Vilazodone is used to treat depression. Vilazodone is in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and is also a 5HT1A receptor partial agonist. It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.
Side Effects Of Vilazodone
Vilazodone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry mouth
- increased appetite
- pain, burning or tingling in the hands or feet
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- unusual dreams
- joint pain
- changes in sexual desire or ability
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS sections, call your doctor immediately:
- difficulty breathing
- loss of consciousness
- fever, sweating, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, and severe muscle stiffness
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- small red or purple dots on the skin
- hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- difficulty concentrating
- memory problems
- problems with coordination
- increased falls
Vilazodone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking vilazodone:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to vilazodone, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in vilazodone tablets. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor, such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate), or if you have stopped taking one of these medications within the past 14 days. Your doctor will probably tell you that you should not take vilazodone. If you stop taking vilazodone, your doctor will tell you that you should wait at least 14 days before you start to take an MAO inhibitor.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, and vitamins you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); certain antifungals such as itraconazole (Sporanox) and ketoconazole (Nizoral); antihistamines; aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, others); buspirone (BuSpar); clarithromycin (Biaxin, in PrevPac); diuretics (‘water pills’); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); linezolid ; lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); medications for anxiety, mental illness, or nausea; certain medications for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) such as indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), and ritonavir (Norvir); medications for migraine such as almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex), and zolmitriptan (Zomig); medications for seizures such as mephenytoin (Mesantoin); methylene blue; metoclopramide (Reglan); nefazodone; sedatives; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft); selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), and venlafaxine (Effexor); sleeping pills; tramadol (Ultram); tranquilizers; and tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with vilazodone, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor what herbal products and nutritional supplements you are taking, especially St. John’s wort and tryptophan.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had bleeding problems, seizures, or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, especially if you are in the last few months of your pregnancy, or if you plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking vilazodone, call your doctor. Vilazodone may cause problems in newborns following delivery if it is taken during the last months of pregnancy.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking vilazodone.
- you should know that vilazodone may make you drowsy and affect your judgment and thinking. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking vilazodone. Alcohol can make the side effects of vilazodone worse.
- you should know that vilazodone may cause angle-closure glaucoma (a condition where the fluid is suddenly blocked and unable to flow out of the eye causing a quick, severe increase in eye pressure which may lead to a loss of vision). Talk to your doctor about having an eye examination before you start taking this medication. If you have nausea, eye pain, changes in vision, such as seeing colored rings around lights, and swelling or redness in or around the eye, call your doctor or get emergency medical treatment right away.
Dosage Of Vilazodone
Vilazodone comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with food once a day. Take vilazodone at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take vilazodone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of vilazodone and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every 7 days.
Vilazodone controls depression but does not cure it. It may take several weeks before you feel the full benefit of vilazodone. Continue to take vilazodone even if you feel well. Do not stop taking vilazodone without talking to your doctor. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually. If you suddenly stop taking vilazodone, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness; nausea; headache; confusion; irritability; agitation; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; anxiety; extreme tiredness; seizures; pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet; or sweating. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms while you are decreasing your dose of vilazodone or soon after you stop taking vilazodone.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.