What is a generic medication?
Generic medications are significantly discounted copies of brand name medication that have the same active ingredients, intended use, dosage, side effects, effects, and route of administration as the original brand name medication. In other words, generic medications have the same pharmacological effects as their brand-name counterparts. Over half of all prescribed medications are for generic medications.
Viibryd (Vilazodone) General Drug Information
What Viibryd Is and What It’s Used For
Vilazodone is a generic drug prescribed to treat depression. The brand name drug is called Viibryd. Vilazodone improves serotonin balance in the brain, and, as a result, a patient’s mood, sleep, appetite and energy levels improve.
Usage and Application
Patients need to take vilazodone with a meal, typically once per day. The dosage depends on on a patient’s condition and their response to treatment. Patients need to discuss all other medications and supplements they are taking with their doctor.
Most patients begin taking this drug at low doses, increasing it gradually. Patients should follow the doctor’s prescription and use the medication regularly in order to fully benefit from the treatment.
Patients who stop taking this medication need to gradually reduce dosage with physician approval. Stopping suddenly may result in withdrawal symptoms, especially in patients who have been taking vilazodone for an extended period of time. Withdrawal symptoms include mood swings, headache, tiredness, seizures, numbness, tingling and trouble sleeping.
Patients need to inform their doctor in the event their condition worsens.
Considerations Before Taking Viibryd
Before starting vilazodone, patients need to discuss the possibility of allergic reactions to this substance or any of the inactive ingredients in this medication with their doctor. Patients should also mention their medical history, or diseases and conditions prevalent in their family.
This includes a history of seizures, suicide attempts, bipolar or manic-depressive disorder. It is also important to mention a history of stomach problems or ulcers, as well as glaucoma of the angle-closure type.
This medication can make patients feel dizzy, therefore it is important to refrain from driving or other activities requiring alertness. Patients should limit consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Older patients may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug. This includes a higher risk of developing a salt imbalance, which can make a person feel unsteady on their feet and increase the risk of falling. People who take diuretic medicines or herbal products should be particularly cautious.
Studies suggest that vilazodone can cause harm to unborn babies. In addition, babies born to mothers who took this medicine in the last trimester of pregnancy were more at risk of showing signs of seizures, muscle stiffness, crying, and difficulties breathing or feeding. Pregnant women or those planning on becoming pregnant should discuss the risks and benefits of taking this medication with their doctor. It is not known whether the medication passes into breast milk.
Delayed and Omitted Doses
Patients who miss a dose should take it as soon as they remember. If this happens near the time for the next dose, patients should skip the missed dose and proceed as usual. Patients should not double up the dose in order to catch up.
Other Medications and Viibryd
Vilazodone can interact with a number of other substances and – before starting treatment – patients need to review all other prescription drugs and herbal supplements they are taking with their doctor. Starting, changing or stopping any medications should only happen with the doctor’s approval.
A number of drugs may interact with vilazodone. Patients who use this drug together with aspirin face an increased risk of bleeding. Some aspirin may be taken occasionally.
Patients taking low doses of aspirin in order to decrease heart attack risk should discuss the risks and benefits of the two medications with their doctor. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, antiplatelet drugs like Plavix, and blood thinners like Heparin and Coumadin also interact negatively with Viibryd.
MAO inhibitors – a class of antidepressant drugs – can have serious interactions with vilazodone and taking the two medications together may have fatal effects in some patients, possibly leading to death. Isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline and tranylcypromine are examples of MAO inhibitors.
These active substances may be sold under different brand names. They should not be taken for two weeks before or after vilazodone treatment, nor during the period of treatment.
Patients who take vilazodone together with other serotonin-increasing drugs have an increased risk of developing serotonin syndrome. Patients should avoid antidepressants such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, duloxetine and venlafaxine. Drugs such as MDMA (amphetamines) and herbs such as St John’s wort should also be avoided.
Vilazodone may alter results of medical or laboratory tests such as brain scans used to detect Parkinson’s disease. Patients should alert their doctor and the laboratory personnel to the fact they are taking this medication.
The most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dizziness. Patients may also experience sleeping troubles, a decreased sex drive or changes in sexual ability. Patients need to alert their doctor if such symptoms persist.
Some patients also face the risk of developing rare side effects such as numbness and tingling, tremors, restlessness and confusion. There is also a possibility of experiencing memory problems, weakness and pounding heartbeat.
Patients should seek immediate medical help in the rare event they experience severe mood changes, agitation and thoughts of suicide. Other serious side effects include bloody or black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, easy bruising and bleeding. Patients should also monitor for seizures, eye pain, widened pupils, blurred vision, and seeing rainbows or halos around lights at night.
In rare cases, vilazodone may cause some patients to develop serotonin syndrome. The risk is higher for people who also take other drugs that increase serotonin levels.
Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include fast heartbeat, hallucinations, severe nausea and vomiting, loss of coordination and severe dizziness. Patients should also seek immediate help if they experience twitching muscles, unexplained fever, or unusual agitation and restlessness.
The signs of serious allergic reactions include rash, itching and swelling, dizziness and trouble breathing.
How to Store Viibryd
Vilazodone should be stored away from light or moisture and kept away from children and pets. Unwanted medication should be disposed of properly and never be poured into drains or flushed down the toilet. Patients should consult a pharmacist or their local waste disposal company to find out more about safe disposal methods.
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