How Does Viibryd Work?The exact way that Viibryd works to treat depression is unknown. However, it is known that Viibryd works on a specific brain chemical called serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that is thought to affect mood and behavior. It is one of several chemicals used by nerve cells to send messages to each other.
When serotonin levels in the brain become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression. Viibryd increases the activity of serotonin by blocking serotonin reuptake (reuptake is the process by which nerve cells recapture released serotonin). This allows more serotonin to be available in the space between the nerve cells.
Viibryd also binds to certain serotonin receptors. However, it acts as a partial agonist at these receptors, which means that it causes a weaker response than would result from the binding of serotonin itself.
Viibryd is not approved for use in children (usually defined as younger than 18 years of age), as it has not been adequately studied in this age group. It is not known whether this medication is safe or effective for children. All antidepressants may also increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, adolescents, and young adults (see Viibryd and Suicide).
Yes, older adults can use this medication. In clinical studies, older adults did not appear to respond to the medication differently than younger age groups. However, older adults may be more sensitive to certain Viibryd side effects, such as low blood sodium (hyponatremia).
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Viibryd for something other than depression treatment (this would be known as an "off-label" use). Based on off-label uses of other antidepressants, possible off-label Viibryd uses may include the treatment of:
- Other types of depression (such as minor depression)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder.