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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.

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134 thoughts on “Viibryd (Vilazodone) Withdrawal Symptoms: How Long Do They Last?”

  1. I started taking Viibryd for a month at 10 mg had strange feelings, anxiety and feeling sweaty. Then I went to 20 mg for 9 days – the last three were not good and the 9th day I was in bed and couldn’t function. I tapered back to 10mg for four days and felt terrible.

    My doctor said to quit. Then I really felt awful: terrible anxiety, depression, sweats and so tired. Don’t know how how long this will last. I’m also on Remeron for sleep the last year with no problems.

  2. Viibryd has an incredibly short half life so missing even one dose causes unfavorable (read: awful) symptoms. When I forget mine, I get nauseous as hell, brain zaps, dizziness, and lightheadedness. Just to add a different experience to the topic, however, the misery of missing a dose is worth the positive effect this medication has had on my life.

    I’ve been on it 6 years, and combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, it has led me to be a less anxious, less paranoid, and MUCH happier person. I send my sincere warm thoughts to anyone whom this medication has hurt.

    Everybody is different and I guess I lucked out that Viibryd worked with mine. (I just have to be extra extra on top of making sure my prescription gets filled!!!)

  3. Has anyone had any success with treating brain zaps? I’ve been going through withdrawal for about five weeks now with a comprehensive selection of hellish symptoms, but the zaps are the only thing I seem to be completely unable to address (apart from stopping everything I’m doing and lying down).

  4. I have been on Viibryd for 4 months now. I want to get off of it now. I forgot to take my dose once when picking my husband up from work. Normal time I took the pill was at 6 and by 11pm I was having brain zaps. On our way back home, our 40 minute drive turned into 3 hours because I had to pull over to sleep (husband can’t drive because of seizures) I started hearing things, and seeing things and I felt panicky.

    I started back driving and then started having this foggy circle around me and my head was cold and tingly , my hands were shaking then the foggy view got worse and I couldn’t move, like everything froze stiff but I could still see. After I broke loose I finally made it home and took my pill right away and was still hearing stuff and panicky and confused.

    I want to cold turkey and get it over with, and hearing the problems people are having even with tapering makes me wonder if it’s even worth tapering. Idk – I’m scared but I want off these meds.

    • Shannon, I would NOT quit Viibryd cold turkey. You are having some severe side effects. Withdraw gradually under a doctor’s care. Even then you’re going to have side effects.

      I have been off Viibryd since Feb. It’s July & I am still having problems with itching. I cling to the knowledge that one day it will stop. Viibryd is a bad drug. They should take it off the market. Good luck, Shannon. I am praying for you too! Donna

      • I’m on week two off cold turkey, have been taking Viibryd for more then 6 years. Didn’t want to stop taking it but lost ins and can’t afford to pay $150. I know that may not seem like a lot, for me it is.

        Haven’t had brain zaps, but dizziness, vertigo, lightheaded, loss of appetite, anxiety, sensitivity to smells and light, and emotional rollercoaster ride, is so bad. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

        Trying to offset symptoms with my other meds, without running out before having to fill them again, is hard. It’s only been two weeks! On top of it all the other stuff I have going on couldn’t come at a worse time. Wish me luck, I will need it.

        • Jess, I just saw your post today about coming off Viibryd cold turkey. I’ve been taking it for about 7 years and I’m currently tapering down from my stable dose of 20 mg. I’ve taken 10 mg for the past week and a half and have had very few symptoms. Just wanted to see how you’re doing?

          • I had to start taking it again. After a few week I had an episode, didn’t work as well anymore. I’m taking Prozac now and its still not working as well as Viibryd did. Wish there was another way, other then taking pills. How are you doing?

  5. I was on Viibryd for a year. I’ve been off it for 2 months now & continue to have skin prickling/itching. How much longer is this going to last? I’m on my 3rd refill of Hydroxyzine HCL 25 mg. for this itching. It helps but doesn’t make the problem go away.

      • I totally empathize with you, Shanon. The first few times I missed a dose, I wanted to stop taking it immediately. It’s horrible. I’m going through withdrawal now because Viibryd, while it worked very well for me apart from the missed dose punishment, as I call it, became too expensive for me after an insurance change (I’m right there with Jess).

        My first drop in medication was from 20 to 10 mg and I had three panic attacks in one weekend, triggered by practically nothing. I definitely don’t recommend going cold turkey or dropping quickly. I was on Viibryd for about 6 years, 40 mg for a while but more recently on 20 mg because I had constant brain zaps on 40.

        I did 20 to 10 for one week (a mistake, like I said), then two weeks of 5, one week of 2.5, and now I’m on my second week of nothing. I’m still cycling through nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, depression, extreme fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, irritability, agitation, vivid/disturbing dreams, suicidal ideation, and extreme sensory/alcohol/caffeine sensitivity.

