’s life. Nothing seemed real! I’ve been off of it 2 days now; will update as time goes on.

    • Anna May 23, 2016, 4:52 pm

      Cold Turkey by accident… We left to go on a camping trip this past Friday. Guess what got left behind. With our insurance as crazy as it is requiring prior authorization from doctor to refill this every 3 months, I’ve decided to just go with out. Preface: 35 year old female – been on Viibryd for a almost 3 years now and at 40 mg dose for at least 2 1/2 years.

      Today is Monday – we returned from our trip last night. I decided to not take it last night at home either. I’m really ready to FEEL again and come off this medication again. MOST notable side effect? THE ITCHING! My nose, the bottoms of my feet, my eyes… everywhere. Like a terrible allergic reaction. Next most noticeable side effect – the crazy dreams.

      Not necessarily night mares at all, just crazy and vivid. My mom has been in my dreams all weekend and she passed away 5 years ago. I never dreamed of her before. I wake up feeling nostalgic in a way… crazy I know. Third most noticeable – the dizzy miswired brainy feeling. This may be the worst…

      I can deal with the other two and honestly hope the dreams continue. But the disconnect in my brain is not fun right now. I’m going to keep trudging through a Viibryd free life….with hopes of great success. Thank you to all your stories. Helps to know I’m so not alone.

  • Marian CAda March 29, 2016, 5:00 am

    I’ve been on Viibryd for about a year now but for the first little while I noticed no side effects. I’ve been itching for at least the past 6 months, at first it was gradual but now it is getting uncontrollable and so intense that its making me crazy, it bugs me some during the day but mostly at night in bed! I have also developed insomnia (just for the past few months) strange, I could sleep before.

    I have also had sleep paralysis at least 3-5 times and had bad dreams with it. The sleep paralysis scared me to death!! I had no idea it was the Viibryd, I am so glad I found this site. By far, my worst complaint tho is the itching. All over my body. Areas that itch are my neck, breast area, legs, feet, arms, under the arms, shoulders, waist area, abdominal area, back & buttocks.

    I do feel like bugs are crawling in my skin at times too! Its insane. Nowhere is it listed in any of the information I have read that “intense itchiness” is a side effect.” Does anybody else have the all over body itching? I ask b/c I have been thinking it was something else like low iron or sugar levels, some kind of medical condition. Also has anyone gotten off it and the itching subsided? Oh plz tell me YES. I’m dying.

    • Anna May 23, 2016, 4:50 pm

      You haven’t changed anything? Cut back? Quit taking? The symptoms you’ve described sound like what I’m having coming off the medication all together. However, as long as I took every night at the same time, the brain zaps, sleep paralysis and night tremors stayed at bay. But the itching is INSANE!! I’ve not taken any medication for 4 nights now and I could claw myself silly. You aren’t alone on that at all. Hope things get better for you.

  • Malissa March 31, 2016, 6:45 pm

    I started Viibryd Nov 2011 when my grandmother was dying and I asked my GYN for something to help me get through it. I’ve always been on 20mg. I suffered with the vivid dreams, night terrors, sleep paralysis, brain zaps (didn’t know what they were until I read this forum) and I’m sure other side effects I don’t remember, but stuck with the medication and have been my best self for over four years.

    That is until my husband’s new insurance didn’t cover Viibryd, and we can’t afford $240/mo. I went to a psych to discuss what to do and we decided to transition me onto Prozac. I’ve stayed on the 20mg Viibryd while taking 10mg Prozac for 1wk, then 20mg the 2nd week. Yesterday I cut my Viibryd to 10mg and I am definitely having side effects. Uncontrollable urges to cry, itching, headache, nausea and the vivid dreams are back.

    Since starting the Prozac I have had depression symptoms I haven’t had in years, so I don’t know if that med is counteracting with the Viibryd. I definitely don’t feel like myself today and hate the sad emotional crying episodes. I’m going to stick with my psych’s plan to ween me off the Viibryd and continue with the Prozac for now, but I dread the thought of the mood swings and irritability I had before Viibryd coming back into my life. If Viibryd wasn’t so expensive I’d definitely continue taking it.

    • Ronnit Shanny May 1, 2016, 1:37 am

      If you meet the Patient Assisted Pharmaceutical Program (certain income levels) you can apply directly and once approved you can get anywhere from 3 months to 1 year or longer supply of medications. That goes for any medication that is patented still (non-generic) and decided by each Pharmaceutical Company as to which meds they will dispense for free. Most do for financial hardships.

