If you have depression or anxiety, you may be considering selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to effectively treat your symptoms. Choosing the right medication can be a challenge, especially since many of them have similar effects on the body and mind.
This comparison guide will show you the similarities and differences between two popular SSRI medications—Viibryd and Luvox—to help you choose the best depression treatment.
When deciding which medication is right for you, you should always consult with a medical professional. If you don’t have access to a reliable psychiatrist or have adequate insurance coverage, Klarity can help. We’ll match you with a licensed healthcare provider in your state for convenient and affordable online depression or anxiety treatment.
Your provider on Klarity will evaluate your symptoms and prescribe an SSRI like Viibryd or Luvox if they determine it is right for you. Schedule an appointment on Klarity today and be seen by a provider within 48 hours.
What is Viibryd?
Viibryd is the brand name for the SSRI medication vilazodone. SSRIs help regulate brain chemistry by blocking serotonin receptors and increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which helps regulate a patient’s mood, energy levels, sleep cycles, and appetite.
Common Doses and Forms of Viibryd
Viibryd comes in color-coded oval tablets with the dosage printed on one side.
- 10mg red
- 20mg yellow
- 40mg blue
Most individuals start Viibryd by taking 10mg and gradually increasing their dosage to the maximum dosage of 40mg, if necessary. Viibryd should be taken once daily with food.
Conditions Viibryd Treats
Viibryd is only FDA-approved to treat Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), otherwise known as chronic depression. However, it’s often prescribed off-label to treat anxiety and anxiety-related disorders and conditions.
Off-Label Uses for Viibryd
Off-label refers to the practice of prescribing medications to treat conditions not approved by the FDA. These medications are considered safe to take; they just haven’t gone through the FDA approval process for every condition they’re able to treat.
For instance, Viibryd is often prescribed off-label for the following:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
Viibryd Can Treat Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety
Bringing brain chemistry into balance is one of the most effective ways to treat depression and anxiety. Low serotonin levels can cause opposing symptoms, such as:
- Extreme fatigue or manic nervousness
- Apathy or panic attacks
- Extreme exhaustion or insomnia
- Disinterest in food or nervous nausea
Each set of symptoms can result from depression and/or anxiety. Raising serotonin levels in the brain helps reset its natural rhythms and reactions to alleviate these symptoms.
Brand name Viibryd costs much more than generic vilazodone. They’re the same medication with different branding, so it’s more cost-effective to ask for the generic prescription, especially if you don’t have adequate health insurance.
For instance, 30 days’ worth of Viibryd can cost over $340, while the same amount of vilazodone costs around $15.
Viibryd Side Effects
Viibryd has fewer side effects than most other SSRIs, meaning many patients tolerate it better than other drugs in the same class. Some of its common side effects include:
- Sexual dysfunction
Less common but more serious side effects may arise if you develop a condition called serotonin syndrome, which is potentially fatal. This condition occurs when your brain is overloaded with serotonin. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:
- Blurred or tunnel vision
- Eye pain, swelling, or seeing halos around lights
- Easy bruising or unusual bleeding
- Racing thoughts or unusual risk-taking behavior
- Decreased inhibitions, euphoria, or extreme sadness
- Headache or severe weakness
- Confusion or slurred speech
- Loss of coordination or feeling unsteady
People with certain conditions should not take Viibryd because it could make those conditions worse or interact with the medications used to treat them. These conditions include:
- Liver or kidney disease
- Bleeding or blood clotting disorders
- Narrow-angle glaucoma
- Bipolar disorder
- Sexual function issues
- A history of drug addiction
- Suicidal thoughts
Viibryd Drug Interactions
Some medications may interact poorly with Viibryd and create an increased risk of serious health problems. Those who take the following medications should avoid taking Viibryd:
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Pimozide or other Tourette’s syndrome medications
- Thioridazine or other antipsychotic medications
- Stimulant medications, like Adderall
- Opioid-based painkillers
- Herbal supplements, such as St. John’s Wort
What is Luvox?
Luvox is the brand name for an SSRI medication called fluvoxamine. Similar to Viibryd, Luvox boosts serotonin levels in the brain by preventing certain receptors from transferring it to the bloodstream. This process helps relieve the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other conditions related to mood and brain chemistry.
Common Doses and Forms of Luvox
Both brand name Luvox and generic fluvoxamine are white tablets that come in a blister pack. Brand name Luvox tablets are oval, while fluvoxamine is round. Each kind is available in the following dosages:
When taking Luvox, you can choose between immediate-release (IR) tablets or extended-release (ER) capsules. Adults over 18 typically start on 50mg and can gradually increase their dose over several weeks up to 300mg per day, if needed.
Conditions Luvox Treats
Luvox is effective for treating an array of conditions related to depression and anxiety. It’s only FDA-approved to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) but has several off-label uses, including depression.
Off-Label Uses for Luvox
Because it’s effective in treating OCD, Luvox is often prescribed off-label for other anxiety-related mental health conditions, including:
- General anxiety
- Panic disorder
- Social phobias
- Eating disorders
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
Luvox Can Treat Symptoms of OCD and Depression
Though depression and OCD may sometimes be exacerbated by stressful environments or events, SSRIs like Luvox can help alleviate symptoms of these disorders by regulating serotonin production.
