The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), vilazodone hydrochloride (Viibryd), for the treatment of depression. Vilazodone was found in clinical trials to be more effective than placebo in controlling and treating major depressive disorder. Clinical trials to compare the drug's effectiveness with that of other SSRI antidepressants, such as sertraline (Zoloft) and fluoxetine (Prozac), haven't been performed.
Vilazodone's labeling carries warnings similar to those on the labels of other drugs in the SSRI class, including elevations in the risks of suicide, serotonin syndrome or neuroleptic malignant-like syndrome, seizures, abnormal bleeding, activation of mania or hypomania, and hyponatremia. When discontinuing therapy, the dose should be tapered rather than simply stopped, as is recommended with other SSRIs. The most common adverse effects are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia.
Nurses should be aware that the bioavailability of vilazodone is greatly increased if it's administered with food; administration with a meal is recommended. Patient education should include this information as well as a discussion of all possible adverse effects. Nurses should encourage patients to read the medication guide with each filled prescription because any new information on the drug will be included in it.