      Otherwise, we still have a few years left on the patent. At the date of your post, I would venture to say it’s coming off the Viibryd is at the root of your mood. Prozac takes much longer to reach therapeutic value and it’s half life is longer than any other anti-depressant so it stays in your body for 2-3 weeks so that’s one you don’t have to freak out if you miss a dose.

      Prozac was my “saving grace” I was on it before it was officially released and the only anti-depressant that had every worked on me at least for awhile and revisited it many times because I would respond each time coming back to it. Unfortunately for me, my romance with Prozac has ended as it causes me to rapid cycle almost immediately. Good luck with the Prozac and coming off the Viibryd.

      And yes after researching everything and rereading these posts, I’m truly not looking forward to experiencing any symptoms as I begin a 2-3 month taper. Absurd. Especially knowing what it feels like, I certainly hope this 10% a week taper isn’t anything like what happened those days I was without and even getting back on the w/drawls ended at some point but I never got the benefit of the Viibryd back like I did for the first 7 months.

      Really got my hopes up as I was approaching 50 and facing Tardive Dyskinesia I was hoping for just some better quality days.

  • Kelly May 5, 2016, 10:55 pm

    I am so grateful I ran across this info about Viibryd. I have been taking 40mg a day for a couple months. Yesterday I couldn’t remember if I took it or not, a couple weeks ago this happen and I took it and realized I ended up taking double and I felt kinda bad. So this time since I couldn’t remember I just skipped it. BIG MISTAKE! I could not sleep at all last night because of crazy dreams.

    I felt anxious and dizzy. It was horrible. So I took it today but I still wasn’t feeling all that great and that is why I started to try and figure out what was going on and came across this site. I feel better now just knowing what I am experiencing is normal. I ended up taking a dose of Ativan and this has helped as well because I was on the verge of a full on panic attack.

    My advice to people taking this medication if you can’t remember if you took it or not you are better off doubling up than not taking it at all. At least that is my experience.

    • Sumer Gomez November 26, 2016, 2:57 pm

      I appreciate reading everyone’s comments, I was starting to think maybe It was all in my head. I’m 36 years old and have been on Viibryd for 4+ years. The first 8 months I stayed on 30 mgs. Then to 40 mgs. It has worked so well for me, better than Paxil and Prozac. The sleep paralysis, vivid dreams and difficulty achieving climax were present the first two years.

      If I missed a dose I was much more emotional but that was about it. The last year I have had random Brain zaps, a disorienting “aura” kind of migraine like but without the headache or nausea and vivid dreams periodically. If I don’t take my dose exactly 21-22 hours from the last dose I get some or all of the above symptoms plus I experience something I can only describe as like severe allergies.

      Nasal congestion, itchy eyes, nose and face. At first I told my husband if anyone had told me this I would think they were nuts but after
      5 months of this I know I’m not crazy and the timespan is changing. Before I had a couple hours to take a missed dose, now it’s gaping at 22 hrs from the last dose. I don’t know what to do because my husband of 18 years is very ill with cancer and needs my care.

      I can’t get off or even titration down right now. We raised the money to get him here in Atlanta to specialists from our home of Washington state 5 months ago for his treatment and stem cell transplant and all my doctors are back home. We are staying at the hope house thank God but kids aren’t allowed and all our things are in storage in Washington (we couldn’t afford to keep the home we were renting) our kids are staying with family but the house is to crowded for his safety because of his low counts).

      I just can’t bear to come off of the Viibryd right now, I’m still mourning the loss of my grandma who raised me to Cancer. Helping my husband come to terms with his mom’s stage 4 cancer and trying to figure out where and how we will get to be with our kids again for Christmas. I’m sorry if this is too long, just wondering if anyone else has been on Viibryd as long as me or has experienced these side effects.

  • Tatyana May 7, 2016, 3:19 pm

    This medication truly changed my life. I had really bad depression and after starting it, it’s like I finally know what it feels like to be normal, to want to go out, socialize with people, family. People who don’t know I am taking it tell me they’re noticing an improvement in my mood. With that said, I don’t want to be on it forever, so I started to taper – from 40 to 20 daily.

    Then I stopped. The withdrawal was just awful and caused me to restart it. Brain zaps, extreme fatigue, and then – hallucinations. My doctor says it is not typical but I know what I felt, I was seeing objects and people in the room that were not there and was having conversations with them. This happened about 20 hours after I stopped medication altogether.

    It really scared me. I wonder if I am crazier than other people or something wrong with me. Now I am back on the medication and everything is fine again but I don’t know when or even if I can stop it…

  • Sherri May 25, 2016, 11:21 pm

    I was on this medicine for over 5 years and have been off this med for 2 days. I haven’t slept except one hour and I cannot focus and the doctor refuses to be of any help lowering my dose slowly like when I was put on. I can tell this isn’t going to go well. I am reading all this worried. 4 to 6 weeks sounds horrible. I have had bad experiences just missing a dose.

