What is the difference between Viibryd and Paxil? 

What is the difference between Viibryd and Paxil? 

Viibryd (Vilazodone) and Paxil (Paroxetine) are two different antidepressants which both increase serotonergic activity in your brain to target symptoms associated with depression. 

Both Vilazodone and Paxil are good antidepressants with a few downsides of their own, and the safety and efficacy of these meds vary from person to person. Some people function well on Paxil as compared to Viibryd, and vice versa. 

Just make sure you stick to your doctor’s prescription. If you find your current antidepressant to be ineffective and you wish to switch, reach out to your healthcare provider. Don’t stop using your antidepressant abruptly. 

More about Viibryd (Vilazodone) and Paxil (Paroxetine) 

Viibryd is a serotonin modulator and it partially works like a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a class of antidepressants to which Paxil belongs to. 

Both of these prescription antidepressants are usually well tolerated, but Viibryd is associated with lesser sexual side effects and weight gain as compared to Paxil – a typical SSRI (1,2). 

Viibryd is also lighter on the kidneys as compared to Paxil, but it is not recommended to be used in people with liver diseases. Both Viibryd and Paxil take 4-6 weeks to kick in. 

However, Paxil has a broader spectrum and it manages symptoms associated with other mental health conditions as well, like anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and some other conditions. 

If you wish to switch from Paxil to Viibryd, or vice versa, reach out to your healthcare provider. I don’t recommend stopping your antidepressant or switching to another one without consulting your doctor first. 

What are the side effects associated with Viibryd and Paxil?

Both Viibryd and Paxil are associated with some side effects because of how they work. Some of them are common. Let’s take a look at them.

Side effects Viibryd (Vilazodone)Paxil (Paroxetine)
Insomnia YesYes
Dizziness YesYes
Headache YesYes
Sexual dysfunctionYesYes
Weight changesYes (more likely to cause weight loss)Yes (more likely to cause weight gain)
Suicidal thoughts or behaviourYes (increased risk in children and young adults)Yes (increased risk in children, adolescents, and young adults)
Serotonin syndromeRare, but possibleRare, but possible
Withdrawal symptomsPossible if discontinued abruptlyPossible if discontinued abruptly
Hyponatremia (low sodium levels)Rare, but possibleRare, but possible

Make sure you discuss your side effects with your doctor if you’re taking either one of these meds. Viibryd and Paxil may not work well for every individual. Just make sure you use them just as directed by your doctor. 

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PubChem [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004-. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 43815, Paroxetine; [cited 2023 Feb. 20]. Available from: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Paroxetine


PubChem [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004-. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 6918314, Vilazodone; [cited 2023 Feb. 20]. Available from: https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Vilazodone

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