Just wanted to share my experience with other people in the hopes that it will be helpful and they won't end up in the misery I'm in now.
I've taken many different drugs to treat severe anxiety and mild depression. I'll list them briefly and the reactions I've had before explaining why Viibryd is the worst thing I've ever encountered.
The following have had no real effect on my anxiety and have all made me feel pretty stoned and sedated without actually stopping the panic attacks. I've given them all at least 3 weeks on the optimum dosage. No real side effects, just general malaise and apathy with no gain:
Wellbutrin, Paxil, Celexa, and Zoloft.
Cymbalta was a huge mood improvement and I never slept better, but I had the worst and most sustained panic attack (9 hours) of my life after increasing the dosage to what was supposed to be therapeutic. No help for anxiety.
Effexor had the best overall affect on my anxiety and depression with the least amount of normal side effects. No sexual or sleep problems and I didn't feel sedated. However, I was soaked in sweat all of the time while I took this and the brain zaps snuck up on me if I drank alcohol or was a few minutes late for the pill.
I took a few years off and just took a maintenance dose of Klonipin for anxiety. Not a perfect life by far, but manageable.
Enter Viibryd. I thought I'd give it a try because my doctor thought it was really showing great results.
For the first week on 10mg, I had some nausea in the mornings and felt a bit antsy but that seemed to pass about mid-week. Also, I had severe leg and muscle cramping in the first 48 hours that passed.
So, I went up to 20mg and that's when the problems started. I had the same initial problems as the first week but then started having trouble urinating accompanied by lower-back and abdominal pain. I've had kidney stones and a history of UTI's, so I went to an express medical clinic thinking that was the problem. They took a urine sample and didn't find evidence of anything. They gave me the normal course of Cipro anyways, and I went on my way. I was due to go up to 40mg that day and decided to go ahead.
At 40mg, I immediately started feeling better mentally. I felt less panicky and my mood seemed really stable. Throughout the two weeks I took this dose, I felt like it was really helping my anxiety and noticed I only needed my xanax (for breakthrough anxiety) once. This is down from 3x a day at least.
However, my abdominal pain and incessant urination was not going away and felt worse. Also, I started getting RLS at night and having a hard time sleeping. I can't pinpoint exactly when it started getting worse, but about a week into this dose, I stopped sleeping entirely. Nothing, not even 5 minutes. When it first started, I would lie in bed all night in this waking daze with surreal conscious dreams. My eyes were closed but I was aware of everything going on around me. However, during the day I had unlimited energy. I ran a 5k, went to work, walked the dog, did chores, etc. I didn't feel great physically but besides dark-circles, nobody seemed to notice a difference besides maybe some more energy and my constant bathroom trips.
On the second night of zero sleep, I broke down and took 1mg Xanax, which is 4x what I usually take (since switching from Klonipin). No response except to calm the RLS down. My mind was racing but it was not really a bad feeling if that makes sense. I felt productive. I was mentally tired that following day, but physically felt pretty good besides some light sensitivity.
On the third night of no sleep, I got worried and tried everything I could think of. I took 50mg of Benadryl, some melatonin, D/Mag/Cal, tea with Chamomile and Valerian Root, and then around 4 hours into tossing and turning uncomfortably, I took 1mg Xanax. Nothing. Wide Awake. I read a book and waited for the world to wake up.
That day I was feeling pretty manic and hysterical, but still took the dog running in the park, went to work, and went out with friends. I decided to get drunk and see if that would help. I decided to Six shots of 100 proof Whiskey is a lot for me but other than feeling drunk, it had no effect. After I sobered up (around 2am), I was still wide awake with the normal hangover symptoms but none of the sleep. I had gotten to the point where it was physically uncomfortable to lie down or sit still for any period of time. I called the pdoc's emergency line and made an appt for 8am and then found ways to stay busy all night. I was so hyper that I felt like I was crawling out of my skin. I steam-cleaned 4 carpeted rooms if that's any indicator. I should mention that I skipped this day's dose, so it was about 36 hours since the last dose that I decided to drink. How could this not work?
I had somebody take me to the pdoc since I wasn't sure of my sanity or ability at that point. My heart was racing but I still felt surprisingly energetic. He listened to me for 5 minutes and then told me my blood pressure was out of control (usually 110/60). I don't know what it was, it's a bit blurry at this point. He explained that the pharmacology of this drug includes a warning about some word beginning with 'a' that could lead to bladder/sphincter pressure and maybe cause the symptoms I was attributing to an infection. However, he called my PCP and they're scheduling a kidney screening for next week to be on the safe side. I was instructed to immediately take 2mg Xanax (to make it possible to lie down) and then to take 12.5 mg Ambien ER.
I did as instructed and slept (fitfully) for about 6.5 hours. At the time I attempted to go to sleep, I hadn't taken Viibryd for 48 hours. Now, I'm trying to get sleepy but still feel like jumping out of my skin. I'm going to do the high-dosage Xanax+Ambien again and try to get more sleep. but, this is ridiculous. I'm now 60 hours from the last dose, exhausted, manic, and hyper.
The drug has a half-life of 25 hours, so I still have somewhere between 5-10 mg in my system.
I've never felt better, and simultaneously worse in my life and might have done permanent damage.
One thing I didn't mention was food. I took this dose in the morning after breakfast and would feel ravenous for an hour. If I fought through that hour, I didn't feel hungry until the next dose. During the sleeplessness, I believe I only ate a few eggs a day. It's a little blurry since I was snacking at night. I lost about 6 lbs in the last 7 days.
Trying to go to sleep now, but my mind is racing and I want to run a marathon.
Wish me luck, and be very careful with this drug. I could see it being incredible dangerous if I didn't have the people around me watching and the drug journal I keep.