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Viibryd Withdrawal (vilazodone)

Last Updated on August 12, 2022 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

A prescription of Viibryd may not have provided the relief you were seeking and perhaps now is the time to consider Viibryd withdrawal as a positive step along the journey to natural mental health. It is possible to transition to natural alternative treatments without the harsh side effects common to all SSRIs.

We do not doubt that your suffering is real. But we doubt that you have been correctly treated if you are still suffering. We’ve been there too, and we have a comprehensive non-toxic toolbox to share with you.



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Viibryd Withdrawal

Viibryd withdrawal symptoms are common to all antidepressants according to research documents spanning from at least 1959, and continuing on to the present.5-7 Back in the 50s doctors and researchers (and pharmaceutical companies) were looking for something better than electroconvulsive therapy, or even better than nothing. In fact, most drug trials today are still looking for something that is better than nothing (placebo-controlled). Much debate has developed over the decades as to whether the promise of relief to patients has really ever been fulfilled with drug-based therapy. Each new drug was supposed to surpass the last. Perhaps it is time to drop some of the false promises of the past and look forward to real relief through the use of holistic approaches to improved mental wellness. And, with holistic and effective remedies to support Viibryd withdrawal, one can discard the liability of a lifetime of antidepressant side effects and lack of efficacy.

Below you will find some information we hope you will find useful on Viibryd withdrawal including common and more rare adverse Viibryd withdrawal symptoms, strategies to overcome these, and information on how natural and holistic treatments are used at Alternative to Meds Center for a safe and gentle Viibryd withdrawal experience, and recovery of mental wellness without drugs.

Common Viibryd Withdrawal Symptoms

SPECIAL NOTE RE PREGNANCY:  Viibryd is not recommended during late pregnancy due to potential withdrawals in the newborn, as well as heart complications in the infant.1

The most common symptoms of Viibryd withdrawal are much like those of other SSRIs and involve both physical and psychological symptoms.2,3 They include:
  • viibryd common and severe withdrawal symptomsEmotional lability:  sudden changes in mood, worsening mood, dysphoric mood, crying spells
  • Irritability, agitation, anxiety, nervousness
  • Flu-like symptoms:  headaches, muscle pain, shivers, fatigue, weakness, excessive sweating
  • Insomnia, nightmares, unusual or vivid dreams
  • Vertigo, dizziness
  • Tremors, involuntary jerking motions, ataxia (unsteady or uncoordinated walking)
  • Brain zaps or feeling of electric shocks in the head or neck
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation, diarrhea
  • Paresthesia:  burning or prickling skin sensation
  • Sensory or visual disturbances, blurred vision
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Itching
  • Altered taste
  • Tinnitus
  • Confusion, disorientation

Severe and Rare Viibryd Withdrawal Symptoms 1,4,8-15,20

Though relatively rare, there have been severe and even life-threatening reactions to Viibryd withdrawal, especially where the dosage was dropped too quickly or upon abrupt cessation, and where other health conditions were present and untreated. It should be noted that some adverse drug reactions associated with SSRIs may persist after drug discontinuation. Reported rare and severe withdrawal reactions have included the following:

  • Suicide, suicidal thinking
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis, delirium
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Mania (severe, lasts at least 7 days) and hypomania (less severe, lasts up to 4 days)

It should be well-noted that published research studies on Viibryd withdrawal are near to non-existent. Studies on other SSRI withdrawal phenomena are much more prevalent and should be considered for the full breadth of the subject. There could be other adverse discontinuation symptoms besides the ones listed above.

Viibryd Half-life and Withdrawal Timeline

The half-life of a medication is how long it takes for the concentration in the system to decrease by half. Viibryd has a half-life estimated at about 25 hours. This may vary from person to person because of individual rates of metabolism, age, and other health considerations. The half-life is typically when withdrawals may begin to manifest, anywhere from a day to several days after the last dose in this case. The medical consensus is that instead of abruptly stopping, decreasing the dose gradually is a recommended strategy to help reduce harsh Viibryd withdrawals.