  • Kathy Kreicas May 28, 2016, 7:07 pm

    I have been on Prozac since 1996. Have tried others that did not work. Happened to go thru major stress levels. One is 14 surgeries for breast cancer and infections for a year. I am finally home. I went on VIIBRYD 40 mugs. About 60 days ago. Before that, I was on 20 for a week and 10 for a week. I am know be taken off of them this week – slowly.

    I have gone down to 20 for a week. After one week, I am suppose to go down to 19. My side effects are terrible. I said terrible things to my husband – which is no way an angel. I also spit out something to my daughter. I am going thru the itchiness. I have put on weight. I have terrible gas.

    I just went thru breast surgery and had the stressful fight with hubby and my breasts froze with horrific pain. I was going to try a a quick withdrawal, but after reading your posts, I might go slower.

  • Christina June 1, 2016, 3:19 pm

    This is very accurate. I’ve been taking Viibryd for 2 months and I ran out and have been without for 6 days. The most severe symptoms I am having are vivid dreams, I could write award winning books with my dreams lately. And I also have severe itching. All over my body. I had a nurse check me for lice it was so bad. I’m going to refill and taper… It’s been effective for my short term need but cold turkey is no way to go with this stuff.

  • KPW June 5, 2016, 7:16 pm

    Hi everyone, started on Viibryd at 10mg in late Jan 2016 and gradually increased to 20mg and then 40mg daily. Before the Viibryd I had been prescription pill-free for 6 years although I am a frequent medical marijuana user. It was very effective for me this year – I believe it’s helped to keep my mood balanced with no impact on sex drive and the only side effect being occasional diarrhea.

    Things in general for me have been going well lately and I have become motivated to get back off this drug. And to be entirely honest the diarrhea side effect is also a main reason for why I’d like to stop taking Viibryd altogether. It’s now been 48 hours for me – cold turkey – and I am feeling many of the symptoms described here.

    I had the “brain zaps” last night. “Brain zaps” had only happened to me once before in my lifetime (years ago while coming down from molly) and although last night was less severe than the molly withdrawal, it was still very unpleasant. Long, vivid nightmares after I did fall asleep; then headache, vertigo, fatigue and irritability today.

    The first thing that has made me feel any better has been finding this forum and reading about how I’m not alone. Thank you to everybody else who has posted their experiences here. Will let you all know how it turns out for me…

    • KPW June 7, 2016, 1:02 am

      Day 3: My headache yesterday got worse and worse last night, so I eventually took ~20mg (by breaking a pill in half). The headache and other symptoms persisted for several more hours but I felt better in the morning. I’ve made it through today feeling okay; only very slight vertigo this evening.

      Full disclosure, I smoked a joint this evening and will smoke one more before bed and that definitely helps to ease the vertigo and irritability. I am planning on not taking any Viibryd tonight, but I’ll be prepared to take another 20mg tomorrow in the likely event that the same symptoms from Day 2 reappear.

      • KPW June 8, 2016, 3:45 am

        Day 4: Mild vertigo continues and random itchiness is increasing. But overall I felt okay today. I took another 20 mg half pill after waiting a full 48 hours since the previous one. Tonight I could have survived without it but that would have been unnecessary suffering. Plan is to hopefully go 72 hours before the next 20 mg.

        • KPW June 12, 2016, 8:17 pm

          Day 9: This is now one full week since my first post here. I made it 72 hours (from Day 4 to Day 7) in decent shape. Now it’s nearing the end of my second 72-hour block and symptoms are getting bad again. Itchiness has improved but the vertigo and brain zaps are back in full force.

          I feel angry and dizzy. It probably doesn’t help that this girl hasn’t texted me back for a couple days, and I’m visiting family around whom I can’t smoke weed and have been drinking with them. Whatever, f%@& it. I will beat this. I will make it until tomorrow before taking the next 20 mg.

          • Lisa July 13, 2016, 4:20 pm

            How are you now??

  • KPW June 16, 2016, 2:20 am

    Day 11: Doing much, much better. It’s been about 36 hours since my last 20 mg and I finally have no symptoms! Yesterday was rough (the girl dumped me) but physically I felt OK and I think I might be off the Viibryd for good. Will let you know.

