How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Vilazodone belongs to the class of medications called antidepressants. It is used to treat symptoms of depression. It works by affecting the balance of chemicals in the brain that are associated with depression. Relief of symptoms is often seen after 1 to 2 weeks of starting this medication.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each film-coated, pink, oval immediate-release tablet, debossed with "10" on one side, contains 10 mg of vilazodone hydrochloride. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, FD&C Red No. 40, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, and titanium dioxide.
Each film-coated, orange, oval immediate-release tablet, debossed with "20" on one side, contains 20 mg of vilazodone hydrochloride. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, FD&C Yellow No. 6, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, and titanium dioxide.
Each film-coated, blue, oval immediate-release tablet, debossed with "40" on one side, contains 40 mg of vilazodone hydrochloride. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, FD&C Blue No. 1, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, and titanium dioxide.
How should I use this medication?
The usual starting dose of this medication is 10 mg taken once daily by mouth. After one week, the dose is increased to 20 mg once daily. Depending on the effectiveness and side effects of the medication, the dose may be increased after one week to 40 mg daily. The usual adult dose is 20 mg to 40 mg taken once daily.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
The effectiveness of this medication is affected by food. Take vilazodone with food to get the most benefit from the medication. Swallow the tablets whole with some water, do not crush or chew them.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to vilazodone or any ingredients of the medication
- have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAO inhibitor; e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine) within the past 2 weeks
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- trouble sleeping
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- new or worsened behaviour or emotional problems
- signs of clotting problems (e.g., unusual nosebleeds, bruising, blood in urine, coughing blood, bleeding gums, cuts that don't stop bleeding)
- sleep paralysis (temporary inability to move or talk when falling asleep or waking up)
- symptoms of glaucoma (e.g., blurred vision, eye pain, increased pressure in the eyes)
- symptoms of low sodium levels in the blood (e.g., achy, stiff or uncoordinated muscles; confusion; tiredness; weakness)
- symptoms of mania (e.g., decreased need for sleep, elevated or irritable mood, racing thoughts)
- symptoms of serotonin syndrome (e.g., confusion, fast heartbeat, hallucinations, restlessness, shaking, shivering, sudden jerking of muscles, sweating)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
- signs of pancreatitis (e.g., abdominal pain on the upper left side, back pain, nausea, fever, chills, rapid heartbeat, swollen abdomen)
- thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Bleeding: This medication may increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you are also taking medications such as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, ketoprofen), or warfarin. If you experience easy bruising, pinpoint-sized red spots on the skin, or unusual bleeding while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Blood pressure: Vilazodone can increase blood pressure. If you have uncontrolled blood pressure or a medical condition that can be affected by increased blood pressure, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Bones: Medications similar to vilazodone have been shown to increase the risk of bone fractures. Vilazodone may increase the risk of bone fractures, especially if youare a senior or have osteoporosis or other major risk factors for breaking a bone. Take extra care to avoid falls, especially if you get dizzy or have low blood pressure.
Your doctor may monitor your bones while you are taking this medication.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Vilazodone may cause drowsiness. People taking vilazodone should avoid operating hazardous machinery (including cars) until they are certain that the medication does not impair their mental alertness, judgment, or physical coordination.
Glaucoma: This medication may cause the symptoms of glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) to become worse. If you have glaucoma, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Report any changes in vision to your doctor as soon as possible while you are taking this medication.
Mental health: Vilazodone may trigger mania and make behavior and thought disturbances worse for people who have mental health conditions. It may also cause symptoms of psychosis and mania for people who have not had these symptoms before. If you experience symptoms such as hallucinations, mania (feeling unusually over-excited or uninhibited), or delusional thinking, or notice them in a family member who is taking this medication, contact your doctor as soon as possible. If you have mental health concerns, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Serotonin syndrome: This medication may cause a rare but potentially life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome, especially when used with other medications that increase serotonin levels (e.g., sumatriptan, rizatriptan, tramadol, St. John's wort). If you experience symptoms such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations, fast heart rate, fever, lack of coordination, increased body temperature, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, get immediate medical attention.
Seizure risk: Seizures are a possible side effect of most antidepressant medications. If you are at risk of seizures, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Stopping this medication: Stopping this medication suddenly can cause uncomfortable and possibly dangerous effects. If you are thinking of stopping this medication, check with your doctor or pharmacist for the best way to gradually reduce the dose before stopping completely.
Suicidal or agitated behaviour, or other behaviour changes: People taking this medication may feel agitated (restless, anxious, aggressive, emotional, and feeling not like themselves), or they may want to hurt themselves or others. These symptoms may occur within several weeks after people start taking this medication. If you experience these side effects or notice them in a family member who is taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor will monitor you for emotional and behavioural changes while you are taking vilazodone.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking vilazodone, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children. Safety studies show that people between the ages of 12 and 18 who take other medications similar to vilazodone are at increased risk of having thoughts and behavior related to self-harm and suicide. This medication should not be used by anyone under 18 years old.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between vilazodone and any of the following:
- acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)
- amphetamines (dextroamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine)
- antihistamines (e.g., cetirizine, doxylamine, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, loratadine)
- antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone)
- "azole" antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
- benzodiazepines (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam)
- beta-blockers (e.g., carvedilol, metoprolol, propranolol)
- chloral hydrate
- diabetes medications (e.g., canagliflozin, glyburide, insulin, metformin, rosiglitazone)
- ergot alkaloids (e.g., ergotamine, dihydroergotamine)
- grapefruit juice
- hepatitis C antivirals (dasabuvir, ombitasvir, paritaprevir)
- herbal products that affect blood clotting (e.g., cat's claw, chamomile, fenugreek, evening primrose, feverfew, garlic, ginger, ginseng, turmeric)
- HIV non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs; e.g., efavirenz, etravirine, nevirapine)
- HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., atazanavir, darunavir, lopinavir, ritonavir)
- low molecular weight heparins (e.g., dalteparin, enoxaparin, tinzaparin)
- macrolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin)
- lumacaftor and ivacaftor
- methylene blue
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs; e.g., moclobemide, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine)
- multivitamin supplements with minerals
- muscle relaxants (e.g., baclofen, cyclobenzaprine, orphenadrine, methocarbamol)
- narcotic pain medications (e.g., fentanyl, meperidine, morphine, oxycodone, tapentadol)
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs; e.g., diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)
- omega-3 fatty acids
- protein kinase inhibitors (e.g., ceritinib, dabrafenib, dasatinib, idelalisib, imatinib, sunitinib)
- St. John's wort
- seizure medications (e.g., carbamazepine, clobazam, gabapentin, lamotrigine, phenobarbital, phenytoin)
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; e.g., citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)
- serotonin antagonists (anti-emetic medications; e.g., granisetron, ondansetron)
- serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs; desvenlafaxine, duloxetine, venlafaxine)
- thiazide diuretics (water pills; e.g., hydrochlorothiazide, indapamide, metolazone)
- tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, clomipramine, desipramine, trimipramine)
- "triptan" migraine medications (e.g., eletriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan)
- vitamin E
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
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