        It’s been hell but I keep hoping the other side will be better, if/when I get there. But I can only imagine how much more severe it would have been if I would have continued dropping at the rate I started.

  6. I have read many of the comments and am so glad I wasn’t on this long – just about a month. At first I loved it, tons of energy and great mood. Moved up to 20 mg. as part of regular dosing and resulted in worsening irritability. Dropped back down to 10 mg, irritability kept getting worse, so dr. said stop taking and now waiting to get home from out of town to get on another drug.

    Brain zaps, fatigue, and a bizarre rash have developed. Should be over in a day or so, but cannot imagine what I’d feel like after several months of taking. You have my sincere sympathies.

    • The rash surprised me but it was terrible! Uncontrollable itching, broke out in patches all over my back and arms. This medication did next to nothing for me. Orgasms were delayed but unbelievably strong (sort of nice), but overall nothing else different. The only way I knew I was on it was because of the horrid withdrawal when I went off. ? Bleh.

  7. I’ve been on 40mgs Viibryd for 6 years, along w/ many other drugs. I began taking Viibryd when my mother died and I was in despair. Yet I didn’t die, so thought the Viibryd helped. Looking back, I was a terrible mess. I would’ve been anyway as I’m an only child and adored my parents. My dad died w/in two years of mom, and all the while I took all of these drugs.

    Since then I’ve tried dozens of times to decrease these various drugs. I make it to a point then crash so severely, heroin withdrawal cannot be any worse. I spent a month in intensive trauma treatment and know now I’m not mentally ill, just suffering from horrific traumas that all relate, over a lifetime. Last week I forgot one Viibryd dose, maybe two, no more. Still on all the other drugs.

    Like a hurricane, symptoms came on: fell asleep, woke not knowing where I was, my room wasn’t my room, confused random thoughts (not-thoughts) couldn’t form them. Not in my body, unable to move or think of what to do, how to do it. The slightest idea – eating, driving, walking to the bathroom – was impossible to act on or even imagine. Severe itching left red marks on my arms.

    Fear of everything. Lying in a dark room, thinking i was the last person on earth. I’m not over-dramatizing. Called my daughter, son, no answer. Finally daughter called and I could barely describe what happened. She’s witnessed it before and said I’d forgotten my medicine. I couldn’t figure that out, but then I didn’t want to take another one, in case that would be an overdose.

    THIS IS WITHDRAWAL OF ONLY 6 HOURS! I’m back on everything but Viibryd of course costs over $250 a month now, and I don’t know how to get off. I know all about tapering and I also know that doctors DON’T HAVE A CLUE what we experience. I’m crying just remembering this. Will I be stuck on meds forever, even after I’ve resolved most of my traumas and feel so much better?

    Thanks for any help. Should we lobby to get treatment, like a methadone program or something? I’m not strong enough to endure this withdrawal. So glad to hear others stories. It’s horrible!!! I feel for all of you.

    • I’m sorry to read of your losses. Please accept my deepest sympathies. I too went on Viibryd around 6 years ago after I lost my teenage daughter and my brother in close proximity. My doctor added it to my many other medications because I was not functioning well at all.

      Your questions are good ones. I suggest you talk this over with your prescribing doctor. In addition, what helped me recover was individual grief therapy. I went every week for a year and a half, and still go from time to time.

      I have just recently weaned off of Viibryd and although the withdrawal symptoms have been noticeable, they are not affecting me too severely. I am healthier and no longer need this drug.

      I still take other medications however. I wish you the best. Please reach out to a certified grief counselor. Mine changed my life. -A

  8. I have been on Viibryd for over 10 years. I don’t recall any issues starting to take it, but I recently attempted to taper down and stop entirely because I’m considering starting a family and shouldn’t be pregnant on Viibryd. I was on 30 mg, so went down to 20 for two weeks. Dizzy, disoriented, trouble focusing lasted 3-4 days. I went down to 10mg for two weeks with the same effects. Then I stopped completely.

    The first day I felt the same dizzy disorientation I had previously. The second day I had a vicious headache that woke me in the morning and lasted until I went to bed that night. The next day the nausea started. It is absolutely debilitating. It’s in my upper abdomen and all I want to do is throw up but never can.

    I go to the bathroom 5-8 times a day at work just to lie down on the tile floor in the handicapped stall in between dry heaving. It starts around 8am (I take Viibryd at 5am daily) and lets up only a little at night. Bread helps. I’ve eaten so much bread the past few weeks despite having zero appetite and losing about 7 lbs. on day 7 of this hell I couldn’t take it anymore and took 5mg of Viibryd to make it stop – and it did, for a day.

    Then the nausea resumed in full force, all day, every day, slouching down in my seat at work attempting to quell the pain, counting the minutes between bathroom breaks to lie down so it doesn’t appear like I’m slacking off. I had an orientation for a new job on Thurs that I absolutely could not miss, so the night before I took another 5 mg at 5pm and then 5mg at 5am. I was able to get through the day successfully with dizziness and disorientation.