  • KPW June 18, 2016, 4:25 pm

    Day 15: OK guys, I feel back to normal except for some very minor lingering vertigo and that is improving each day. I don’t recommend stopping Viibryd abruptly if you can avoid it because it really is not pleasant… but the good news is that the symptoms seem temporary and can be overcome. For me, I cut from 40 mg daily to 20 mg every other day… then 20 mg every third day… and after two weeks I am completely off the stuff now.

    I did this despite getting dumped by the same girl who had made me feel so happy that she’d inspired me quitting Viibryd in the first place. So yay. For me, this plan seems to have worked, but I should note that it is always best to follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding any medication. Most importantly you should know that you are NOT alone and there are lots of other people feeling similarly to you about Viibryd and about happiness. Best wishes!

  • Samantha July 2, 2016, 8:15 pm

    I was literally on this for nine days (was on 10mg for seven days then went to 20mg the next two) when I missed a dose and laid down for bed, it hadn’t even been five hours after my normal medication time and as i was falling asleep I had THE MOST VIOLENT brain zaps. They were so extremely painful. I’ve experienced zaps before on effexor, but they were nothing like this.

    They started with sleep paralysis and intense, painful throbbing on my temples that started light and got more intense. As this was happening I could hear whispering… and as the throbbing became more intense so did the voices, they went from whispers to talking to screaming and then a huge shock that jolted me out of bed and almost felt like a seizure if I could describe it.

    I got up and went to the bathroom to try to shake it off, and it happened again while I was awake. I took my medicine, obviously. But the next two days I had a terrible residual throbbing headache in my temples… But I decided that if this was happening after only 9 days, how would I ever get off of it in the future should I decide to?

    So I’m currently weaning myself off of it. I took 20mg for two days, then decreased by approx. 2.5mg every two days until I got to 10, then I went a bit slower, 2.5mg every 4 days. Last night I took 5mg and had such bad brain zaps that my boyfriend woke me up because I was screaming in my sleep.

    I just feel like I’m doing everything right and everything is going wrong. The only other medicine I take every day is Topamax 250mg for PTSD, and clonidine .1 for anxiety. These have been the only medications I’ve been on for the last year. Has anyone else dealt with discontinuation syndrome so early after starting?

    How long does it take to wean off? My doctor doesn’t have answers and is telling me to keep doing what I’m doing. If anyone can help me, you don’t know how much it would help.

    • KPW July 9, 2016, 9:06 pm

      Hi Sam, it took about 2 & 1/2 weeks for me to wean off. But I was coming down from 40mg and a few months of use. Good luck and best wishes… the brain zaps (and vertigo, for me) suck but they are only temporary.

      • Lisa July 13, 2016, 4:21 pm

        Hi KPW, how long were you on Viibryd and did you have yuck discontinuation symptoms that eventually subsided?

        • KPW August 3, 2016, 1:29 am

          Hi Lisa, I was on Viibryd for about 5 months, and yes, after discontinuing I had “brain zaps,” vertigo, headache and fatigue. Yuck. Those symptoms eventually subsided after about 2 1/2 weeks. -Keith

      • Samantha July 23, 2016, 2:26 am

        So it’s taken me a full month to taper off of this (with brain zaps and sleep paralysis the whole time) and today is day three finally off of it. I feel so much worse than I did before I started it. I can’t get off my couch, I have no energy, I can’t stop crying… heart palpitations during the day but they’re even worse at night.. Terrible headaches, also my body feels sore like I was lifting weights the whole day prior.

        I lay in bed at night just tossing and turning and itching… maybe six hours of sleep over the last two nights. Thoughts of not wanting to live anymore are flooding my brain. This isn’t me. I wouldn’t recommend this medicine to the most evil person in the world.

        It’s totally ruined any and all progress I’ve made over the last couple years. No medicine I’ve ever taken and discontinued (and I’ve tried almost all SSRI/SNRIs out there) has caused so many awful side effects. I wish I knew how long this was going to last.

  • Tim August 20, 2016, 8:11 pm

    Help. I’m furious at my past Dr. for putting me on a dose twice the therapeutic level of Viibryd, 80mg. Shame on me for not researching this. I am in the middle, or whatever, of a rapid taper off this drug. Actually it’s a cross taper with 50mg of Luvox. This is hell. I’m not imagining my world collapsing around me, it actually is.

    A horrific and violent 6 day inpatient psych stay, someone who I thought was my best friend pretty much just walked away from me yesterday, without reason or even blinking, and the realization my parents are completely clueless. Clueless is an understatement and barely touches on what is really going on. What the hell is going to happen next week? Yes, this has all happened in one week.