Symptoms of OCD include:
- Intense, unreasonable fear
- Racing and intrusive thoughts
- Difficulty tolerating uncertainty
- Requiring order and symmetry to feel safe
Symptoms of depression include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Apathy or listlessness
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of interest
Pricing for brand name Luvox varies from $32 to over $400 for a month’s supply. The generic version, fluvoxamine, costs between $25 and $30 for the same amount.
Luvox Side Effects
Luvox has more known side effects than Viibryd. However, many are mild and dissipate after a few weeks. Some of the most common side effects include:
- Feeling dizzy, weak, sleepy, or tired
- Constipation, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or reduced appetite
- Dry mouth or change in taste
- Headache or shakiness
- Excess gassiness
- Feeling nervous and easily startled
- Excessive sweating
- Common cold symptoms
The following symptoms may indicate an allergic reaction to Luvox or other serious health complications:
- Allergic reaction, including hives; swelling of the face, mouth, and throat; difficulty breathing
- Signs of low sodium, including headache, brain fog, weakness, seizures, or trouble balancing
- Coughing up or vomiting blood; blood in the urine or stool; unusual vaginal bleeding; bleeding that cannot be easily stopped
- Abnormal weight gain or loss
- Difficulty passing urine
- Sexual problems, such as difficulty orgasming or lowered sex drive
- Erection lasting more than 4 hours
- Unusual menstrual flow
Like Viibryd, Luvox may also cause serotonin syndrome. If you experience the symptoms of this syndrome listed above, seek medical attention immediately.
Luvox and other SSRIs may cause adverse reactions in those with the following conditions:
- Bipolar disorder
- Bleeding problems
- Heart attack or heart disease
- Heart rhythm problems
- Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood)
- Mania (feeling elated)
- Liver disease
- Habitual tobacco use
Luvox Drug Interactions
Adverse drug interactions can cause serious health complications. If you take any of the following medications, you should consider alternatives to Luvox:
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Tourette’s syndrome medications, like pimozide
- Warfarin and other blood thinners
- Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs
- St. John’s Wort
- Other SSRIs and antidepressants
- Stimulant medications like Adderall
- Certain pain or migraine medications
Frequently Asked Questions About Viibryd and Luvox
Does Viibryd Make You Gain Weight? Does Luvox?
Neither Viibryd nor Luvox typically causes weight gain. However, if your appetite returns because you’re taking one of these medications, eating more regularly could cause some weight gain.
Is Viibryd or Luvox Better for Anxiety?
Viibryd is more commonly prescribed to treat anxiety because it’s better tolerated than many other SSRIs and significantly alleviates symptoms. However, Luvox is FDA-approved to treat OCD, an anxiety-related condition, so it could also be effective in treating anxiety.
Can I Replace Viibryd with Luvox?
Yes, you can replace Viibryd with Luvox, provided you do so under medical supervision. Your healthcare provider will either taper you off Viibryd completely and replace it with a low dose of Luvox or taper you off Viibryd while simultaneously taking low doses of Luvox. After the Viibryd is out of your system, you’ll gradually increase your dose until you reach the recommended amount.
Is Viibryd Energizing or Sedating? What About Luvox?
Both medications may cause daytime drowsiness. However, other changes in energy levels depend on why you’re taking the medication. Those taking an SSRI for depression may feel energized, while those taking it for OCD or panic disorder will probably feel calmer and more relaxed.
Does Viibryd Cause Brain Fog? Does Luvox?
The risk of daytime sleepiness and fatigue may cause mild brain fog. However, sudden onset or worsening brain fog may be a serious side effect that requires immediate medical attention.
Can I Drink Alcohol On Viibryd? On Luvox?
No it’s never safe to drink alcohol while taking an SSRI. Alcohol enhances the medication’s effects, posing very serious health risks.
Can I Drink Caffeine When I’m on Viibryd? How About Luvox?
Yes, caffeine doesn’t interact adversely with SSRIs, so you can enjoy caffeinated coffee, tea, and other beverages. However, limiting your intake could help the medication work better if you’re taking one of these medications for anxiety.
Viibryd or Luvox: Which One is Right for You?
While both Viibryd and Luvox are antidepressant medications, Luvox is only FDA-approved to treat OCD. However, its lack of FDA approval does not mean it is an unsafe medication, and it is frequently prescribed off-label by healthcare professionals to treat depression.
Despite both of these medications being SSRI antidepressants, each one has a unique ability to treat mental health conditions. Additionally, Viibryd and Luvox have their own side effects and contraindications with other medications and conditions.
For these reasons, you should never attempt to self-medicate. In order to safely determine which prescription medication is right for you, speak with a medical professional.
Speak to a Healthcare Provider On Klarity in 48 Hours
Your provider on Klarity will evaluate your symptoms via private telehealth appointments and may prescribe an antidepressant like Viibryd or Luvox if they determine one to be the best treatment for you. Find your provider today to get started.