    I took another 5mg at 5pm that night and 5mg at 5am the next morning. But the next day, yesterday, the nausea was the worst it’s ever been, to the point where I almost went to urgent care in hopes of some relief. Driving home from work was pure, exquisite agony. I couldn’t even walk in my front door so stayed in the car in the fetal position. I ended up not going to urgent care because too weak to drive. I did not take the 5mg last night but took 10mg this morning.

    Now I’m back where I started two weeks ago, and because it’s the first day I have a headache and dizziness in addition to nausea, but I feel well enough to type this whereas yesterday I couldn’t have. Everything makes me motion sick, scrolling on my phone, watching tv, obviously driving, attempting to do work on the computer. Cold helps, bread helps, lying down helps. But now that I know going back on won’t stop the nausea, I wish I had stayed off.

    And now I’m stuck having side effects from a drug I don’t even want to be on, but starting a new job have no choice but to function properly. Reading through others’ side effects explains why my temperature is consistently below normal, why my food tastes like chemicals, and also why I was seemingly addicted to sugar while on Viibryd. Consistently working out but never losing weight.

    Becoming legitimately depressed after a few days without sugar, and lacking almost all willpower to stop eating it. This drug did what it was supposed to in terms of being an antidepressant, but the withdrawal is the worst I have ever experienced and I wish I could stop taking it. I can’t afford to stay home for a month not working, but if I could I would stop taking it tomorrow and spend a month lying down eating bread and crying.

    My plan is to stay on the 10mg for two months while I acclimate to the new job, then every third day take 7.5mg (cut the 10mg pill in half and half again). After a month of that I’ll start taking the 7.5 every other day. Then go down to 7.5 every day. Rinse and repeat until I go off cold turkey from 2.5mg. This process may take more than 6 months, but I literally can’t handle working and enduring Viibryd withdrawal at the same time.

  9. I tapered down off Viibryd because I hated the way I was feeling. Insomnia, no sex drive, angry all the time, depression and seclusion, thoughts of suicide were my side effects while taking 40mg once a day for a year. I hated myself and everyone around me. I asked the doc to take me off of it and he refused.

    So I tapered down for the last 5 weeks and got completely off it. The withdrawals were worst the week I went from 30 mg to 20 mg. I cried a lot and was very moody. But as of 5 days ago, I am completely off of it and I have to say… I AM ALIVE AGAIN. I love who I am again, and I am interacting with people again.

    I am not hiding in my room any more (which I did for the last 4 months) and I even went to the mall this weekend! Viibryd is the devil. I don’t regret getting off of it. My depression was at it’s worst when I took that med.

  10. My PCP started me on viibryd at 10mg 11/2015 since I was already taking 300mg of Welbutrin XL. I then lost my best friend suddenly at the end of October 2016 and was severely depressed. I had to see a different doctor and she told me to start taking 30mg. On Sunday I took my last 10mg as I ran out of my RX and wanted to see how I would feel being off it.

    I had missed a couple of doses of both my anti-depressants a few times and actually felt pretty good. I also realized that my weight gain was because of viibryd, I have gained about 15 lbs in a year. Today is my second day I can say the main side effect is a horrible headache, almost like a migraine.

    I do have some itching but nothing like a lot of you have been experiencing. I also was very irritable this morning, one thing set me off, then another, I cried for about a half hour (thank goodness I have an office) and was able to calm down and haven’t had any other instances today. I am always tired, but I really have been suffering with this for a while now so not sure exact cause of this.

    After reading everyone’s comments it seems as though this drug has side effects no matter if you taper off or go cold turkey. After reading everyone’s side effects, I am also going to get my mom to try to taper off from it, this is a scary drug! I’ll let you know how my journey goes.

    • I wanted to let everyone know that it has now been a week since my last dose and am happy to say that I have no more side effects. The worst it was for me was sleeping and the dreams.

  11. This is so bittersweet to me! Finding out that these “auras” and “brain zaps” are happening to other people but not knowing how long they will last is KILLER! I was on 40mg of Viibryd for 3 years, never took antidepressants before.

    I had major situational depression, that took awhile to get through. I had to cut cold turkey due to insurance change ($30/month to $240/month!!!!). It’s been 5 months and I no longer have the brain zaps but still have the weird, out of body, brain aura-ish feeling and crazy itching.

    These aura type feelings are the same seizure patients describe prior to seizing so I freak out, thinking I’m about to seize out, but no, just more aura type things. What if it never goes away?

  12. 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.

    • I get those absent brain feelings too! Like I can’t form words or cant think of words to use. STILL have it after 5 months of being off. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, DO NOT LOSE HOPE. PLEASE SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT for the helplessness feelings, but know there are others just like you out here!

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    • 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.

        • 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

      • 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.


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