Get Started Now

Zoloft vs. Viibryd

Category:

Woman with pill on her hand and a doctor

Share This Post

If you suffer from depression, you have most likely heard of the drug Zoloft. But what about Viibryd? There are a number of medications used in the treatment of depression, and finding which medication is best for you can be a challenging process.

Zoloft and Viibryd belong to the class of drugs called serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and are among the most commonly prescribed medications for major depressive disorder and various anxiety disorders. 

Although both medications belong to the same drug class and work in a similar fashion, there are a number of differences between the two medications, including dosing and side effects, which should be considered before starting a new medication. In this article, we will help you understand the similarities and differences between the two medications with a side-by-side comparison guide so you can be well-informed when pursuing depression treatment. 

If you suffer from anxiety or depression and are interested in learning which medication may be right for you, Klarity can help. Book your appointment today and be seen by a licensed healthcare provider to get depression treatment within 48 hours, if applicable.

This article discusses suicide, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or is in crisis, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 800-273-8255.

What Is Zoloft?

Zoloft is the brand name of sertraline and is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of depression and anxiety. It belongs to the class of drugs called SSRIs, which work by blocking the reuptake of a neurotransmitter called serotonin. 

Zoloft and other SSRIs have been proven to be some of the most effective medications for a number of depressive and anxiety disorders in both adolescents and adults. 

Forms and Doses of Zoloft 

Zoloft is available in different forms, including capsules, tablets, and oral liquid solutions. Tablets and capsules are the most commonly prescribed form in adults, and the liquid form is typically used in adolescents. 

Zoloft tablets are available in the following dosage forms:

  • 25 mg 
  • 50 mg 
  • 100 mg 

Zoloft is available in capsule form in the following doses: 

  • 150 mg 
  • 200 mg 

Zoloft oral solution is available at 20 mg/mL. 

The initial starting dose is typically 50 mg a day, which can then be increased in 25 mg increments as needed. The typical maximum dose is 200 mg a day. 

Symptoms of Depression Zoloft Can Treat

Zoloft has been shown to be effective in the treatment of a number of depressive and anxiety disorders, including: 

  • Major depressive disorder 
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder 
  • Panic disorder & PTSD

Some symptoms of depressive symptoms that are improved by Zoloft include: 

  • Elevation of mood
  • Increased interest in pleasurable activities 
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Increased energy 
  • Improved appetite 

Off-Label Uses For Zoloft

The term “off-label” is used to describe all medical conditions that are not FDA-approved for use with a given medication. This does not mean that the medication is not effective in the treatment of a given disorder, as medications are often prescribed for off-label uses. FDA approval is often time-consuming and requires significant funding and resources for clinical trials, which acts as a major obstacle for a medication to have multiple FDA-approved uses. 

Some off-label uses for Zoloft include: 

  • Binge eating disorder 
  • Body dysmorphic disorder 
  • Bulimia nervosa 
  • Premature ejaculation 
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder 
  • Neuropathic pain 

Zoloft Costs

Zoloft is available in both name-brand and generic forms. Without insurance, the average 30-day supply can cost up to $400. Zoloft is covered by most health insurance plans, and coupon codes are available at most commercial pharmacies, which significantly lowers the cost of a 30-day supply to around $10 a month. 

Side Effects of Zoloft 

Adverse effects are associated with starting any medication, and everyone reacts differently to each medication. Of note, all SSRIs, including Zoloft, should be avoided or used with caution in elderly patients. This is due to the potential for an increased side effect profile, including electrolyte imbalances and a drop in blood pressure with positional changes. 

Common side effects associated with Zoloft include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, GI upset  
  • Drowsiness or dizziness 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Increased sweating 
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Decreased libido, sexual dysfunction
  • Muscle cramps or weakness
  • Tremor 

Zoloft Warnings For Use

It is important to note that there have been reported incidences of worsening depression and increased suicidal ideation, especially in the adolescent population. If you are having thoughts of suicide or self-harm behaviors, contact your healthcare provider immediately or go to the nearest emergency department. 

Serotonin syndrome is a rare but serious drug reaction that occurs when excess serotonin levels are built up within your body. If you begin to experience any of the following side effects, call your healthcare provider or seek medical attention immediately:

  • Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure 
  • High fever 
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Loss of muscle coordination or uncontrollable muscle twitching 
  • Muscle rigidity 
  • Increased sweating, shivering, or goosebumps
  • Diarrhea 
  • Headache 
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Confusion or altered consciousness

With any SSRI, there is a potential for withdrawal syndrome when abruptly stopping the medication or decreasing the dose. It is important to discuss with your healthcare provider when you are thinking about discontinuing an SSRI medication, including Zoloft. Your healthcare provider will work with you to slowly decrease the dose so that you are less likely to experience withdrawal symptoms.  

Zoloft Drug Interactions

As always, it is important to disclose all medications you are currently taking, including all over-the-counter medications and supplements, with your healthcare provider. 