    Now this cross-taper. I don’t want anymore of this…the Viibryd withdrawal, starting Luvox, I’m already taking Bupropion 300xl, and 60mg Buspar. Yet I’m strangely calm considering my situation. I’ve seriously given up on the suicide idea, after 4 attempts over the last year, the last one being very serious. I guess that wasn’t meant to happen. I feel like hell.

    I have many of the withdrawal effects listed, but grateful I’m not experiencing some of the more horrible sounding ones. I’m completely fed up with the local behavioral health program, with the exception of a few good people and one doctor (not the dr that put me on the extremely high dose of Viibryd, he retired). I’m fed up with big pharma and these drugs I’m on.

    How are some of these even legal given what they are capable of? I understand the lobby power of the pharmaceutical companies, it’s just such a shame. Honestly, I’m not sure how much any of these drugs are really helping. I know what will and does work, but I’m not opening that discussion here. I’ve never posted like this and any support or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    I’m focusing on gratitude, a very supportive work position, my ability as an artist, my dog, brother, and my one cousin. Why am I not completely bonkers? I guess I’m pretty strong, more than I realized. This is a living nightmare. Thanks for letting me share.

  • Taylor August 23, 2016, 4:47 pm

    Do not take!! I have been on Viibryd for 3 years, for “anxiety” it was suppose to be a fix and though I have none of the negative side effects while on the drug, besides constantly feeling hot? And the weight gain of 60lbs in that 3 years. I am now tapering my medication down and take klonopin daily due to anxiety that came out of no where when I was 25 (said it would pass).

    I’m now 29 and emotionally in a terrible place and physically compared to when symptoms first started. I’m am doing a taper from 40-20 for 2 weeks then 20-10 for another 2 weeks as I would like to try and reclaim my blur of a life over the past 4 years. I can already feel way more anxious and am not sleeping it’s been a week of 1-3 hour nights. Reading all these comment really helps!

    The struggle for us is real and for me isn’t something you can tell a friend or even some family your going through. I feel less alone thank you!

  • Jen September 14, 2016, 10:31 pm

    I have been taking 20mg Viibryd for about five months. I was experiencing a terrible depression, and the meds made me feel almost instantly better, even euphoric. I was very happy with the drug. At first I experienced a few memory problems and weird thoughts that were invasive, but the side effects weren’t as bad as the depression so I kept on.

    The last two weeks I have been experiencing a quick descent into hell. I can’t think clearly, I started getting paranoid, and finally two nights ago I was overcome by the desire to kill myself. I was sure I was possessed by a demon and tried everything to get away from the invasive thoughts. Someone here said they weren’t present in their own mind. That is a perfect description.

    My thoughts aren’t even organic anymore, these random ideas just pop into my head and take over. I could observe them but couldn’t fight them. Finally I walked to the hospital in the middle of the night and was told I was having a bad reaction to the Viibryd. I am supposed to be cutting down gradually, but I won’t put one more of those pills in my mouth.

    The itching! I know everyone writes about it, but it’s horrible. My ears hurt, there is pressure in my head like my skull is expanding. I am highly agitated and can’t sit still, but can’t think my way through completing a task.

    This is awful. I got some Klonopin from my doctor and am using weed to control the major agitation. There is definitely no functioning happening today. I am going to try to sleep through this misery.

  • Audra November 18, 2016, 4:27 pm

    Wow, I’m so glad I came across this article! I ran out of my medicine about 2 days ago. I had been consistently every single morning taking this medication at the 40 msg for over 2 years. I had ran out after forgetting to refill my prescription, as my insurance has it come through the mail. I have been off the medicine for 2 days and I have been feeling “weird”.

    My brain is just very foggy, I feel exhausted, and have mostly been sleeping. I thought maybe I was just going crazy but after reading this article I feel a lot better. I am hoping to get a refill soon as I do want to stay on this medication. I was starting to feel like it wasn’t really doing much for me, but after these few days I am sure ready to be back on it!

  • Shannon Hickey December 4, 2016, 4:30 pm

    I am a mess. I have a very difficult son and was experiencing depression so my doc prescribed Viibryd. It was great at 1st then the anxiety, heart palpitations and complete misery hit. I used to be a wonderful writer now I cannot remember how to spell and I leave out words in my sentences.

    I have to write for work so I have lost all creditable. I cannot say it’s because of a depression med…can you imagine? After 3 years I have scaled down to 10 mg. About a week ago I stopped all together. I have lost the will to live, I pray for death, my body feels like a tank, I cannot see straight and I cry all day.

    I am not going to be able to get off this drug alone. I think I need professional help. I am scared to death I will be in this prison forever. I would have NEVER started taking this if I knew I would be an addicted nut job loser.

Leave a Comment