Vilazodone is a psychiatric medication that is prescribed to patients who suffer from severe or chronic depression. This medication works by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain so that patients feel more energetic, alert and positive. It is taken orally every day and takes two to three weeks to begin working.
This medication can cause mood swings. Some patients, particularly younger patients, develop suicidal thoughts or feelings during the first few weeks of being on the medication. All patients, regardless of age, should be monitored for suicide risk while on this medication so that emergency treatment can be given if they become acutely suicidal. Patients with bipolar disorder or a family history of suicidal depression and bipolar disorder are more likely to suffer from this side effect.
This medication causes physical dependence if used for long periods of time. It is dangerous to abruptly stop taking this medication rather than tapering off it; sudden withdrawal can cause seizures, high blood pressure and mood swings.