Some common drug interactions associated with Zoloft include: 

  • Serotonin syndrome: increased risk with other medications that increase serotonin, with the most common including:
    • Recreational drugs like MDMA or ecstasy 
    • ADHD medications, such as Adderall, increase the risk of serotonin syndrome.
    • Antipsychotic medications 
    • Tricyclic antidepressants
    • Buspar 
    • Some migraine medications, including sumatriptan, rizatriptan, tramadol 
    • Lithium 
    • St. John’s Wort
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI). These medications must be stopped 14 days before starting an SSRI.  
  • Antiplatelet or anticoagulant medications: increase the risk of bleeding 
  • Specific antibiotics and antifungal medications
  • Opioids, including methadone 
  • Some anti-nausea medications, such as ondansetron or Zofran 
  • Thiazide diuretics: increase risk of hyponatremia 

What Is Viibryd?

Viibryd is the brand name of vilazodone and, similar to Zoloft, belongs to the larger class of medications called SSRIs. Unlike Zoloft, Viibryd is only FDA-approved for its use in the adult population. Viibryd is a newer medication, when compared to Zoloft, and is currently available in brand name only, with no generic equivalents. 

Forms and Doses of Viibryd 

Viibryd is available in tablet form only, in the following dosage forms: 

  • 10 mg 
  • 20 mg
  • 40 mg. 

The initial dose is typically started around 10 mg and slowly titrated up by 10 mg increments on a weekly basis. The typical dose for Major Depressive Disorder is 40 mg by mouth daily, and the maximum dose should not exceed 80 mg per day. 

Symptoms of Depression Viibryd Can Treat

Unlike Zoloft, Viibryd is only FDA-approved for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. 

Viibryd has been shown to effectively treat the following depressive symptoms:

  • Depressed mood 
  • Inability to enjoy pleasurable activities
  • Decreased energy and concentration
  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, or hopelessness
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Changes in appetite, which may result in weight loss or gain 
  • Suicidal thoughts or self-harm behaviors 

If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or others, seek immediate help by contacting your healthcare provider or contacting the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. 

Off-Label Uses For Viibryd

The term “off-label” is used to describe any medical conditions that are not FDA-approved but are commonly treated with the medication. 

Common off-label uses for Viibryd include: 

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 
  • Panic disorder 
  • Eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa 
  • Insomnia or difficulty falling asleep

Viibryd Costs

As previously stated, Viibryd is available in brand name only, with no generic alternative. When compared to Zoloft, Viibryd is a more expensive medication. A typical 30-day supply without insurance can run up to $300 per month. 

Viibryd is typically covered through health insurance, depending on your plan. In addition, coupon codes are available at most commercial pharmacies and significantly lower the cost of a 30-day supply to around $30. 

Side Effects of Viibryd 

As with any medication, there are associated side effects to look out for. If you begin to experience any serious side effects, contact your healthcare provider. 

Some of the most common side effects of Viibryd include: 

  • Nausea, vomiting, or GI upset, including diarrhea 
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Easy bruising or unusual bleeding, such as bleeding gums when brushing your teeth

Viibryd Warnings For Use

Similar to Zoloft and most SSRI medications, caution should be taken if you are elderly due to the potential for electrolyte imbalances and a drop in blood pressure with positional changes. 

Serotonin syndrome, as described above, is a rare but dangerous potential side effect with the use of any SSRI. It most commonly occurs in those taking other medications that increase serotonin levels in the body. If you begin to experience any of the following side effects, contact your healthcare provider or seek medical attention immediately. 

  • Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure 
  • High fever 
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Loss of muscle coordination or uncontrollable muscle twitching 
  • Muscle rigidity 
  • Increased sweating, shivering, or goosebumps
  • Diarrhea 
  • Headache 
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Confusion or altered consciousness

It is important to note that Viibryd should not be discontinued abruptly, as this can cause withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are unhappy with your medication regimen or are thinking of stopping your SSRI. Your healthcare provider will gradually taper down the dosage to avoid unwanted side effects. 

Withdrawal syndrome symptoms include: 

  • Dizziness or light-headedness 
  • Vertigo 
  • Fatigue
  • Headache 
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea 
  • Tremors or visual disturbances 
  • Irregular sensations, including an “electric-shock” sensation throughout your body
  • Increased anxiety or agitation 
  • Confusion or irritability 
  • Insomnia 

 Viibryd Drug Interactions

As with starting any new medication, it is important to disclose all medications you are currently taking with your healthcare provider, including all over-the-counter medications and supplements. 

Some common drug interactions with Viibryd include: 

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI). These medications must be discontinued two weeks before starting an SSRI 
  • Daily NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. 
  • Blood thinning medications, including Warfarin and aspirin 
  • Opioid pain medications, including methadone
  • Specific antibiotic and antifungal medications 
  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Other medications that increase serotonin levels:
    • Recreational drugs like MDMA or ecstasy 
    • ADHD medications, such as Adderall
    • Antipsychotic medications 
    • Tricyclic antidepressants
    • Buspar 
    • Some migraine medications, including sumatriptan, rizatriptan, tramadol 
    • Lithium 
    • St. John’s Wort

Frequently Asked Questions About Viibryd and Zoloft

Comparing two medications from the same drug class can get confusing. We have included some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Viibryd and Zoloft. 