There can be no fixed timeline for successfully coming off Viibryd because each individual can have unique responses after lowering the dose. With proper support, preparation, and medical monitoring, the timeline for comfortable Viibryd withdrawal is expected to be 8 weeks but could extend up to one year, depending on the individual factors as noted above.13,18 Clinical research advises that lowering the dose during antidepressant withdrawal should be not only gradual, but that near the end, the doses be incrementally cut even more slowly, and should gradually decrease to levels well below the lowest therapeutic dosage level. Much evidence has shown that a misdiagnosis of relapse is not uncommon when withdrawal symptoms come on too harshly and may be misinterpreted as a relapse. Be informed before you start Viibryd withdrawal so that you have a good grasp on what to expect and you can accurately inform your prescriber what you are experiencing so it will not be misdiagnosed.

Can You Stop Taking Viibryd Cold Turkey?

Though some may have been able to abruptly stop Viibryd without many consequences, that would be the exception, and could likely include persons who took Viibryd only for a few days or a few weeks at most or took only very low doses. In any case, a cold turkey approach is not recommended as it can lengthen the process of Viibryd withdrawal, and may encourage misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment measures, as previously cautioned, above.18

The recommended route is to go slow and gradual, and if the taper should still become too harsh for the body to tolerate, reinstating at a higher dosage until stable and then resuming the taper more gradually would be preferable to ease the process.

Tips for Safe, Healthy Viibryd Withdrawal

  • Enlist competent medical support before starting Viibryd withdrawal. Inpatient treatment is best but if this is not possible, put together a solid support team including a prescriber who is sympathetic to your situation and familiar with antidepressant withdrawal. Let trusted friends and/or family know what your plans are so they can understand your efforts. A spouse or close associate may be able to assist with cooking, cleaning, or other chores. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, even if it is only for some moments of companionship with someone you feel comfortable spending quiet time with. Most people are happy and quite willing to help others given the opportunity to do so.
  • You may find it necessary to take time off work or school for a time to allow for a more relaxed schedule, extra rest, outdoor walks, reading, or other mild, relaxing activities, and to keep environmental stress to an absolute minimum during Viibryd withdrawal.
  • Stay in close contact with your prescriber if you are not able to enter an inpatient setting, so that minor changes in dosage (which can make major differences) can be well-managed as you go through the process.

If you have attempted Viibryd withdrawal and found the process too difficult to manage on your own, we strongly recommend considering inpatient help. At Alternative to Meds Center, we specialize in the most difficult of cases. The process of Viibryd withdrawal need not be torturous or overly long with the proper help in place. We are here to help.

About Viibryd Withdrawal Protocols Used at Alternative to Meds Center

Protocols used in antidepressant withdrawal have been carefully designed at the center, and offer services that can markedly ease the process, including these examples:

We invite you to visit a more complete description of other therapies that can be found on our services overview page where they are described in much greater detail.

Find Help Now for Viibryd Withdrawal at Alternative to Meds Center

At the Alternative to Meds Center, we have been helping thousands of clients for more than 15 years to reach their goals by thoroughly investigating and addressing root causes for symptoms using effective, drug-free therapeutics that can provide authentic relief.

Please contact us for more information for you or your loved one on the very real opportunity to experience recovery of natural mental health through safe Viibryd withdrawal and get the tools for true relief from the symptoms that drug therapy could not resolve.


1. FDA label Viibryd (vilazodone hydrochloride) tablets, approval 2011 [cited 2022 May 6]

2. Siwek M, Chrobak AA, Gorostowicz A, Krupa AJ, Dudek D. Withdrawal Symptoms Following Discontinuation of Vortioxetine-Retrospective Chart ReviewPharmaceuticals (Basel). 2021;14(5):451. Published 2021 May 11. doi:10.3390/ph14050451 [cited 2022 May 6]

3. Haddad P,  Anderson I, Recognizing and managing antidepressant discontinuation [published online 2 Jan 2018] [cited 2022 May 6]

4. Dailey MW, Saadabadi A. Mania. [Updated 2021 Aug 6]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493168/  [cited 2022 May 6]

5. Mann A, MacPherson A, Clinical Experience with Imipramine (G22355) in the Treatment of Depression, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry Vol4, no.1, January 1, 1959 [online] [cited 2022 May 6]

6. Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Hoog SL, Ascroft RC, Krebs WB. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor discontinuation syndrome: a randomized clinical trial. Biol Psychiatry. 1998 Jul 15;44(2):77-87. doi: 10.1016/s0006-3223(98)00126-7. PMID: 9646889. [cited 2022 May 6]

7. Hengartner MP, Plöderl M. Prophylactic effects or withdrawal reactions? An analysis of time-to-event data from antidepressant relapse prevention trials submitted to the FDA. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2021 Aug 10;11:20451253211032051. doi: 10.1177/20451253211032051. PMID: 34394912; PMCID: PMC8361519. [cited 2022 May 6]

8. Lane RM. SSRI-induced extrapyramidal side-effects and akathisia: implications for treatment. J Psychopharmacol. 1998;12(2):192-214. doi: 10.1177/026988119801200212. PMID: 9694033. [cited 2022 May 6]

9. Batla A. Dystonia: A review. Neurol India. 2018 Mar-Apr;66(Supplement):S48-S58. doi: 10.4103/0028-3886.226439. PMID: 29503327. [cited 2022 May 6]

10. Brigo F, Erro R, Marangi A, Bhatia K, Tinazzi M. Differentiating drug-induced parkinsonism from Parkinson’s disease: an update on non-motor symptoms and investigations. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2014 Aug;20(8):808-14. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2014.05.011. Epub 2014 Jun 3. PMID: 24935237. [cited 2022 May 6]

11. Friedman JH. Movement disorders induced by psychiatric drugs that do not block dopamine receptors. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2020 Oct;79:60-64. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2020.08.031. Epub 2020 Aug 26. PMID: 32871538. [cited 2022 May 6]

12. Perahia DG, Kajdasz DK, Desaiah D, Haddad PM. Symptoms following abrupt discontinuation of duloxetine treatment in patients with major depressive disorder. J Affect Disord. 2005 Dec;89(1-3):207-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2005.09.003. Epub 2005 Nov 2. PMID: 16266753. [cited 2022 May 6]

13. Henssler J, Heinz A, Brandt L, Bschor T. Antidepressant Withdrawal and Rebound Phenomena. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2019;116(20):355-361. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2019.0355 [cited 2022 May 6]

14. Rusconi AC, Carlone C, Muscillo M, Coccanari de’ Fornari MA, Podda L, Piccione M. Sindrome da sospensione di SSRI: incidenza e differenze su tre gruppi di pazienti in trattamento con paroxetina [SSRI discontinuation syndrome: incidence and differences on three groups of patients treated with paroxetine]. Riv Psichiatr. 2009 May-Jun;44(3):169-75. Italian. PMID: 20066803. [cited 2022 May 6]

15. Simeon D, Stein DJ, Hollander E. Depersonalization disorder and self-injurious behavior. J Clin Psychiatry. 1995;56 Suppl 4:36-9; discussion 40. PMID: 7713864. [cited 2022 May 6]

16. Wolfe RM. Antidepressant withdrawal reactions. Am Fam Physician. 1997 Aug;56(2):455-62. Erratum in: Am Fam Physician 1998 Feb 15;57(4):646. PMID: 9262526. [cited 2022 May 6]

17. Schwasinger-Schmidt TE, Macaluso M. Other Antidepressants. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2019;250:325-355. doi: 10.1007/164_2018_167. PMID: 30194544. [cited 2022 May 6]

18. Gabriel M, Sharma V. Antidepressant discontinuation syndromeCMAJ. 2017;189(21):E747. doi:10.1503/cmaj.160991 [cited 2022 May 6]

19. Cruz MP. Vilazodone HCl (Viibryd): A Serotonin Partial Agonist and Reuptake Inhibitor For the Treatment of Major Depressive DisorderP T. 2012;37(1):28-31. [cited 2022 May 6]

20. Carvalho AF, Sharma MS, Brunoni AR, Vieta E, Fava GA. The Safety, Tolerability and Risks Associated with the Use of Newer Generation Antidepressant Drugs: A Critical Review of the Literature. Psychother Psychosom. 2016;85(5):270-88. doi: 10.1159/000447034. Epub 2016 Aug 11. PMID: 27508501. 9cited 2022 May 6]


Originally Published May 5, 2022 by Diane Ridaeus


This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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Viibryd Withdrawal (vilazodone)
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