Does Zoloft Make You Gain Weight? Does Viibryd?

Increased appetite, leading to weight gain, is a potential side effect of both medications. Although when comparing the two, this is more commonly seen with Zoloft than Viibryd. The typical weight gain seen with initiating Zoloft or Viibryd is typically 1-10 lbs over the course of the first couple months of starting the medication. 

Can I Replace Zoloft with Viibryd? 

While Zoloft and Viibryd are two SSRI medications, they can replace one another but will most likely require different dosing and, therefore, should be done under the direction of your healthcare provider. Switching from one medication to another may require titration up or down, depending on what medication and dose you are currently taking. 

Is Zoloft Energizing or Sedating? What About Viibryd?

Both Zoloft and Viibryd are known to be more energizing than other antidepressant medications. With that being said, both medications are useful for those who have low energy levels due to depression. 

Does Zoloft Cause Brain Fog? Does Viibryd?

Brain fog is a common symptom of depression but is also a known side effect of some SSRI medications. When comparing the two medications, Zoloft was shown to have more reported side effects of brain fog than Viibryd. 

Can I Drink Alcohol On Viibryd or Zoloft?

Drinking alcohol while taking an SSRI increases the risk of experiencing adverse side effects of the medication, as well as intensifying the effects of alcohol. Both of these can be potentially dangerous, and therefore, it is advised against drinking alcohol while taking either Viibryd or Zoloft. 

Can I Drink Caffeine When I’m on Viibryd? How About Zoloft?

Overall, drinking caffeine is considered safe while taking either Viibryd or Zoloft. Although, it is important to note that caffeine is a substance in itself and can affect the side effect profile of either medication. 

What Is Better For Depression—Viibryd or Zoloft?

Both Viibryd and Zoloft have been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of depression. The effects of Viibryd are typically seen quicker than Zoloft, and overall, Viibryd has a better side effect profile than Zoloft. These factors often make Viibryd a better medication for depression when compared to Zoloft. Yet, due to insurance coverage issues with Viibryd and no available generic form since it is a newer medication, it is less commonly prescribed than Zoloft. 

It is important to note that everyone reacts differently to medication, and one medication that works better for one person may not be the best for another. With that being said, it is important to discuss all current medications, symptoms, and prior experiences with psychiatric medication with your healthcare provider to figure out which medication is best for you. 

How Providers on Klarity Help You Discover the Right Medication 

Choosing the right antidepressant medication can be challenging. With so many treatment options available, the entire process can be overwhelming. If you are suffering from symptoms of anxiety or depression, let Klarity help. 

Klarity offers affordable mental health care at your convenience and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional psych clinic visit. No subscriptions or insurance is necessary, and most importantly, no hidden fees. Get quality care at your fingertips for as little as $25 a month. 

Schedule an appointment today and be seen by a local healthcare provider in your state in as little as 48 hours. Start by taking a free 2-minutes self-evaluation.

Sources: 

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/sertraline-drug-information?search=zoloft&source=panel_search_result&selectedTitle=1~148&usage_type=panel&kp_tab=drug_general&display_rank=1

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-35/zoloft-oral/details#:~:text=Nausea%2C%20dizziness%2C%20drowsiness%2C%20dry,your%20doctor%20or%20pharmacist%20promptly.

https://www.healthcentral.com/article/coffee-tea-not-good-maintaining-antidepressants-system

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/serotonin-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20354758

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/vilazodone-drug-information?search=viibryd&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~21&usage_type=panel&kp_tab=drug_general&display_rank=1

https://www.drugs.com/mtm/vilazodone.html

https://www.drugs.com/price-guide/zoloft

https://www.iodine.com/compare/zoloft-vs-viibryd

https://www.goodrx.com/viibryd?c=homepage-lander-sem-7&utm_campaign=11601593411&utm_content=114733535882&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=kwd-163849859&optly_audience=%7Brxlander%7D&gclid=Cj0KCQjwy5maBhDdARIsAMxrkw2PSBhg7rpoLMHxfRfQEFqGkQ2S-pTjghO8lZ8EB9QUdTm3BkWPjckaAh0IEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds&ajs_prop_experiment_name=SEM+Homepage+Design+ABn+v2&ajs_prop_variation_name=Variant2&ajs_prop_path=%2Fgo%2Fsem-lander-test-b

Start today, and discuss your symptoms with a specialist who can help.

Same Day appointments available

Recent Posts

More To Explore

Anxiety Treatments

Inderal vs. Tenormin: Which Should I Take?

In this article, Klarity explores the major differences between Inderal and Sectral. Klarity helps people find online anxiety medication—No insurance needed.